Pro Sports

Social Distancing Affects NFL Locker Rooms

The challenges of social distancing locker rooms

June 23, 2020

Businesses are reopening across the country, bringing a sense of normality with outdoor dining at restaurants and root touch-ups at the salon. However, there is one past time entertainment that many are waiting to enjoy once again, Professional Sports.

With the recent scare of a COVID outbreak in Major League Baseball, there seems to be little hope for MLB to be returning within 2020. The next hope for sports fans is the National Football League that has ambitions of starting training as early as July.

The NFL announced earlier this month that coaches may begin to visit their practice facilities while the players remain awaiting their return to the field and locker room. Before the long-awaited return to playing, each NFL team must first prepare an Infectious Disease Emergency Response Plan, that must then be approved.

Among the protocols that teams must adhere to, such as the maintenance of a two week supply of personal protective gear, other requirements enforce social distancing which can be difficult while playing and in the locker room where drinks, towels, and high fives are typically exchanged.

In response to the new protocols, CBS Sports NFL Reporter Jonathan Jones tweeted:

Locker rooms are not designed with extra space, and during the summer, 90 players fill a space that is meant for about 55 players. Every NFL locker room overflows with players until the final cutdown day at the end of August or early September.

An excerpt from the list of protocols sent out to the league includes the following:

c. Clubs must reconfigure locker rooms to permit six feet of space between each player (by using every other locker or adding additional lockers) where possible. Each player must have individual space designated to store his belongings, without commingling, if locker space is unavailable.

Of course, each teams' locker rooms require different approaches with varying dimensions and constraints. One way to keep players six feet apart in the locker room while keeping the players' needs in mind is by installing custom lockers.

Digilock has worked in the Pro Sports arena for nearly 40 years delivering custom locker units while meeting the needs of the athletes. Speak to one of our Pro Sports partners for more information on how Digilock can get you and your players back on the field.