COVID | Return to Play
As with most sports during the pandemic, pickleball has faced some significant challenges with regard to play.
There is huge variance from state to state with regard to stay at home, mask mandates, etc.
This article is simply a summary of USA Pickleball’s guidelines for safe return to play. This information serves as guidelines and is to be applied in accordance with the latest local, state and federal guidelines and mandates with regard to COVID-19.
Inactivity During Covid
We’ve all been less active during the pandemic. Return to play sensibly. Keep in mind that most of us have had some extensive time off from the game. Like it or not, we may not be quite as competitive as we were “pre-COVID.” Some of us, may be carrying around some added weight. Suggestions to avoid physical injury include:
- modified playing schedules, increase playing time slowly
- a gradual return to strength training
- learn to stretch before and after, this is especially important as you get “back into shape”
- be mindful of weight changes due to inactivity
- don’t forget to hydrate and take frequent breaks
If You Decide to Play
If you are returning to play during COVID, the USAPA lists the following guidance to maintaining your health and preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
- Wash Your Hands: use soap and water (preferred), bring hand sanitizer to the courts
- Do Not Share Paddles/Water Bottles/Equipment – clean and wipe down
- Personal Water Bottles – everyone should bring their own and avoid using and touching public water fountains
- Consider wearing gloves and avoid touching common areas: benches, gates, fences, etc.
- Consider wearing gloves to avoid picking up pickleballs with bare hands.
- Use only serving with only “your” ball of either different color or personally identified with a marker
- Use new balls or consider sanitizing balls before play
- Replace grips or overgrips as frequently as possible
Managing Matches and Play Safely
Additional guidance is given with regard to the workout/play
- Maintain social distancing, especially in between games or during time outs
- Use outdoor courts whenever possible
- Avoid doubles play as doubles is not conducive to 6 foot social distancing
- Consider playing doubles only with players from the same household
- Avoid touching your face after handling ball or paddle (as per CDC)
- Wash your hands after each match, sanitize after each game
- Limit size of groups
We wish you and your teammates a safe and healthy return to pickleball.
Thanks for reading, sharing and following. Stay safe.
Bob and Randy