California Sport Teams Find a Loophole

   With the world starting to reopen, and everyone trying to establish some normalcy in their lives, there has been a big push to start up sports again. Teams have been able to practice for a couple of months now, but official games are still prohibited in California due to COVID-19. Teams are eager to begin games, and seem to have found a loophole in the system. 

   Many travel teams have been trekking across state lines into Arizona, among other states across the nation, to play official games, because of the closures in California. 

            Jackelyn Cuevas, a senior at Poway High plays for Rebels Soccer Club on the Girls Under 19 ECNL team. Her team has been travelling to Arizona to play games, but she has expressed her frustration losing against Arizona teams, who have been practicing and playing games constantly for months, unlike the teams in California.

   “My team and I went to Arizona about two months ago to play games against some Arizona teams. It was the first time our new team had played together,” Cuevas said. 

   Cuevas also expressed that travelling to other states for games during a global pandemic has been difficult and has interfered with her school work.

   “My team is travelling to Arizona the first two weekends of November. But we have heard rumors about Arizona preventing out of state teams from playing in Arizona,” Cuevas said.

   Dominic Perritano, a parent of a young soccer player and a young baseball player in Southern California said, “The great irony is that the statistical chance of dying in an auto accident on a 500-mile road trip is many times greater than a healthy child under 18 catching and dying from COVID-19.”

   The concern about rises in COVID-19 cases is not the only thing families are worried about. Some families are concerned about the costs of being able to play sports this year in California. As many games for youth teams are now located in Arizona, families are required to spend a lot of money on travel, food, and hotels. 

   The CEO of San Diego Surf Soccer Club, Brian Enge said, “Motel 6 is charging 250 bucks a night and getting it.”

   For one weekend, only including the price of a hotel and gas money, it would cost each family about $600 to take their kids to Arizona to play two or three games. 

   The reality of California sport teams traveling to Arizona to play games every other weekend is not realistic or reasonable for many families. Youth playing on sports teams may have to continue their practices without having the opportunity to play games, until COVID-19 is no longer a major concern or threat.