2021 OUTDOOR BCTA PARTICIPANT HEALTH SAFETY PROCEDURES

PREPARING TO PARTICIPATE AND PLAY

Monitor the BCTA participant’s temperature on the day of the tennis program and DO NOT ATTEND practice if a temperature >100ºF is recorded. In addition, DO NOT ATTEND if you/a family member: 

  • Is exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus: including mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, headache, runny nose, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, and diarrhea/abdominal pain or other symptoms identified by the CDC.
  • Has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. 
  • Is a vulnerable individual with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.

Also, participants should:

  • Wash their hands with a disinfectant soap and water (for 20 seconds or longer), or use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available, before going to the court. 
  • Clean and wipe down their equipment, including racquets and water bottles. 
  • Immediately notify BCTA if they or a household member is diagnosed with COVID-19.  

WHAT TO EXPECT/BRING TO THE COURTS

  • Prior to the start of play, the coach will ask parents/participants if they have been home screened for COVID-19 symptoms and—should the participant exhibit symptoms during practice—the participant may be asked to leave the court.
  • Hand sanitizer and tissues for your individual use.*
  • Personal water bottle (filled from home).*
  • Personal tennis racquet.**
  • Personal towel (optional). 
  • Mask/facial covering is to be worn when entering and exiting the tennis courts, when within 6 feet of individuals not in the athlete’s household or social unit, and as/if requested by a BCTA coach. (Unless otherwise requested/required by a BCTA coach, the wearing of a mask/facial covering by participants actively engaged in play/drills on an outdoor court is optional.)  Per the November 17, 2020, Pennsylvania State Masking Order Update, athletes are required to wear masks/facial coverings on an indoor tennis court at all times (even when playing and/or physically distant) while with people other than members of their household.
  • Gloves (recommended but may be requested/required by the coach for certain activities).
  • Any additional items will not be permitted on the courts without coach approval.  

Please note: While BCTA safety procedures are prescribed during BCTA programs and on all courts rented by the BCTA, the organization cannot control the activities and safety procedures on other courts rented by other individuals/groups or the general public nor facility with the facility staff/affiliates. 

*Participants are required to bring these items in order to avoid using the same disinfectant bottle and/or congregating in one sanitizing area.

**LOANER RACQUETS: While the BCTA will work to continue to provide loaner racquets as needed, racquets will be loaned to participants for the entire season and are to be returned at the end of the season. Loaner racquets will not be available for individual practices. If the loaner racquet is not returned at the end of the season, the participant will be charged a $10 purchase fee.  Please advise BCTA in advance if a loaner racquet is needed so we are prepared to accommodate you.

WHAT TO DO/EXPECT WHEN YOU ARRIVE

(For indoor programs please also review Northampton Tennis and Fitness Center COVID-19 protocols available on the NTFC website.) 

  • Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be on court and remain in your car until your designated practice time. Participants/families are not to congregate before play, must maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet apart) and must wear mask/face coverings while waiting and not enter the courts area until invited to do so by the BCTA coach. Participants, and, where authorized, parents must wear a mask/face covering when entering and exiting the court/indoor facility. In some instances, the BCTA coach may designate a specific gate/entry for entering the court and an alternate location for exiting. 
  • Avoid touching court gates, fences, benches, curtains, etc. (In some cases, the coach may use his/her discretion to leave gates open during practice.) If there is a bench on the court, only the BCTA coach may use/touch it.
  • Practices may end a few minutes early or start a few minutes late to allow proper distancing of participants as they enter or exit the court. 

WHEN PLAYING/PRACTICING

  • If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or elbow of arm.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from other participants/the coach when receiving feedback, water breaks, changing ends of the court, etc. Do not make physical contact with other participants such as shaking hands or a high five.
  • Avoid all incidental contact during drills/play and adhere to coach direction regarding positioning/stations, etc.  
  • Avoid touching your face after handling a ball, racquet or other equipment.***
  • Wash your hands promptly if you have touched your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Do not share drinks or towels.
  • Do not change ends of the court unless directed to do so by the BCTA coach.
  • Maintain social distancing when directed to change ends of the court, and remain apart from other participants when taking a break from play. 
  • Use your racquet/foot to pick up or kick balls to the BCTA coach as directed.  PARTICIPANTS ARE NOT TO HANDLE THE BALLS AND/OR OTHER EQUIPMENT unless specifically directed to do so by the BCTA coach.
  • If a ball from another court comes to you, send it back with a kick or with your racquet face. Do not touch the tennis ball with your bare hands.

***Although unlikely, it’s possible that a tennis ball can transmit the COVID-19 virus, as virtually any hard surface may transmit the disease. A recent study determined that the surface of sports balls--notably tennis balls--are unlikely to harbor SARS-CoV-2 in a manner that is compatible with risk of developing COVID-19 from handling the ball during normal play. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) Sport Science and Medicine Commission, the USTA Sport Science Committee, and the USTA Medical Advisory Group support this conclusion.

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN OR ACCESS TO THE PROGRAM

During the state’s Recovery Phases, it may be necessary for one parent per child under the age of 16 to remain on the premises during an outdoor BCTA practice in the event of unforeseen rain. In addition, for some age divisions (Pee Wee, Little Aces, and, in some cases, Juniors) one parent per household may be required to be on-court wearing a mask/face covering to assist their child(ren) in maintaining social distancing as well as enforcing other safety measures). Only parents so authorized may enter the court area.  Please note that for indoor programs at Northampton Tennis and Fitness Center, parents and others are not permitted to congregate or wait inside of the facility coffee room, lounge, etc. 

AFTER PLAYING

  • Leave the court as directed by the BCTA coach, and please do not congregate after practice.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitizer after exiting the court. 
  • All participants should leave the facility immediately after the BCTA program.