BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Districts around the county have started returning to in-person learning or have plans in place to do so. But only a handful of local schools like Wasco, Bakersfield Christian, and Garces have allowed for the return of any of their sports.
Last week those three competed in cross country meets which were the first high school athletic events in Kern County since the start of the pandemic.
On Wednesday morning, the Kern High School District met to discuss the return of sports to campus. The board expressed frustration with parents blaming them for schools not re-opening, while at the same acknowledging that frustration.
"We're not other states," said KHSD trustee Jeff Flores. "We have a different public health environment and governor... Private schools are allowed [a] waiver to play sports. We are not governed by the same set of standards."
The board agreed to allow for student-athletes involved in tennis, golf, swimming, and track and field to begin conditioning once schools are approved to return to in-person learning by the state. They said they are hopeful to start preparing accommodations for baseball and softball.
Some of the restrictions that will be in place for those sports allowed to return include lane restrictions for swimming, limited roster sizes for track and field, and tennis players must have their own tennis balls.
Things KHSD still needs to work out in preparation for a return of athletics include transportation needs to accommodate multiple bus runs to allow for safety protocols, finding enough adults to support the safety plan, and instituting safety protocols.