League & Competition Procedures re Covid-19
Version: May 12, 2020
***No games may be played without approval of Field owners in conjunction with local government “shelter-at-home” guidelines.
- Home plate umpire required to wear a nose & mouth mask or full game-mask
shield. We simply believe the umpire breathing over the catcher’s shoulder is virally dangerous, so additional spacing can be considered. If no mask available, plate umpire will stand behind the pitcher’s mound with appropriate distance from the pitcher. (In the latter case, one umpire could be sufficient.)
- Nose & mouth mask for infield umpire optional.
- Nose & mouth masks for catchers, hitters and defensive players are optional.
- Hand gloves for all participants is optional.
- Pre-game meeting, lineup exchange: Social distancing is mandatory except forreach to hand lineup cards to umpires and opposing manager. Manager masks
- Hitters should focus on pitcher, and refrain from spitting (see #14 below)
- Dugouts limited to 4-5 players, preferably pitchers, catchers & injured players.Practice social-distancing in dugout. All equipment to be kept outside dugouts, near on-deck circle. Scorekeepers can sit in portable chair outside dugout.
- Players should bring lawn or folding chairs to be socially-distanced apart along the fence, inside or outside. Any baseball hit or thrown into the area of equipment or chairs inside the fencing is automatically a dead ball – all runners return to their last legally obtained base.
- Sharing of helmets & protective gear is prohibited; sharing of bats & gloves is discouraged. (Sharing of metal bats, if allowed, is prohibited.)
- Back-to-back games should be scheduled to allow time for players from first game to safely depart before players in subsequent games take the dugout/field. If no maintenance crews, League should make sure arrangements are made to wipe down metal benches with sanitizing wipes between games. If grounds crews are available, they should be given the time to do whatever mandated field maintenance and cleaning prescribed by Field Owner before going to dugout – warmup in outfield. To wit: wiping down dugout benches with sanitizing wipes or using misting equipment to disinfect dugouts and fences.
- No post game handshakes or high fives – a good wave and congratulatory “good game” from a distance is fine. (What participants do away from the field for post- game libation and camaraderie is their business – but not at the field site.)
- Meetings on the mound should be limited to Pitcher-Catcher and/or manager, but socially-distanced. (Nobody is reading lips!). Infielders want to add their 2 cents? Do it from 10 feet from the mound.
- Injured players: Anyone attending to an injured player on the field or in the dugout should wear a nose & mouth mask or a shield. In dugout, injured player being attended to must have a mask. Participants advised to have masks handy.
- Spitting: It’s what baseball players do. Spitting creates an aerosol, and COVID- 19 transmission is significantly enhanced via aerosol. Be aware of surroundings & wind; spit away from others – better yet, don’t spit!
- All players are prohibited from spitting on their hands and then rubbing down the game ball. Use clay or dirt.
- Team coolers are prohibited; participants should bring their own but keep coolers outside the dugout or with participant’s chair.
- Spectators: For the time being discouraged; however, if in attendance, they must observe social-distancing guidelines. (Field owner should be responsible for disinfecting protocols for metal bleachers.). Spectators would be well-advised to bring their own portable chairs.
- Baseballs: Suggested … Supply umpires with Clorox wipes and request that they wipe down baseballs in their ball bag between innings.
- Liability waivers noting the risks of participation should include virus & bacteria language as well as “hold harmless” provisions covering league, field owner & employees. Waiver MUST be signed before playing their first game by every participant, including umpires, who also need to be aware of these guidelines.