"Water Polo Is The Team Sport With The Lowest Risk Of Coronavirus Infection"
According to a study from the Polytechnic University of Turin
Water polo is the team sport with the lowest risk of coronavirus infection, according to a study from the Polytechnic University of Turin and reported by Waterpolo Development. "Sport Restarts Safely" is the research that has been developed on behalf of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and was handed over yesterday to the Italian Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora.
Il Fatto Quotidiano reveals it: after collecting the indications of all the sports federations, intended to self-evaluate the risk factor of their disciplines, the CONI entrusted them to a group of experts who assessed 387 different sports.
The scale goes from 0 to 4, being 4 the highest risk of infection. At zero risk, as reported by Il Fatto, we find individual sports such as sailing or swimming in open waters. Water polo is classified at risk 2 (moderate), together with beach volleyball. According to the study, water polo poses less danger than sports such as rugby, volleyball and basketball, all placed in the level 4. Soccer, one of the most popular sports worldwide, is considered to be risk 3.
Tipping the scales in favor of water polo is the fact that it is played in chlorinated water, capable of "inactivating the virus." This asertion is backed by the guidelines issued two days ago by Federnuoto and also pointed out by the Spanish Swimming Federation after a research from ASOFAP, the Spanish agency of the swimming pool sector.
Encouraging but not definitive
Regardless of this information, it would not be responsible to draw hasty conclusions. In addition to cataloging the hazard index of the various sports, the Turin Polytechnic dossier lists a series of actions aimed at mitigating the risk factor.
For team sports, the document recommends to test all athletes 48 hours prior to each competition, besides other measures such as using masks on the bench and the constant sanitization of all the equipment. Water polo, therefore, is the least dangerous of team sports, but without the appropriate health measures it cannot be deemed safe.