As Monday morning brings news that several European nations have begun to loosen restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has developed a series of “guardrails” to govern the resumption of club sport.
The country’s federal government is already working on a plan to reopen schools beginning on May 3rd, and the DOSB is ahead with a set of guidelines. While the government’s planning hasn’t been focused on sport, the DOSB says that it wanted to be proactive in developing guidelines when the government is ready to discuss them.
German Guidelines for Resuming Sport
“We would like to encourage you, in the event of a gradual lifting of the existing contact restrictions, to think about organized sport and, with confidence in the capabilities of sport Germany, to allow the club-based sport activities in Germany to be adapted to the situation under the guidelines of the DOSB and the sport-specific transition rules of the professional associations,” says the DOSB letter to politicians. “Using these guidelines to gradually reactivate the members of the approximately 90,000 sports clubs in sports Germany and to strengthen their personal responsibility and their commitment to civil society by the autonomous sport imposing self-adjusted rules in the times of Corona has countless advantages.”
The 10 guidelines listed in the paper are:
- Observe distancing rules
- Reduce body contact to the minimum
- Prefer outdoor activities
- Adhere to hygiene rules
- Change clothes and shower at home
- Suspend carpools temporarily
- Avoid events such as general team meetings and parties
- Reduce the size of training groups
- Protect high risk relatives from contact with those who are participating
- Minimize risks in all areas
The director of competitive sports for the German Swimming Federation (DSV), Thomas Kurschilgen, echoed those comments, saying “We also have to develop scenarios for an exit strategy for a gradual return to normality in sports according to a set of rules. We will of course participate in and work on this.”
“Every day we experience and feel more clearly how valuable sport is in our lives and how badly it hurts to do without it,” DOSB president Alfred Hörmann said. “Therefore, on the part of the DOSB, we will consistently continue the open dialogue with politics. We want to campaign for a responsible opening of the sports facilities because our country can experience organized mobility at the right and important time.”
The DOSB also warned of the risk of Legionella in a sporting facility that has gone unused for a long period of time.
Germany has confirmed 145,743 cases of the coronavirus, which is the 5th-most of any country in the world. Their rate of deaths, with 4,642, as compared to other countries has been the topic of much global debate and study. France, for example, which has a similar number of cases, has more than 4-times as many deaths as Germany.