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COVID: SFUSD To Allow Outdoor High School Sports Practices, Games Starting April 12

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN) -- The San Francisco Unified School District will allow high school students to resume practices and games in multiple extracurricular sports next month, the district announced Wednesday.

Starting April 12, the district will allow its high schools to resume practices and games for baseball, softball, girls' flag football, boys' and girls' tennis, boys' and girls' soccer and boys' and girls' track and field.

High school football and boys' and girls' basketball teams will also be able to practice outdoors but will not be allowed to able to play official games for now, according to the district.

"As a former student athlete myself, I know how important sports are in the lives of so many of our students," SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews said. "It is a short season but I hope it is the beginning of what will be many more opportunities to play."

Practices will be allowed to resume on April 12 and will conclude by May 28, according to the district. There will be no playoff or championship games and games will only be played among teams within the district.

Students will only be allowed to play one sport and teams will be limited to 25 players to keep cohorts small, according to the district. Some sports that require more players such as track and field will be allowed to field teams of more than 25.

The district will only allow outdoor sports despite guidance from the state allowing indoor youth sports. Outdoor sports will also only be available to high school students as there are not enough available playing fields to accommodate middle school sports.

District officials intend to share more information about each sport's availability in the coming weeks.

The school district has been under fire in recent months from parents and city officials over the continued closure of campuses due to the pandemic.

Just last week, the school board approved the plan to get its youngest students back into class.

Under the plan, in-person learning for preschoolers through second grade begin will happen in multiple waves starting April 12. Additional schools would reopen on April 19 and April 26.

In-person learning for grades 3-5 would also begin on April 26, district officials said.

San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews announced last week that he would be stepping down from his post amid the ongoing contentious battle over reopening the city's public schools for in-class instruction.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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