COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Amateur Sports

Amateur sports are a popular recreational activity for teams, schools, leagues, clubs, and associations, but many amateur sports have been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19.

As more information becomes available on how COVID-19 is spread, and as shelter-in-place restrictions continue to lift, amateur sports coaches, athletes, and spectators face a multitude of questions about how to participate in amateur sports during COVID-19 safely:

  • How can we protect amateur sports employees, volunteers, spectators, and players from the spread of COVID-19?
  • Should attendance be limited at an amateur sports practice and competition?
  • What do we do if a player or spectator is visibly sick or not following CDC guidelines?
  • How do we clean and sanitize sports equipment and other high-touch surfaces during COVID-19?
  • Are shower facilities, restrooms, and locker rooms safe for athletes to use?
  • How do we manage shared facilities and interactions with different teams during amateur sporting events?

With these questions in mind, AIHA has created this “Reopening: Guidance for Amateur Sports” guide to offer practical advice for amateur sports athletes, coaches, and spectators to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. The guidance borrows from the latest advice given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as expert advice from other leading health, government, and athletic organizations.

This document’s guidance applies to a range of youth or adult amateur sports activities, including lacrosse, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball (beach or court), basketball, cheerleading, gymnastics, ice hockey, boxing, football, wrestling, swimming, and cycling.

Resuming amateur sports requires a sound understanding of how COVID-19 is spread and the necessary steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus when participating in team-based activities. These guidelines share actionable steps to protect amateur sports participants, including the following:

  • What amateur sports organizers or employers can do to protect themselves, their athletes, and spectators from COVID-19
    • Ways to enable physical distancing of amateur sports athletes and spectators, including the use of live streaming of events and limiting the number of in-person spectators
    • Recommended signage to post and announcements to make during amateur sporting events to educate about the ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19
    • Ventilation considerations for indoor amateur sports teams given COVID-19
    • Enhanced cleaning practices, including a list of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved products for use against SARS-CoV-2.
    • How to disinfect shared sports equipment and uniforms
    • Personal hygiene best practices for amateur sports coaches and athletes
    • Ways to perform employee and athlete wellness checks, including temperature screenings
    • What to do if an amateur sports coach, athlete, or spectator is sick or displaying signs of COVID-19
  • What amateur sports players and staff can do to minimize the transmission of COVID-19
    • Recommended PPE for amateur sports athletes and staff
    • Self-monitoring practices and how to know if you should not attend a sports practice or game
    • What to do if you need to sneeze or cough while at an amateur sporting event
    • How to congratulate another sports team during COVID-19

Download our “Reopening: Guidance for Amateur Sports” guidance document today to learn how to resume your amateur sports safely.