Return to Play Guidelines: Players, Parents and Spectators

January 07, 2021

In accordance with the latest rules and government regulations, the USTA Eastern section has created additional guidelines and recommendations to help parents, players and other spectators prepare for competitive play.   


The section recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected different parts of the section in different ways and with different timing. Therefore, governmental restrictions placed upon players may vary by localities, cities and states. The additional guidelines below delineate specific health and safety measures for those participating in or administering a USTA Eastern tournament or Junior Circuit event.


We know many play tennis to stay mentally and physically fit and active. Luckily, the sport is a natural social-distancing activity that limits close person-to-person contact. But the section needs your help to ensure play stays safe and healthy. Please keep up-to-date with evolving federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations regarding COVID-19. USTA Eastern will make every effort to revise its own guidelines based upon the most current updates.



  • If you are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus. According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported—ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with known or suspected COVID-19 in the last 14 days. 


To review the most recent state and federal information, please visit the following links: 


For non-sanctioned tournaments listed on USTA digital platforms all of the below are strongly recommended but not required. 


View Printable PDF Checklist


Player and Parent/Spectator Recommendations

  • Individuals at high risk should evaluate their participation. See what the CDC considers high risk.

  • Individuals must have shown no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or close sustained contact with anyone who is sick within 14 days of the event. 

  • The organizer must determine the size of events permissible at his or her facility given local and state restrictions. This includes determining draw sizes, number of spectators, and managing numbers on site at all times. Draw sizes and match formats shall be confirmed with USTA Eastern Section staff. 

  • Those with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during the event will be asked to leave the venue. 

  • Follow state/local and facility guidelines for social distancing.

  • Check with the host facility ahead of time, as well as the tournament homepage, for any protocols that may apply at that facility.

  • The number of spectators will be determined by the facility. When spectators do not increase the number of individuals over state and local maximum capacity mandates, they may be permitted.  Spectators will not exceed player + one.   

  • Review USTA Playing Tennis Safely Guidelines.


  • Bring your own water bottles, towel, masks, gloves, and any other personal equipment and store them inside your tennis bag when not in use.

  • Use headbands, hats and/or wristbands to avoid touching your face while playing.

  • Bring black or brown sharpie 

  • Parent/Spectator should bring his or her own chair (some clubs may have seating available).

  • Bring an umbrella for shade during changeovers


  • Arrive at the facility close to assigned start time and be ready to play.

  • Do not enter the facility until 10 minutes prior to your scheduled match time, unless you need to use the bathroom.

  • Two sanitized clipboards with paper will be placed on each court for score keeping. 

  • Use your own sharpie or magic markers (see PLAYER EQUIPMENT) to keep the score. 

  • Use your racquet to send the ball to your opponent or the appropriate court.

  • Players should set up on one side of the court and switch sides on that side of the court only.

  • When playing doubles, coordinate with your partner to maintain physical distance as much as possible.

  • If there are any disputes on court, players will look out for a tournament director or tournament official.  

  • Clearly verbalize the score at the start of each point.

  • Offer an acknowledgment such as a nod, a thumbs up or a “good match” instead of shaking hands.

  • Both players shall email the tournament director the match score. 

  • Unless you need to use the bathroom, leave the facility within 10 minutes of the completion of your match to help reduce gatherings.

  • Check draws online to confirm your score and next match time.

  • If you are exhibiting any symptoms at any time during or after playing in the tournament, inform the Tournament Director immediately.

  • Players are strongly discouraged from yelling out during their matches.

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