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This March Madness, Pick Safety

March 20, 2023by Global Ozone

It’s that time of year again: March Madness is back! 

By now, your bracket has probably been busted (or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones), but March Madness isn’t just a time to watch hours of basketball and place bets on your favorite team. Instead, bet on your team’s health and reap the benefits of a stringent sanitizing routine. 

You might not think basketball players require much gear — just a ball and shoes and they’re ready to play. But have you ever thought about how many hands come in contact with the ball? Basketball players need (and deserve) protection from common locker room illnesses just as much as other athletes. 

Basketball Players & Locker Room Germs 

The locker room is the place where your team goes to plan, prep, and celebrate together — it’s not a place where you’d expect to get sick. 

But, like other athletes, basketball players are extremely susceptible to contagious germs due to the nature of team sports and locker rooms. Your team has probably experienced a number of outbreaks of these common locker-room-borne illnesses:

  • MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus )
  • Staph
  • E. Coli
  • Pseudomonas
  • RSV
  • Influenza virus A
  • Candida albicans

Do basketball players need to worry about MRSA?

In short, yes. While they may not share pads and helmets, basketball is a contact sport. Not only do players brush against each other during the game, but they also spend a lot of time in the locker room, where germs often thrive. 

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) easily transmits between athletes as they pass the ball, defend against a shot, or even high-five each other. And with limited treatment options, MRSA can turn serious (and even deadly) quickly. 

Just ask Mike Gansey. You might know him as the general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but back in 2006, he was ready to lead West Virginia into the NCAA tournament and was hoping to be a first-round draft pick. But then, he started to feel sick and noticed a concerning rash on his knee. Shortly after signing as a free agent in Miami, he was hospitalized with a serious MRSA infection.

It took two weeks to recover, and he lost his position with the Heat. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of his worries: he wound up with another MRSA in his ankle. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and was able to play four years of basketball in Europe before starting his career as an executive. 

How can basketball players stay safe from infections? 

Your players need to be focused on their game — not sitting on the bench due to illness. Take the stress out of sanitization by implementing a few key strategies that will keep your team safe. 

For one, remind your players of a few important hygiene practices. Emphasize the importance of not sharing personal items, like towels and razors. Germs thrive on these items, allowing them to easily spread from player to player. Also, remind them to carefully cover any open wounds — or else they could get infected.

For the items that you can’t help but share (like practice pinnies, basketballs, and even entire rooms), it’s time to get serious about sanitizing that gear. Aerosol sprays are often ineffective, and traditional chemical cleaners can be time-consuming and can deteriorate gear. To ensure complete disinfection and proper upkeep of your gear, you may be interested in alternative sanitizing solutions. 

Bet on Sports-O-Zone

To fully protect your team, you need a powerful sanitizer that eliminates germs with minimal hassle. At Sports-O-Zone, we tap into the power of ozone gas to rid your gear and locker rooms of bacteria, viruses, molds, and fungi. 

Toss your basketballs, pinnies, ankle braces, smelly shoes, and even water bottles into the Sports-O-Zone sanitizing chamber for safe-to-use gear in just 32 minutes. Your gear will emerge ready to wear and smelling much fresher. Trust us — your athletes’ parents will thank you. 

Or, take care of all of the germs in your locker room overnight. With our Gear Blaster, you can turn the machine on, shut the doors, and leave for the night. When you return in the morning, you can feel confident that your locker room is a safe place for your team to meet. 

Ready to play ball with ozone? Get in touch with us.