Should Contact Sports be suspended for Safe Distancing? - - Singapore Lifestyle Portal

Should Contact Sports be suspended for Safe Distancing?

Fancy a game of Futsal, Basketball or even Taekwando?

In normal times. these are great sports to participate in to keep fit.

However, these are not normal times. With the outbreak of COVID-19 in Singapore and the ever-increasing local cases, these contact sports pose a risk in infection.

Contact sports are sports that emphasize or require physical contact between players. Anyone who played basketball or football will know that it is virtually impossible to participate in these games without contact.


  • Social Distancing of 1 m is a must
  • Social Gathering is a source of unlink COVID19 cases

We received a tip-off from a reader who is concern about ongoing futsal games and how one organisation is encouraging matches despite COVID-19 measures. The concern is that Futsal is still allowed AND ENCOURAGED at selected places including SAFRA .

If you are unaware, Futsal is a CONTACT sport. It is the mini version of Football. Participation of 10 or fewer players DOES NOT mean transmitting of the virus is minimized, especially in contact sports where 1 m does not apply. This is true for football, basketball and other contact sports.

While we understand the need to exercise and to train, at these unprecedented times, we need to be vigilant. It just takes a small cluster to evolve to something more sinister.

The opening of facilities for contact sports has to be relooked. If SAFRA had committed to strictly adhere to safe distancing in accordance with MOH guidelines, allowing contact sports such as Futsal is the complete opposite of the measures introduced.

The Guidelines from SAFRA are as follow

A series of other SAFRA-managed facilities will also be closed to minimise gatherings in close proximity over a prolonged duration, such as BBQ pits, children’s play areas, dance studios and function rooms.

All SAFRA-managed facilities which remain open will strictly adhere to safe distancing measures in accordance to MOH’s guidelines, such as restricting operating capacity to ensure that each venue does not have more than one person per 16 square metres of usable space, and limiting gatherings to 10 persons or fewer.

Under the guideline, a game of Futsal will breach it as it does not minimise gatherings in close proximity over a prolonged duration and would probably not have more than one person per 16 square metres of usable space, and limiting gatherings to 10 persons or fewer.

The same could be said in all public and private basketball/futsal courts as well as playgrounds. It would not be surprising to see kids playing in these areas on a normal day. The irony is that kids are NOT allowed contact sports in schools due to stricter regulations place in for safe distancing. Yet, when left to their own devices, these will happen. If this is allowed to continue, it will circumvent the advisories given by the government. 

Non-contact sports would be the best alternative to keep fit. The simplest way is to go out for a solo run. I had seen more runners around the neighbourhood since the stricter measures for COVID-19 were implemented.

Other non-contact sports include swimming, golf, yoga. You could even practise Taekwando or even Judo on your own or via group class through the use of Zoom. The Dojo Singapore is one of the classes that had used the app to conduct a class!

We hope the authorities can look into the guidelines in sports in particular contact sports. If we are determined to flatten the curve, everyone should work together. Having a Chink in the Armor will only serve to hamper the nationwide efforts.

Like the Minister said

"It is not whether you can or cannot, it's whether you need to"

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