USA Team Handball News USA Team Handball Re...

USA Team Handball Return To Play Guidelines

June 29, 2020, 9:49 a.m. (ET)


Read USA Team Handball's Return To Play guidelines HERE


USA Team Handball (USATH) is committed to supporting our clubs and athletes returning to training and competition as the world gradually lifts stay-at-home orders. Returning to play in a controlled way, with systems in place to reduce outbreaks, is critical to navigating the next phase of this pandemic. Our Return to Play guidelines for our Member Clubs are dictated by the local and state restrictions outlined by the CDC. For more information, please refer to: State & Territorial Health Department Websites.


Leaders at all levels, from our member clubs to our national team coaches, will need to prepare their communities and continue to contain the disease by systematically evaluating and making adjustments as we return to training and, eventually competitions, as safely as possible. Moving forward, our guiding principles will prioritize the safety of our members and athletes, the safety of our staff and coaches, and the safety of our community, friends and families. 

According to the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, although the young and healthy tend to have less severe cases of COVID-19, every case of this disease is potentially life-altering or deadly. Until COVID-19 is eradicated, even if an effective vaccine is developed, there is no way of completely eliminating the risk of a serious or fatal infection. This should always be in the forefront of your mind when deciding whether to return to training. 

DO NOT return to play if you:

  • are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus: mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing, or other symptoms identified by the CDC.

  • have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

  • are a vulnerable individual according to CDC guidelines and/or those of your state or local government. (Vulnerable individuals include the elderly, individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy. Vulnerable individuals should speak with their physician prior to resuming team handball activity.)

The knowledge surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and clubs’ circumstances may differ depending on their geographic locations, facilities, memberships and other factors. Accordingly, USA Team Handball encourages clubs and participants to implement the following measures, to the extent reasonably possible, as minimum precautions. If your team is traveling domestically or internationally, club members should quarantine amongst themselves for two weeks if they do not have access to testing OR one week with two rounds of testing on the two days leading up to the competition. As a reminder, USA Team Handball’s sanction, and thus its insurance coverage, will apply only to areas in which clubs can be open legally.

Finally, USA Team Handball’s Return to Play Guidelines are recommendations, not mandates. They are based in significant part upon current guidelines promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and other publicly available resources. The recommendations in this document are not intended and should not be taken to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor do USATH or any of its divisions assume any liability or responsibility for the efficacy of the recommendations provided herein. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding the Return to Play Guidelines, please contact