Updated Covid-19 Safety Recommendations for Platform Tennis (as of 7/21/20)

As of July 21, 2020

The APTA recognizes that the coronavirus has been affecting different parts of the country in different ways and with different timing. We therefore believe it will be possible for people to return to playing platform tennis safely in some cities and states sooner than in others. Our new guidelines below mainly follow the USTA's current recommendations with minor tweaks to adapt them for platform tennis. We've also consulted a couple of paddle playing doctors for input/suggestions.

The Federal Government issued guidelines on April 16 for “Opening Up America Again” at WhiteHouse.gov/OpeningAmerica. By following these guidelines as well as those of local governments and health agencies, facilities and players will be able to make informed decisions as to when play can recommence.

We recommend that individuals don't play if you:

  • Aren't feeling well
  • Are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus. According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported—ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, diarrhea new loss of taste or smell.
  • Have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Are a vulnerable individual and your state and region is in Phase One or Phase Two. A vulnerable individual is an elderly individual and/or an individual with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.

Preparing to Play

  • Protect against infections:
  • Wash your hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds or longer), or use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available, before going to the court.
  • Clean and wipe down your equipment, including paddles and water bottles. Do not share paddles or any other equipment such as wristbands, grips, hats and towels.
  • Bring a full water bottle to avoid touching a tap or water fountain handle.
  • Use new balls and a new grip, if possible.
  • When not actively playing, please adhere to all proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and facemask protocols.
  • If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve.
  • Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be there.

When Playing

  • Try to stay at least six feet apart from other players. Do not make physical contact with them (such as shaking hands or a high five).
  • Avoid touching your face after handling a ball, racquet or other equipment. Wash your hands promptly if you have touched your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks or towels.
  • Use your paddle/foot to pick up balls and hit them to your opponent. Avoid using your hands to pick up the balls.
  • Maintain physical distancing if changing ends of the court.
  • Remain apart from other players when taking a break.

After Playing

  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitizer after coming off the court.

Use Four Balls

Although unlikely, it’s possible that paddle balls can transmit the COVID-19 virus, as virtually any hard surface can transmit the disease. So here is an extra precaution you can take to keep safe when playing platform tennis:
  • Have each player serve with their own ball.
  • Only the server touches their own ball. Everyone else hits or kicks the ball back to the server.
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