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COVID-19 Guidelines

General Guidelines

1. Handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer will be available upon entry to field areas. In addition, individuals/families are asked to provide their own for personal use.  

2. All players, coaches, volunteers, contractors, and spectators need to practice social distancing of 10 feet wherever possible from individuals not residing within their household, especially in common areas and dugouts.  Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing.

3. All individuals should measure their body temperatures prior to leaving their home to ensure that no fever is present prior to participating or attending in activity. 

4. Individuals who are considered “at risk” for severe illness or with serious underlying medical or respiratory conditions should only attend activities if cleared by a medical professional.  

5. Individuals will be instructed to stay home if they have a fever or display any symptoms of COVID-19.  

6. Daily symptom checks must be completed by all players, coaches, umpires, and league officials prior to participating in activities.  

7. Accurate practice and game attendance records must be kept along with current contact information for everyone.  If a COVID-19 exposure occurs, timely notifications are critical, and this information will help contact tracing activities occur more smoothly.

8. In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, sports organizations should notify local health officials immediately of anyone with COVID-19.  A league board official should be designated for COVID-19 concerns. 

On-Field Guidelines

Handshakes/Personal Contact Celebrations

1. All players, coaches, volunteers, contractors, and spectators will prevent all but essential contact necessary for activity.  This will include refraining from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc.  

2. Players and families will be instructed to vacate the facility/field as soon as reasonably possible after the conclusion of their activity to minimize unnecessary contact with individuals from the next scheduled activity.  This should be a minimum of 15 minutes. 

3. Designated entry and exit points will be established and must be utilized whenever possible.  The entry and exit ways must not be the same, whenever possible. 

Drinks and Snacks

1. All individuals must bring their own personal drinks to activities in their own clearly labeled bottle. 

2. Following activity, all reusable drink containers must be cleaned upon returning to home, and prior to future usage.

3. There will be no shared use of food or beverages.  

4. Water fountains will not be accessible. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

1. All players, coaches, volunteers, contractors, and spectators will wear cloth face coverings when in close contact areas and in places where recommended social distancing is not feasible, such as dugouts.

2. If social distancing cannot be maintained while entering the activity area, individuals outside of the same household must wear face coverings.

3. Those participating in activities will wear a cloth face covering on the field during activity, if physically able to do so.  

4. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age of 2. 

Dugouts

1. Coaches, instructors, volunteers, and players will have assigned spots in bench areas or outside of the field of play.  These spots must be at least 10 feet apart.  If adjustments can be made to utilize space outside of the dugouts to spread out participants, those options should be explored. 

2. Coaches, instructors, volunteers, and players must wear a cloth face covering while in dugouts. 

3. Players will be responsible for their own trash and personal equipment at the conclusion of play, then return to their parent’s vehicles through the designated exit points.  

Player Equipment

1. No personal equipment bags will be permitted in dugouts.  Bags must be in the above-mentioned spaced-out spots to prevent contact. 

2. Individuals must have their own labeled equipment.  

3. Measures should be taken to avoid, or minimize, equipment sharing. 

4. In the instances where necessary critical equipment is not obtainable by every individual or must be utilized, all surfaces of each piece of shared equipment must be cleaned first and then disinfected with an EPA approved disinfectant against COVID-19 and allowed sufficient time to dry before use by another individual.  

5. Individual’s equipment must be cleaned and disinfected after the end of each day’s activities by a parent/guardian.

6. Balls must be rotated through on a regular basis to limit individual contact.  This must be done at least every two innings.  Balls must be cleaned and disinfected prior to returning to use.  

7. Officials, umpires, coaches, instructors, volunteers, etc. must limit their contact with balls.  Game or practice participants will retrieve balls that are out of play.  More specifically this applies to catchers retrieving foul or passed balls when possible.   

8. Warm-up balls, or balls used prior to the start of activity, must be isolated from shared-use equipment. 

9. Spectators must not retrieve balls that have exited the field of play. 

Activity Operations and Umpire Guidelines

Pre-Game Meetings

1. If possible, pre-game meetings will be eliminated.  

2. f meetings are necessary, individuals will maintain physical distancing of 10 feet.

3. Meetings will consist of as few individuals as possible (one representative per team, and one umpire).

4. Individuals must wear cloth face coverings during the meeting. 

5. Players will not be part of plate meetings.

Equipment Inspections

1. If equipment inspections are required, players must place their individual equipment in a well-spaced out manner.  

2. Umpires must avoid direct contact with equipment if possible. 

3. If contact is necessary, umpires must utilize hand sanitizer after each individual piece of equipment has been inspected.

Volunteer Limit

1. For each game, there will only be the required team managers/coaches, umpires/officials, and one league administrator (when applicable) in attendance. 

2. Practices will be limited to only managers/coaches and players.

3. Press boxes will not be utilized unless physical distancing can be maintained.  Individuals must wear cloth face coverings if press boxes are used.  

Field Preparation and Maintenance

1. Fields will be prepared prior to teams and spectators arriving.  

2. Any further maintenance will be completed at the conclusion of activities.  

3. Any shared field preparation equipment will be disinfected before and after each use. 

Umpires/Officials

1. Umpires/officials must wear cloth face coverings, and practice social distancing.

2. For baseball/softball placement, umpires should consider non-traditional placement to ensure physical distancing.  Alternatives such as being placed behind the pitcher’s mound/circle to call balls and strikes should be considered.  Umpires will practice safe social distancing as much as possible.

3. Umpires/officials should consider the use of electronic or hand-held whistles.  

Facility, Fan and Administrative Guidelines

Scheduling of Activities

1. Administrators will schedule sufficient time between activities to facilitate the complete evacuation of individuals from the previously scheduled activity from the premises before the next group enters.  This will be a minimum of 15 minutes. 

2. Players/families/spectators will be instructed not to show up to facilities or fields more than 30 minutes before the start time. 

3. Individuals will enter through designated entry points and exit through designated exit points.  If social distancing cannot be maintained while entering the facility, individuals outside of the same household must wear face coverings.

4. If there is an activity prior to the scheduled event, families and spectators must stay in their vehicles or at recommended physical distances until the start of their activity to prevent overcrowding in common areas.

5. Warm-up activities will be no more than 30 minutes in length.  

6. Pre and post activity gatherings (i.e. parking lot gatherings) are not permitted.

Limiting Spectator Attendance

1. All spectators must follow best physical distancing practices – stay 10 feet from individuals outside of their household, and wear cloth face coverings.  

2. Parents will be encouraged to drop off their child and remain in their vehicles during practice times.  If parents request to view activities, they will have designated spots marked, 10 feet apart around the field.  Game days will include no more than 2 spectators per household.  

3. Team roster size will be reduced when applicable to help limit the number of individuals on site.  

4. Attendance will be limited to only essential volunteers, and limited family members (max 2 per child).

5. Streaming options are encouraged if possible. 

6. Spectators must bring their own seating or portable chairs when possible.  Bleachers use will be eliminated.  

7. Spectators with any of the following conditions must not attend activities until cleared by a medical provider:

a. Active COVID-19 infection

b. Known direct contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19

c. Fever

d. Cough

e. Individuals at high risk for severe disease should consider contacting their medical provider prior to attending any activities.  This includes individuals who:

i.     Have a serious underlying medical condition.

ii.   Currently are residing in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

iii.  Over the age of 65  

Restrooms

1. Access to public restrooms will be limited.

2. A “one-in-one-out” policy must be utilized to ensure adequate distancing is met.  The exception would be a parent/child combination.    

3. Restrooms will be cleaned prior to the start of each day’s activities.  

4. Restrooms must be cleaned every 2-3 hours.  If daily activities conclude after 2-3 hours, bathrooms will be cleaned the following day before activities resume.  

5. Public water fountains or refill stations will not be available.

Concession Stands

1. Concession stands will not be open for food or beverages.  They may be utilized to access necessary supplies such as first aid equipment.  

2. These facilities will have limited access, and physical distancing measures must be met while in facilities.  

Communication

1. Posters and signage of CDC guidelines will be posted at entrance points to parks, facilities, and/or fields that are available for rent.  

2. Information will be disseminated to all families, volunteers, spectators about COVID-19 risks and the efforts that are being taken to mitigate those risks.  This will be done via email, website postings, social media, coach/volunteer talks, and public announcements (when available).  

3. A league board official must be designated for COVID-19 concerns. 

These guidelines are based on recommendations by Little League International, the Virginia High School League, CDC, and local government restrictions. For updated CDC Considerations visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schoolschildcare/youth-sports.html


 

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