Department of Public Health

Department of Public Health Releases Guidance for Organized Sports

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The Department of Public Health Friday released guidance and recommendations for organized sports, including for youth and adult club sports and private leagues.

It’s intended to guide local health departments, municipalities and league organizers to assess the risk of contracting COVID-19. The department said they will make another determination in the Fall or early Winter.

“The COVID-19 pandemic does not mean all organized sports should stop. In fact, DPH recognizes the importance of physical activity for the health and well-being of everyone during this stressful period,” Acting DPH Commissioner Deidre Gifford, said in a statement.

“We encourage children and adults to engage in lower-risk physical activities as part of a strategy to stay healthy and cope with this pandemic. Unfortunately, some team sports present a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 during practice or play, and we recommend that those be either modified or postponed. We want anyone playing organized sports in Connecticut to be aware of the risks for contracting COVID-19, so everyone can make informed decisions. Our overall goal is for people to have fun and compete, keep physically active and fit, and most importantly stay safe and healthy during this pandemic," she added.

Higher-Risk Sports

  • Wrestling
  • 11-on-11 Football
  • Boys Lacrosse
  • Competitive Cheer
  • Dance

Higher-risk sports include those that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.

Moderate-Risk Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Field hockey
  • Girls lacrosse
  • Gymnastics
  • High jump
  • Ice hockey
  • 7-on-7 football
  • Long jump
  • Pole vault
  • Rowing/Crew (with two or more rowers in shell)
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming relays
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo

Moderate-risk sports are those that involve close, sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR intermittent close contact OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that can’t be cleaned between participants.

Baseball, gymnastics, high jump, long jump, pole vaulting, softball, tennis, swimming relays and volleyball could potentially be considered “Lower Risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment, use of masks by participants, moving activities outdoors, and/or other appropriate mitigation strategies

Lower-Risk Sports

  • Individual running events
  • Throwing events (javelin, shot put, discus)
  • Running (staggered starts)
  • Individual swimming
  • Golf
  • Weightlifting
  • Alpine skiing/ snowboarding
  • Sideline cheer
  • Rowing/Crew (single sculling)
  • Cross country

Lower-risk sports are those that can be done with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.


DPH is not recommending out-of-state competitions with states on the CT Travel Advisory List for any sport; team practices, intra-squad scrimmage for higher-risk sports or in-state contests, meets and tournaments for higher-risk sports.

DPH recommends allowing team practices, intra-squad scrimmage and in-state contests, meets and tournaments for indoor moderate-risk sports is appropriate modifications.

DPH does recommend allowing small group conditioning and non-contact drills for all sports. It recommends allowing team practices, intra-squad scrimmage and in-state contests, meets and tournaments for lower-risk sports and outdoor moderate risk sports.  

The DPH recommends mitigation strategies, including:

  • Moving indoor activities outdoors and keeping individuals in small cohorts
  • Increasing and maintaining the distance between participants
  • Implementing rule changes that reduce the number, frequency, duration, and/or exertional level of person-to-person physical contact
  • Limiting the sharing of equipment without appropriate cleaning and disinfection
  • Adding face covering masks that completely cover the nose and mouth to the required equipment for players and coaches

Get more information here.

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