Organized sports, gyms and faith-based organizations can now reserve field space at Santa Clarita parks, Mayor Cameron Smyth said Friday after Los Angeles County issued an update on guidelines allowing youth sports to resume.
The city’s Field and Reservations Office, which handles reservation requests for ball fields and multipurpose fields, has remained closed since the onset of the pandemic but is expected to commence operations Monday, Aug. 10, according to city officials.
Reservations only apply to city-owned parks and fields and would not apply to the Castaic Sports Complex as the location is under the county’s jurisdiction.
“Not only will they be open but we’re going to return to the pre-pandemic policy of requiring reservations,” said Smyth during a live broadcast. “We were able to do this because earlier in the week, the state and county released guidelines for youth sports activities and use for training. While you can reserve the fields, it’s still important that you are following the guidelines that are set forth by the county Department of Public Health.”
Under California’s latest protocols, youth sports and physical education can proceed outside, with guidelines such as limiting certain activities and allowing for young athletes to play mask-free when appropriate. Tournaments, events and competitions, as well as amateur team sports, such as the city’s softball league that has about 200 teams, remain prohibited.
Santa Clarita’s softball fields, which closed July 31, will not reopen until the first reservations on Aug. 17. Smyth said these fields closed after many outside groups, including from San Bernardino, would use the fields.
“(J)ust a few weekends ago, an all-day tournament organized from Los Angeles-based travel teams used Central Park from dawn until dusk and obviously using those fields in violation of the state and county health order, as well as for limiting Santa Clarita residents from using our fields, forced us to make the decision to close those, those softball and baseball diamonds,” Smyth said.
Faith-based organizations and gyms will also be allowed to make reservations as these sectors are only allowed to operate outdoors under state and county health orders in place.
“Not all of our churches, synagogues (and) mosques have space outside. Allowing you to have a service using our city parks is a way for us to again partner with our community,” said Smyth, reminding the public that “again, social distancing protocols all still must be in order.”
Smyth reiterated that park playgrounds remain closed until further notice as “those are difficult facilities to manage with cleaning.”
Reservations will begin Monday, Aug. 17. Applications for field rentals will be accepted starting Monday, Aug. 10, at 8 a.m. and must be submitted a minimum of seven days in advance of the reservation date. All applicants must be in compliance with all county health orders.
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