Soccer playoffs set, but some teams need L.A. County approval to travel

Soccer balls lined up in a row.
(Associated Press)

There could be trouble brewing for Los Angeles County boys’ and girls’ soccer teams selected for the Southern Section playoffs.

Under current guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, teams cannot play opponents other than from an adjacent county. The county has not updated its guidelines to be the same as the state guidelines recommended by the California Department of Public Health. The Southern Section has been seeking to get the L.A. County guidelines revised since Wednesday, according to Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons.

Playoffs begin Tuesday with wild-card games, and unless the guideline is revised to allow teams to travel outside an adjacent county, some schools would have to forfeit. A first-round boys’ match set for Thursday involving Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara wouldn’t be able to take place. Palos Verdes would have to forfeit.

“What are we supposed to do? Not let the other seven counties play?” Simmons said.

Said one L.A. County school official: “Think of the number of forfeits coming.”

Terry Barnum, the head of athletics at Harvard-Westlake, said: “I hope L.A. County realizes the situation our students are being put in and get their guidelines in line with the rest of the state so the playoffs can continue as normal. They need to do it really fast.”


High school boys’ soccer: Southern Section playoff pairings

High school girls’ soccer: Southern Section playoff pairings