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Interassociation consensus recommendations for pitch-side emergency care and personal protective equipment for elite sport during the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Lisa Hodgson1,2,
  2. Gemma Phillips3,4,5,
  3. Jonathan Gordon6,7,
  4. Jonathan Hanson7,8,9,
  5. John Maclean7,
  6. Prabhat Mathema10,
  7. Andrew Smith11,12,
  8. Mark Woolcock13,
  9. Charlotte M Cowie1,
  10. Simon Kemp14,15,
  11. Michael Patterson1,16,
  12. Jo Larkin17,
  13. Jerry Hill18,
  14. Michael Rossiter19,20,
  15. Niall Elliott21,
  16. Pippa Bennett1,22,
  17. Jonathan Power1,
  18. Ari Pillay23,24,
  19. Harjinder Singh25,26,27,
  20. Craig Sheridan28,29,
  21. Matthew Hurwood30,
  22. Peter Riou31,
  23. Anthony Bennison32,
  24. Susan Chakraverty33,
  25. Richard Tingay11,
  26. Richard Higgins34,
  27. Richard Weiler1,
  28. Rod Jaques35,
  29. Simon Spencer35,
  30. Michael R Carmont36,37,
  31. Jon Patricios38
  1. 1The Football Association (FA), Burton-Upon-Trent, UK
  2. 2Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Rugby Football League (RFL), Leeds, UK
  4. 4Medical Department, Hull Kingston Rovers Rugby League, Hull, UK
  5. 5Carnegie Applied Rugby Research (CARR) centre, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  6. 6Sport Promote, Glasgow, UK
  7. 7Scottish Football Association, Glasgow, UK
  8. 8Scotland Institute of Sport, Glasgow, Scotland
  9. 9Glasgow Warriors, Glasgow, Scotland
  10. 10Welsh Rugby Union, Cardiff, UK
  11. 11England Rugby, Twickenham, UK
  12. 12Mid Yorkshire Hospitals, Wakefield, UK
  13. 13Cornwall Integrated Urgent Care Service, Cornwall, UK
  14. 14Rugby Football Union, London, UK
  15. 15London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  16. 16University College London Hospital, London, UK
  17. 17Lawn Tennis Association, London, UK
  18. 18British Horseracing Authority Ltd, London, UK
  19. 19Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basingstoke, UK
  20. 20Premiership Rugby, London, UK
  21. 21Sport Scotland Institute of Sport, Stirling, UK
  22. 22British Equestrian, London, UK
  23. 23Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, UK
  24. 24Southampton Football Club, Southampton, UK
  25. 25University Hospitals Leicester, Leicester, UK
  26. 26Leicester Tigers Rugby, Leicester, UK
  27. 27Leicester City Football Club, Leicester, UK
  28. 28East of England Deanary, Cambridge, UK
  29. 29Colchester United Football Club, Colchester, UK
  30. 30University of Hull, Hull, Kingston upon Hull, UK
  31. 31Exeter Football Club, Exeter, UK
  32. 32ABC First Aid UK, Hampshire, UK
  33. 33Shrewsbury Football Club, Shrewsbury, UK
  34. 34English Football League, London, UK
  35. 35English Institute of Sport (EIS), Bath, UK
  36. 36Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Princess Royal Hospital NHS Trust, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
  37. 37Institute of Clinical Sciences, Goteborgs Universitet, Gothenburg, Sweden
  38. 38Wits Institute for Sport and Health (WISH), School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg-Braamfontein, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jon Patricios, Wits Institute for Sport and Health (WISH), School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg-Braamfontein 2000, South Africa; jpat{at}


The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated many novel responses in healthcare including sport and exercise medicine. The cessation of elite sport almost globally has had significant economic implications and resulted in pressure to resume sport in very controlled conditions. This includes protecting pitch-side medical staff and players from infection. The ongoing prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and the desire to resume professional sport required urgent best practice guidelines to be developed so that sport could be resumed as safely as possible. This set of best practice recommendations assembles early evidence for managing SARS-CoV-2 and integrates expert opinion to provide a uniform and pragmatic approach to enhance on-field and pitch-side safety for the clinician and player. The nature of SARS-CoV-2 transmission creates new hazards during resuscitation and emergency care and procedures. Recommendations for the use and type of personal protective equipment during on-field or pitch-side emergency medical care is provided based on the clinical scenario and projected risk of viral transmission.

  • consensus
  • elite performance
  • field
  • infection
  • communicable disease

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The provenance and peer review statement has been included.

  • Collaborators This position statement is endorsed by: The Football Association UK, The English Rugby Football League, The Scottish Football Association, The English Rugby Football Union, The Lawn Tennis Association, The British Horse Racing Association, The Welsh Rugby Union, English Premiership Rugby, Scottish Rugby, The English Institute of Sport, The Scottish Institute of Sport, Wits Sport and Health, South Africa.

  • Contributors LH and GP initiated the consensus process, drew up the first draft of the guidance document and convened and led the consensus group. The following coauthors were involved in the submitting of data and protocols, writing of the manuscript and editing each version of both the guidance document and the paper in every round of communication: JG, JoH, JM, PM, AS, MW, CMC, SK, MP, JL, JeH, MR, NE, PB, JP, AP, HS, CS, MH, PR, AB, SC, RT, RH, RW, RJ, SS, MRC and JP. JP served as an external expert opinion, reviewing and editing each draft of the guidance document and the paper, communicating with the lead authors through each iteration, reformatting the guidance document according to the AGREE criteria and drafting the consensus paper. JP initiated the revision of the manuscript with LH and GP with all authors providing additional input with MRC providing the final proof read and expert input.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.