GLTA tournaments during COVID
Updated: Apr 18
What will GLTA tournaments be like during the COVID pandemic? I'm running a GLTA tournament in the next year, so I've been thinking about this. And I do believe it'll be a year, at least, before we go back to the way tournaments were just a few months ago: a safe vaccine will take months to develop and test, and then it has to be distributed to 8 billion people. Life won't be suspended, but I can't see how large gatherings will seem safe, to authorities and to players. Below are 6 things that I expect to be our COVID normal:
Sanitizer and masks everywhere- Sponsor/tournament-branded masks and hand sanitizer bottles in player bags, and everywhere at venues. No masks on court, but everywhere else, yes.
Social distancing on court- player chairs/benches on opposite sides, rather than at the net; scorecards will be removed from courts; bows instead of handshakes at the end of matches; new can of balls for every match.
Social distancing off court- No draw parties and banquets. More staggered schedules (the same divisions play on alternating days rather than having all of them play on each day, to limit exposure); smaller draws played over more days; limited socializing (players arrive shortly before their match times, and leave after; limited ability to watch other matches).
Virtual Tournament Desks- Apps, texts, and instant messaging may replace most functions of the tournament desk to limit crowding. Players will find out there court assignments and report their scores electronically.
Temperature Checks- Venues may likely insist on temperature checks before anyone enters the tournament site. Tournaments will have to make preparations for removing people from draws and refunding entry fees in the event that they cannot be allowed into the site.