Athletes and staff members were able to test on-site at the Lebanon Sports Complex ©ITG

Emily Kraft, the medical coordinator of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) World Ultimate Club Championships, has praised the athletes for taking responsibility to help the competition to be staged without large-scale COVID-19 disruption.

The Organising Committee member oversaw a contact tracing system where the medical team provided tests in the designated medical tent at the Lebanon Sports Complex and people were required to detail their name and team, or if they were a staff member.

The information was inputted into a spreadsheet so that the medical team could then monitor the virus whenever cases occurred.

Kraft believes that a portion of this system's success is because of the regular testing the competitors undertook either at their hotels or at the Lebanon Sports Complex.

The championships was held at the venue for six of its eight days.

"The teams were part of the reason why the contact tracing was so successful," she told insidethegames.

"When they had an exposure to someone they knew was positive, the team would report to me or on the WFDF site about the close contact.

"We were able to follow those close contacts for the next three or four days within the dangerous transmissible period.

"We were able to watch all the close contacts to make sure if they tested positive we could then move out a little bit further with their contact."

The competition's organisers used Premier Health as their primary provider after having success in 2018 ©ITG
The competition's organisers used Premier Health as their primary provider after having success in 2018 ©ITG

Kraft added that the players also had a vaccination rate which was higher than any community she has ever seen.

Another factor for the lack of COVID-19 disruption, Kraft suggests, is due to having events like the Birmingham 2022 World Games staged prior to the competition.

In her view, enough people were exposed to the Omicron strain and causing to be "no longer really able to transmit it".

While Kraft was aware of the dangers of COVID-19 transmissibility, she recognised during the preparations that it was impossible for the championships to be free of the virus.

Teams were spread across 10 official tournament hotels in addition to privately booked accommodation and those living locally in Cincinnati.

"We approached the COVID issue with a realistic expectation we weren’t going to have zero cases and it is a very contagious virus," she said.

"Rather than working to totally prevent it, we putt more of our time and effort into contact tracing and slowing the spread."

The total number of COVID-19 cases appeared at the event is currently unknown as Kraft and her colleagues need to process through the data they have collected.