In California, No Youth Soccer Games Since The Pandemic Started.
Goals are still locked in California as teams head out to other states to play competitive youth soccer games.
The pandemic has raged on for months. Now that winter has set in, the number of confirmed Corornavirus COVID-19 cases is increasing and the forecasts are grim.
As of today, the New York Times reports the California Coronavirus Case Count: 994,341 confirmed cases and 18,073 deaths according to a New York Times database which confirms “8,743 new cases were reported in California on Nov. 10. Over the past week, there has been an average of 6,423 cases per day, an increase of 43 percent from the average two weeks earlier.”
The impact of the Coronavirus on all sports, and especially soccer, as the world’s sport, has been gigantic. With economic loss felt around the world and by soccer teams on every level, COVID-19 has left a path of financial destruction. Often overlooked and receiving fewer headlines than the machinery of the soccer business, in parts of the USA, kids have missed the interaction, the leadership, and the simple joy of team practice and competitive games since the beginning of the pandemic. Since March.
In California, competitive youth soccer games have not been permitted since the onset of the pandemic. On the other coast, in New York and New Jersey, youth soccer players are playing soccer. Why can’t kids play soccer on most of the West Coast? Is this really reducing the risks of spreading COVID-19 dramatically?
Is the strategy working?
That is what soccer parents and youth soccer clubs in California are asking.
With seemingly uncontrollable spikes in Coronavirus COVID-19 cases and record-breaking numbers of confirmed cases, is the halt of youth soccer matches since the beginning of the pandemic working at slowing the spread?
California has been following stricter guidelines than many other states with ‘normal’ 11v11 competitive games against teams from other clubs a distant memory.
According to limited research by ECNL, Surf Cup Sports, and other organizations, youth soccer is not a hotbed of contagion.
Many experts believe the benefits of outdoor exercise combined with supervised team activity are important for physical and mental health.
Of course, some youth soccer clubs have created creative workarounds … with many youth soccer teams traveling to Arizona to play the matches which are prohibited in California.
THE ONLY VISIBLE VICTIM SO FAR IN THIS SCENARIO IS THE CA ECONOMY.
“I don’t think people in San Diego understand how much youth sports events drive revenues to small businesses and tax income for the city and county,” said Brian Enge, CEO Surf Cup Sports. “In 2019 alone, our Surf Cup Sports tournaments drove over 120 million in economic impact to our city, and now they’ve basically given us two choices: go out of business or go out of state.”
While hotels, fields, and clubs in some states are back in business, youth soccer clubs in Washington State, as well as California, are suffering from this extensive moratorium on playing the beautiful game.
It goes without saying that safety must always be placed above commerce and respecting the lives of our youth is sacrosanct, but somehow the natural balance seems out of balance.
THE FINE LINE THAT SEPARATES THE STATES DOES NOT COME WITH DISINFECTANT.
Doesn’t all this traveling across state lines make contact tracing harder if an outbreak occurs? And, do we really believe no one is carpooling?
Now teams will be traveling to Nevada for youth soccer events.
The problem in youth soccer is further complicated by the simple issue of cheating the rules — teams are breaking recommended protocols and failing to observe Return to Play best practices.
Many of us have seen teams playing games … with colored pennies instead of gameday jerseys as the concept of ‘an abundance of caution’ has been tossed aside on occasion by anxious coaches and clubs — with eager players and parents in agreement.
While no one thinks these are solutions to the California Governor’s refusal to allow youth soccer to resume, the urgency to get approval has waned after months of unsuccessful effort.
There are many efforts to establish protocols for reopening youth sports leagues in California but little real progress has been made.
Hopefully, the Coronavirus pandemic will end in the not too distant future and life can begin to return to a more carefree style … but until then, and keeping in mind that SoccerToday is not interested in policing the situation or calling clubs out on their activity, we do urge caution in the name of common sense.