Is COVID-19 Affecting Winter Sports?

As the effects of COVID-19 begin to seep into our everyday lives, we can’t help but wonder how winter sports will be influenced as well. An increasing number of universities are deciding to cancel their winter team sports for the upcoming season, such as basketball and hockey, due to the inability to eliminate close contact between players. A recreational hockey game played in Tampa Bay Florida in June of this year resulted in almost half of all participants (both players and ice rink employees) coming down with the virus. The CDC attributes this rapid spread to the nature of the indoor facility, the close contact among players, and the proper facial coverings not being worn at all times. Some are even referring to these situations as “superspreader events,” in which one infected player causes an exponential escalation of COVID-19 cases in others.

Individual sports come with less risk of infection, as studies have shown that they allow participants to remain six feet apart at all times. These include sports such as golf, tennis, and swimming. With the cold weather rapidly approaching, it will become increasingly difficult to continue to play these “safer” sports without catching a common cold. However, they do make it less risky for players not to infect others from the already minimal close contact between them.

Individual sports played only in the winter, such as skiing and snowboarding, are beginning to adopt new procedures and precautionary measures to remain open for this upcoming season. Tirol, Austria, being known for its ski resorts and other winter activities, is implementing new standards for the safety of all participants. For example, face masks are required to be worn by everyone while in line both to buy tickets and to ride in the lifts. The chair lifts are going to be socially distanced, and if need be, every other lift will be occupied to maximize social distancing between families.

We at Oster and Associates urge you to follow some of these new procedures and to implement new standards into your own protocol for the safety of consumers. Broadcasting your new adjustments would reassure customers that the added risks from the pandemic are under control and there should be minimal concerns of infection. Reach out to our marketing team now for a free consultation or for any questions regarding how you can navigate these unprecedented times.

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