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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Youth, community, and club sports guidance

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

For information about high school sports, please see Indoor high school sports guidance. College and professional teams must submit plans to the Health Department for approval. For information about gyms and recreational facilities, see Gyms and recreational facilities guidance.

The Department of Public Health permits limited participation in indoor and outdoor sports and activities coordinated by youth, community, and school leagues.

Sports participation is organized according to the following NCAA contact risk categories:

  • Low contact risk: bowling, diving, equestrian, fencing, golf, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, track and field.
  • Medium contact risk: acrobatics and tumbling, baseball, beach volleyball, cross country, low gymnastics, softball, triathlon.
  • High contact risk: basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, rugby, soccer, squash, volleyball, water polo, wrestling.

Note: For any sports not listed above, please contact for more information.

Indoor sports

  • High contact risk sports are not permitted. No games, practices, or league play is allowed.
    • Skills and drills with a maximum of 10 people per group are permitted.
  • Low and medium contact risk sports are permitted for games and league play.

Outdoor sports

  • All outdoor sports are permitted.


  • All persons, including athletes, coaches, officials, and anyone else present, must adhere to the following masking protocols:
    • Indoor sports: masks must be worn at all times, regardless of distancing.
    • Outdoor sports: masks must be worn at all times when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained.


  • Screen every attendee 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.
  • If a staff member or participant develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test, businesses and organizations must take additional precautions to stop the virus from spreading further. Required precautions include calling PDPH at (215) 685-5488 to report positive cases.


  • When not participating on the field of play, maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from all other participants at all times, including on benches.
  • 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.
  • Limit unnecessary physical contact with other participants, including shaking hands, fist bumps, or high fives.
  • No gathering of teams after games, for example, team celebrations.

Reduce crowds

  • Limit the amount of people participating in events to essential participants, for example, players, coaches, scorekeepers, referees.
  • Those players who are not playing on the day of the game should not attend.
  • No spectators are allowed for any sport.
  • Parents or guardians required to supervise young children may attend if it is the policy of the league to require supervision. Only one parent/guardian per child may be present.
  • Tournaments of 3 or more teams are not permitted
  • For sports during the school day, students should remain in their cohorts.


  • 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.


  • 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.

See also

  • Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Call (800) 722-7112 to speak to a health care professional on the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.