Most sports like basketball, football, soccer, and hockey involve frequent contact among players. Obviously that’s not ideal during a global pandemic. If you’re looking to try a sport with little to no contact, tennis is an excellent choice.
Tennis & Social Distancing Go Hand-in-Hand
“Social distancing” and tennis have always gone together without players even realizing it until now. With the US Open Championships in full swing, USTA CEO Michael Dowse has described tennis as “the ideal social distancing sport.” Because tennis doesn’t require direct person-to-person contact, social distancing can be easily achieved (players spread 6 feet apart), especially during singles play.
Opponents are spread out across the court from one another. Furthermore, the net separates them from coming in contact. Doubles play is still possible, but partners should coordinate with one another so that physical distancing can be maintained and physical contact should be avoided (such as high-fiving, chest bumps, etc.). Dr. Linda Yancey, infectious disease specialist, says “Tennis is a good example of a sport that is really well suited to a pandemic.”
According to an article from The Houston Chronicle, “The Texas Medical Association ranked tennis as one of the least risky activities during COVID-19. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the safest, tennis is a 2, the same as pumping gasoline or ordering takeout.”
Why You Should Play Tennis
Tennis is a great activity for children and adults alike. There’s never a bad time to start playing, because enjoyment of the sport lasts a lifetime. Maintaining a physically active lifestyle is important for overall health and well-being. Players young and old can benefit both physically and mentally from the exercise, just as long as physical distancing can be maintained and other safety recommendations are followed. Tennis involves a lot of running, an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health and burn calories. You can also develop better hand-eye coordination. Most importantly, tennis is a great deal of fun!
Aside from the health benefits of playing, tennis can also be a social sport. It’s easy to meet new players, especially at a tennis club like Elite Sports Clubs. Staying social is also important as you age, to keep your mind sharp and get more enjoyment out of life.
Now is the perfect time to start playing tennis if you’ve never tried before. Because social distancing is at its core, there’s never been a more opportune time to learn tennis.
Guidelines for Tennis COVID-19 Safety
The USTA and its Medical Advisory Group have created safety guidelines that you should follow, all of which can easily be achieved without sacrificing the enjoyment of the game. Here are some of the highlights.
Do not play tennis if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. This may seem obvious, but first and foremost you should not play tennis or come in contact with anyone if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, chills, muscle soreness, or any other symptoms you may suspect might be related to COVID-19.
If you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, you should self-quarantine for another 14 days. By self-quarantining, you will not put anyone at risk of exposure.
Wash your hands before and after play. Wash your hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after playing tennis.
Avoid sharing equipment such as racquets, towels, water bottles, hats, grips, etc. Be sure to wipe down any surfaces you have touched that another player may come in contact with. Use new balls whenever possible. Each player should use their own set of 3. That way, each server is only touching balls from their own can. While there’s no scientific evidence that the virus can be transferred via tennis balls, USTA CEO Michael Dowse says, “We always want to err on the side of being overly cautious, so as much as we can put in to make it safer, each player having their own can of balls makes a tons of sense.”
Pick up balls using your racquet and foot. If you need to send a ball to another player or court, kick or hit the ball instead of tossing it with your hands.
Do not shake hands after each match. As a show of good sportsmanship, it’s customary for players to shake hands after a match. Instead, verbally acknowledge your fellow players, wave to them, or give them an “air high five” without physical contact.
Avoid changing ends of the court. For recreational play, it’s best not to change ends of the court. If for some reason players agree to swap ends of the court, maintain physical distancing when doing so. Best practice would be for each player to move around the opposite end of the net.
If you’d like to get more involved in tennis at Elite Sports Clubs, check out our various leagues, events, and group/private lessons!Get more involved with Tennis!