German Olympic Sports Org Proposes 10 Guidelines for Return to Sport

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.


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Woke Stasi
6 months ago

Glad to see them opening things up in Germany! I wish the same would happen in the United States. It’s way past time to to begin to treat people as responsible adults who are capable of making informed and conscientious decisions to protect their own and others’ welfare.

Swim Parent
Reply to  Woke Stasi
6 months ago

Read the article and look at their death rate. They acted and are still acting responsibly and that enables them to plan an orderly, structured, ‘German’ approach to a return to a semblance of normality. If we would do the same and people did act as responsible adults then we could take those same approaches.

Woke Stasi
Reply to  Swim Parent
6 months ago

@Swim Parent: at this point there are approximately 40,000+ US fatalities attributed to Covid-19. Subtract out those in greater NYC and the number is about 17K. These are tragic numbers to be sure, but 17K (most of whom had co-morbidities such as obesity, diabetes, etc.) doesn’t seem like one to close down the rest of the US economy. We are in our sixth week of sheltering in place in the Bay Area. We have successfully accomplished the goal of flattening the curve. Hospitals are nearly vacant here. It’s time to let people be responsible adults. There are many who are hurting out there — especially in the lower 50% income levels.

Mediocre Swammer
Reply to  Woke Stasi
6 months ago

That doesn’t work in a situation where others’ actions greatly affect you. If you’re staying at home, being safe, only going out when you need groceries, but the grocery store is packed of people who have not been making smart decisions, how safe are you really?

That’s like saying we should treat people as responsible adults who are capable of deciding whether they should drink and drive or not.

6 months ago

We did all this and more here in the Bay Area back in early March when they announced the importance of social distancing. This is nothing new… we will reeopen the way we went out but in reverse.

6 months ago

I get it’s the Olympic sports org saying this, but…the Bundesliga is about to start back up in a couple weeks. The nature of the game of soccer doesn’t technically allow for that sport to fit some of those guidelines.

If soccer can start back up, the rest can, too.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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