Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Lifts Restrictions On Youth Sports

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he was lifting restrictions on all youth activities, including summer camps and organized sports, effective immediately during a news conference held Friday morning in Jacksonville.

DeSantis is leaving decisions up to local governments and organizations on how they wish to proceed with youth activities throughout the summer, meaning each municipality can impose its own restrictions. The governor said that ultimately it’s up to parents to decide if they want their child taking part in any activity.

“Our kids have been out of organized activities for several months now and we need a path to get it back,” DeSantis said. “We trust parents to be able to make decisions. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, don’t do it. That’s fine.”

Despite the state nearing 50,000 confirmed cases and 2,200 deaths, DeSantis pointed to the lack of COVID-19 fatalities under-25 in the state as one reason why loosening the restrictions for youth makes sense.

“I think the data is pretty clear: Kids don’t seem to get infected at the same rates that adults get infected,” he said.

“It’s important that we let kids be kids,” added Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “Parents and coaches and local leaders — those of us can use our best judgment to make sure we do it in a way that’s safe.”

What this means for youth in swimming remains to be seen, with guidelines likely varying between the different municipalities. Some localities in Florida have allowed pools to reopen, also under varying restrictions.


  • Alabama – 50% capacity (May 11)
  • Alaska – 50% capacity
  • Arizona – 50% capacity (May 15)
  • Arkansas – 50% capacity (May 22)
  • California – No counties have been cleared for reopening pools by the state, though several teams have resumed practice anyway.
  • Delaware – Community Pools at 20% capacity, no swim lessons or team practices (May 22)
  • Florida – some localities have allowed pools to begin to reopen under a patchwork of restrictions, while all youth sports have had their restrictions lifted
  • Indiana – Adhering to Social Distancing Guidelines, excluding Lake, Cass, and Marion counties (May 22)
  • Georgia – 10 or fewer people, or 6 feet of space per person (May 14)
  • Kentucky – Pools designated for training or exercise can reopen, 1-per-lane (June 1)
  • Louisiana– Lap Swimming can resume at 25% capacity
  • Massachussetts – Outdoor pools Can Reopen in Phase 2 (as early as June 8), Indoor pools can reopen in Phase 3 (as early as late June)
  • Mississippi – six feet apart
  • North Carolina – 50% capacity (May 22)
  • Ohio – CDC Guidelines (May 26)
  • South Carolina – Smaller of 20%/5 people per 1000 square feet (May 18)
  • Texas – 25% capacity
  • Virginia – Outdoor lap Swimming only, 1-per-lane (May 15)
  • West Virginia – No restrictions announced yet (May 30)
  • Wyoming – 1 person per lane

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3 years ago

kids don’t die but they still can spread the virus to their parents and grandparents when they go back home. hello?! ugh..

Reply to  mattt82
3 years ago

No, that’s part of the point of his presser. He backed it up with data showing that’s not actually happening world-wide. You’re welcome to watch the entire presser here if you’d like: https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/5-22-20-press-conference-on-coronavirus-covid-19/

It’s relatively short.

At some point, we all gotta recognize/understand the actual data coming out from all over the world. We (humans/Americans in general) have some very common misconceptions based on original “this is what’s supposed to happen” media info without being open to actually understanding/interpreting the actual data and being ready/willing/able to have an open mind to it.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
3 years ago

But the experts, Dr SwimPhil. Experts messages, as filtered by CNN, should make all of our decisions for us!

Thanks for being a voice of reason around here.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
3 years ago

I wouldn’t trust any “scientific thing” coming out of Florida to support their decisions.. Massachusetts for example yes, Florida not really. People in Florida get 275 dollars a week in unemployment so of course people have to go back to work FAST. But that’s a different topic, that’s a political topic.

Reply to  Mattt82
3 years ago

Explain your thinking? Who has managed the covid health crisis better between MASS and FLA (by the number of deaths and hospitalizations)? Where did DeSantis fail? That’s not a political question. Did you watch the video he posted or your mind is already made up?

Irish Ringer
Reply to  DrSwimPhil
3 years ago

DRSWIMPHIL, thanks for educating and providing the resources to back it up.

3 years ago

Awesome! The rest of the states should follow the best governor in the Country.

Reply to  David
3 years ago


Reply to  David
3 years ago

And who would that be? This guy couldn’t even put a mask on right. I bet his kids aren’t going to run around and play with a bunch of other kids. It all has become about money not safety.

Reply to  Jason
3 years ago

About all the money non-essential business have lost? Or the money Jeff Bezos has made …. open your eyes, it’s all politics at this point. Watch the video Dr. SwimPhil posted. Lots of data and science presented.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  David
3 years ago

Desantis is one of a few who are leading out on the re-opening efforts. Time will tell, but the majority is ready to resume daily activities.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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