Requirements for Sports
Sports in Dane County are required to follow Public Health Orders.
All sports are subject to the following requirements:
- Create and adopt a hygiene policy
- Create and adopt a cleaning policy
- Create and adopt a protective measures policy
- Follow the Sports Action Plan
- Create and adopt a process for staff receipt, acknowledgement, or training on the policies
In addition to the above requirements, the recommendations below can help make your sporting event safer.
- Limit spectators to the greatest extent possible. Spectators count toward gathering limits.
- Ensure spectators are maintaining six (6) feet physical distancing at all times between people from different households. This is required under the Order.
- Include signage or markings to assist with spectator spacing.
- Utilize separate entrances and exits for players and spectators if possible or use multiple entrances and exits to limit unnecessary crowding
Players when not playing (dugouts, benches, locker rooms, sidelines, etc.)
- Create markings for players to place their equipment at least six feet apart.
- Designate space on benches, sidelines, etc… to assist with six feet physical requirements while players are not actively participating in sport.
- If possible, avoid using dugouts, locker rooms or other enclosed spaces.
- Limit competitions to teams from your own community.
- Avoid lengthy travel to competitions.
- Avoid carpooling or other modes of group travel to the greatest extent possible.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on field, court, or play surface at least daily or between use.
- Clean and disinfect shared equipment.
- Encourage players to bring their own equipment if possible, such as gloves, balls, and helmets.
- Bring your own water to minimize use and touching of drinking fountains. Label your water battle with your name.
- Don’t share towels, clothing, or any items used to wipe your face or hands.
- If possible play sports outdoors
- If playing inside, ensure ventilation systems or fans operate properly. Increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (e.g., risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms) to players or others using the facility.
- Practice physical distancing by ensuring there is at least 6 feet between people before and after games.
Is it okay to hold sport events such as practices, games, and competitions?
Yes, in compliance with public health orders.
What are the gathering limits?
Under Order #16
Sporting activities must follow the gathering limits under Section 2 of the Order:
- A gathering inside where food or drink is offered or provided is limited to 350 individuals or less, not including employees.
- A gathering inside where food or drink is not offered or provided is limited to 500 individuals or less, not including employees.
- A gathering outside has no gathering limit.
- Physical distancing requirements for those not actively participating in the sport will further dictate gathering limits.
What are the physical distancing requirements for sports?
- Physical distancing of six feet is required at all times when individuals are not actively participating in the sport. This includes benches, sidelines, spectator areas, and locker rooms.
- Physical distancing requirements are applicable to all sporting events including competitions, games, practices, and drills.
When is a face covering required for sports?
- Indoors at all times (unless individual or activity meets exemption or exception criteria outlined in the order).
- Face coverings are not required while outdoors. Individuals partaking in outdoor activities where six feet physical distancing is not possible are encouraged to wear face coverings.
What type of face covering is required?
- See our Masks page for acceptable face coverings.
What is considered an indoor space for structures such as dugouts and park shelters?
An outdoor structure or area is considered inside if it has all of the following:
- A roof
- More than 2 substantial walls. “Substantial wall" means a wall with no opening or with an opening that either does not allow air in from the outside or is less than 25 percent of the wall's surface area.
Can I host multiple gatherings in distinct spaces in my facility?
Yes, as long as the gatherings comply with the following (in addition to requirements outlined in the order):
- There is no crossover or interaction between the gatherings.
- Each gathering is held in a separate distinct space.
- Gatherings are advertised separately. Anything advertised together is considered a single event.
- You cannot use multiple distinct spaces to increase the gathering limits for a single event.
- Best practice is to stagger the start and stop times to avoid crowding at entrances or to use separate entrances and exits for each event.
What is considered a distinct space?
- Examples of distinct spaces include but are not limited to, a separate room in your facility, a half of a basketball court, a half of an ice rink, different sections of a pool, and separate baseball diamonds or soccer fields.
- Activities occurring will dictate how big a distinct space needs to be. For example, playing a game of basketball requires more space than practicing shooting a basketball.
- Best practice would be to have a physical barrier between events.
- Have as much space between events as possible.
What documentation and plans are required for sport activities?
Under the Order, all organizations are required to have the plans outlined below. Plans do not need to be submitted or approved by Public Health. These plans are to assist with the implementation of required COVID-19 mitigation strategies. The template plans we provide for businesses can be adapted for sports to meet the Order requirements. The plans must include the following:
- Hygiene policy that includes:
- Ensuring individuals who have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to participate.
- Establishing hand-washing expectations and ensuring supplies are available to individuals.
- Describing proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
- Cleaning policy and procedure that includes:
- Guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces multiple times a day.
- Guidelines for cleaning common areas and equipment between use.
- Protocols for cleaning and disinfecting in the event of a positive COVID-19 case on site.
- Protective measure policy and procedure that includes:
- Ensuring individuals are at least six (6) feet from others as required by the order.
- COVID-19 Sports Action Plan
- Document organizing entity receipt, acknowledgement, or training on the policies above. Organizing entity must ensure that all individuals participating in sports are aware of the policies and procedures described above.
What should we do if a player or coach becomes sick?
Read guidelines on our ‘What to Do if you are Sick or Possibly Exposed’ webpage.
What are some additional considerations for when a player or coach tests positive?
- An individual testing positive for COVID-19 should not return to practice or play until meeting the criteria established by Public Health Madison & Dane County.
- An individual testing positive who played, practiced, or competed during their infectious period (see below) should notify the coach or appointed COVID-19 contact of their positive test.
- Identify players, coaches, or other participants who were a close contact of the positive individual. This includes close contacts on opposing teams or while in transit to sporting activities. Public Health will work with you on this.
- Maintain a roster of players and other participants at practices, games, and competitions. This will help with contact tracing efforts.
- Develop and maintain clear communications with players, opponents, and parents/guardians (if applicable) to quickly communicate in the event a COVID-19 positive individual participated in a sporting activity during their infectious period.
When is someone infectious?
Someone who tested positive is considered to be infectious from two days before symptom onset until they meet all of the following criteria: 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medication, other symptoms are improving (but may still be present), and at least 10 days after symptom onset. If the individual who tested positive does not have symptoms, they are considered to be infectious from two days before the test date until ten days after the test was collected. Individuals who test positive should isolate while they are infectious and not participate in sports-related activities. Teams should not require a negative test for these individuals to return.