Doubles Tennis was Banned and Every Other Court Was Shut Down

Empty tennis court during the pandemic
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Empty outdoor tennis court during pandemic

One of the great outdoor sports is tennis. The very nature of tennis, with big courts and lots of space without direct person-to-person contact, tennis players can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that tennis offers while maintaining six feet physical distance. For this reason, it was one of the few sports that didn’t get completely shut down and was a good way of getting outdoor exercise while remaining safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Still, some facilities felt the need to put their own restrictions on the sports. Some of the strategies included but were not limited to: making users play every-other court to leave a buffer, prohibiting doubles matches, and requiring players to wear protective masks.

Here was the guidance from the United States Tennis Association:

  • 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
  • Avoid touching court gates, fences, benches, etc.
  • 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).
  • After playing, leave the court as soon as reasonably possible.
  • When playing doubles, coordinate with your partner to maintain physical distancing.
  • No extra-curricular or social activity should take place. No congregation after playing. All players should leave the facility immediately after play.
  • While there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by touching tennis balls, sanitary precautions, such as handwashing, should still be taken.

The last one is kind of the kicker. There was no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by surfaces, but these precautions were all recommended, nonetheless.

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Picture of author Anthony Faust

About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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