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Tennis Saskatchewan Return to Safe Play Guidelines, Tips and Club/Facility Protocols

Jun 09, 2020
written by: Tennis Saskatchewan

Please note an update was posted on July 13, 2020. Click here to view the latest Club and Facility Guidelines

The following guidelines must be followed at all times (taken directly from Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan) – currently tennis is included in the Outdoor Individual Recreation Guidelines.

Current Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan Guidelines (currently on page 69), as it relates to tennis, are as follows:

  • Group recreation operations are not allowed at this time.
  • All operators must take precautionary measures, including expanding the cleaning and disinfecting of common and high-touch surfaces in accordance with the public health order
  • Physical distancing must observed at all times, with a minimum of two meters of space between individuals.
  • Size of public gathering – Outdoor maximum of 30 people.
  • No competitions or fundraising events permitted.
  • Members who are sick or symptomatic must not enter/participate.
  • Indoor activities are restricted until Phase Four of Re-Open Saskatchewan.
  • Individual instruction may be permitted with no contact and appropriate physical distancing. No group instruction.
  • Clubhouse facilities must remain closed.
  • Washrooms may be open, but increased cleaning and disinfection must take place.
  • All food and beverage service is suspended, except curbside pick-up and delivery.
  • Locker rooms must be closed.
  • Equipment rentals are permitted, but must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each rental.

Tennis Saskatchewan has provided Clubs with a comprehensive number of additional guidelines, tips, recommendations, and club protocols (information gathered from other places around the country and world).

Please note the following (approved by the Ministry of Trade and Export Development):

Singles / Doubles Play

  • Subject to the limitations on outdoor gatherings (currently 30), but only to the maximum number of participants that can be accommodated with social distancing measures in place.

League Play (maximum of 30)

  • Permitted but all ancillary social events must be postponed.

Group Lessons

  • A maximum of 15 participants, but only where social distancing can be maintained and there is no shared equipment, etc. No spectators, etc.

Washrooms

  • Public washrooms may re-open under the guidelines for public washrooms in the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.

Food Service

  • Food service would be subject to the guidelines for Restaurants and Licensed Establishments.

Tournaments and social events must be postponed until a future phase.

Tennis Saskatchewan reserves the right to add to, delete, and/or amend the attached guidelines, tips, recommendations and protocols at any time.

Tennis Saskatchewan Tips,  Recommendations and Resources

If you wish to play tennis, make sure that you follow the below recommendations: 

BEFORE YOU PLAY

  • Make sure that your city or region allows tennis play based on the government authorities’ criteria for the progressive lifting of confinement measures and that your municipality permits the use of tennis courts.
  • Inform yourself on the rules and recommendations of your Provincial Tennis Association.
  • Do not play if you or your playing partner:
    • Exhibit any coronavirus symptoms, such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms identified by health experts.
    • Have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    • Are considered vulnerable or at risk (elderly individuals, immunosuppressed persons, individuals suffering from serious health problems, notably high blood pressure, pulmonary diseases, diabetes, obesity and asthma).

PREPARING TO PLAY

Protect yourself against infections:

  • Wash your hands with disinfectant soap and water for at least 20 seconds before going to a tennis court.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • Clean your equipment, including your racquets and water bottles.
  • Do not share equipment with your playing partner.
  • Make sure you have enough water before leaving the house to avoid having to touch a tap or water fountain handle.
  • Consider wearing a mask or gloves while playing.
  • If you cough or sneeze, do so in a tissue or in your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching door handles, gates, benches and all other objects where the virus could survive. If you touch something, make sure to wash your hands and disinfect the surface you have touched.

WHILE PLAYING

  • Respect distancing of 2-metres with other players at all times, including when you come on and off the court.
  • Avoid all physical contact, for example shaking hands, with other players.
  • Avoid touching your face after manipulating a ball, racquet or when you hit the ball to another player.
  • Because it is still unknown if the virus can live on a tennis ball, use two cans of balls with distinct numbers or identify your balls with a marker in order to be able to differentiate them and only handle the balls that are yours.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks and towels.
  • As much as possible, use your racquet and your foot to pick up the balls of to send a ball to another player.

AFTER PLAYING

  • Wash your hands carefully with water and disinfectant soap or with hand sanitizer.
  • Do not use locker rooms or changing areas.
  • Leave the court immediately after you finish playing.

In light of a gradual return to playing tennis across the country, Tennis Canada / Saskatchewan is issuing its recommendations for club administrators, coaches and anyone organizing tennis-related activities.

With a situation that evolves each day and differs in different provinces, regions and municipalities, Tennis Canada / Saskatchewan believes that it is the responsibility of the people organizing tennis-related activities to evaluate the possibility of providing a safe environment for players. Here are a few measures and precautions to take before organizing a tennis activity.

ORGANIZING A TENNIS ACTIVITY IN YOUR FACILITY

  • The activity must always comply with social distancing measures and recommendations issued by federal, provincial and municipal authorities, including the arrival and departure of players.
  • The activity should comply with the rules and recommendations issued by your Provincial Tennis Association.
  • Make sure to stagger booking times between different court rentals to create a buffer between sessions and avoid an overlap of players on the court.
  • When possible, online reservations and payments are recommended. Otherwise, payments using a card are strongly recommended.
  • Limit all occasions for gatherings by making all communal or public areas in your facility inaccessible.
  • Limit yourself to the minimum number of employees required to operate.
  • Communicate all hygiene measures in advance to all your participants.
  • Provide your employees with masks, gloves and all other protective items and ensure that each member of your staff washes their hands regularly.
  • Keep a record of all participants who come in, so that you can contact them if needed, for example, if an infected person should use your facility.
  • Ask players under the age of 18 for a written consent from a parent/guardian authorizing them to participate in their tennis session.

ENCOURAGE SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Encourage participants to respect social distancing of 2 metres, recommended by government authorities and Public Health.
  • Put in place measures to limit contact between participants and employees.
  • Recommend that only one parent/guardian accompany a junior player.

PROVIDE A CLEAN AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Clubs and sporting facilities must have operational security procedures in place during the crisis related to COVID-19. These procedures must also be well displayed and communicated to all users.

  • Delimit closed areas or the ones where a maximum number of people is required.
  • Use markings on the ground to indicate proper distancing from employees, for example at the reception.
  • Frequently clean all surfaces, including counters, door handles, benches, toilets, etc.
  • All chairs and tables in communal areas must be inaccessible or removed to avoid all gatherings.
  • All doors accessible to the public must remain open to avoid contact with door handles.
  • All score cards must be removed.
  • Soap or hand sanitizer must be made available to all participants in various locations throughout the facility.
  • Regularly remind and encourage participants to wash their hands and adopt proper hygiene practices.
  • Limit access to the locker rooms as much as possible.
  • Only accept payments by card.
  • Close all water fountains and ask that all players bring their own refreshments.

COACHING

  • To ensure distancing of 2 metres between players, group lessons should be limited to small groups.
  • As much as possible, coaches must try to remain on the same court and adjust their schedules in order to stay on-site for the minimum amount of time required.
  • Position players in designated and well spaced-out stations.
  • Exercises that require continuous play are recommended, as opposed to ones that require the use of an entire basket of balls.
  • Limit the use of equipment such as cones and targets.
  • Do not let players manipulate the practice equipment. Coaches should take charge of picking up the balls.
  • Encourage players to use their racquet or their foot to push balls back.

TENNIS BALLS

  • Exercise caution with tennis balls and ask players to avoid touching them. While there is still no evidence as to whether the virus can live on a tennis ball, we do know that contamination through respiratory droplets from one infected person to another can potentially survive on surfaces for up to three days.
  • Try to restrict balls to one particular group, court or even day of the week. We invite you to identify them with a marker.
  • Immediately replace all balls if a player is suspected to have been infected by COVID-19.
  • Consider spraying tennis balls with a disinfectant spray after a session. The use of new balls on a regular basis is strongly recommended.