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Youth sports may resume in Riverside County with social distancing

State health officials issued new guidelines for youth sports that provide for some limited participation. Under the new guidelines, youth sports can take place only when two criteria are met: physical distancing of at least six feet between participants and stable cohort, such as a class or team when the participants remain the same, that limits the risk of transmission.

Sports that cannot be played with enough distancing and cohorting are not permitted. Competitions, including games and tournaments, are not allowed. 

“The new guidelines provide for some participation for youth sports, which is something we know parents, coaches, and young athletes have been waiting for, but the number one priority remains the safety of those involved,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “These guidelines should not be looked at as a return to pre-pandemic participation.”

For sports that cannot be played with sufficient distancing or cohorting, only physical conditioning and training are permitted, and only where physical distancing can be maintained. Officials say conditioning and training should focus on individual skill building, such as running drills and bodyweight resistance training.

The updated guidelines cover all youth sports, including school-based, club, and recreational youth sports, including but not limited to football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, softball, baseball, soccer, swim, water polo, gymnastics, cheer, dance, and karate. To read the county’s updated advisory for the operation of youth sports, click here.

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