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West Windsor Little League Return-To-Play Protocol

 

 

General Guidance

 

Any Volunteer/Parent/Player who refuses to follow this Protocol will be dismissed from the  Program

 

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after having been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at the field.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Players are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer for personal use. Hand sanitizer should be placed in all common areas off-field for easy use.
  • Everyone must wear a cloth face covering when they have to go out in public, for example in public areas around your Little League fields and parks.
  • The cloth face covering is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Cloth 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.
  • Continue to keep six feet between yourself and others. The cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash immediately.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • All players, coaches, volunteers, independent contractors, and spectators should practice social distancing of six feet wherever possible from individuals not residing within their household, especially in common areas. For situations when players are engaging in the sports activity, see On-Field Guidance below for more information.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • All individuals should measure their body temperature to ensure that no fever is present PRIOR to participating or attending each Little League activity. Anyone with symptoms of fever, cough, or worsening respiratory symptoms, or any known exposure to a person with COVID-19 SHOULD NOT ATTEND any Little League activity until cleared by a medical professional (CDC: Resource: If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone ).
  • Any individual, including players, at risk for severe illness or with serious underlying medical or respiratory condition should only attend Little League activities with permission from a medical professional.

 

 

Games & Practice:

Drinks and Snacks:

  • Athletes, managers, and coaches, 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.

 

Managers will conduct temperature checks and a health questionnaire for each player and volunteer prior to the start of practice.  Players, coaches, staff, and volunteers showing symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be permitted to participate.  If any individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 during practice, they should promptly inform the Manager and must be removed from practice and sent home.

 

Practices are limited to the managers/coaches and players.

 

Practices should focus on skills building activities

 

Players should have their own individual batter’s helmet, glove, bat, and catcher’s equipment.  Each player’s equipment is to be stored in its own separate space, consistent with social distancing measures

 

 

On-Field Guidance

Game Play

At least one WWLL Board Member will be present at all games to supervise and enforce this Guidance

 

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.

 

Managers will conduct temperature checks and a health questionnaire for each player and volunteer prior to the start of the game.  Players, coaches, staff, and volunteers showing symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be permitted to participate.  If any individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the game, they should promptly inform the Manager and must be removed from practice and sent home.

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • All managers/coaches, volunteers, umpires, etc. will wear face coverings for the entirety of the game.
  • Players are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings when not on the field of play.
  • Players should not wear face coverings or protective medical gloves on the field during game play.
  • Players will not be permitted to wear any  face covering on the field during game play absent a signed directive from a medical provider.

Dugouts:

  • Dugouts will be CLOSED.  Managers, and layers are permitted to pass through the dugout to enter the field of play.
  • Players will be assigned spots in the bleachers ensuring they are at least six feet apart .  Managers and coaches will be along the fence.
  • Players are to stay at their assigned spots when not in the field of play or while waiting their turn to bat.
  • Players are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering while not in the field of play. 

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.
  • Players 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, 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 used by a new player. 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. All disinfectants should be stored properly, in a safe area, out of reach of children.

Baseballs and Softballs:

  • Baseballs and softballs should be rotated through on a regular basis, at least every two innings, to limit individual contact.
  • 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. No spectators should retrieve the ball.

Spitting, Sunflower Seeds, Gum, etc.:

  • Sunflower seeds, gum, etc., ARE NOT PERMITTED at the Ward Complex.
  • All players and coaches are to refrain from spitting at all times, including in dugout areas and on the playing field.

 

Game Operations & Umpires

Field Preparation and Maintenance:

  • Fields should be mowed, raked, and lined prior to teams and spectators arriving at the complex and after they depart. It is encouraged that volunteers already participating in the game (managers/coaches, umpires, and league administrator) perform these tasks to limit individuals at the site.
  • It is recommended that any shared field preparation equipment be sprayed or wiped with cleaner and disinfectant before and after each use.

Pre-Game Plate Meetings:

  • Social distancing of six feet between individuals should be implemented during all pre-game plate meetings between teams and umpires.
  • Plate meetings should only consist of one manager or coach from each team, and game umpires.
  • All participants should wear a cloth face covering.
  • No players should ever be a part of plate meetings.
  • If weather forces an interruption in the game, the game will be considered ended.

 

Equipment Inspection:

Players should place their individual equipment at their designated location, in a well-spaced out manner for inspection. Umpires should avoid direct contact with equipment where possible but, when required, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol after the inspection of each individual piece of equipment.

Limit League/Game Volunteers:

  • For each game, there should only be the required team managers/coaches, umpires, and one (1) league administrator (i.e. Safety Officer, player agent, etc.) in attendance.
  • Scorekeeping should be done by team coaches or team parent/guardian via GameChanger. Proper social distancing should be practiced.
  • The announcing booths will be closed for all games and practices.

Umpire Placement:

  • Umpires are permitted to be placed behind the pitcher’s mound/circle to call balls and strikes. Umpires are encouraged to keep a safe distance from players as much as possible.
  • If physically able, umpires are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings while umpiring.

 

End of 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 15 minutes.