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'Let Them Play' rally calls for California to reopen youth sports

Team 10: How safe are school sports?
Posted at 2:11 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 17:11:50-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As the debate continues over whether or not youth sports should be allowed to resume in California, supporters of letting kids play are working to send a message to Sacramento today.

It’s been 10 months since youth sports teams have had any playing time, the state locking things down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And those who support the grassroots effort "Let Them Play CA," initiative are keeping the pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom, each organizing rallies in support of reopening youth sports.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond, who supports the effort, said he believes athletes can stay safe on the field as they have at home.

"When they’re home, they’re wearing their masks and taking the safety precautions. A lot of these kids will listen to their coaches before they listen to their parents," Desmond said.

On the CDC's website, it says the risk of a COVID-19 spread increases based on the number of people a participant interacts with, how close they physically are to others, and if they share equipment with multiple players.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says right now is not the time to ignore the advice from health officials.

"If you're facing third and long, that's a situation where you ought listen to the football coach. If you're facing a global pandemic, that is a situation where you ought to listen to public health experts," Fletcher said.

California has ranked each sport's risk based on whether it’s indoors or outdoors and classified them under three categories: low contact, moderate contact, or high contact. They are then grouped by risk tier.

Those in the purple tier include sports like cross country, swimming, and tennis — mostly outdoor sports with minimal contact. Under this plan, the sports in the purple tier could start practicing on Feb. 1.