California leaders make decision in lawsuit to get youth sports back, allows sports with some changes

All high school sports can begin in California.
Posted at 5:19 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 20:19:42-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — After a few months of high school coaches, parents, and athletes rallying together through movements like "Let Them Play CA" and the Golden State Coaches Association across the state of California, Thursday, we learned that a lawsuit made on behalf of student-athletes in San Diego County was settled and would reportedly give all high school athletes a chance to return this school year.

"We have reached a settlement with the state of California on our lawsuit. It allows all student-athletes to return to play, both indoor and outdoor, statewide. All high school sports can begin in California," Marlon Gardinera, Scripps Ranch High School football coach.

Marlon Gardinera, a high school football coach in San Diego and father of one of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, like many, questioned how collegiate sports can all be played within certain protocols yet some high school sports like those played indoors have not been cleared.

Outdoor sports already received clearance from the state as long as the county reached the COVID case rate of 14 per 100,000, and now this settlement alleges that all sports could resume following that same threshold.

Yet sports like basketball, wrestling, and volleyball would require testing of athletes and coaches.

While one attorney said Governor Gavin Newsom signed off on these guidelines, Newsom did not share the same sentiment when addressing the news of the settlement earlier Thursday.

"Yeah, I don't have enough details about the settlement, but I am pleased with the progress Dr. Ghaly and others made. When we announced youth sports, being able to open with modifications here in the state, we did that a few weeks ago. I am aware of the two, temporary restraining orders, but not aware of the details of that settlement."

The next move will be updated guidelines from the California Public Health Department, something that is now expected to come out in the upcoming days that would then allow the California Interscholastic Federation and local counties to agree upon a return of all sports.

"Throughout California, we'll have a little bit more hope, a little bit more opportunity to thrive, through sports," said Gardinera.

Still, some questions need to be answered before we see indoor sports back on campus, and for a school like Bakersfield Christian, who saw their state championship basketball run cut short due to the shutdown nearly a year ago, seeing new statewide guidelines allowing their sport to return would be a win.