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Clarington Baseball Association Return to Sport Protocols

Clarington Baseball Association – Return to Sport Policy

As Jun 28, 2021

Purpose:

The Return to Sport policy has been established in response to Baseball Ontario’s Return to Sport Protocol. The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper implementation of all current federal, provincial, municipal, and public health guidelines and orders. After all of noted obligations have been met, as an Association we then must then follow and understand the most current Baseball Ontario Return to Sport Protocol and the elements of this policy as established by the Clarington Baseball Association.   The most stringent measures will always prevail.

Article I.             Safe Physical Distancing Practices

  1. Maintain a minimum of 2 meters distancing during physical activity, including warm ups, pre-game and post‐game activities, wherever possible.
  2. Use of dugouts should be avoided where safe physical distance cannot be maintained.
  3. Use as much space as required outside the dugout (but in safe areas outside of the field of play) to maintain adequate physical distance.
  4. Avoid congestion at points of entry to the diamond (i.e. gates, dugout doors, etc.) to allow maintenance of 2 meters distancing among participants.
  1. If spectators attend, specific spectator measures for physical distancing shall be followed as required/recommended by the local public health authorities.

Article II.            Hygiene Standards

  1. Wash or disinfect hands frequently for at least twenty (20) seconds.
  2. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  3. Sneeze and/or cough in a tissue or the internal crease of the elbow. Avoid contact of hands with personal respiratory points.

Article III.          All Events – Procedures

  1. Follow all current federal, provincial and municipal guidelines, understand that these are fluid and will change.
  2. Follow and understand the most current Baseball Ontario Return to Sport protocol, available on their website and OnDeck App.
  1. Every player and attending family member or guest must complete a pre-event waiver and “pass” the required screening before attending any event/game using the CBA assigned Waiver/Attendance app.
  1. Take proactive steps in creating physical distancing environments, where possible.
  1. Minimize the use of fields at facilities to remain within the current mass-gathering limitations of the local jurisdiction, if necessary.
  2. Create one-way entry and exit gates where possible, to direct foot traffic.
  1. Minimize player contact by eliminating team/player handshakes and team/player high fives.
  2. Create a plan to keep physical distancing between teams in effect beyond the field of play. Suggest other means of game celebrations and team sportsmanship at the end of games (e.g., ask players to tip their caps/visors, or have teams bow to each other from across the field).
  3. In dugouts, discontinue use of team used water bottles and shared coolers.  Players should bring their own, personal water bottle/cooler.
  4. Encourage parents to supply their players with hand sanitizer.
  5. Allow players to wear PPE items if they choose, as long as the items do not compromise the safety of any participants in the game.
  6. All staff, players, umpires and spectators must physical distance on and off the field during an event.
  7. Limit or space out staffing to ensure physical distancing; this includes the team check-in process.

Article IV.          Practice Procedure

  1. Follow all provincial and municipal guidelines for facilities and events
  2. Coaches to ensure physical distancing between all players and coaches.
  3. Parents should not be on the field before and after the game.
  4. Allow teams to spread players out;
    1. Expand the dugout area when room permits and only if player safety will not be compromised.
    2. Expansion of the team dugouts should not be done into foul ball areas.
    3. Limit bench personnel to essential team personnel.
  5. Practice plan ahead of time to allow for players to be within safe proximity of each other with drills geared to physical distancing.
  6. Run drills with players in groups as needed to adhere to Baseball Ontario or Provincial restrictions.  Where groups are required, groups cannot mingle or cross-over (e.g. when guidelines require groups of 10 or less).  Group sizes do not include coaches unless stated otherwise.
  1. Encourage parents to supply their players with hand sanitizer for cleaning hands between innings/returns to the dugout area.
  2. Allow players to wear PPE items if they choose, as long as the items do not compromise the safety of any and all participants in the game.
  3. Encourage participants to have his or her own portable chair that is not shared.
  4. No sharing of water bottles, food of any kind, sunflower seeds and chewing gum.
  5. No spitting (chewing tobacco prohibited).
  6. No sharing of batting helmets.
  7. No sharing of personal items like phones, wallets, etc.
  8. Any shared equipment (e.g. catchers gear, bats) must be disinfected between use by different participants.

Article V.           Pre-Game Procedure

  1. Every player must sanitize/wash hands before proceeding to the field.
  2. Teams may share the field for pregame warm up.  Each team shall stay in the outfield area on its side of the field.
  3. Line up cards must be prepared but will not be physically shared ‐ photos may be taken by scorekeepers etc. and the lineup card must be made available to show the umpire when requested.
  4. Upon arriving at a dugout for the first time, teams are to disinfect hard surface areas (benches, bat racks, etc.).

 

Article VI.          In-Game Procedure

  1. Players shall not lick their fingers, blow on their hands or otherwise go to their mouth.
  2. Lead-offs are prohibited at 18U and below for house league, but permitted for select and rep divisions.  The defensive holding runners on first base must wear a mask.
  3. No sharing of water bottles, food of any kind, sunflower seeds and chewing gum.
  4. No spitting (chewing tobacco prohibited).
  5. No sharing of helmets.
  6. No sharing of any other equipment.
  7. No sharing of personal items like phones, wallets, etc.
  8. Players and Coaches should sanitize hands at all reasonable opportunities. (During water breaks, between innings).
  9. While pitcher is warming up between innings with a coach, that coach will be mandated to provide their own catcher’s mask to be cleaned before and after every use.

Article VII.        Post-Game Procedure

  1. Teams must clean their dugout/expanded dugout area of all trash and other items after each game, and to wipe down (clean) hard surfaces such as benches, bat racks, etc.
  2. All shared equipment must be cleaned at the end of the event.
  3. All uniforms or clothing to be washed after each event.

Article VIII.       Coaching Expectations

  1. Ensure all procedures are in place as set by Baseball Ontario.
  2. Team meetings, including pitching visits, shall maintain physical distance of minimum 2 meters. A maximum of one person (coach and/or player) and the pitcher may be included in a pitching visit.
  3. Always maintain physical distance from players and remind players to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
  4. Conduct team huddles and teaching moments in a setting that adheres to physical distancing.
  5. Remind players not to spit, chew gum and/or eat seeds.
  6. Remind players not to make physical contact.
  7. Coaches must keep a record of all participants and spectators using the CBA assigned Waiver/attendance app.  Home team coaches, for games, keep record of the umpires for the game using the CBA assigned Waiver/attendance app.
  8. For Trainers, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (visor or mask, gloves) to be used (or persons performing trainer function) when assessing an injury. Additional PPE to be kept with the PPE/First aid supplies.
  9. If  a  coach  must  approach  an  umpire,  physical  distancing  of  at  least 2 meters must be maintained and a mask worn.  Failure to do so may result in ejection.
  10. While on offence, base coaches must always stay within their box, except to avoid a play being made in the coach’s box. Any discussions between coaches and players (eg. batter visiting 3rd base coach; coach talking to runners, etc.) must maintain physical distancing of at least 2 meters.
  11. Pitchers, catchers, spotters and bullpen coaches must always maintain a physical distance of  2 meters while pitchers are warming up in the bullpen

Article IX.          Umpiring Expectations

  1. Use of hand sanitizer every half inning is required.
  2. Umpires may wear masks at their discretion in base/outfield positions.
  3. Umpires positioned behind the catcher must wear a face mask.

Article X.           Scorekeeping Expectations

  1. Should always work from a restricted area and keep a safe distance from others. If using a scorer’s booth, it must be cleaned/sanitized before and after use.
  2. Scoring equipment and microphones, if applicable, shall be thoroughly cleaned before and after use.

 

Article XI.          Parent/Guardian Expectations

  1. Parents are asked to constantly remind players of the importance of physical distancing, no spitting, no face touching, and no contact between athletes such as high fives or handshakes.
  2. Carpooling should be discouraged whenever possible. If required, please consult provincial guidelines.
  3. Follow physical distancing requirements
  4. Ensure they are meeting the expectations as set out in the most recent Baseball Ontario Protocol.

 

Article XII.        Park Provisions and Obstacles

  1. All spectators are recommended to bring and use their own means of seating apparatus while still practicing physical distancing.
  2. Current player’s bench/dugout areas are often not large enough for the entire team to maintain proper physical distancing. Therefore, coaches will expand bench/dugout area by expanding the area to accommodate proper physical distancing spaces for players to set up in. Players are encouraged to bring their own portable chair that is not shared. Whenever possible these extended bench areas will be away from the playing area. When it is not possible players will be asked to wear helmets to protect them from stray balls.