Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Medical care and first aid: an interassociation consensus framework for organised non-elite sport during the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Lisa Hodgson1,2,
  2. Gemma Phillips3,4,5,
  3. Robin Terence Saggers6,7,
  4. Sanjay Sharma8,
  5. Michael Papadakis8,
  6. Clint Readhead9,
  7. Charlotte M Cowie1,
  8. Andrew Massey10,
  9. Richard Weiler1,
  10. Prabhat Mathema11,
  11. Jo Larkin12,
  12. Jonathan Gordon13,
  13. John Maclean14,
  14. Michael Rossiter15,16,
  15. Niall Elliott17,
  16. Jonathan Hanson14,17,18,
  17. Simon Spencer19,
  18. Rod Jaques19,
  19. Jon Patricios6
  1. 1 The Football Association, Burton-Upon-Trent, UK
  2. 2 Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  3. 3 Rugby Football League Ltd, Leeds, UK
  4. 4 Hull Kingston Rovers RLFC, Hull, UK
  5. 5 Carnegie Applied Rugby Research Centre, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  6. 6 Wits Sport and Health (WiSH), School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg-Braamfontein, South Africa
  7. 7 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  8. 8 St George's University of London, London, UK
  9. 9 South African Rugby Union, Capetown, South Africa
  10. 10 FIFA, Zurich, Galicia, Switzerland
  11. 11 Welsh Rugby Union, Cardiff, UK
  12. 12 Lawn Tennis Association, London, UK
  13. 13 Sport Promote, Glasgow, UK
  14. 14 Scottish Football Association, Glasgow, UK
  15. 15 Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basingstoke, UK
  16. 16 Premiership Rugby, London, UK
  17. 17 Sport Scotland Institute of Sport, Glasgow, UK
  18. 18 Glasgow Warriors, Glasgow, UK
  19. 19 English Institute of Sport, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lisa Hodgson, FA Education, The Football Association, Burton-Upon-Trent, UK; Lisa.Hodgson{at}


The cessation of amateur and recreational sport has had significant implications globally, impacting economic, social and health facets of population well-being. As a result, there is pressure to resume sport at all levels. The ongoing prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and subsequent ‘second waves’ require urgent best practice guidelines to be developed to return recreational (non-elite) sports as quickly as possible while prioritising the well-being of the participants and support staff.

This guidance document describes the need for such advice and the process of collating available evidence. Expert opinion is integrated into this document to provide uniform and pragmatic recommendations, thereby optimising on-field and field-side safety for all involved persons, including coaches, first responders and participants.

The nature of SARS-CoV-2 transmission means that the use of some procedures performed during emergency care and resuscitation could potentially be hazardous, necessitating the need for guidance on the use of personal protective equipment, the allocation of predetermined areas to manage potentially infective cases and the governance and audit of the process.

  • sport
  • protective clothing
  • communicable disease
  • cardiology
  • paediatrics

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Twitter @drccowie, @andy_massey, @dundeesportsmed, @jonpatricios

  • Contributors LH and GP conceived the theme; JP served as senior author and designed the article framework; LH and GP drafted the initial manuscript; RS, SaS, MP and MR contributed to the design and content in there specific areas of expertise and practice. CR, CMC, AM, RW, PM, JG, JM, NE, JH, SiS and RJ gave sport-specific insights. All authors analysed the document through four rounds of redrafting and gave final approval before final submission.

  • 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.

  • Author note This position statement is endorsed by: The English Football Association, The English Rugby Football League, The Scottish Football Association, The Lawn Tennis Association, The Welsh Rugby Union and Scottish Rugby, supported by these UK and international sports and exercise medicine bodies: The English Institute of Sport, The Scottish Institute of Sport, FIFA, The South African Rugby Union and Wits Sport and Health, South Africa.