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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Indoor high school sports guidance

The following is intended as a plain language summary of rules for reopening in the COVID-19 Emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

This guidance does not apply to elementary, middle school, club leagues, or pickup games. See Youth, community, and club sports guidance.


  • Must be worn by all players, coaches, and officials at all times at all practices and games, matches, and meets regardless of distance from others.  No exceptions unless in the pool or on the starting blocks for swimming.
  • Masks must be at least 2 ply, should not have gaps and should not fall down. Face shields are not a replacement for a face mask.
  • If a mask comes down by accident and isn’t immediately pulled back up, game play must stop (as if there was blood on the court, mat, or rink).
  • If masks are not continuously worn by a coach or player during a game, that individual will receive a technical foul (basketball), penalty (hockey), or point deduction (wrestling).  Repeated fouls, penalties, or point deductions will lead to ejection from the game or forfeiture of the game or match.
  • Masks must be worn on all transportation to and from games, including in carpools. Avoid carpools as much as possible.


  • Screen every person for symptoms before every practice and prevent them from remaining on site if they have cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell.
  • It is not necessary to conduct onsite temperature measurements. If you measure temperatures, use a no-touch thermometer, and do not allow anyone with a temperature of 100.4 F or higher to remain onsite.
  • Anyone who meets criteria for testing due to symptoms or exposure to COVID must be tested. If a symptomatic person chooses not to be tested he or she must isolate for 10 days regardless of symptom improvement
  • If someone develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test email or call (215) 685-5488 to report.
  • The team, including coaches, is considered a cohort. If there is a COVID case in the cohort, the entire cohort will be unable to meet, practice, or play for 14 days.
  • Anyone with an exposure outside of the team must quarantine as per Health Department guidance.


  • Adjust the physical environment as needed to remind participants to stay at least 6 feet apart. For example, place cones or other markers at regular intervals on bleachers to mark seating places for any persons not actively participating in the activity.
  • No team meals.
  • All team meetings must be either outdoors, with appropriate spacing, or remote.
  • Transportation must allow for spacing and only one person per seat.  Windows must be open on the bus or vehicle, regardless of the weather.
  • Teams must maximize outdoor practice regardless of weather.
  • All cardio work during practices should be done outdoors.
  • Skills and drills with distancing will be prioritized for the remaining time.
  • Scrimmages and contact practice will be limited.

Reduce crowds

  • Limit the amount of people participating in events to essential participants, for example, players, coaches, scorekeepers, referees.
  • All indoor and outdoor activities (whether sports-related or not) may not exceed 10% of total occupancy or 10 persons per 1,000 square feet if total occupancy is unknown, even with masks and maintaining safe distancing. Use the size of the field of play (e.g., court, field, rink) to calculate the maximum occupancy. For example, if a gymnasium court is 4,000 square feet, 40 people would be permitted on at any given time.
  • Those players who are not playing on the day of the game should not attend.
  • No spectators are allowed for any sport.
  • Tournaments of 3 or more teams are not permitted.
  • No locker room use.


  • Require handwashing or hand sanitizer use on arrival.
  • Encourage handwashing during time-outs and breaks.
  • Place hand sanitizing station(s) at side-lines.
  • Teach participants to avoid touching their face or mask and to clean hands before and after removing mask.


  • Wipe down shared equipment with disinfectant between use by different people.
  • All participants should bring their own water and drinks to activities. Shared water coolers through disposable cups are not allowed. Fixed water fountains should not be used.


  • When indoors if possible, increase ventilation in the building by either:
    • Opening windows and/or doors on opposite sides of the building and using fans to blow outside air through the building OR
    • Optimizing ventilation provided by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by:
      • Having the HVAC system checked to assure that it is working properly. If it can be adjusted, the system should be set to provide at least 6 air exchanges per hour.
      • Maximizing the amount of outside air circulated by the system.
      • Installing filters with minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) of 13, or the highest compatible with the filter rack. It is not necessary to use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or ultraviolet light irradiation systems.
      • Checking that the external air inlet duct is not blocked and that it is at least 15 feet from people.


  • An oversight committee must be established for all high school athletic leagues. All games will be recorded, and recordings must be reviewed by the oversight committee. If referee or teams are not complying with the guidelines, they will no longer be hired or be allowed to play.
  • Educate staff, volunteers, parents, and participants about symptoms and prevention of COVID-19.
  • Ask individuals who are sick or who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days not to enter, stay home and follow CDC quarantine guidelines.