Nassau County Executive Laura Curran held a news conference and said "balls."
It was a retro-funny moment worthy of a Beavis and Butt-Head Do Tennis episode.
The "mark your tennis balls and don't touch others tennis balls" guidelines are a little silly too.
First of all because when the guideline was announced, there was no evidence suggesting that tennis balls can transmit the virus and even if they could it was deemed "unlikely."
Since then the CDC has announced that the "coronavirus does not spread easily from touching surfaces or objects."
I don't wish to marginalize the idea of "safety first", however, so I strongly advocate caution, but here's what common sense as well as 40-plus years of tennis coaching experience tells me:
Players, especially children, are going to make frequent mistakes touching the balls not designated for them, making the guideline moot and potentially creating a false sense of confidence.
The safest measure is to focus ALL OF YOUR ATTENTION to practicing careful social distancing, disinfecting your hands before, during and after play, and avoid touching your face.
Steven Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.