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State passes new rules, only one spectator per athlete at games

American football goal post
Posted at 11:43 PM, Mar 19, 2021

California just released new guidelines for outdoor sports including how many people are allowed to cheer their kids on in the stands. But Santa Barbara County isn’t adhering to the recommendation.

“[R]ather than a facility capacity limit, it is limited to one household member who is of an older age than the athlete themselves," Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer for San Luis Obispo County, said.

Additionally, the state has asked that there be no scouts and no college recruitments.”

Our team spoke with parents to find out how they felt.

“I’d be fine with one parent, I think it’s a privilege to be here. It’s for the kids, it’s not for us. We can watch it on the Livestream if we couldn’t be here so, we’re just lucky to be here," Paso Robles resident Rob Orcutt said.

While San Luis Obispo County plans to stick to the new state guidelines, Santa Barbara County officials say it won’t limit fans to one person per player as long as games are outdoors, and people are spaced out, similar to how they classify live performances outdoors.

“We decided to adhere to the youth sports guidance that allows for immediate household members to be at the sidelines observing training and competition," Dr. Henning Ansorg, Health Officer for Santa Barbara County, said. "We will however not insist on the one parent only strategy as recommended by the CDPH.”

This Friday, the Santa Ynez Pirates got the announcement just before their Junior Varsity game. It was welcome news for some parents.

Stu Gildred said he was grateful and pointed out the rule would make things difficult in some families.

“[My son] wants mom and dad there, we come from a divorced family so you know – how do you even choose? How do you even begin to decide if dad goes to the game or mom goes to the game? It’s just silly,” he said.

Guidelines still say to keep wearing masks and stay six feet apart, even when outside.