After careful consideration and review of the local, state and national information and recommendations regarding COVID-19, the SFAP Board of Directors is appealing to its members to discontinue all outdoor group play until further notice and recommendations of local governing agencies.

This request is not taken lightly. We all share a passion for the sport and love of our fellow pickleball players. That being said, we also share a responsibility to our overall community to follow the local COVID-19 guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus.

Realistically, practicing the 6′ social distancing guideline is impossible while playing doubles. In addition, whether playing doubles or singles, the virus can be transmitted through common sharing of balls, gate handles, benches, nets, posts, and even court surfaces. Plus, the virus can be airborne and can still be spread from outdoor social contact.

From the City of Sioux Falls Health Department:

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people.

This statement from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) really applies to pickleball as well: “Based on the recommendations of the USTA COVID-19 Advisory Groups, the USTA believes that it is in the best interest of society to take a collective pause from playing the sport that we love.”

Regarding the June Pickleball in the Park Tournament; The USA Pickleball Association has canceled or postponed sanctioned tournaments that were scheduled into May/June. SFAP will follow their lead and postpone the June Pickleball in the Park Tournament until further notice.

Thank you all. Please continue to make good decisions that impact the health of yourself and others!

Larry Plucker
SFAP President