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West Hartford Little League

Protocols - Spring 2021

(updated 5/21)

        I.            Rationale

In order for baseball to happen, we are committed to ensuring a healthy and safe         environment for all participants. We are also relying on the entire WHLL community to work together, with everyone doing his or her part to ensure the success of our spring season.  To that end, we’ve developed some specific protocols that must go into place in order to allow the season to proceed.  Please read through this entire document with the player.

  II.          Responsibilities and Expectations

               a.  Coaches

1.  Ensure that players follow protocols and practice safe distancing when possible.  Coaches are encouraged to have one adult responsible for making sure players are following protocols.

2.  Unvaccinated coaches and staff are required to wear a face mask or cloth face covering at all times if keeping their distance from others is difficult in alignment with CT DPH guidance (unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to medical conditions)

3.  Replace post-game handshakes by lining up outside the dugout, facing the opposing team, and clapping for them.  Eliminate team huddles.

4.  Assign league catchers equipment to ONE player per practice/game. Encourage use of personal catcher’s gear for those that have it.

5.  Develop practice drills that encourage safe distancing for players

6.  Assign a bench coach to retrieve bats (by barrel, not grip) after each at bat. Rookie and Instructional league bats are to be wiped down after each use.

7.  Assign players to spots on benches - stay consistent for the entire game.  (Note that we will be using the bullpen areas at the UConn fields to seat players … if necessary, pitchers can warm up all the way down left or right field in foul territory with a catcher and a “spotter” to watch for foul balls)

8.  “Streamline” practices and games - limit warm ups, team meetings, and other “downtime”

9.  Maintain accurate records of players who are present/absent for practices and games (in case contact tracing is needed)

10.  Use checklist (hard copy or laminated copy in JoBox) to follow post-game/practice protocols

b.     Parents/Guardians

1.  If the player or a member of the player’s household is exhibiting any coronavirus symptoms, stay away from any WHLL activity. 

2.  Take the temperature of the player before bringing him/her to a practice or game. If the player has a fever, remain at home.  Communicate to coach that this protocol has been followed prior to each event.

3.  It is strongly recommended that players travel to the venue alone or with members of their immediate household.  Please do your best to ensure this.

4.  For each practice/game, provide the player with the following items:

a)  Labelled water bottle (no sharing!)

b)  Hat w/ name inside

c)  Individual equipment (required):  glove, batting helmet, bat

d)  Individual equipment (optional):  batting gloves, catchers equipment

e)  Cloth mask

5.  Ensure that the player has been fed prior to a game or practice.  We are prohibiting food (including snacks, gum, and candy) from all dugouts, and the concession stand will not be open this summer.             

6.  Bring personal chairs, etc., and maintain appropriate 6-foot distancing.  (Our fences are spaced in 6-8 foot sections - please use the fence poles as guidance.)

 

c.  Players

1.  Maintain appropriate distance from teammates, coaches, and opposing players.

2.  Make sure that you are NOT sharing anything, including water, helmets, hats, and baseball equipment.

3.  NO seeds, NO gum, and NO spitting!

4.  Unvaccinated players are to wear cloth masks when in the dugout (on bench) with other players.  (Masks do not have to be worn when on field.)

5.  Unvaccinated players playing catcher will be required to wear a close-fitting facemask on the field of play. This will be reevaluated throughout the season (CT DPH guidance)

7.  Rookie and Instructional players are required to wear masks at all times. This will be reevaluated throughout the season (CT DPH guidance)

8.  Be responsible for your own equipment and personal items - each player must pick up after himself/herself.  (No picking up others’ belongings.)

9.  Store all equipment bags on fence immediately in front or behind your “seat.”)

10.  Bench players or coaches are responsible for retrieving foul balls

d.  Umpires

1.  Plate umpires will have the option if fully vaccinated to stand behind the pitcher or catcher to call balls and strikes

2. Unvaccinated umpires are required to wear a face mask or cloth face covering at all times if keeping their distance from others is difficult in alignment with CT DPH guidance (unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to medical conditions)

3.  Ensure safe distance when taking position and when making calls on field

4.  Pre-game plate meeting with only one coach from each team and ensuring proper distancing

e.  Spectators

1.  Unvaccinated spectators are required to bring and wear masks or cloth face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth at all times if keeping their distance from others is difficult in alignment with CT DPH guidance (unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to medical conditions)

2.  Limit close conversations and excessive verbal yelling/“cheering.”  Handclaps are an appropriate way to encourage and reward the players.

3.   Maintain responsibility for the behavior of others in your party,  Please share with them our expectations and work with us to ensure the safety of all. 

5.  Spectators are responsible for bringing their own chairs.  Bleachers will be roped off and off limits.  At UConn, spectators can use fence “sections” to ensure distance from each other.

6.  Water fountains will not be in operation due to public health concerns so participants and fans should bring their own supply to last the entire time.

f.   League Officials

1.  Provide disinfectant materials to coaches for baseballs and equipment and hand sanitizer on picnic tables

3.  Stock cooler in concession stand with water for emergency only.

4.  Bathrooms at the UConn fields will be professionally cleaned and sanitized Monday-Friday mornings 

5.  Continue monitoring CIAC guidances  https://www.casciac.org/pdfs/ciacspringplan.pdf

6.  Continue monitoring CT DPH guidance  

https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/Community_Resources/Vaccinations/Print-Materials/Fact-Sheets/COVID_Rules_Vaccinated.pdf