Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield and the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute have released the full results of the COVID-19: Return to Youth Sports study. The research effort involved a survey of more than 10,000 parents, coaches, players and others to gain insight on expectations for youth sports facilities as they reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grand Park says the data from the survey will serve as an important tool for facilities and event operators to help athletes and their families feel safe as sports resume.
“In some cases, as we open back up, facility investments may or may not be expected,” William Knox, director of Grand Park, said in a news release. “The information we have gleaned from this research is critical to event operators and organizations to create meaningful opportunities for athletes and their families to participate in sports again.”
The researchers say 10,359 people from 45 states responded to the survey, representing at least 13 sports. The vast majority of the respondents were parents (92%). However, the survey gave the option of selecting multiple roles, including coaches (25%), administrators (10%), athletes (9%) and officials (3%).
The findings of the study found several “critical or expected changes” recommended as youth sports resume:
- Venues and events should invest heavily and visibly in sanitization of facilities, playing areas, and equipment before, during, and after events.
- Venue operators and event managers can feel confident that the recommendations provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Federation of State High School Associations to sanitize playing areas and equipment after each use will be well-received and welcomed by users.
- Promotion and monitoring of social distancing guidelines.
- Limiting personal contact between players.
- Limiting admission to those under age 65 with no underlying conditions.
- Completing a health and contact information questionnaire prior to entering venues by users is expected in order for youth sports to return during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has impacted all areas of life, and youth sports is no exception,” said David Pierce, director of the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute. “Our study’s results provide youth sports facilities and event operators with data on how specific adaptions are received by stakeholders who are looking to return to youth sports in a timely but safe manner.”
You can view the full study by clicking here.
Knox and Pierce spoke about early results from the study last weekend with Business of Health Reporter Kylie Veleta. You can watch the full interview below: