The Pac-12 football announced just last week that the conference will return to the football field later this fall. With the date set at November 6 for a return to the gridiron, there was still one last hurdle to get over for the state of California, before their student-athletes could return to the field: State law was not set in such a way that it was allowing for more than 12 players to practice at one time.
However, after a new and updated set of guidelines that is clear this time, the state of California is set to allow 75 student-athletes, at maximum, to participate in practice ahead of the shortened Pac-12 football season.
California has updated its guidelines related to cohorts in sports. Teams can train in groups of no more than 75 while outside with the recommendation of groups of 25, where possible.— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) October 1, 2020
So, 11 v 11 is now allowable.
LA, Santa Clara & Berkeley were waiting for this. pic.twitter.com/ynUa1pZgua
The new guidelines state that teams may train outdoors in groups of no more than 75, so long as daily antigen testing is made available, which is such the case with the Pac-12’s partnership with Quidel.
It also states that practices should be prioritized outside and cohorts of 25 or less should be made as to help maintain the spread of potential virus cases.
Previous state guidelines did not allow for more than 12 athletes to practice at one time, thus eliminating any chances of 11-on-11 practices. But with 75 athletes allowed now, full practices including scrimmages can absolutely take place.
According to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura, each local government for Stanford, Cal, USC and UCLA will still require their athletic departments to submit “written, facility-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every facility, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work and athletic areas, and designate a person at each facility to implement the plan,” which was also written in the new guidelines.
We’ll continue to monitor that last bit, but at this rate with the partnership with Quidel and this last bit of legislature, the Cardinal are certainly set to be on the practice fields sooner as opposed to later.