COVID-19 RETURN TO PLAY Guidance on Safe Return to Play

Due to the possibility of players returning from high-risk areas, or who have been infected and are contagious, extra precautions are necessary to prevent the asymptomatic transmission of the virus. Group size counts for play sessions must include all players and staff, and players must strictly adhere to social gathering and distancing policies, according to local, state, and federal authorities. Special considerations should be made for transitional periods between playing groups when overlap and crowding is more likely to occur. Players should be prepared to adhere to a minimum of a six-foot social distancing measure, as defined by the CDC. 

IF YOU DECIDE TO PLAY:

     • Make sure that your state, regional and local authorities satisfy federal criteria.

     • When courts are open and available for play, adhere to safety precautions established by the CDC.

     • Consider playing with only family members or others who reside in your household.

     • Wash your hands with soap and water and bring personal use hand sanitizer to the courts.

     • Clean and wipe down your paddles and water bottles. Do not share paddles or any other equipment or clothing.

     • Bring a full personal use water bottle(s) and avoid touching or using public water fountains.

     • Bring tissues or a handkerchief for contained sneezing and coughing or consider wearing a mask.

     • Consider wearing gloves to the courts and avoid touching court gates, fences, benches, etc.

     • Also consider wearing gloves during play to avoid picking up pickleballs with your hands.

     • Use new pickleballs and a new grip or fresh tape on your paddle handle if possible.

     • Coordinate with your play group so that each person serves with a different color ball. If multiple colors are not an option, use a sharpie and prominently mark personal pickleballs with your initials.

DO NOT PLAY IF YOU:

       Are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus: mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms identified by the CDC.

     • Have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

     • Are a vulnerable individual with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, or whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy

MANAGING PLAY SESSIONS:

     • Adhere to social gathering and distancing policies according to local, state, and federal authorities. Limit your distance to six feet or more to other players.

     • Avoid contact with others, such as hand shaking and high fives.

     • Group size counts should include players and staff, and account for transition periods between sessions.

     • Consider playing with only those who reside within your household.

     • Adhere to CDC guidelines by not touching your face (after handling a ball or paddle).

     • Consider using hand sanitizer between games.

     • Wash your hands after each outing.

     • Use your paddle and foot to pick up pickleballs and transfer them to your opponent. 

     • Avoid changing ends of the court.

     • Maintain proper social distancing from other players in between games and during time outs.

WHEN PLAY HAS ENDED:

       Leave the court as soon as reasonably possible.

     • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after your match is over.

     • Avoid post play socializing.

     • Avoid locker rooms and changing area – proceed home.

     • Thoroughly wash your paddles, grips, pickleballs, towels, clothes, bags, water bottles, and other items you have used or touched.

USAPA.ORG/USA-