Playing Tennis Safely

Player Tips & Recommendations

Playing Tennis Safely Flyer
COVID-19 Transmission information on Tennis Balls
Printable PDF - Player Guidelines

The USTA recognizes that the coronavirus continues to affect the country in different ways and that it is possible for people to return to playing tennis indoors and outdoors under a number of different state and local government requirements as well as state and local government health authority guidelines. Because playing tennis does not require direct person-to-person contact, tennis players can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that tennis offers while maintaining six feet physical distancing. By following the applicable requirements in your area, facility guidelines as well as the guidelines outlined below, you will be able to make informed decisions.


Follow health and safety guidelines issued by your state and local government and health authorities. Stay current with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).



Do not play if you: 
  • Have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. 
  • 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.


Wash your hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds or longer), or use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available, before going to court.

Bring a full water bottle to avoid touching a tap or water fountain handle.



Avoid touching court gates, fences, benches, etc., if you can.

When not actively playing, please adhere to all proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and facemask protocols.


Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be there.

If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve.


Try to stay at least six feet apart from other players. Do not make physical contact with them (such as shaking hands or a high-five).


Wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitizer before, during, and after play.

Use headbands, hats, towels or wristbands to avoid touching your face during play. Use a wristband or towel to wipe sweat from your face.

When playing doubles, coordinate with your partner to maintain physical distancing.



Use only your own towel and water bottles. Avoid sharing food and touching common surfaces such as court gates, fences, benches, etc.


While there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by touching tennis balls, sanitary precautions, such as hand-washing, should still be taken.

Maintain physical distancing if changing ends of the court.

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times, except when active on court. Some localities rquire masks while playing indoors. Be sure to follow local guidelines.


Leave the court as soon as reasonably possible.

Wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitizer after coming off the court.

Do not use the locker room or changing area. Shower at home. 

No extra-curricular or social activity should take place. No congregation after playing. 

All players should leave the facility immediately after play.



Tennis, if played properly, can be a great opportunity for you to relieve stress, socialize with others and provide much-needed exercise. Of primary importance is taking every precaution to help keep all participants safe. 


Because tennis does not require any direct person-to-person contact, players can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that tennis offers so long as you practice physical distancing by keeping six feet apart from other players to ensure you are in a safe exercise environment and follow other safety recommendations included here.


Although there is no specific evidence that tennis balls can spread COVID-19, we know that contamination by respiratory droplets from an infected person can potentially survive on hard surfaces up to three days. If you choose to play tennis, be sure to practice these safety tips and recommendations.