A recent study determined that the surface of sports balls, notably football, golf, cricket, and 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. (LINK TO STUDY)
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) Sport Science and Medicine Commission, the USTA Sport Science Committee, and the USTA Medical Advisory Group support this conclusion.
USTA Middle States Programming: COVID-19 FAQ
Statement on enforcing mandates set by our states and municipalities:
It is important to remember that mandates, orders and other local rules are being put in place by states and municipalities across the country. For example, at times different mask and travel rules have been ordered by all four states in our section (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia).
It is the responsibility of USTA Middle States to comply with all state mandates currently in place.
State orders supersede any organization or facility rule, and USTA Middle States is required to comply with any state order or mandate of this type. Specific questions about the mandate can be sent to each respective state office, or local medical officials.
In the case that a local municipality, organization or facility has a stricter rule in place than the state, that local rule/mandate should be followed.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
*Note: These situations and statements can change at any time, and apply only to USTA programming in the USTA Middle States section.
USTA Middle States continues to work closely with the USTA National Office and the USTA Medical Advisory Committee to learn more about the safest, most responsible ways to play tennis during this global pandemic.
We are not aware of any data that shows wearing a cloth mask while exercising is harmful to anyone without underlying medical conditions. We do recommend that a cloth mask, and not a more restrictive mask such as an N95, be used. Also, we recommend checking with your physician or family doctor to get their opinion as well.
There have been many states and facilities with mask orders over the last year, and USTA Sections have successfully hosted tennis events in those areas, even with those mandates in place. Ultimately, it is each individual’s choice whether he or she is comfortable or feels safe playing with a mask.
- If one team cannot play the majority of their courts in a match for either of these reasons, then the teams may work with their local area league coordinator to reschedule.