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Settlement Reached To Resume Youth Sports In California

Soccer players at the San Diego Surf Cup on July 28, 2017.

Photo by Erik Anderson

Above: Soccer players at the San Diego Surf Cup on July 28, 2017.

A settlement reached between the state and youth sports advocates stemming from a lawsuit filed on behalf of two San Diego high school athletes will pave the way for youth sports to resume statewide, it was announced Thursday.

Testing will be required for indoor sports, though the settlement announcement included agreements with outside groups to provide testing for school districts at no cost, according to Let Them Play California, the group spearheading the push to resume youth sports.

Attorney Stephen Grebing, who represented two local high school football players in the San Diego suit, said indoor sports will be allowed with testing within 48 hours of competition and periodic testing throughout the week. Grebing said the settlement will also allow for a limited number of spectators — primarily athletes' immediate family members — to attend some games.

It will be up to individual schools, school districts and counties whether sports can resume, and counties must reach an adjusted case rate of 14 or lower per 100,000 to take part.

Reported by Matt Hoffman , Video by Roland Lizarondo

When asked about the settlement at his daily COVID-19 update, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he had not yet read the terms of the settlement. Another attorney representing the plaintiffs, Ian Friedman, said he had no reason to doubt Newsom's comments as the settlement agreement still needs to be finalized, but Friedman said they had assurances that Newsom has signed off on "new guidelines to be released by the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) later this week."

Grebing said the state is only providing testing for football, rugby and water polo, so testing for other sports will have to be acquired through other means.

Marlon Gardinera, head coach at Scripps Ranch High School and the father of one of the plaintiffs, said testing resources will be available for schools districts at no cost, and information on obtaining testing can be found at https://www.testtodayca.com/.

Gardinera and Bradley Hensley, co-founder of Let Them Play California, said CARES Act funds and insurance will cover the costs for testing.

A Vista judge granted a temporary restraining order last month in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Nicholas Gardinera, a senior at Scripps Ranch High School, and Cameron Woolsey, a senior at Mission Hills High School. San Diego Superior Court Judge Earl H. Maas III's order held that youth sports could resume if teams maintained COVID-19 protocols similar to those that professional and collegiate teams follow.

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