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California Prep Athletes Sue Over Right to Play

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A pair of California students are suing the state and San Diego County due to the restrictions placed on high school sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to KSWB-TV, a Fox affiliate in San Diego, a lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of Scripps Ranch High School senior Nicholas Gardinera and Mission Hills High School senior Cameron Woolsey  KSWB-TV reported that the lawsuit alleges millions of California high school student-athletes “have been barred from participating in athletic activities without adequate medical evidence to support the restrictions.” The defendants include California governor Gavin Newsom, the California Department of Public Health, San Diego County, and San Diego County public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

“It’s been very difficult for all of us,” Gardinera said during a “Let Them Play” rally on Friday. “All this waiting — hopefully this lawsuit can get something going and we can get back on the field.”

The plaintiffs believe that California “arbitrarily” allows some sectors, including professional and college sports, to operate amid the pandemic.

“If a sport is safe for college students to play when following certain protocols, it is no less safe were high school student athletes to follow these same protocols,” the lawsuit states.

Each state has developed its own protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the lawsuit alleges that 47 states have allowed prep sports to resume. The complaint goes on to say that the “plaintiffs know of no evidence that allowing high school sports has led to an increase in COVID-19 transmission or hospitalization in any of those 47 states.”

California recently allowed youth sports with “lower risk of exposure” to resume competition. Outdoor training and practices are permitted for all sports.

Related content: California Youth Coaches Meet With Governor’s Office

Related content: California Youth Coaches Pen Letter to Governor

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