St. Louis County adult sports guidelines


Information from St. Louis County:

These guidelines are effective June 15, 2020 in St. Louis County. In accordance with DPH’s Order for Amended Business and Individual Guidelines for Social Distancing and Re-Opening Order dated May 29, 2020 and effective June 1, 2020, these guidelines may be replaced or modified by DPH based on new scientific information and local information including the trajectory of influenza-like illnesses, cases of COVID-19, and any other information deemed relevant to protect public health in St. Louis County.Adult Sports Guidelines

Guiding Principles

Playing sports with or against other individuals during this time holds an inherent risk that someone may become infected and, in turn, spread the virus to other individuals in their household or community. Please consider this risk when participating in organized sports. Teams, clubs, leagues, and organizers must be familiar with recommendations from their national, state, and local governing bodies regarding illness (including but not limited to COVID-19). Participants in adult sports must understand that they are accepting the inherent risks in participating in these sports in close contact with others that may be infectious even though they are asymptomatic.

While adults may participate in practices and competitions, as described below, no league tournaments or other organized events are allowed at this time.

The information regarding SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 illness, is changing rapidly. As a result, guidance given nationally and within our community is subject to change. The recommendations provided in this document will be reviewed and updated based on new scientific information and

local circumstances, including COVID-19 testing capacity and state and local health department recommendations.

  • Lowest risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members.
  • Increasing risk: Team-based practice.
  • More risk: Within-team competition.
  • Even more risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area
  • Highest risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.


  • Social distancing is required and 6 feet distance must be applied at all times.
  • Athletes, coaches, officials, referees, and umpires shall undergo a health screening and temperature check prior to starting any sports activity.
  • Screening times and practice or competition start times must be spaced out to limit overlap or intermingling of athletes coming and going. Fields or courts must be clear before the next group of athletes practicing or competing on the field or court begins.
  • Hand hygiene is essential. Organizations and facilities shall promote frequent and effective hand hygiene by supplying ample hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol) dispensers and hand-washing stations stocked with soap and water.
  • The use of locker rooms is not recommended. If they must be used, proper social distancing must apply within the locker room (i.e. only every 3rd locker used, etc.). Proper area for equipment storage and cleaning is recommended.
  • No unnecessary individuals (managers, extra coaches, non-participating athletes, etc.) shall be present at events.
  • There shall be no spectators allowed at any workouts, practices or competitions. No congregating shall be allowed in the parking lot or fields.
  • Coolers must be properly sanitized after each use, and each team or group shall have its own cooler.
  • Follow CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting coolers.
  • Avoid team huddles.
  • Avoid handshakes, fist bumps, or other unnecessary physical contact.
  • Coaches, officials, referees, and umpires must wear face masks when possible.
  • Any shared equipment must be disinfected with EPA certified products between each use.

Special Considerations for Athletes and Coaches

  • Athletes and coaches should consider delaying their participation in sports and activities if they have any of the following conditions:
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic lung disease, including asthma
  • Severe obesity (BMI>40)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunocompromised (e.g. any transplant recipient, needing immunosuppressant medications (e.g. steroids, biologics, etc.), patients receiving chemotherapy, etc.)
  • Age greater than 60 years


  • Every coach and athlete must be screened when they enter the campus, field, court or facility where the sporting activity will occur.
  • Designate a consistent person to provide healthcare screenings. This person must wear a face mask and gloves when screening others.
    • Screen each individual by asking if they have experienced any of the following symptoms within the past 24 hours:
    • Fever (temperature greater than 100.4)
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
    • Sore throat, different than your seasonal allergies
    • New loss of smell and/or taste
    • Diarrhea or vomiting
    • Ask if they have a household or close contact who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks.
    • Check each person for fever using a thermometer. 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and above is considered a fever.
  • If an athlete, coach, or official reports affirmative to any of the above COVID-19 screening questions or has a fever they shall be sent home immediately. The athlete, coach, or official shall not be allowed back until they are symptom-free.

Permitted Activities

  • Sports with low contact frequency are permitted at this time for adults.
    • These include diving, extreme sports, rodeo, water skiing, adventure racing, bicycling, canoeing or kayaking, field events (high jump, pole vault, javelin, shot-put), golf, horseback riding, skating (ice, in-line, roller), skateboarding, weight lifting, windsurfing, surfing, badminton, golf, orienteering, fishing, riflery, rope jumping, running, sailing, scuba diving, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track.
  • At this time, sports with high contact frequency are permitted, if played by reducing the contact frequency with other participants as much as possible and with the understanding that the athletes are accepting the inherent risks in participating in high contact frequency sports where social distancing is not possible and there is physical contact with other athletes.
    • These include baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, boxing, bowling, cheerleading, crew/rowing, dance team, fencing, floor hockey, field hockey, gymnastics, tackle/flag/touch football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, soccer, softball, handball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, water polo, wrestling.
  • With these high-frequency contact sports activities, it is recommended that participants practice socially distancing related to these sports is by:
    • Reducing the number of individuals to the minimum required to play the sport.
    • Maintain required 6-foot social distancing within huddles, benches, locker rooms, and other non-play related gatherings.
    • Equipment must not be touched by more than one player unless the equipment is sanitized after each player’s use.


Adapted from Resocialization of Sports in the St. Louis Region

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