Parents, coaches, and teams can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by sharing
a safety plan with athletes and their families. Before letting your child play any
sport, ask about the rules and expectations.
Here's what you should know:
Kids should not play if they're sick
or have had close contact with someone with coronavirus. If an athlete or family member
has symptoms or tests
positive for COVID-19 — even without symptoms — they should not go to
practice or games until their doctor says that it is safe to return.
Bring your own equipment, when possible. This might include bats, balls, protective
gear, face masks or coverings, water bottles, hand sanitizer, and towels. Label all
equipment and personal items.
Players should wash their hands well and often. They should wash hands before
going to practice and after touching shared equipment. Pack hand sanitizer, especially
if soap and water aren't available.
Players should wear masks
or cloth face coverings on arrival to practice and games, during instructions, in
huddles, and on the sidelines. They should wear them during warm-ups, drills, and
Players should not wear masks when they do:
high-intensity activities, like running,
if it feels harder to breathe when wearing one
sports where the mask could get caught on equipment or accidentally cover the
eyes (like gymnastics or cheerleading)
Shared surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected. Things that get touched a lot
(such as benches, faucets, and doorknobs) should be cleaned at least daily and as
often as possible. Shared equipment should be limited and cleaned between each use.
Social distancing (or physical distancing) is a must. Kids playing sports should
stay 6 feet apart, whenever possible. This includes during instructions, when warming
up, practicing drills or conditioning, on the sidelines, in huddles, and before and
after practice. Coaches, parents, and spectators should stay at least 6 feet apart
at all times. Adult staff and volunteers can help maintain distancing among players,
coaches, and spectators.
Group size may be smaller. Limiting team size will help prevent the spread of
the virus. Leagues may limit team sizes, stagger practices, and place students in
cohorts. Cohorts (also called pods) are groups of players and coaches that stay together
throughout the season.
Leagues are getting creative. Sports teams are figuring out new ways to reduce
the spread of germs.
Practice and play outside whenever possible.
Mark the field or court to show kids where to stand and practice drills.
Consider within-team scrimmages rather than full competition between teams. If
this isn't possible, compete with teams in your local area. Traveling outside your
local area may increase the spread of the virus.
These practices can make coronavirus less likely to spread among players, coaches,
parents, and spectators. But they can't prevent it entirely. So the league should
have a plan ready in case someone gets sick or there's an outbreak.
Visit the CDC's
website for more information on returning to sports safely.