Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday that non-contact team sports can resume beginning June 1. Sports such as baseball, softball, track, gymnastics, and swimming are included in this.
Practice and competition will be allowed using physical distancing whenever possible. Athletes must use their own equipment or disinfect any equipment that is shared. Participation is discouraged if a person is 65 or older or has health issues.
Athletes 10 and older should wear a mask unless they are actively competing. Coaches and staff will be required to participate in temperature checks. Huddles, high fives, and non-sports contact is prohibited, and directives for large venues and dining facilities are in effect for athletic facilities.
Team practices and competition for close contact sports such as basketball, wrestling, football, volleyball, soccer, and martial arts is still prohibited at this time. An announcement regarding these sports will be made on June 30.
While competition is prohibited in these sports, individual practice with an athlete own equipment is allowed. Conditioning and training are okay with limited group sizes and social distancing in place. Cheerleading and dance may practice under current gym directive restrictions.
ENTIRE DIRECTIVE ON SPORTS:
• Maintain minimum physical distancing of six feet between participants at all times,
except when actively participating in the sports activity.
• Athletes, Coaches, and All Staff must be screened prior to any activity by asking the
following questions and excluded if the answer is yes.
o Have had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the last 2 days
o Have a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell
o Had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the
previous 14 days
• Coaches and All Staff must have temperature checked by digital thermometer prior to
entry, and those whose temperature is greater than 100.4°F must be excluded.
• Face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth are required for everyone 10
years of age or older.
Must wear a face covering when not actively participating in the sports
Face coverings or masks must be worn in sports where a face covering is
not inhibitory such as bowling, archery, and shooting sports.
o Coaches and Staff
Must wear a face covering at all times.
• Use of communal spas, showers, saunas or other similar equipment are prohibited.
Locker rooms may only be used for storage of personal items. Social distancing of 6 feet
must be maintained in the locker room.
• An alcohol-based hand sanitizer or adequate handwashing facilities must be provided for use by all attendees.
• Sports equipment, restrooms, lockers, water fountains and other high touch surfaces must be sanitized frequently during each event. For a list of cleaning products that will
eliminate the Covid-19 virus, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-ndisinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2.
• Avoid non-sport related personal contact at all times. This includes, but is not limited to,
huddles, high-fives, hand shaking, fist bumping, and chest bumping.
• For games, competitions, tournaments, meets, and other athletic events held in a facility,
the facility hosting the event must follow the current Directive for Large Indoor or Large
Outdoor Venues. Spectators are covered under these Directives.
• For training and conditioning held in an athletic facility, the facility must follow the
current Directive for Gym, Fitness Center, Athletic Club and Weight Rooms.
• Concession Stands may operate but must follow all applicable sections of the Directive
for Resuming Restaurant Dine-In Operations.
• Admission and gate ticket sales should be taken online when possible.
Close-Contact Team Sports
Example: Basketball, Wrestling, Football, Cheerleading, Dance, Volleyball, Soccer, Martial Arts
• Team practice and/or competition is prohibited due to the close personal contact that is required or anticipated. Individual practice is permitted.
o Cheerleading and Dance may practice under the Directive for Gym, Fitness Center,
Athletic Club and Weight Rooms.
• Conditioning and training may occur if the following conditions are implemented, in addition to the General Requirements:
o Group size must be sufficiently limited to maintain 6 feet between each person,
including staff, whenever in an indoor or outdoor enclosed space.
o When using weight rooms, practicing calisthenics, running, or other conditioning
training where vigorous exercise occurs, must maintain proper spacing from others by
working out with 12 feet between each person. This may require closing or moving
o Spotters are allowed on the outside of weight bars on each side, for safety reasons.
Physical distancing must be maintained when not actively performing spotting duties.
• Individual practice participants should use their own equipment.
Limited-Contact Team Sports
Examples: Baseball, Softball, Golf, Track and Field, Cross Country, Bowling, Tennis,
Gymnastics, Shooting Sports, Swimming, Individual Dance Competitions, Drum Corps
• Competition is allowed for participants of any age. However, participants should refrain from competition if:
o They are 65 years of age or older.
o They have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung
disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma or weakened immunity
• Practice for all ages may be permitted if the following conditions are implemented:
o Player group size must be sufficiently limited to maintain 6 feet between each person,
including staff, whenever possible.
o When using weight rooms, calisthenics, or other conditioning training must maintain
proper spacing from others by working out with 12 feet between each person. (This
may require closing or moving some equipment).
• When appropriate, participants should provide their own equipment, if possible. If shared equipment is used, disinfection is required frequently during each event or between each use.