By Tim Peterson
Governor Gavin Newsom’s update on the return of outdoor High School Sports Friday left Southern California football fans feeling hopeful.
According to the updated guidance, outdoor high-contact sports will be permitted in counties that are in the purple and red tiers if the counties have a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000. The guidance would go into effect on February 26.
There will be weekly testing requirements for players and coaches for high-contact sports, but not for moderate-contact sports. The high-contact sports include football, rugby and water polo. The moderate-contact sports include baseball, cheerleading and softball.
According to Newsom, 19 counties are currently eligible to resume high-contact outdoor sports. It’s possible several more could be eligible when the latest county metrics are released on Monday. Newsom also said the state will pay for the cost associated with regular testing of high school athletes.
However some counties including Los Angeles aren’t within the case guidelines yet. LA County has a case rate of 17.6 per 100,000 and Orange County is at 16 per 100,000. San Diego is at 15.5
If the counties do fall within the guidelines football practice (with pads) could start on February 26 with first games scheduled for Thursday March 11. A six game schedule would mean the last game would be the weekend of April 15-17.