New California guidelines put youth sports competitions on hold until at least late January

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Just last year there were athletic competitions with crowds looking on and no masks. For students and athletes it's now all about safety.

California health officials just released new guidance for indoor and outdoor youth sports.

There are different tiers and right now most of the state is in the purple tier, which indicates widespread risk of transmission. Purple tier restrictions only allow for outdoor low-contact sports such as biking, running, tennis and track and field.

The red tier, which indicates substantial risk, allows baseball, cheerleading, field hockey and gymnastics.

It's not until the orange tier (moderate risk) that there can be outdoor basketball and football.

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Orange County officials and youth sports coaches are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to resume youth sports games in the state because they believe it can be done safely.



The guidance says athletes need to wear face coverings, and for now, no competitions are allowed until at least Jan. 25.

Officials will re-assess these guidelines at the beginning of next year.

"I think the guidelines need to be there. The kids they can't stay apart, they all want to go to their friends," said Dr. Michael Leong, who is a coach for the Southern California Roadrunners children's running team.

Gov. Gavin Newsom says the guideline are necessary.

"I'm reverential in terms of my desire for kids' mental and physical health and parents' physical and mental health, to get kids playing again in a safe manner," said Newsom.

Grace Padilla-Leong is a champion runner and a high school cross country coach. She says she's seen changes in kids.

"It's really discouraging to see these kids trying to get them to move to exercise to get their spirits up," said Padilla-Leong.
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