NHYBS restarted the 2020 baseball season on Monday June 22nd with practices through July 5th and games starting July 6th.
As many of you may know the NJ Department of Health released guidelines for Youth Sports on Monday. Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken national, the organization we are sanctioned under, also released suggested guidelines. Our Board of Directors including our Safety Director, Player Agent, and Rules Committee all worked to put these guidelines together.
While we continue to navigate through a very fluid situation dealing with COVID-19 we are confident that the guidelines we have put in place are set to offer an experience to our kids that will be safe and compliant with guidance from NJ DOH, and we would like to ask for cooperation from all of our parents and athletes as we look to get the kids back on the field.
2020 NHYB – COVID-19 Baseball Program Preparation and Prevention Plan
The following guidelines have been created by the North Hunterdon Youth Baseball Board of Directors using guidance set forth by the New Jersey Department of Health & the national Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken headquarters which whom we are governed by. All guidance should be adhered to during the remainder of 2020.
Section 1 – General Precautions
A. We have identified staff members and volunteers to help remind coaches, players and staff of social distancing.
B. All players must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during the duration of their time at our baseball complex(s)
C. Individuals shall remain 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible. This applies to athletes, coaching staff, parents/guardians, and other spectators.
D. In order to maintain a safe environment, the league will strongly encourage that spectators be limited to two (2) per athlete. All spectators under the age of fifteen (15) MUST be supervised by an adult at all times.
E. We have posted signage throughout our complex reminding all participants of their obligations to wear masks in the appropriate circumstances and continually socially distance themselves. In order to further these goals during games, only three (3) players will be allowed in the dugout areas with the remainder being placed in designated players only areas ‘player bullpens’ which will be considered in the field of play. Player bullpens will allow parent access to their children. No parents or other spectators will be allowed in these marked off areas.
F. Coaching staff and parents/guardians should wear cloth face coverings. Athletes are also encouraged to wear cloth or disposable face coverings when not engaging in vigorous activity, such as when sitting on the bench, when interacting with an athletic trainer, etc. All managers & coaches will adhere to specific guidelines developed for staff members overseeing practices & games.
G. Staff members will be responsible for checking the temperature of all staff members and players upon arrival to the field. Based on expert guidance a temperature of over 100.4 is deemed a risk and that player will not be permitted to participate on that given day.
H. Concession stand will be opened on a limited basis serving drinks and limited snacks. All transactions will be cashless.
I. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed in all six dugouts at are Jericho complex. It is highly suggested that parents bring sanitizer and other supplies to help with keeping their kids safe and practice good hygiene.
J. Each team in their respective divisions will be playing the majority of their games and conducting the majority of their practices at their respective field. This includes Majors American playing and practicing at Jericho 1, Majors National playing and practicing at J3, and AAA playing and practicing at J2.
L. All staff will be educated on COVID-19 health and safety protocols prior to the resumption of athletic activities, including:
1. All Managers must attend in-person meeting at our Jericho complex before running practice or managing a game.
2. Revised practice rules and regulations in place during COVID-19;
3. The importance of staying home when experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or residing with someone experiencing symptoms of COVID19;
4. Social distancing and face coverings;
5. Proper hand hygiene;
Our staff have discussed how to deal with situations in which social distancing or other necessary requirements are challenged by athletes or parents/guardians/visitors. Should a situation occur involving a spectator or staff member regarding the clear negligence of our social distancing guidelines arise and cannot be resolved in a timely fashion, the staff member or parent will be asked to leave the complex. Should this not happen local authorities will immediately be notified. Should a player defy any of our social distancing guidelines his parent will be notified immediately and asked to leave the playing field.
M. We have educated our staff and advise parents to consider keeping themselves and their children at home and when not feeling well. The below guidelines have been published by the NJ DOH to help everyone understand more about this:
1. Actively encourage sick staff, families, and players to stay home. Develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and ensure employees are aware of these policies.
2. Individuals, including coaches, players, and families, should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
3. Individuals, including coaches, players, and families, who have recently had a close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health.
4. Immediately separate coaches, staff, officials, and athletes with COVID19 symptoms at any sports activity. Individuals who have had close contact with a person who has symptoms should be separated and sent home as well, and follow CDC guidance for community-related exposure.
5. Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone who is sick to their home or to a healthcare facility
6. All athletes, coaches, and staff should bring their own water and drinks to practice activities. Use of Team water coolers for sharing through disposable cups is prohibited.
7. Players will be discouraged from sharing of equipment as much as possible. If equipment is shared, coaching staff should be aware of the sanitation procedures for team equipment (balls, bats, etc.) and sufficient disinfecting wipes or similar products should be made available. Consult CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection.
8. Each team should have a designated staff member that is responsible for overseeing the baseballs that are in play when their team is at bat, and also equipment is not being shared. Same staff member is also responsible to retrieve any equipment left in the field of play during the typical game of play.
9. Upon completion of a practice or a game, for the safety of the spectators and players in the spirit of social distancing we ask that everyone vacates the premise in a timely fashion and limits the amount of congregating between others.
NHYB will further consult and implement, as appropriate, recommendations listed in the CDC guidance regarding assessing risk, promoting healthy behaviors, and maintaining a healthy environment during youth sports.
Section 2 – Rules of Play
A. No more than 2 players will be permitted in the dugouts at any time. Players, their gear and their belongings should be in our ‘player bullpens’ when not in the field of play and/or the dugout. Player bullpens will be clearly marked at each field and spectators and parents are not permitted inside these areas. The ability to communicate with your player and deliver any sanitizers, waters, or other essentials while they are in the player bullpen will be permitted and can be done so at any time.
B. All players and coaches must wear masks while in dugouts. Masks should be optional while in field of play.
a. Specific guidelines for managers and coaches are being developed and will be posted before the season begins on July 6th 2020.
C. Each team will use their own baseballs. The team that is in the field (defensive team) will oversee providing the baseballs to be used in that inning. Each team will be responsible for rotating and sanitizing baseballs during the game. Umpires are not to touch the baseballs at any time.
D. No players may share equipment. All equipment, including hats, gloves an bats should be labeled.
E. No seeds or gum allowed at the complex. Food should not be allowed in the field of play.
F. After considerable debate and consultation with our Umpire assigner our league will begin the season with the Umpire standing behind the pitcher’s mound. As the season progresses the league will monitor this condition.
G. No handshaking/celebrations: Players and coaches should refrain from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc.