Youth Sports Participation During COVID-19: A Safety Checklist

Sep 11, 2020Health & Fitness, News, Sponsor

HCA Midwest Health wants to remind you that as youth sports start back up in some communities, remember these steps to help keep players, coaches and families safer​ during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Before the sports season starts:

  • Check to make sure sports and recreation activities are approved by your local and state government.
  • Understand the new safety rules and expectations for participation during COVID-19.
  • ​​​Each child should have their own cloth face covering, hand sanitizer, towel, water bottle, and tissues labeled with their names.
  • All youth athletes should have an up-to-date sports physical before participating.​

Prior to practice or ga​mes:

  • ​​​​​​Athletes ​should stay home from practice or game if they’re feeling sick or have a fever.
  • Wash hands​ before arriving, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
  • ​​​​Bring labeled (with name) personal sports equipment, water bottle, towel, tissues, hand sanitizer, and cloth face covering.
  • ​Stay in the car or assigned school location until the coach is ready to start practice
  • ​Avoid gathering in groups before practice, maintain social distance and wear a cloth face mask.​

During sports practice or games:

  • ​​​​Whenever possible, athletes maintain 6-8 feet of physical distance during drills and conditioning.​
  • When possible and safe, athletes should each wear cloth face covering–especially on the sideline, in dugouts, and during team chats. However, masks should not be worn during:
    • Active exercise.
    • Water sports.
    • Sports where face coverings could get caught on equipment or accidentally cover eyes.

Avoid these behaviors:

  • ​Huddles, high-fives, fist bumps, handshakes, etc.
  • Sharing food or drink with teammates.
  • Cheering, chanting, or singing when ​​closer than 6-8 feet from others.
  • Spitting or blowing nose without a tissue.​
  • ​Store personal equipment 6-8 feet away from other teammates’ equipment.
  • ​Minimize sharing sports equipment when possible.​
  • ​Sanitize hands before and after using shared equipment such as balls, bats and sticks.​
  • ​​Tell a coach if you are not feeling well and leave practice or game with parent or caregiver.

After sports practice or games:

  • ​Sanitize or wash hands.​​
  • ​Wash cloth face coverings, towel and practices clothes or uniform.​
  • ​Clean personal sports equipment and water bottle.


Talk with your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions about youth sports participation safety based on COVID-19 in your community and your child’s health.


Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.