Tennis | ITF issues guidelines for post-pandemic events

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No shaking, no showering, no sharing, no signing!

Welcome to what the world of tennis could look like once government restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have been lifted.

On Friday, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) issued a set of guidelines for local and National-level competitions.

“They emphasise that decisions made by governments take precedence and that tennis (either competitive or recreational) should not be played until governments have sufficiently relaxed any restrictions that are currently in place,” said an ITF statement.

The guidelines include arriving at venues already dressed and leaving immediately after the match. “Do not use the locker rooms or showers,” says ITF.

Masks are to be worn while off-court, players and officials should maintain at least two metres between each other and handshakes are banned.

Each player is asked to use a personal set of balls — separately numbered. Ball boys and girls to wear rubber gloves, while at changeovers players must go around opposite sides of the net.

Players are also discouraged from signing autographs, taking selfies and warned not to share equipment, water bottles or food.

Tournaments should also only be singles and played without spectators.

“While following measures such as these will ensure that the risk from COVID-19 is minimised, the guidelines are clear that it cannot be eliminated altogether,” added ITF.

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