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California opens all sports

Matt Bliss from Maxwell High School makes a play to first base during their first practice Feb. 26.

In December, the fate of youth sports was simply just paused statewide. All practices had come to a halt as athletes, coaches and school districts were left wondering what would come about with the new year. 

In January, the ban on some outdoor sports was lifted and cross-country, golf, tennis and track were permitted to start. But the biggest sports like football, basketball and volleyball were still on the sidelines. A statewide movement set in place from a San Diego-based organization called “ Let Them Play,” spearheaded efforts by recruiting more than 700 coaches and 60,000 students to advocate for the restart of all youth sports. 

As of last Wednesday, the advocating proved to be positive with the announcement of football, volleyball and basketball being able to return. 

“This is a huge announcement,” said Nayeli Contreras, a senior athlete from Williams High School. “We just started soccer practice and now volleyball may be thrown in the works as well. This is a lot as my senior year comes to a close.” 

The lawsuit filed from the “Let Them Play” organization, argued that it was unfair that youth and high school sports were barred from participating in athletic activities while professional and college athletes were allowed to go forward. As of Feb. 26, California counties were allowed to resume outdoor sports if they were in the purple reopening tier, but the decision that was announced Wednesday, activates indoor activities and outdoor high contact sports regardless of what tier a county is in. 

Coaches and athletic directors are waiting for final decisions on the newly approved sports from their leagues through CIF. Many school districts, in Colusa County, started their soccer, softball and baseball seasons Feb. 26.

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