By Ray Hamill — High school football and other outdoor sports should be returning to the North Coast sooner than expected after Governor Gavin Newsom updated the state’s youth sports guidelines on Friday morning.
Under the new guidelines, football and all outdoor sports will now be permitted in the purple and red tiers as long as a county has a case rate of no more than 14 per 100,000.
The new guidelines go into effect in seven days time on Feb. 26.
Humboldt County is one of 27 counties in the state that currently meets the requirement of having 14 or less cases per 100,000, with more counties expected to be included by next week.
This means the nine H-DNL football teams can now begin planning for a season which could kick off as early as mid-March and should allow for up to a possible six-game all-local season.
The season must be competed by April 17 in order to allow enough time before the start of the fall season in August.
It also clears the path for H-DNL soccer.
According to the new guidelines, there will also be weekly testing requirements for high-contact sports such as football, but not for the moderate-contact sports.
Governor Newsom said the state will pay for the cost of testing the student athletes.
For more this story, see Friday’s news was’ bigger than wins and losses and championships’ …