Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Sports
Published on June 05, 2020
When will tennis, basketball courts and other sports facilities reopen in San Francisco?Photos: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

As San Francisco slowly works its way towards reopening, many locals are starting to wonder when the city's sports facilities — from tennis and basketball to indoor swimming pools — will return. 

Golf courses were the first of the bunch to resume operations, getting the go-ahead on May 4. Now, they're joined by outdoor tennis courts, which got permission to reopen their doors citywide on Monday, alongside rental shops for "permissible outdoor recreational activities" like kayaking, paddleboarding and boating.

Monday's reopening excluded tennis courts operated by SF Rec & Park, which will be returning Saturday, with reservations taken starting today.

"This gives us time to work through the numerous specific requirements issued by the Health Department," Rec & Park spokesperson Madison Sink said.

Barring an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases, San Francisco is set to allow "outdoor fitness with social distancing" on Monday, June 15. But so far, there are no specifics on which activities fall into that category.

"Details about future health orders will be provided when the health conditions allow for a further relaxation of the rules," said SF Department of Emergency Management spokesperson Becca Raybin.

For now, it's easier to tell which activities won't be allowed. According to current plans, basketball courts, playgrounds and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools won't reopen until mid-August. Gyms, fitness centers, billiards, bowling alleys and indoor tennis courts are on the same timeline.

As for outdoor tennis players, they'll need to adhere to strict distancing rules. Single tennis between two people is allowed only when players are serving and touching their own tennis balls; the balls must be marked for each person, with at least six per player.

Doubles games are only permitted when all players are members of the same household. No spectators are allowed on the court.

Players must also wear masks when not actively playing, and bring their own sanitizer to clean surfaces like seating areas.

"There will be signage at our courts clearly outlining the guidelines, and detailed information [is] available on our website," Sink said.