Updated: March 31, 2021

Orange County has moved into the Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy after having successfully achieved Orange Tier metrics for two weeks, officials say. The California Department of Public Health announced that effective Wednesday, March 31st, Orange County businesses can move toward the Orange Tier metrics that allow them to expand capacity or resume operations altogether.

This means high-contact sports such as basketball can resume competition outdoors with safety-focused modifications. Irrespective of setting (outdoor or indoor) case rate or sport played, the California Department of Public Health’s general guidance requirements must be adhered to at all times and can be view here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx

California’s COVID-19 Guidance Youth Sports: View Here

On February 19th, California public health officials loosened the rules for youth sports, allowing all outdoor sports to resume in counties where COVID-19 case rates are at or below 14 people per 100,000.

Orange County now meets this threshold, with its case rate falling to 11.9 per 100,000 residents. Counties that reach the 14-case threshold can resume basketball, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, rowing/crew, soccer and water polo youth competition.

The new guidelines were developed in partnership with organizations large and small, including the Let Them Play coalition, Governor Gavin Newsom said, thanking them “for their strong advocacy.”

“We are now confident with new guidelines we are publishing today we can get youth sports moving again in the state of California,” Newsom said.

The rules apply to all organized sports for kids and adults, including schools and community-sponsored programs. It does not apply to collegiate or professional sports or “community events,” which include marathons and other endurance races.

The guidance requires all coaches and spectators to wear masks. It says athletes should wear masks when not participating, such as when they are sitting on the sidelines.