Playing Sports | CDC


Make a game plan to reduce risk

You can take a number of steps to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and reduce the spread while playing sports.

The more people a participant interacts with, the closer the physical interaction, the more sharing of equipment there is by multiple players, and the longer the interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Therefore, risk of COVID-19 spread can be different, depending on the type of activity.

  • Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with members of the same household
  • Increasing Risk: Team-based practice
  • More Risk: Within-team competition
  • Higher Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area (e.g., city or county)
  • Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas (e.g., outside county or state)

If organizations are not able to keep safety measures in place during competition (for example, keeping participants six feet apart at all times), they may consider limiting participation to within-team competition only (for example, scrimmages between members of the same team) or team-based practices only.

Similarly, if organizations are unable to put in place safety measures during team-based activities, they may choose individual or at-home activities, especially if any members of the team are at an increased risk for severe illness.

5 illustrations depicting the range of COVID risk for adult sports: lowest risk is 'skill-building drills at home', highest risk is 'full competition from different areas'



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