Will outdoor sports be allowed?

Where indoor sports are allowed, experts say parents can assess risk based on knowledge of how the virus spreads, along with studies investigating the transmission of other infectious diseases through sporting events. Factors to consider include ventilation, number and proximity of players, adherence to mask use, and infection rates in the community. When possible, consider playing outdoors, says Cordelia Carter, an orthopedic surgeon and co-director of the Center for Young Athletes at NYU Langone Health in New York. Groups will be able to return to outdoor sports, subject to conditions.

The maximum group size is 30 and everyone should be kept 1.5 meters apart. Competitions and spectators are not allowed. The rules for outdoor sports for young people under 27 had already been relaxed. They don't have to stay 1.5 meters apart during group outdoor sports.

Children and teens who are interrupted from sports should maintain constant physical activity. Minnesota, where I live, is on a “four-week break” that has closed fitness centers and suspended organized sports. Most national sports have a national governing body with guidelines that can help smaller organizations and families develop and evaluate protocols, Carter says. Although data is limited, covid-19 has been associated with a number of sporting events and venues, including a recreational ice hockey game in Florida and a squash facility in Slovenia.

Playing sports and physical activity with friends has benefits for the physical and psychological health of children and adolescents. Contact sports such as wrestling, judo, rugby and soccer are particularly good at spreading skin infections, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus or MRSA; group A strep; staphylococcus aureus; and herpes, says H. Children and adolescents who have participated or cannot participate in major events , such as their last high school sports season or a state championship tournament, and those with a history of depression and anxiety may be affected more than others. Participating in sports and physical activity allows young people to improve their cardiovascular health, strength, body composition and general fitness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of the lives of children and families, including youth sports. All athletes should be monitored for mood changes, especially those whose sports have been disrupted. It is not necessary to be tested for COVID-19 before participating in sports, unless an athlete has symptoms or has been exposed to someone who is known to have recently been infected with SARS-CoV-2.While almost everyone I spoke to thought that the best approach was to play in their own home, the second best might be virtual sports. In this continuum, Nieman weighs the advantages of outdoor exercise against the risk of exposure to the virus during training.

As children show up for health monitoring visits and pre-participation physical evaluations, parents and athletes are likely to ask questions about how best to ensure safety when considering returning to sports participation and physical activity. I spoke with directors and coaches of amateur leagues to learn how they interpret and apply these guidelines, and with medical experts to guide me on how to participate in sports over the next few weeks.