Like probably everything else you had planned for the rest of your life, sports, too, have been cancelled by the coronavirus. Gone are the days when you could safely assemble the boys for a casual round of grappling, sweating and panting on each other while chasing a ball about.
On second thought, that may not be entirely true: There are some “sports” that can be played in quarantine — and even in your cramped apartment. If you need ideas, look no further: Below is a list of all sorts of sports fit for quarantine, separated by how quarantined you are, along with some creative guidance from Matt Joye, NFL Network programming director and self-proclaimed sports junkie.
Sports You Can Play at Home
- Window Tennis: If your neighbor is as gung-ho about sports as you are, you may be able to convince them to smack a tennis ball back and forth out your windows. Sure, it may take some convincing and you may lose a few balls, but hey, nobody said sporting during a pandemic was easy.
- Ping Pong: Joye says ping pong is one of the ultimate quarantine sports, because it can be played at home with a quarantine buddy, or it can be played solo if you fold up half of the table. Better yet, you could just take the balls and challenge yourself to make trick shots using cups and pots from around your home (extra points if you post it on social media).
- Golf: While you could feasibly play a round of golf outdoors while maintaining a safe distance from your peers, if you want to keep things indoors, you can easily purchase a small indoor putting green to test your skills. Hell, you could even take the ping pong approach of setting up a few plastic cups around your home and putting your putting skills to work (just be wary of any vases, glasses or other breakable objects nearby).
- Trash Basketball: All you need for a game of trash basketball is a trash can and something that qualifies as a “ball.” You can upgrade any crumpled paper by wrapping it in duct tape, which provides more weight and makes the ball more aerodynamic.
Sports You Can Play Outside on Your Own
- Skateboarding, Cycling, Rollerblading and Surfing: Yes, you can safely roll around your neighborhood, practice your kickflip and shred some waves without too much fear of catching the coronavirus (just be sure to wear a mask). If you want more of a challenge, maybe consider mountain biking, or check to see if your local skatepark is open. Just make sure to keep a distance from other skaters, bikers, bladers and surfers.
- Archery and Axe Throwing: Archery and axe throwing are certainly options if you have the space and want to get all medieval up in here. Joye does warn, however, that both can be “kind of hard to set up — lots of machinery and literal weaponry involved.” Translation: Make sure not to accidentally send an arrow or axe in the wrong direction.
- Batting Practice: If you have access to batting cages that are open and taking proper precautions — or if you have the backyard space to set up your own — you can always thwack some balls. Alternatively, you can find an open space to safely hit-and-fetch balls out in the wild.
- Basketball: Instead of trash basketball, you can at least practice your jump shot alone if you have access to a court. “If you have a good deal of space and a hoop in your backyard, the possibilities for self-improvement and cardio are pretty endless,” Joye says. If you don’t have a court nearby, though, you could work on your dribbling skills wherever.
- Volleyball: While you might be able to attempt a socially-distant game of volleyball, your best bet is to just practice some basic drills in your front or back yard. You might look silly, but you’ll crush everyone else on the court when we get back to playing again.
Sports You Can (Maybe) Play Outside With Others
- Tennis: Sure, the window tennis thing is fun, but you could also feasibly play a real round of tennis if you practice caution and actively follow social distancing recommendations. If you decide to give this a go, the United States Tennis Association has some recommendations to ensure your safety on the court.
- Disc Golf: Like regular golf, you could certainly play a round of disc golf while maintaining a safe distance from your buds. Again, though, just be sure to take proper precautions, which means no sharing of discs.
And that about does it. While there are several other sports that Joye suspects could be played following the current social distancing suggestions — baseball, paintball, dodgeball, seven-on-seven football (with no linemen) — if you’d rather not take the risk, you’re better off sticking to the sports listed above.
Now if I could just — oh crap, maybe indoor golfing wasn’t the best idea, after all.