Competitive sports, including baseball, football and other activities involving close contact, are not allowed in City of Santa Maria parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is okay for groups to practice with less than 10 people, if they follow safety guidelines.
Senior Park Services Officer Casey Stone is responsible for training his staff on how to make necessary contacts with groups in parks who are not following the current health orders and says, "It is difficult at times to break up a group of youths playing a soccer or baseball game at a City park, but competitive sports are currently not allowed in Santa Barbara County. Rangers try to provide acceptable alternatives to groups found violating the heath order; informing them that practices with small groups of 10 or less are allowed, so long as guidelines are followed."
The groups are usually aware of the restrictions, but express that they feel being outdoors is safe.
"If the County, as a whole, moves to less restrictive levels, it will take the cooperation of all groups to follow the guidelines," said Alex Posada, Recreation and Parks Director. "Playing competitive sports, where social distancing cannot be maintained and providing venues for spectators to gather in any size group, is providing an opportunity for the virus to spread," Posada said. "Staff wants residents and visitors to visit City parks and enjoy themselves, but also want them to be safe. Not only for them, but for others."
Questions may be directed to the Recreation and Parks Department, (805) 925-0951 extension 2260.