USJF COVID-19 Event Planning Guidelines (May 2021)

The USJF Medical Committee has reviewed the guidelines released by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee regarding event planning and adapted these recommendations for our members. Please note that the knowledge and circumstances around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, the USJF makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information. Members should seek advice from medical professionals and/or public health officials if there are have specific questions about your return to training and competition.

Judo is considered a high-risk sport for transmission of COVID-19 between competitors. Risk of transmission cannot be completely eliminated even with prevention methods.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Local/Regional Events

    1. All referees, technical officials, athletes, and coaches, regardless of vaccination status, must provide documentation of negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of registration/check-in for the event.

    2. Additional rapid antigen testing at registration/check-in to be performed at the discretion of the event medical director and subject to local and state laws. The medical director may consider factors such as physical space of venue for social distancing, incidence and prevalence of covid locally, and feasibility of performing testing.

    3. Testing of spectators, guests, volunteers, referees, technical officials, to be performed at the discretion of the tournament medical director and subject to local and state laws. Event medical director(s) may consider factors such as physical space of venue for social distancing, incidence and prevalence of covid locally, and feasibility of performing testing. 

    4. Event medical director(s) will need to consider logistics for coordinating on-site rapid antigen testing.

    5. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 infection and their PCR test is positive within 90 days of positive COVID test, must provide their original positive test results showing date from an authorized medical facility and complete the COVID Health Questionnaire.

    6. Any positive test or individual showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to participate. There is no option to re-test.

    7. USJF will not require proof of negative COVID test from spectators, guests, volunteers, and vendors. However, masking and social distancing should be maintained at all times.

    8. Individuals traveling by air may be required to complete additional testing upon arrival. We have yet to determine the best means of accomplishing this. Please check back at future updates for additional guidance

    National Events

    1. All spectators, guests, volunteers, vendors. referees, technical officials, athletes, and coaches, regardless of vaccination status, must provide documentation of negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of registration/check-in for the event.

    2. Additional rapid antigen testing at registration/check-in to be performed at the discretion of the event medical director and subject to local and state laws. The medical director may consider factors such as physical space of venue for social distancing, incidence and prevalence of covid locally, and feasibility of performing testing.

    3. Event medical director(s) will need to consider logistics for coordinating on-site rapid antigen testing.

    4. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 infection and their PCR test is positive within 90 days of positive COVID test, must provide their original positive test results showing date from an authorized medical facility and complete the COVID Health Questionnaire.

    5. Any positive test or individual showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to participate. There is no option to re-test.

    6. Masking and social distancing should be maintained at all times.

    7. Individuals traveling by air may be required to complete additional testing upon arrival. We have yet to determine the best means of accomplishing this. Please check back at future updates for additional guidance

    Requirements for Location and Venue Selection:

    1. All events must comply with local public health regulations regarding events and gatherings. Event organizers are responsible for verifying compliance with local public health regulations.

    2. Event venues must have adequate space for maintaining social distancing at all times including access and egress routes.

    3. Event venues must have adequate space for an appropriate medical setup. In addition to medical tent/first aid station, organizers must identify a separate room/area that can be used for isolation of person(s) with suspected infection.

    Requirements for Event Planning:

    1. Appoint a medical director for the event.

      a. Medical director should be a licensed medical physician

      b. The medical director will have the authority to cancel event based upon public health risk

      c. The medical director will have the following responsibilities

        c.i. Form a medical team for the event

          c.i.1. With increased logistical needs due to COVID precautions – we highly recommend multiple physicians to support the medical director and additional supporting medical staff as appropriate.

        c.ii. Work with county/state public health authorities during the planning process to ensure rules and regulation are followed

        c.iii. Identify local healthcare resources (urgent care, emergency rooms, ambulance services) and notify them of event time and location

        c.iv. Develop medical plan for emergencies and plan for persons’ who become symptomatic with suspected COVID infection. This may include an creating an isolation area for individuals with possible infection and identifying safe access and egress route.

        c.v. Work with event organizers to procure necessary medical supplies including appropriate PPE which may include a small supply of N-95 respirators in the event that medical staff may need to evaluate persons with suspected COVID-19 infection

        c.vi. Work with event organizers to ensure appropriate symptom screening and temperature check upon entering venue.

    2. Determine who will be allowed at the event

      a. Essential persons which would include athletes, coaches, referees, technical officials, event staff, and medical staff.

      b. Limit non-essential persons if possible i.e., spectators, vendors.

        b.i. For junior competitors – allow one parent per competitor.

      c. Individuals at high risk for severe illness should consider the risk of attendance and proceed with caution:

        Risk factors include:

        c.i. > 65 years of age

        c.ii. Moderate to severe asthma

        c.iii. Chronic lung disease

        c.iv. Serious heart conditions

        c.v. Immunocompromised

        c.vi. Severe obesity

        c.vii. Diabetes

        c.viii. Liver disease

        c.ix. Living in a nursing home or long-term care facility

3. Screen all attendees entering venue (competitors and non-competitors)

    a.i. No signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days

    a.ii. No close sustained contact with anyone who is sick within the last 14 days

    a.iii. Check temperature

      a.iii.1. If temperature is above 100.4, the individual will not be allowed access and will be asked to seek immediate medical attention, including but not limited to quarantine protocols.

4. Keep a record of all persons who enter the venue including contact information for contact tracing
5. Provide contact information for event organizers and medical director to all attendees for notification in case COVID infection is diagnosed after event is concluded.

6. Additional infection mitigation recommendations

    a. Create clear separation between essential and non-essential persons at the event

    b. Develop a procedure that ensures social distancing at venue entrances, exits, aisles, spectating locations (e.g., every third seat, every third row, designated/marked standing locations for spectators with six feet between each standing location, etc.)

    c. Monitor people at the venue for signs or symptoms of infection

    d. Provide hand sanitizer at multiple locations throughout the venue

    e. Provide facial tissue throughout the venue with adjacent trash receptacle

    f. Establish frequent cleaning schedule for high touch areas using disinfectant before, during and after event

    g. Clean equipment between each athlete use

    h. Have athletes bring their own food and hydration

    i. Have athletes use only their own towel hygiene products

    j. Mats should be spray cleaned with disinfectant with sufficient dwell and dry time at least every hour and before and after tournament

    k. Masks should be worn by all spectators, guests, volunteers, referees, technical officials, competitors (when not actively competing, warming up, or cooling down), and coaches


A pdf of these guideline is available