Ah, summertime. 'Tis the season for outdoor sports...but that tradition came to a screeching halt in 2020. The pandemic's impact on outdoor athletics varied by state. Some held sports activities in a manner very similar to pre-COVID, while some shut things down altogether and others made significant changes to allow for some activities.

"There was great disparity in how states addressed sports activities during COVID," explains A.J. Morgan, RPS Area President, RPS Bollinger Sports & Leisure. "But now everyone is eager for a summer of outdoor sports. You already see it on the fields throughout the country."

COVID-Era Policy Adjustments

In states in which little or no activity took place, insurance policies were adjusted as participation and revenue were close to nonexistent.

"Most insureds with no, or minimal, activity kept their policies in place at a much lower premium threshold, wanting to maintain their insurance programs so when the time came to resume outdoor sports activities, they were ready to go and not having to scramble for coverage," says Morgan.

"Everyone knew the break in activities would be temporary, albeit the length of time was unknown."

Preparing for a Blockbuster Summer

These days, most of the country is back on the field and anticipating a summer of normal activity.

"We've already seen the beginning of a return to activity in March and April, although, again, it still looks different depending on where you are in the country. With more individuals getting the vaccine and warmer weather upon us, we expect almost a full return to sports activity this summer," notes Morgan.

Families want their kids to play sports and to no longer put life on hold. In addition, sports organizations have made, and are continuing to make, changes to facilitate a safe return to play. Some organizations have limited the number of spectators permitted, while others made schedule changes to mitigate the spread of COVID. While there hasn't been uniformity regarding regulations and requirements throughout the country, one common thread among the states is to get bats back in the hands of kids, balls moving down the field, players on the greens, and day and resident camps filled.

"Everyone is excited to insure the return of sports. Our program remains stable and ready to meet the needs of our insureds," says Morgan.

"We weathered the pandemic well, maintained our insureds, and accommodated their needs by amending policies and reducing their premiums when activity was down. Now they're calling, wanting to gear up for a great summer of sports."