Local communities are beginning to open up pickleball courts for use. It is vital that players follow “safe social distancing” practices to make it possible for these courts to remain open. Below are the suggested guidelines for safe social distancing while playing pickleball:
1. When waiting for a court, keep well apart from other players.
2. Play with the same partner throughout the day.
3. Use your paddle to send balls back to other players. Clean your ball with disinfectant before and after play.
4. You and partner can play with a different set of opponents as long as you stay on opposite ends of the court.
5. Stay on your side of the net, keeping separate from the other team and their side of the net.
6. If you change sides of the court, do so on opposite ends of the net.
7. Wave at opponent at end of game; don’t meet at the net for paddle taps or “good game” statements.
8. If ANY of the following conditions apply to a player, that player should stay home/stay away from playing pickleball for 14 days until symptom free: (1) any known direct contact with a person with a positive Covid-19 test or (2) any person exhibiting any symptoms including coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste.
These guidelines have been reviewed by pickleball organizations around the state and endorsed by those organizations, representing well over 1500 pickleball players. The TCPC board presented the guidelines to the State of Minnesota office of the Governor, Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Department of Health. They were included in a discussion of a working group reviewing requests for all different sports. That working group elected to have local governments be the final abettors on what the safe social distancing guidelines would be for all sports. The TCPC Board has directed our community representatives to present these guidelines to their community governments as the approved approach to resumption of pickleball play and to have these guidelines posted on the courts.
While those individual community decisions are taking place, we urge you to follow these guidelines when you play pickleball to demonstrate how our sport can be played safely during the reopening of activities in the Covid-19 pandemic.