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Returning to the Courts & Safe Play

By Bo Barbrow, GAMMA Brand Ambassador & Paige Powers, Marketing Coordinator |

It's been almost three months since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and many states issued Stay at Homes orders, keeping  usfrom going to play pickleball (or any sport for that matter). Today, we have seen a significant drop in the amount of new cases and many State Governors are lifting the orders and pickleball courts are starting to open back up.

However, that does not mean things will be going back to normal. Many players will keep their distance from the courts for a longer period of time, doubles may not be feasible, and sanitization is necessary. Team GAMMA Brand Partner, Bo Barbrow mentioned, "The most significant question, right now, involves doubles play. It is virtually impossible to keep a 6-foot distance on the court that is only 20-feet wide." Another difficulty players will need to consider is the fact that the virus can live on a plastic surface for up to 72 hours. "While many of these guidelines are just recommendations, many adult players will be making their own decisions regarding play," Bo responded.

Recommended Guidelines for Returning to the Courts

  • All players should restart with singles only or 2-person drilling
  • Only one ball per person and clearly marked
  • Gloves to be worn on non-dominant hand
  • Play should remain outdoors until further notice
  • Return the ball to the serving team by kicking or paddle sweeping
  • Have disinfectant wipes available and clean pickleballs often
  • Create a bleach solution at exit for cleaning pickleballs at the end of play
  • When doubles play resumes, schedule one hour time blocks for foursomes to limit the total number of players.
  • No handshakes or paddle bumps. Implement other creative ways to celebrate the post game, such as a Royal Family bow or polite wave.
The rules at each club and place to play will vary in terms of state guidelines, CDC guidelines, and player's preference. For more information on returning to play, visit the USAPA Guidance on Return to Safe Play by clicking here.


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