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High school sports teams receive safety guidelines to resume workouts

L.A. Cathedral soccer players work out in July under social distancing measures.
(Courtesy of L.A. Cathedral)

Loyola High athletic trainer Tim Moscicki calls the “reopening protocol for youth sports leagues” released on Wednesday by the County of Los Angeles Department of Health “progress” in trying to resume high school sports.

Games are not allowed to be played, but outdoor workouts can take place if guidelines are followed.

“Technically, high schools haven’t been allowed to work out for three months,” Moscicki said. “There was never clear instructions. Today was the first time there was clear instructions, ‘You can do this.’ Every one of those boxes needs to be checked before you can start. That to me is progress because we’re saying high schools can resume some sort of practice with these guidelines in place.”

The Los Angeles County guidelines were announced after the state department of public health released Monday a document on “youth sports questions and answers,” clarifying what high schools can and cannot do months after sports were suspended March 19 because of the governor’s stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The emphasis is on the requirements to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet, conduct workouts outside, screen players and coaches, and use face coverings.

With most high schools in California scheduled to begin online learning for the upcoming school year, these guidelines are expected to help bring back students to campuses as early as next month if principals allow use of their athletic facilities. And you can expect private schools to lead the way if safety concerns are addressed.

L.A. Cathedral soccer players were working out individually in small groups with physical distancing and using their own balls until they were shut down last month. Coach Arturo Lopez is hopeful conditioning can resume in early September. The season doesn’t start until late February.

“I believe it works if you do it correctly,” Lopez said.

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Moscicki said he has penciled in a Sept. 8 restart date on his calendar for conditioning workouts for varsity football, water polo, cross-country and volleyball athletes at Loyola. That means he or the administration can change it depending on the conditions. But at least there’s a potential path forward considering the California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school sports, has postponed the official start of the 2020-21 sports season until December.


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