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By Zach Cavanagh
Youth sports finally received the go-ahead to restart practices on Monday, June 15.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors announced that practices for youth sports will reopen under the same COVID-19 state guidance as day camps.
The state guidance and county allowance will only permit youth sports to resume practicing. The state has not provided a set time in which sporting events or games with spectators could resume.
“Orange County residents understand the severe impacts that COVID-19 has on our residents, but these issues can be mitigated by following state guidelines,” Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said. “By allowing youth sports practices to resume in a safe manner, it allows Orange County children to enjoy time with their peers and have a little bit of normalcy at this time.”
The state guidance for reopening of day camps, which went into effect on Friday, June 12, instructs the promotion of healthy hygiene practices, intensified cleaning and disinfection, implementation of physical distancing and proper training for all staff and families.
The state guidance does not explicitly state a number for the limit on participants, only limiting the number of persons in the camp to one that can appropriately maintain physical distancing.
The San Juan Capistrano Little League, which also serves Dana Point and Capistrano Beach, is still working on getting its season going. According to SJCLL president Brett Vermeulen, field availability is the league’s main issue to any sort of return right now.
Dana Point Youth Baseball was one of the most, if not the most, active leagues in pursuing a youth sports restart from city and county officials.
DPYB will get back in action on Monday, June 22. Since the players haven’t had any recreation or sports in several months, DYPB president Dana Kislig said the league will start anew with a skill assessment period until July 3. DPYB will then reformulate its teams, and Kislig hopes they’ll be able to start some scrimmages, if they can.
DPYB will institute all the recommended safety protocols, including not sharing equipment. Kislig said the one thing they’d like clarity on from the county, like most, is the number of participants.
If any other youth sports leagues are returning to practices and camps, please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at email@example.com.