Covid-19 Recommendations

AGA Recommendations for Running Tournaments Safely with Respect to Covid-19 Issues

Late Breaking News


Note: Last update: 01/04/2022 -- update dates for links below, and change notes are in those documents.

The COVID case numbers, and in particular the new Omicron variant, are rising once again. The situation, and the information we have about it, are both changing very rapidly. Because of the extremely transmissible nature of Omicron, its rapid spread, and the fact that it remains dangerous form of COVID, we are recommending a pause in face-to-face tournament play for the time being. We expect to receive much more, and more accurate information, in short order. We hope that this pause will be brief, but it would be prudent not to plan tournaments for January or February.

For more casual events like meetups or club meetings, we also believe it is more prudent to take a break at the very least for the month of January. If you do choose to meet, we suggest that organizers require some form of proof of vaccination to attend. This is an uncomfortable burden for organizers who "don't want to be cops". But those who have taken this step (i.e. the National Go Center, and Seattle Go Center) have not had any problems.

One thing we have all learned is that conditions in different places can be very different. We urge you to take your local circumstances into consideration by consulting with your local public health district authorities (see public health link above) about local conditions, Health Districts are usually county based, so they will be able to speak to your very local situation. However, at this time, nearly every county in the US shows red (highest risk) on a map of COVID risk.

Recommendations for after the current pause

In early 2020, the AGA called on all to simply stop face-to-face tournament play. A lot has happened since, and in the wake of widespread availability of vaccines, clubs and chapters had been seeking to start up again. Our recommendations here were based on our assessment that with a little inconvenience and some patience, it should be possible to compete with reasonable safety. We expect them to be applicable again after the Omicron spike, but it is important to remember that the “prudent response” to COVID is a moving target. We will be reviewing the current status of CDC and other guidelines frequently and will adjust our recommendations to reflect new information. It is also important to follow local news and government guidance, since the pandemic affects different areas differently. Your local Public Health District is usually an excellent resource for accurate, science based and locally focused information, and they usually do have a phone number to call with specific questions.

While the CDC does not have specific guidelines for Go or other game tournaments, our recommendations seek to interpret the CDC’s more general guidelines. Noting that two people sitting across from each other for an hour in a closed room is exactly the circumstance in which COVID is most likely to spread, we are strongly recommending masks. However, given the CDC’s identification of touch transmission as a very low risk, we are not suggesting requiring stones to be cleaned after every game. Nonetheless, we are recommending that sanitizer, gloves and spare masks be made readily available to all, and the AGA is willing to provide supplemental funding to offset the costs of providing that support. Please email planning@usgo.org with a copy of your announcement and your tournament rating report to get reimbursement for those costs. Follow the links below for our detailed recommendations.


Please write to planning@usgo.org with any questions.