Return to On Snow Training
UPDATED AS OF 8-7-20
U.S. Ski & Snowboard recognizes that COVID-19 has impacted different parts of the country in different ways and with different timing. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact and can lead to severe illness and death. Before making plans to return to on-snow or sport-specific (ie. water ramps and airbags) group training, we recommend you familiarize yourself with local, state and federal public health orders, as well as the USOPC’s return to training considerations and the CDC's considerations for youth sports. As per CDC considerations, the risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth sports settings as follows:
- Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members.
- Increasing Risk: Team-based practice.
- More Risk: Within-team competition.
- Even More Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area.
- Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.
By following these guidelines, athletes, coaches and parents will be able to make informed decisions as to when return to training can commence. It is safest and the CDC recommends that you do not gather, travel or stay in overnight accommodations wherever and whenever possible as travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.
If you live in a community where stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders have been lifted or modified, then training can be a great opportunity for you to relieve stress and provide much-needed exercise. Because training may not require any direct person-to-person contact, athletes can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that training offers, so long as you practice physical distancing by keeping at least ten feet apart from others during exercise and follow other safety recommendations included here.
Research has suggested that contamination by respiratory droplets from an infected person can potentially survive on hard surfaces up to three days. If you choose to train, be sure to practice these safety tips and recommendations.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard COVID-19 mitigation documents are designed to help reduce potential exposure and mitigate risk of viral transmission. However, they are not all encompassing and while they provide guidance for a wide range of scenarios, they do not account for every variable. Until a vaccine or other therapeutics are widely available, there will be an underlying, inherent risk of COVID-19 exposure and contraction when leaving the confines of one’s home. Preventative measures cannot guarantee that you will not become infected with COVID-19.
Do not train if you
- Are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus. Symptoms range from mild to severe illness and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, including: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Have been in close, sustained contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- Athletes and staff should complete a pre-screen questionnaire (example) to verify the above
- Consult with a healthcare professional if you are at higher risk of developing serious disease.
- Clubs should determine training group size informed by county health guidelines and facility size, allowing for a minimum of 10 square feet of space per athlete.
- Athletes and staff should live in the training location for 14 days prior to beginning group training OR have two negative COVID-19 PCR tests separated by 24 hours immediately prior to beginning group training.
- Athletes and staff should be educated on the symptoms of COVID-19 and common methods of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- Athletes and staff should be educated on rules and regulations of the club and resort/training space.
- Athletes and staff should stay up-to-date on all local, county, state and federal public health orders
- Athletes should agree to limit non-essential community exposure and abstain from taking part in large group gatherings, social events, utilizing other training facilities, attending parties, eating at restaurants, or socializing with friends without adhering to social distancing guidelines.
- Athletes and staff should be performing at least daily symptom checking for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. It is recommended to do this twice-daily. (example)
- Athletes and staff should bring their own water bottle (preferably filled) - water bottles with straws or tube-style nozzles will make drinking with a face covering easier and safer.
- Athletes and staff should bring a face covering that covers both mouth and nose (Image 2). If an athlete doesn’t have a face covering, one should be provided to them and, if possible worn through the duration of training.
On Snow & Sport-Specific Protocols
- It is recommended to keep on-snow/sport-specific training groups consistent from session to session and day to day to limit exposure if there is a COVID19 case(s).
- Athletes and staff should arrive at the on-snow/sport-specific training venue changed and ready to start their warm up/training (try not use mountain lodges or changing rooms at the mountain, unless necessary (restroom)).
- Athletes and staff should bring their own water bottles (filled), towels, radios, drills, cameras and other equipment needed and do not allow sharing of items.
- Athletes and staff should bring a fully sealable bag to store all personal items in.
- All individual athlete and staff equipment should be sanitized before and after the on-snow/sport-specific training session.
- All “team/site equipment” should be sanitized before, during, and after the on-snow/sport-specific training session.
- All athletes and staff should have face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer on their person.
- Athletes do not need to wear face covering when on course, but should do so when not on course.
- Coaches and other training personnel should wear face coverings at all times.
- Maintain physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet at all times, including chairlift lines, on hill and during ski/snowboard service.
- It is recommended to be a single rider on a chairlift, or with teammates. Limit sharing chairlifts with public people outside of your training group.
Upon Finishing Training
- Athletes and staff should use hand sanitizer to thoroughly sanitize hands prior to leaving the resort or training area.
- Athletes and staff should leave immediately after training and not linger, chat, or socialize at the resort or training area.
- Athletes and staff should take a shower as soon as possible after leaving the resort or training area.
**At any time, if anyone in the facility is identified as having symptoms of COVID-19, give the person a surgical mask and send them home. They should be instructed to call the local COVID-19 hotline for testing instructions, or contact their personal health care provider and club protocol should be followed to follow up with them.**