As restrictions in Australia begin to ease, many of us will soon be able to return to playing team sports again. The timelines of that reality will vary depending on where you live but sports will likely have to adjust given the pandemic environment we’re living in. Here are some team sports that naturally allow you to social distance.
The sports most appropriate for social distancing guidelines will be ones that already required limited or no physical contact. If you’ve been a football player all your life, you might need to reconsider your chosen sport for 2020 — or at least add some new ones to your rotation.
Tennis is an obvious first choice for anyone wanting to play a bit of sport but also keeping clear of other humans. It can technically be a team sport too with doubles games letting you use the full court lines. If you’re looking to get a few extra friends along for the fun, you can book a few courts and do a round-robin.
For those that have never played the game before, watch a few YouTube tutorials and give your newfound knowledge a spin at your local courts.
Cricket, baseball or softball
Some might find it sacrilege that I’ve added all these sports under the heading but in regards to social distancing, they all employ the same idea.
There’s a pitcher or bowler and a batter tasked with flinging that ball far and wide. For coverage, your teammates need to spread out around the field so it more than satisfies the physical distancing rules. If some friends aren’t feeling confident with their skills, they can start out with fielding hits and work their way up to pitching, bowling or batting.
A cricket pitch is likely a little easier to find in your area but any large field will work for all the games. You’ll also be able to pick up the essentials for each sport for relatively cheap.
Look, sometimes all you need to do to get the blood pumping is to throw an object. That could be a baseball or a tennis ball but a Frisbee makes it a bit more of a challenge. Plus, a single Frisbee costs very little when compared to other equipment-heavy activities.
If throwing a Frisbee gets a bit too boring, there are team sports such as Ultimate Frisbee to make it a little more competitive. It requires minimal contact, however, so keep it in mind if you feel like taking up the risk.
Golf is the ultimate physical distancing sport but it ranks at the bottom of my list for a simple reason — it’s a bit more expensive to get started.
While some places will let you rent all the golf clubs you’ll need to get going, it can start to add up when compared to what you need for other sports. Some golfing facilities charge under $100 including the course’s entry fee but the more exclusive ones could far exceed that.
Still, if you don’t mind spending a little extra , golf is a great way to pass the time amid coronavirus concerns. Many golf courses have beautifully lush greenery and swinging a golf ball hundreds of metres into the distance can be very satisfying.
General tips for starting up team sports again
If football, basketball or whatever your preferred contact sport still has your heart, there are at least a few easy things to remember in order to minimise the risk.
- Don’t let anyone who’s got symptoms join.
- Make sure everyone has washed their hands properly prior to using any equipment.
- Wipe down equipment with disinfectant before and after playing sports.
- Maintain social distancing, where possible, and avoid tackling or other physical contact.
There’s no easy solution to make any situation completely safe while coronavirus is appearing in the population, but being aware of actions you can take to decrease the chances of being infected can help. Getting some physical activity is important as long as you’re also being responsible.