Youth and adult recreation sports are set to begin soon in much of California. And there's a chance youth and adult recreation sports leagues can be held in Tulare County beginning as soon as the end of next week.

The state announced on Friday new guidelines that will allow much of the state to conduct youth and adult recreation sports leagues. The first day in which these types of sports can be held in much of the state will be this Friday, February 26.

It's expected 27 counties in the state will meet the criteria next week to begin holding youth and adult recreation sports activities by moving into the red tier. Tulare County won't move into the red tier next week as it will remain in the most restrictive tier, the purple tier. But there are also exceptions being made for purple-tiered counties that will allow them to have youth and adult recreation sports leagues as well.

The new guidelines don't apply to community events in which sports may be held. So events like those are still basically not allowed under the current guidelines.

As it stands now in purple-tiered counties such as Tulare County, activities such as golf and tennis in which only singles and not doubles can be played can continue in Tulare County as they have been.

Another activity that can now be held in Tulare County is basically barrel racing. Equestrian events in which only a single rider at a time competes including rodeo barrel racing can be held in purple-tiered counties such as Tulare County.

All of those are considered low contact sports which are the only sports allowed in purple-tiered counties essentially without retrictions.

Red-tiered counties will be allowed to hold youth and adult recreation sports beginning this Friday. Sports that will be allowed in red tier counties include softball, volleyball, cheerleading, baseball and doubles tennis.

Those sports are considered moderate-contact sports. And volleyball and cheerleading will only be allowed outdoors. Indoor volleyball and cheerleading won't be allowed until a county reaches the least restrictive tier, which is the yellow tier.

High contact outdoor sports such as basketball, soccer and football won't be allowed until counties reach the second least restrictive tier, the orange tier. But here are the exceptions.

Outdoor sports such as softball, volleyball, cheerleading, baseball and doubles tennis can be held in purple counties if that county's COVID-19 case rate comes down to at least 14 per 100,000. Tulare County's official case rate was 24.8 per 100,000 or .0248 percent and as of Thursday it's unofficial, preliminary rate is 18.4 per 100,000. So there's a chance by this Tuesday, Tulare County's official rate could fall to 14 per 100,000.

Theoretically sports such as basketball, water polo, soccer and football could also be allowed if the county's rate comes down to 14 per 100,000. But it's not likely leagues for those sports could be conducted as the restrictions to hold those sports are much more stringent in purple-tiered counties.

One requirement that would be tough to meet is the requirement that all participants above the age of 13 be tested and test results be available within 24 hours of competition.

All of the information on the new guidelines, including which activities are allowed in which tier can be found at this link: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx

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