Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease and Pickleball play

MARCH 19, 2020
It is strongly recommended that you do not currently play Pickleball indoors or outdoors in any type of public setting.
Pickleball Canada and Pickleball BC have released similar statements.
All Richmond BC Community Centres are closed. As they are in other regions and provinces.
Link to Richmond City information:
https://www.richmond.ca/safety/COVID-19.htm

Listen to this Podcast:
What’s safe? What’s not? On this episode of the show, Mark talks with Dr. Anne Matlow about playing pickleball in the time of COVID-19. She’s Professor of Medicine, Paediatrics, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. She is a retired infectious disease physician who was on Ontario’s provincial advisory committee during the SARS outbreak of 2003.
https://pickleballproblems.podbean.com/e/ep-35-pickleball-and-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know/

MARCH 16, 2020
The following steps do not replace the requirement for general caution or vigilance. Each of us needs to take personal responsibility to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19. Please cancel your attendance at Pickleball sessions if you have any symptoms of the COVID-19, the flu or even the common cold.

Pickleball BC and other Pickleball related forums have provided some guidance for play with regard to current world affairs.

Play normally, but try to avoid direct contact with other players. No paddle taps, high fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.

This leaves the shared and constant hands-on contact with the balls. They recommend bringing a bucket to fill with water and an added bacteria killing cleaning solution. Like Mr Clean or a bleach solution, etc. Dunk the balls in the solution before and between games. Dry them with a hand towel or paper towels.

A Pickleball’s plastic construction with multiple large built in drain holes is well suited for being cleaned in a liquid. Tennis balls not as much.

Of course there is always the option of deciding not to play at all until things become relatively normal again.

Pickleball wash station that was setup at a community centre

When introduced, everyone adapted to ball washing between games easily. I think it made people feel more at ease.

The added bonus of a ball wash station is that everyone reaching into the solution to get a ball is also cleaning their hands. I used a 1/4 cup of Mr. Clean in about 1-1/2 gallons of warm water. At a community centre you can fill the bucket in the shower. The cleaning solution is not harsh on your skin.

It’s really easy, fast and no hassle to dip balls in the bucket. Using Clorox wipes is also an option, but don’t always get at the inside the edges of ball holes or inside the ball where sweat and droplets could land. Also, there is no soiled wipes or trash at all to deal with. Just dump the used liquid into a toilet when the games are over.