COVID sports safety considerations

Reintegration of sports in the Dayton region

(Updated 2/11/2021) Check back often for changes and additional resources. 

guiding principles | special considerations for athletes and coaches | social considerations/assessments | screening | positive COVID-19 test result for athlete or coach | returning to sports post COVID-19 diagnosis | resources

Many sports organizations are asking how to play sports safely during the pandemic. Outside of state regulations, there are many factors to consider when making the decision to return to play. The following considerations are the result of a collaboration among pediatric professionals at Dayton Children’s.

Goal: Provide considerations for the reintegration of sport with regards to practice and competition, keeping in mind the health and safety of our youth and high school athletes, coaches/personnel, parents/caregivers and spectators.

Important, must read: Playing sports with and/or against other individuals, in any capacity during this time, holds an inherent risk of a child or teenager becoming infected and potentially infecting other individuals, such as members of their household. Please consider this risk when allowing your child/teenager to participate in organized sports.

Teams/clubs/organizers must be familiar with recommendations from their national, state and local governing bodies regarding illness (including, but not limited to, COVID-19). Resuming participation prior to these organizations’ recommendations may create increased liability if an athlete is injured at a time when participation in practices or competitions may not be recommended.

guiding principles

​For a full list of guiding principles, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics' COVID-19 Interim Guidance: Return to Sports.

special considerations for athletes and coaches

Athletes and coaches who should consider delaying their participation in sports and activities are those with any of the following:

If you think that your child is immunocompromised, please check with your child’s healthcare provider before returning them to sports.

social considerations/assessments

Exceptions may be needed for some of these conditions based on circumstances.

Additional situations may arise based on social vulnerabilities. Schools and organizations should attempt to think of these situations and develop solutions that continue to practice the key elements of preventing COVID-19 transmission.


  1. Every coach, athlete, or official should be screened for possible covid-19 when they enter the campus or facility where the sporting activity will occur. Recommend all wear a mask/face covering until cleared by the screening process. Some may choose to continue wearing it after the screening.

    • If an athletic trainer is employed at the organization or school, he or she is the ideal person to complete this screening.
    • If no athletic trainer is employed or additional help is needed for screenings, then specific individuals, preferably medically trained, should be assigned to complete the screening.
    • The screening should include the following questions: "Today or in the past 24 hours have you had any of the following symptoms?"- 
  1. Temperature check with a thermometer is recommended, but not required (temperature greater than 100.4 for children and greater than 100 for adults is considered a fever)

           a. Temperature assessment is much more important for screening adults

           b. Forehead thermometer/touchless thermometer is preferable

  1. Positive screening- 
    • If an athlete/coach/official has positive finding on their COVID-19 participation screening, they should be sent home immediately.
    • Participants without transportation should be escorted to a designated isolation room or area away from others. Have them wear a mask/face covering until they arrive at home
    • Athletes, coaches, and officials who have positive findings on their screening should be directed to contact their pediatrician, family practice, or internal medicine clinician for evaluation and potential COVID-19 testing. Those without out a primary care clinician can be directed to a virtual COVID-19 screening visit.
    • The athlete, coach or official should not be allowed back until they have documentation demonstrating the SARS-CoV-2 test was negative or a note from their healthcare provider indicating they do not need to be tested and their symptoms are not due to COVID-19.
  2. After the athlete/coach/official is screened they should receive an indicator that signifies that they have been screened (i.e. colored wrist band, sticker that changes daily, mark on hand) with the current date and initials of the screener. Athletes do not need to wear masks/face coverings during play.

positive COVID 19 test result for athlete or coach

1. Notify the local public health authority.

2. If an athlete or coach NOT wearing a mask is confirmed to have COVID-19, the following should occur:

returning to sports post COVID-19 diagnosis

Athletes/coaches must meet all the following criteria to return to sports:


Every athlete will react to the new sports return considerations differently, depending on why they play sports. Their motivation and interests may have changed with time off, as well. Please support your athlete to continue pursuing health and fitness, even if it means they change how they pursue it.

schedule appointment contact us

Same or next-day appointments are available.

schedule appointment

The sports medicine department welcomes phone calls to 937- 641-3939 during our normal business hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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