California loosens rules for youth sports, allowing them to resume in some counties

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Youth sports competitions can resume next week in parts of California and could be back for a vast majority of the state by the end of March under a plan announced Friday by public health officials that clears the way for abbreviated spring versions of high school football, field hockey, gymnastics and water polo.

“It’s going to be a very welcome reprieve for hundreds of thousands of kids who (experienced) a lot of pain in not being able to play in the fall,” said Patrick Walsh, head football coach for Junipero Serra High School, a gridiron power just south of San Francisco. “This gives us a sense of hope and something to look forward to in an otherwise pretty melancholy situation.”

Nearly all interscholastic, club and community league sports in California have been on hold since the pandemic began in March, along with adult recreational sports that also are covered by the new rules. The California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s high school sports’ governing body, moved most fall sports to the spring in the hopes that students could salvage some of their season.

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