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What to know about the return of LAUSD sports: Answering your questions

Wilmington Banning wide receiver Richard Cox carries the ball during a game against Van Nuys Birmingham.
Wilmington Banning wide receiver Richard Cox carries the ball during a game against Van Nuys Birmingham on Nov. 29, 2019.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Wednesday that interscholastic sports will resume after nearly a year of being shut down because of the coronavirus. Coaches and athletes will be tested weekly within LAUSD.

The California Department of Public Heath also has released guidelines and procedures for Southern Section schools to follow on weekly testing of high school athletes and coaches.

Here are questions and answers:

When will LAUSD teams resume activities?

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There will be a meeting of athletic directors on Thursday. Students are expected to begin working out outdoors next week. Weekly testing will be required. Students must be cleared for academic and athletic eligibility, including taking physicals, before being allowed to practice.

What LAUSD sports will be played?

Outdoor sports football, cross-country and water polo are allowed from the fall season and baseball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and track and field. Girls’ volleyball and boys’ volleyball have been moved to the spring season outdoors. The sport was not listed on the LAUSD list but City Section officials will ask for clarification.

The L.A. Unified School District is allowing sports competitions and games to be held outdoors for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Will there be City Section championships?

Yes for team titles in baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and soccer.

Will there be a football season?

It will be up to school principals to decide what sports can be played. Football can be played until April 30, so there is enough time for teams to begin practices and get into shape and hold games.

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Who must test in the Southern Section?

Athletes and coaches in football and water polo in counties where the adjusted COVID-19 case rate is between 7.0 and 14.0 per 100,000.

Who will pay for tests?

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The state is providing test kits for nasal swabs to public schools through its new Valencia Branch test lab with results produced within 48 hours.

What happens if there’s a positive test?

Schools will follow the CPDH guidelines they’ve been using since January, focusing on isolating the student or staff member, requiring a 10-day quarantine for the person infected and contact tracing those who might have been exposed. There’s no requirement to cancel a game.


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