As soon as the deconfinement was announced from May 11, all the sports bodies worked on the modalities, which will be finalized during a series of meetings this Thursday, May 7, between the sports ministry and the various players.
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The Tennis Federation had fired the first, Monday Monday May 4, rules for its licensees. The practice, limited to training and singles matches, will be authorized subject to precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus: players will have to arrive on the courts in uniform and take their shower at home; the number of balls will be limited to six, marked with a number allowing each to pick up only his own.
Pools reserved for champions
Tennis is by nature a fairly simple sport to circumvent, as are most of the individual disciplines, such as cycling or running: the practitioners of these disciplines will therefore find great freedom from May 11 in the public spaces authorized in function of the two zones, red or green. They will have to stick to common sense rules that are easy to apply: no peloton races, respect of safety distances. In case of group activity (no more than ten), they are invited to respect a distance of 10 m.
All these precepts are in line with the recommendations of the Academy of Medicine which expressed itself on Tuesday, May 5 by press release. But the business is less easy for swimming, whose practitioners, champions or occasional swimmers, have been deprived of water for almost two months. For the former, an agreement would have been found between the Federation, the Ministry of Sports and certain municipalities that have delegated the operation of a swimming pool to clubs, as is the case in Nice, Montpellier or Marseille.
We are therefore moving towards the opening in these cities of a few pools for high-level athletes, as well as the federal pools of Insep (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance) and Font-Romeu (Pyrénées-Orientales), which will gradually reopen. But the vast majority of public pools will remain closed to the public until further notice, unless there are local exceptions. “Nothing has been decided but we expect the closure to the public to last at least until July 15”, slides a Federation executive.
No more than ten people per sports group
All combat sports, where hand-to-hand combat could facilitate contagion, remains prohibited. With the exception of the “softest” of them, judo which can be authorized in a club under strict sanitary conditions for high level judokas. Practice for the general public could be authorized from mid-June, in small groups.
This notion of a small group is quite precise, limited in sport as in other social fields to ten people. ” The sport of club sports can be done by hosting 10 people outside. All associations, including those of collective sports can offer activities, respecting the distance ”Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said in a statement on Wednesday May 6.
In other words, team sports remain prohibited in their usual expression. Amateur clubs will not have the right to organize training matches, but they will be able to set up outdoor sessions (passes, shots, races) allowing them to respect the 10 meters of safety. All under sanitary conditions applicable to other sectors, such as the provision of gel. This means that matches between friends in public spaces (parks, forests) remain prohibited, even if the measure is difficult to enforce on a large scale.
Fewest masks possible
There remains the question of masks, which is particularly sensitive in sports where breathing plays an essential role. The Academy of Medicine recommends wearing it for “moderate” efforts, such as hiking, golfing, or archery. Pulmonologists do not recommend it for high intensity practice. “The ventilation can go from 5 liters at rest, to 50 liters per minute at full intensity, we can see that the obstacle is insurmountable”, says lung professor Bruno Crestani, vice-president of the Fondation du souffle.
According to him, wearing a mask is not necessary for solo sports, such as running. On the other hand, any collective practice, with barrier distances according to him almost impossible to respect, requires protection : “No mask for cycling or running, but if I played handball, of course I would put on a mask. “