Foothills Little League Return to Play - Safety Plan

SECTION 1 - Considerations & Assumptions

  • Coaches and/or team safety manager will email safety checklist to all players who will be required to self-assess themselves before practice. Upon arrival at practice, players must check in with safety officer or coach and verify that they have completed the self- assessment.
  • Emphasize that anyone who is sick or has anyone in their household with cold-like symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, MUST NOT attend practices and must leave the facility or designated play area immediately.
  • To enable quick contact with players and families, coaches and/or team safety manager will maintain an up-to-date contact list for all players and volunteers including names and phone numbers.
  • For the purposes of tracing close contacts, coaches and/or team safety manager must be able to indicate which players, coaches and volunteers attended a practice or game
  • We will encourage players and parents to wear medical or nonmedical grade face coverings when attending events if physical distancing cannot be maintained. Wearing of masks when physical distancing CAN be maintained is voluntary.
  • Spitting is not permitted. Tobacco use of any kind, unshelled sunflower seeds, and unshelled peanuts are not permitted at any ball diamond.
  • A basic safety practice script for coaches, supervisors, umpires, and game spotters to use will be created as a tool for consistent messaging. Players may need to be educated and reminded on a continual basis about the safety measures. Coaches are asked to use best efforts to communicate reminders in a non-stressful way.
  • If a participant, coach, or volunteer develops COVID-19 symptoms during an activity, they should be sent home to begin isolation immediately and ensure that they are tested for COVID-19.
  • If a player, coach or volunteer tests positive for COVID-19 and that player, coach or volunteer was in contact with team members within 48 hours of symptom onset, then all team members should follow up with public health authorities and should be tested for COVID-19.
  • In the event that a participant requires first aid, consider having a family member attend to the injured. If not possible, the first aider should use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, including fabric face coverings or medical mask and gloves.

SECTION 2 – Activity Protocols

  • Players are encouraged not to touch their face or put any part of their hands in their mouth or nose. Pitchers are not allowed to put their fingers to their mouth.
  • Anytime a baseball leaves the playing field the team safety manager (or delegate) needs to ensure the baseball is cleaned, disinfected, sanitized, and allowed to dry before it can be used again.
  • Coaches will sanitize hands and practice hand hygiene prior to handling baseballs.

SECTION 3 - Health & Hygiene

  • Team Safety Manager will ensure that porta-potties and any associated amenities are in a clean and sanitary condition and contain adequate hand sanitizer
  • Regular household cleaning and disinfecting products are effective against COVID-19 when used according to the directions on the label. Health Canada has approved several hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers for use against COVID-19. Use these lists to look up the DIN number of the product you are using or to find an approved product. - Make sure to follow instructions on the product label to disinfect effectively
  • All participants must clean and disinfect their equipment after each event and prior to the next one (preferably 24 hours apart).
  • Participants must wear clean clothing/uniforms to each event. Uniforms must be cleaned after each event and prior to the next event/activity.
  • It is strongly recommended that participants shower after each event at the earliest opportunity possible.
  • Baseballs must be sanitized before and after each event and prior to being re-entered into games or practices. Sanitization should use recommended products to ensure the maximum safety.

SECTION 4 – Safety and Physical Distancing

  • We will Restrict the number of volunteers and families attending events at any one time to 100 persons provided that a distance of two metres between attendees from different households/cohort families is maintained.
  • Spectators will be required to position their chairs, seating to meet the two metre social distancing requirement.
  • No physical contact (handshakes, fist bumps, high 5’s, etc.) at any time including between players and between players and coaches.
  • No gathering around the park until your scheduled arrival time. Please remain in your own vehicle until 5 minutes before your scheduled arrival time.
  • All participants/spectators should leave the diamonds immediately following the conclusion of the event. Post game meetings are encouraged to be done via video conference call on apps like Skype, Zoom, House Party, etc. once everyone has arrived home safely.
  • Maintaining a 2 metre separation between individuals social distancing (e.g., volunteers, patrons) is mandatory and achievable
  • Spectators are not allowed to enter approach the team benches during game play.
  • Only guardians and/or families of a participant can spectate in a designated area. No public spectators are permitted.

SECTION 5 - Administrative Considerations

  • We will communicate with organization board members, umpires, coaches, players, and then parents to explain reopening conditions.
  • No sharing of cell phones, clothing items, or personal items. If someone does not have a phone, that person must go to the leader/coach who will make the phone call on behalf of said person. Also, cell phones should be disinfected prior to arriving at the facility and at the first opportunity when you arrive home.
  • No sharing of water bottles or food of any kind. Water/beverages should be brought from home. Please ensure water bottles are labelled with participant name.
  • Email communication to all participants in advance.
  • Website and social media information will contain resources and protocols for these programs.
  • Members to update Zero Tolerance Policy on new provisions related to COVID- 19 baseball relaunch.
  • All Equipment needs to be assigned to the individual or owned by the individual. No sharing of equipment is permitted unless it has been cleaned, disinfected, and not used for 24 hours.
  • Ride sharing (car pooling) is not recommended. Players should travel only with an immediate family member/members of the household. If necessary, a pod of two families can be created (only includes immediate family members of two nearby families) to assist in getting each other’s children to the game/practice, but group car pooling is not recommended or endorsed in any way.
  • For Stage 2 of Relaunch, activities should be restricted to local community opportunities. Participants should not seek sport, physical activity and recreation opportunities in other regions, or out of province.
  • Cross-jurisdictional, or inter-regional, play should not occur at this stage.

SECTION 6 – Game Protocols

  • Baseball is a sport where we cannot always assure social distancing. It is essential to limit the number of contacts between different participants. This is done by playing within set cohorts (e.g., mini-leagues or bubbles with a fixed number of participants).
    • Mini-leagues and bubbles cannot exceed 50 people. This number includes those participants, officials, coaches and trainers who cannot maintain two metres of distance from others at all times. This number does not include parents and spectators.
    • Mini-leagues should remain together for the duration of Stage 2 of Relaunch.
    • Mini-leagues allow baseball teams to return to a safe level of play, and will help to mitigate risk of widespread transmission by limiting the number of athletes that come within close contact.
  • Cohorts, mini-leagues and bubbles should remain together during Stage 2 of Relaunch and only play within the same geographical region (e.g., within a county, town or quadrant of a city).
  • It is recommended that mini-leagues and bubbles be supervised by a responsible person whose role is oversight over maintenance of the group and other public health guidance.
  • Each mini-league can be comprised of multiple teams, to a maximum of 50 people. Game play between teams must be limited to teams within the same cohort/mini-league.
    • Teams in different mini-leagues cannot play each other.
  • Cohort Examples
    • 4 teams of 10 players, 2 coaches, 2 officials
    • 2 teams of 10 players, 2 teams of 11 players, 2 coaches per team, official(s) socially distance
  • The 50 person maximum includes coaches/staff, instructors, participants from multiple teams, officials, and volunteers who cannot maintain two metres of distance from others at all times.
  • Within each mini league, game play can resume between teams. At least two-metres distancing should be maintained between all when off the field of play (e.g., on benches, in dugouts)
    • The two-metre physical distancing rule can be relaxed for participants from the same household.
    • Players are required to sanitize hands every ½ inning. They should be reminded not to touch their face at anytime.
    • No handshakes between the teams after each game.
    • Pre Game Coach/Umpire meeting must follow social distancing requirements (no exchanging of line-ups).
    • Scorekeepers, announcers, and scoreboard operators must follow social distancing protocols.
    • Dugouts to be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized before and after each event
    • Each game will need to have 1 volunteer as a spotter. Spotters are there to ensure that all baseballs that leave the field of play return to the field after being properly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized.