As individual states and local communities begin to re-open on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American populace will be particularly eager to return to some form of physical activity and social engagement. Tennis is one sport that is particularly well-positioned to satisfy those desires as it requires no direct physical contact and, when played within specific guidelines, can be played both safely and enjoyably. For those reasons, tennis is primed to serve a central role in the recovery of communities across the U.S.
Indeed, tennis is positioned to be the ultimate return sport – a leader in what figures to be a gradual and measured return to normalcy. The U.S. Tennis Association has outlined specific guidelines for both players and facilities that, when followed correctly and in conjunction with local, regional, and federal regulations from government and health agencies, will ensure a safe and fun experience for all.
It is recommended that players of all ages and ability levels follow these guidelines in preparing to play, during play, and after playing. Players should stay six feet apart from each other and avoid physical contact such as high-fives and handshakes. Singles competition between players is recommended as doubles play could lead to incidental contact and unwanted proximity.
On court, players should avoid sharing food, drinks, or towels and using their hands to pick up balls. Players should also remain on their respective sides and not change ends, and avoid touching court gates, fences and benches where possible.
Although there is no specific evidence that tennis balls can spread COVID-19, contamination by respiratory droplets from an infected person can potentially survive on hard surfaces for up to three days. Players should avoid touching balls by hand and instead use their feet or racquets to pick up balls. Each player should use one set of numbered balls out of their own can and only utilize their own balls when serving.
Tennis is a wonderful, healthy, and social sport. It can be an important factor in getting people active again after a few sedentary months. And when people are active and healthy, the communities in which they live reflect that, becoming more active and vibrant themselves.
Tennis is a great sport to come back to, and by following these guidelines and taking every precaution to help keep all participants safe, tennis not only will return to courts all across the country but will again thrive there.
Please visit ustanationalcampus.com, where reopening announcements and updates will be posted once available.
Photo Courtesy of USTA