Return to Youth Sports after COVID-19 Shutdown: Reference Guides

Published on

Football helment icon Experts from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) put together the following recommendations to serve as a reference guide for players, parents and coaches as communities return to youth sports after COVID-19 shutdown. In this guide you'll find:

  • Policy Statement
  • Guidelines for Coaches
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Compact to Commit to Your Quaranteam

Although no strategy for youth sports can fully eliminate risk of COVID-19 transmission among children, coaching staff, or families, our intention is to provide some practical strategies that can reduce risk and counter the unintended secondary consequences of the pandemic on our children.

This guidance is meant to complement existing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help families make decisions about their child’s participation based on their age, specific sport and the level of play in which they are engaged.

We cannot throw caution to the wind, but we can make careful judgments based on the best scientific evidence available, guidance from youth sports national governing bodies, and expanding recommendations from public health departments on how to cautiously resume physical activity as safely as possible.

Return to Youth Sports After COVID-19 Shutdown: Policy Statement

In the policy statement you'll find:

  • Guiding principles
  • Approach to return to sport, to be based on local transmission levels of COVID-19
  • Recommended safe behaviors

Return to Youth Sports After COVID-19 Shutdown: Guidelines for Coaches

This document is intended to summarize and simplify recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other youth sports guidance for coaches as they prepare for upcoming seasons during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these guidelines you'll find:

  • Preparation for the season: Recommended steps to follow
  • Guidance for scaling up youth sports activities based on level of COVID-19 community transmission
  • Suggested guidelines for game play

Return to Youth Sports After COVID-19 Shutdown: Quick Reference Guide

In this guide you'll find:

  • Approach to return to sport: As a first step, establish monitoring systems that enable contact tracing and exposure testing.
  • Recommended safe behaviors

Return to Youth Sports After COVID-19 Shutdown: Compact to Commit to Your Quaranteam

In this document you'll find a commitment compact that can be signed by players and families, as well as practical guidelines for athletes around these common questions:

  • What if I don’t feel well?
  • What can I do to prevent COVID-19?

These guidelines were established by experts from CHOP’s Sports Medicine and Performance Center, the Division of Infectious Diseases, PolicyLab, and Center for Injury Research and Prevention.

The full packet of guidelines and resources is also available for download.

Additional Resources

Podcast: Youth Sports and Coronavirus

In this episode of Primary Care Perspectives, pediatric sports medicine specialists Naomi Brown, MD, and Matthew Grady, MD, talk about factors for a safe return to youth sports after coronavirus shutdowns, strategies teams can use to mitigate risk, and what to do in case of COVID-19 symptoms or exposures. They also offer advice for student-athletes as they seek to return to play, the importance of re-conditioning to prevent injury, and other advice for players, parents, and coaches to consider as they weigh pros and cons of getting back to sports. Published July 2020.

Returning to Play after a COVID-19 Infection

If your child has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you may have questions about when it’s safe for them to return to sports &mdash: and what steps you need to take before they do so. Stephen Paridon, MD, a cardiologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), offers some advice to help you get your child back in the game — safely.

Did you know?

If your child is experiencing mild chest discomfort, heart palpitations or feeling faint, EKGs can be performed on-site and read by a pediatric cardiologist at one of our urgent care locations.