MTBA COVID-19 GUIDELINES/PROTOCOLS

April 2021

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These best practices have been compiled from resources and direct guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), The Aspen Institute, among others.  Note that these guidelines were created based upon collected data as of April 7, 2021; as these guidelines changes our protocols will adjust accordingly.  The MTBA is focused on, first and foremost, following all directives and guidance from our state and local government.

We encourage everyone visiting our complex to review and adhere to these guidelines; it is critical that these guidelines are adhered to ensure the safest and healthiest baseball experience for everyone visiting James Monroe Park.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

 

Healthy Practices:
• All players and coaches should practice good general health habits, including maintenance of adequate hydration, consumption of a varied, vitamin-rich diet with sufficient vegetables and fruits, and getting adequate sleep.

• Wash your hands often.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others.
• Cover coughs and sneezes.
• Physical distancing.
• Self-monitoring and quarantine.

Health Check:
• Players and coaches are subject to a temperature check prior to entering the complex.  Should the State’s/County’s severity rating change, our policy will be adjusted accordingly.
• Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be admitted to the complex.

No Handshakes/Personal Contact Celebrations:
• Players and coaches should take measures to prevent all but the essential contact necessary to play the game. This should include refraining from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc. Little League International suggests lining up outside the dugout and tipping caps to the opposing team as a sign of good sportsmanship after a game.
• Players and families should vacate the field/facility as soon as is reasonably possible after the conclusion of their game to minimize unnecessary contact with players, coaches, and spectators from the next game, ideally within 20 minutes.

Drinks and Snacks:
• Athletes, managers/coaches, and umpires should bring their own personal drinks to all team activities. Drinks should be labeled with the person’s name.
• Individuals should take their own drink containers home each night for cleaning and sanitation or use single-use bottles.

• There should be no use of shared or team beverages.
• Teams should not share any snacks or food.
• Players should bring individual, pre-packaged food, if needed.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
• All managers/coaches, volunteers, umpires, etc., should wear face coverings.
• It is suggested that all players and coaches should wear face coverings when in close contact areas and in places where recommended physical distancing is challenging or not feasible, such as in dugouts.

• Players should not wear protective medical gloves on the field during game play.

• Players, especially at younger divisions, are not required to wear a face covering while on the field during game play.
• Players will be permitted to wear a face covering on the field during game play, if physically able to do so, based on any directive of a medical provider or individual determination of the player/parent/guardian/caretaker.
• Face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Dugouts:
• Managers/coaches and players should be assigned spots in the dugout or on the bleachers so that they are at least six feet apart and must be placed behind a fence.
• Players are to stay at their assigned spots when on the bench or while waiting their turn to bat.
• It is suggested that players and managers/coaches should wear a face covering while in the dugout.

Player Equipment:
• No personal player bat bags/equipment bags should be allowed in the dugout. Player equipment should be spaced accordingly outside the dugout to prevent direct contact.
• It is suggested that player’s not share equipment, they should have their own individual batter’s helmet, glove, bat, and catcher’s equipment.
• Measures should be enacted to avoid, or minimize, equipment sharing when feasible.
• Some critical equipment may not be able to be obtained by every individual. When it is necessary to share critical or limited equipment, the equipment should be wiped/sprayed with a disinfectant.  Increased attention should be paid to detailed cleaning of all equipment directly contacting the head and face (catcher’s mask, helmets).
• Player’s equipment (e.g. bags, helmets, bats, gloves, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by a parent/guardian/caretaker, where applicable.
• Individuals disinfecting equipment are encouraged to use gloves while using disinfectants and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
• Players should not share towels, clothing, or other items that they may use to wipe their face or hands.

Baseballs:
• Baseballs should be rotated through on a regular basis, at least every two innings, to limit individual contact (we are aware this is will be challenging, let’s try our best).
• Umpires should limit their contact with the ball, and catchers should retrieve foul balls and passed balls where possible.
• Balls used in infield/outfield warm-up should be isolated from a shared ball container.
• Foul balls landing outside the field of play should be retrieved by participating players, coaches, and umpires.

• Spectators are not to retrieve foul balls.

Spitting, Sunflower Seeds, Gum, etc.:
• Sunflower seeds, gum, etc., is not be allowed in dugouts or on the playing field.
• All players and coaches are to refrain from spitting at all times, including in dugout areas and on the playing field.

Maintenance:
• The complex will be cleaned each weekday by the Parks Department (including restrooms and porto-sans).
• L-Screens are to be wiped down after each use.
• Batting cage L-Screens and door latches are to be wiped down after each use.
• All trash is to be removed from the dugouts at the end of each game by the team occupying the dugout.

• Bleachers will be used for players (not spectators) to ensure physical distancing.

Spread Out Scheduling of Practices and Games:
• Allow for sufficient time between practices and games to facilitate the complete evacuation of individuals from a previous practice or game from the premises before the next group enters.
• Players/families/spectators are instructed not to show up to fields more than 40 minutes before game time.
• Arrivals to the complex can be scheduled to help ensure a large number of individuals are not arriving at the same time.
• If there is a game or practice prior to your event, families and spectators are encouraged to stay in their vehicles or at recommended social distances until the start of their game play to prevent overcrowding of spectator spaces and walkways.
• On-field warm-up should be limited as much as is reasonably possible and no more than 30 minutes.
• Ensure sure that practices and games follow all local and state directives regarding the number of people allowed to gather in one place.

• Wait in cars before practice or game; limit the use of van pool or carpools.

• Allow time between practices and games for cleaning and disinfecting.

Limiting Spectator Attendance:
• All spectators should follow best social distancing practices — stay six feet away from individuals outside their household; wear a face covering at all times; avoid direct hand or other contact with players/managers/coaches during play.

• Spectators should bring their own seating or portable chairs when possible.
• Take advantage of Live Steaming of games.
• A spectator with any of the following conditions should not attend a practice or game until evaluated by a medical provider and given clearance to do so:
• Active COVID-19 infection
• Known direct contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19
• Fever

• Cough
• Those at higher risk for severe disease should consider consultation with their medical provider before attending a game and should ensure the strictest adherence to guidelines regarding face coverings, distancing, and handwashing.

Such groups include:

• Those with a serious underlying medical condition, including heart disease, morbid obesity, diabetes, lung disease, immunocompromise, chronic kidney disease, and chronic lung disease.
• Those currently residing in a nursing home or long-term care facility
• Those over 65

 

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