COVID-19 impact: Bay Area high school, club sports can practice, but still no closer to games

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KGO) -- It will still be months before high school sports are likely to resume in California because of COVID-19.

However, state health officials have given the green light for resuming preseason practices under certain specific guidelines.

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Due to coronavirus concerns, December is the earliest high school football can resume.

That time frame is also true for high school basketball. And in both sports, many schools have held off on grueling preseason practices as they lack state health department guidelines for keeping those practices safe.

The California Department of Public Health finally released those guidelines this week, not only for school sports, but also for club sports and recreational programs, like the Brentwood Sea Wolves swim team.

Rosie Ayers is the Sea Wolves team Vice President.

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"It's not normal, but they are in the water, they're just in to do physical exercise" she said.

The young athletes took part in swim camps during the summer, but these are the first practices since the new state guidelines were handed down.

In order to begin practice, the team or school must meet these criteria:

  • Practices must be outside

  • Participants must stay six feet apart

  • There must be a stable group or cohort of players

  • The team must get a waiver from the local health department

Ayers says the Sea Wolves were already doing some of these things.

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"They're very similar: you have to stay in cohorts, you have to take temperatures and we're more stringent in that we assign lanes. Everybody has to stay in the same lanes and we don't change lanes" she said.

Even with all the restrictions, the team believes the workouts are good for the mental and physical well-being of the nearly ninety kids who take part. They range in age from kindergartners all the way through high school.

There's only one drawback.

"Absolutely no meets, just practice" she says.

Ayers says that probably means no meets before 2021, even then it's doubtful any spectators will be allowed in to see the meets in person.
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