COVID-Safe Practices for Youth Sports and Programs

COVID-Safe Practices for Summer Youth Sports & Programs

The following COVID-Safe Practices apply to all youth sports and programs unaffiliated with the New Mexico Activities Association, which regulates various interscholastic programs for junior and high school students.


  • Establish and continue communication with local and state authorities to determine current mitigation levels in your community. Check state and local health department notices daily about transmission in the area and adjust operations accordingly.
  • In-person programs and sports must be restricted to the mass gathering limit as per the public health order outlining the Red to Green Framework. For the purposes of determining group size, include all individuals in close proximity, such as coaches, staff, children and parents.
  • Youth participants must be limited to those who live in the local geographic area only (within a 50-mile radius).
  • Ensure that student and staff groupings are as self-contained as possible by having the same group of children/youth stay with the same staff. Restrict mixing children between groups.
  • Limit activities to only those that maintain 6 feet social distancing. If multiple groups of children/youth are present in an outdoor space, they must maintain at least 20 feet distance between the groups.
  • Prohibit congregation of players during warm-up, while at rest or hydration breaks, or when entering or leaving the practice site.
  • Sports activities must be restricted to conditioning and skills development. Competitive play and scrimmaging are not permitted.
  • Masks are required for adults and students at all times.
  • Restrict group transportation including carpooling.
  • Stagger arrival and drop-off times and locations. Establish protocols to limit direct contact with parents as much as possible. Students waiting to be picked up must maintain 6 feet social distancing.
  • Conduct practices outdoors when possible.
  • Maintain adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), tissues, and no-touch trash cans.
  • Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering. Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation.
  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods.
  • Conduct trainings for children/youth regarding hygiene and safety protocols, including proper hand washing, touching of face, covering mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing and social distancing.
  • Temperature checks of staff must be taken daily with a touchless thermometer. Daily temperature checks of students are recommended for children/youth. Individuals with elevated temperatures (above 100.4 F) or with COVID-19 related symptoms must stay home.
  • Implement screenings safely, respectfully, as well as in accordance with any applicable privacy laws or regulations. Confidentiality should be maintained.
  • Plan for when staff or children/youth become sick. Sick individuals may not return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation.
  • Students that become sick must be picked up immediately. For emergency situations, staff should call 911

Additional Resources

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