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Youth Sports During COVID-19

Youth Sports During COVID-19

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:

​​☐​​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.​ To book your Kids First sports physical call us at 919-250-3478

Prior to practice or ga​mes:

​​​☐​ ​​​​​Athletes ​should stay home from practice or games 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 a 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,

More Information

  1. Youth Sports & COVID-19: Understanding the Risks

  2. COVID-19

  3. Return to School During COVID-19

  4. Should Your Child Be Tested for COVID-19?​​

  5. COVID-19 Interim Guidance: R​eturn to Sports​ (AAP)

*This article is informational but is not a substitute for medical attention or information from your provider.

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