Coronavirus and Youth Sports: How Should Youth Sports Return to Play?

May 14, 2020  • Sports & Society Program

Ready or not, America is gradually reopening. When and how community sports join in is a topic that will play out in the coming weeks and months. How to return will be shaped by what local and state authorities allow, what leading sport and public health bodies recommend, what liability risks exist, and what parents are willing to accept for their kids to play again. Project Play hosted a discussion with experts on return to play.


  • Dr. Jill Daugherty, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist, COVID-19 response task force
  • Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Chief Medical Officer
  • Lauren Sauer, Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) Director of Operations
  • Steven Bank, UCLA School of Law Vice Dean, sports liability expert

READ RECAP: Health experts: Travel games should be last to return in youth sports

Additional Reading

Project Play coronavirus and youth sports resource page

Return to Play COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool: joint product of Aspen Institute Sports & Society and Aspen Institute Health, Medicine and Society Programs

Survey: 50% of parents fear kids will get sick by returning to sports

‘Wild west’: Youth sports providers weigh liability riskss

How will youth sports return to play? USOPC offers first glimpse