Updated CDPH Guidance, “Youth Sports Q&A,” Effective March 17, 19 and 22, 2021


After controversially issuing a Youth Sports Q&A which effectively banned sideline cheer and other activities from occurring in connection with football games, the CDPH quickly reversed itself by revising that Q & A to now allow sideline cheer, band, and drumline at school sporting events.  Updated guidance on spectator attendance at youth sporting events is also “being developed” according to the new Q&A — in its previous guidance the CDPH had stated only “immediate household members” could attend.

The CDPH first clarified on March 17, 2021 that flag football is now considered a “moderate-contact sport” (not the same as full contact football and not subject to its attendant COVID-19 testing requirement).  Two days later, on March 19, 2021, after initially disallowing these sideline sports and activities, the CDPH amended its Q&A to allow sideline cheer under the same rules as competitive cheer, i.e. as a “moderate-contact sport.”  Moderate contact sports are allowed outdoors if the county is in the purple tier with an adjusted case rate equal to or less than 14 per 100,000, and if informed consent is provided to and signed by all parents/guardians.  Moderate contact sports are also allowed indoors without restrictions, but only if the county is in the yellow tier, otherwise these sports are subject to the heightened testing requirements for indoor sports.

Most recently, on March 22, 2021, the CDPH classified band, drumline, choir, and drama as “low-contact youth recreational activities.”  These activities can be performed outdoors in counties in the Purple Tier without restrictions.  These activities can be performed indoors without restrictions but only in counties in the Orange Tier.   Although band, drumline, choir, and drama are addressed in the same CDPH guidance documents as youth sports, it is not entirely clear that these activities can be reopened in more restrictive tiers (e.g. indoor drama in Red Tier counties), subject to additional requirements, as is the case with youth sports.  Any questions in this regard should be discussed with legal counsel.  The CDPH’s table for categorization of sports generally is included in its  Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports guidance; or see our February 22, 2021 AALRR Alert and March 5, 2021 AALRR Alert on the subject.

This AALRR publication is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Firm is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process. 

© 2021 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

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