Jul 6, 2020
USTA Announces Safety Tips Amid COVID-19

While many of the major team sports have had difficulty resuming athletic activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but sports that are played outside and can maintain social distancing recommendations have been able to return quicker.

Take golf, for example, as courses around the country have all reopened to near-full capacity and the PGA has resumed its tour dates. Tennis is also in a similar boat. In an interview with USA Today, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) CEO Micahel Dowse believes his sport can provide participants with a way to stay active while being cautious about the pandemic.

“Our sport is conducive to social distancing. Health and safety are paramount and tennis comes second, but once that first box is checked and it’s deemed safe, it’s the perfect sport for all of us to participate in coming out of this pandemic,” Dowse told USA Today.

Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

To aid participants in playing tennis and staying safe, the USTA also released a series of tips and recommendations that were based on the USTA Medical Advisory Group. The organization reiterated, however, that the tips were created for recreational play and not professional matches. While major tennis events like Wimbledon have been canceled, the US Open is still slated to be held later this summer.

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Below are a few of the recommendations for recreational tennis players from the USTA that were compiled by Yahoo’s Samantha Brodsky.

  • Before playing: Try to limit your playtime to those you live with or individuals who are low risk. People who feel sick, who have been in recent contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who are high risk are cautioned against playing.
  • Before playing: Sanitize your hands properly and wipe down your equipment with a disinfectant if you want to be extra cautious. Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be at the court. Bring personal protective equipment to be used appropriately.
  • While playing: Stay at least six feet apart from other players even when playing doubles, and do not make physical contact with them.
  • While playing: Avoid touching your face after handling equipment like tennis balls and rackets. Also, avoid sharing drinks, food, and towels.
  • While playing: The USTA recommends you pick up balls with your foot and racket, and the spokesperson clarified that you should apply hand sanitizer immediately if you touch someone else’s tennis balls or equipment. The USTA also suggests only handling balls designated for you based on numbers.
  • After playing: Leave the court as soon as you’re done playing. Refrain from using a locker room to shower or change. Wash your hands thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer after leaving the court.

To read the full story from USA Today on how to safely play tennis amid COVID-19, click here.

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