Play Safe Guidelines

All of the information listed below is current as of 29 May 2020. 

Play Safe - health and hygine guidelines for players, clubs and coaches

These guidelines link directly to the Tennis Activity During Covid-19 Alert Level Guidelines. Please go here to make yourself familiar with the recommendations for tennis activity at Alert Level 2.

The information below has been created based on specific advice from NZ Government, Ministry of Health and Sport NZ, and relates to Alert Levels 3, 2 and 1, where tennis activity is allowed under specific circumstances.  Please remember, at Alert Level 4, there should be no tennis activity, and clubs and courts should be closed.  These health and hygiene guidelines are for players, clubs and centres, and coaches.  Until we are advised otherwise, the following recommendation are applicable during Alert Levels 3, 2 and 1.  Please note, coaching is not permitted at Alert Level 3 (unless coach and player are in the same bubble).

It is important to remember that tennis clubs, coaches and operators across the country are all different and operate in different local contexts. They are also independent organisations and businesses. Making an assessment of whether a safe exercise environment can be provided also depends on a range of factors, which will apply differently at each venue – it is the responsibility of each coach, club, association and region to make that assessment based on their local environment.  There is no obligation for a club to open its courts if those in charge do not feel comfortable or confident to do so. 

A Covid-19 safety plan must be in place if a club decides to open.  Tennis NZ have provided a template based on Work Safe, MOH and Government guidelines, which may assist in a club’s decision making whether to open.

Before you play

You must stay at home if you:

  • Have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Have been overseas or exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Have flu-like symptoms
  • Or are in a high risk health category.

Attending tennis activities

  • Book your court, session or lesson in advance through contactless booking (online or by phone)
  • Wash your hands before you play, and afterwards too
  • Complete the online contact tracing form on tennis.kiwi/checkin OR the clubs own contact tracing form
  • Arrive and leave as close as possible to when you need to
  • Only one parent/guardian should accompany younger children where possible
  • Take your own equipment if possible. Do not share equipment with people outside of your bubble
  • Exercise caution with common touch points (e.g. doors and gates)
  • Check the clubs safety plan to make sure you are aware of, and can follow their guidelines.

Social distancing

Tennis holds a unique advantage as a sport which requires no direct contact between
players. Be sure to keep 2 metres away from other people while taking part in any tennis activity.

Behaviours

To protect against infection, you should:

  • Wash/sterilise your hands before and after you play and avoid touching your face while playing
  • Not share water bottles and bring your own full bottle
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand-sanitiser when available. It is recommended to carry your own hand sanitiser with you
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes and dispose of any used tissues immediately
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Do not attend if you are feeling unwell
  • Avoid touching any shared surfaces (gate, net posts, chairs etc). If you do touch
    anything that is not your own equipment, you must clean these thoroughly before you leave.

After play

f you become sick with Covid-19 symptoms within 10 days of playing at the club, it is vital that you inform the main contact at the club.

Any tennis club that intends to open to members within requirements of the Alert Levels, must ensure they are protecting visitors and minimizing the risk of spread of infection.  Before you open your facility, you need to comply with the relevant Health and Safety requirements for Covid-19.  Work Safe, MOH and NZ Government have provided guidance on this that we have compiled in a document relevant to the tennis community.  This Covid-19 Safety Plan can be downloaded here.

At all alert levels, clubs and facilities need to meet all public health guidelines. These include the following, although they may change over time:

  • Regular disinfecting of surfaces
  • Encouraging good hand hygiene by allowing frequent hand washing and sanitising
  • Not having unwell people at your facility
  • Meeting physical distancing requirements.

Checklist for clubs, centres, facilities prior to opening:

  • A COVID-19 safety plan must be in place, including risk controls for any staff that may be on site. This Covid-19 Safety Plan can be downloaded here. This safety plan may help with your decision to open or not
  • Decide on whether to open based on your ability to adhere to the Covid-19 safety plan
  • Contactless court bookings to be made in advance (online or phone). Tennis NZ’s ClubSpark software can help you manage this
  • Preferably open to members only. Unless you are a Book a Court venue or use another booking product for casual play that can manage casual users easily.  Clubs with these systems do not have to open for casual play unless they feel comfortable doing so
  • Contact tracing must be in place. Tennis NZ have provided you an online tool for this at tennis.kiwi/checkin
  • Clearly display contact tracing instructional signage at your gate/entry point (print at home signage provided by Tennis NZ)
  • Common touch points must be minimised. It is the responsibility of the facility owner to sanitise all surfaces (e.g. gates, nets etc) regularly. Users should sanitise their hands after touching them. Cleaning tips can be found here
  • A COVID-19 safety plan must be in place, including risk controls for any staff that may be on site. This Covid-19 Safety Plan can be downloaded here.
  • Contact tracing must be in place. Tennis NZ have provided you an online tool for this at tennis.kiwi/checkin
  • Shorten coaching sessions where necessary to ensure no cross over between players
  • Live ball drills and game-based play is recommended over basket based
  • Maintain social distancing at all times including when giving feedback and while players are resting
  • Ensure players keep 2 metres distance from one another
  • Avoid activities, exercises and drills where players come in to contact or too close to one another
  • Where practical use every second court
  • Limit the use of coaching equipment such as target cones
  • Don’t let students handle any coaching equipment - coach to pick up balls and feed drills
  • Payments to be made online or via EFTPOS – avoid handling cash.

Tennis equipment

  • Don’t let students handle any balls or coaching equipment. Only the coach should be in contact with shared equipment
  • Make sure you clean your hands before and after coming off the court
  • Not touch your face after touching a ball, racquet or other tennis equipment
  • Use new balls and racquet grips where possible
  • Use fewer balls per session
  • Replace all balls if someone with/suspected to have COVID-19 comes in contact with them
  • Restrict balls to a particular person, court or day of the week. One idea is to label them with a permanent marker
  • Clean all tennis gear with alcohol-based disinfectant including racquets, towels, coaching- gear such as target cones
  • Don’t use equipment such as drop-down lines

Clean environment

Providing a clean environment to play tennis in is essential. Make sure you:

  • Provide soap, hand-sanitiser or wipes at all main contact points
  • Clean all surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables, at least once a day wearing disposable gloves
  • Clean any surfaces which may have blood, body fluids and/or secretions or excretions on them
  • Regularly remind and encourage everyone, particularly juniors, of the need to wash hands regularly and adopt the other principles of a good hygiene strategy
  • Display signage about handwashing and hygiene techniques at strategic points like all sinks, eating areas, drinking areas and on the side of court.