Organized youth and adult sports may start in Santa Barbara County with safety modifications that are outlined in recent state guidance. The guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school, community programs, private clubs and leagues. This change is possible because the Santa Barbara County COVID-19 adjusted case rate dropped below the threshold of 14 new cases per 100,000 today.

“Youth sports play a critical role for the physical and mental health of our children,” says Dr. Henning Ansorg, Health Officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. “The updated State guidance includes specific safety requirements for all sports permitted at this time. It includes the use of face coverings by team members and coaches, distancing between non-household members, and limitations on travel for tournaments and weekly testing for certain high-risk sports, like football, rugby and water polo” says Dr. Ansorg.

Among the many state guidelines in place to assure safety of athletes, families and coaches, there are requirements that must be followed when sports under the Orange Tier and Red Tier lists are played in counties in a more restrictive tier.  In addition, for sports permitted to play at this time, parents must be provided information regarding the risk of their minor participating, and parents must sign an informed consent indicating their understanding of these risks. For more information on the state guidance as well as where sports fall in terms of risk, please visit and the state guidance can be viewed at For information about the COVID-19 response locally, visit