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COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines - *Return to Play* Plan

Last Updated: 2021.01.02

North Bothell Little League seeks to provide a positive baseball and softball experience for players, families, and the community to help players learn the fundamentals and skills of the game, promote physical and mental health through an active lifestyle, sportsmanship and working as a part of a team toward collective goals. It also provides an important social experience to learn about respect of others, cultivate social skills and community building, and managing both success and disappointment through competition. The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly disruptive to all aspects of life in our community. Our League aspires to navigate a safe return to our activities and events to help our young players maintain a safe environment for their physical, psychologic, and social health, and assist the community in developing a safe return to activities in these challenging times. The State of Washington classifies baseball and softball as “moderate risk sports” for the transmission of COVID-19 and has specific guidance for restart and recommendations for safely conducting these activities. For more information, please visit the Professional Sports & Other Sporting Activities COVID-19 Requirements

North Bothell Little League COVID-19 Safety Plans

Returning to play in a safe and healthy way will be facilitated by our individual and collective cooperation and vigilance with COVID-19 mitigation strategies.  We can all help reduce the spread of the disease by employing strategies understood to be best practices. 

COVID-19 Waiver:
A responsible adult for each Player must sign and deliver the COVID waiver/participant agreement before the Player may participate in any League Activity.

Daily Screening Procedure:
Each team should appoint one volunteer to assume the role of the team Health and Safety Officer. This person should not be the Team manager. The team Health and Safety Officer should do the following: 

  1. Participate personally or through a delegate in all Team Activities, which means practices, workouts, games, chalk-talk meetings, and social gatherings.
  2. Record attendance at each Activity to facilitate contact tracing if necessary. If small-group close-contact drills are a part of the Activity, the members of small groups should also be recorded.
  3. Maintain all records in a safe and secure location and format that can be accessed for contact tracing.
  4. Perform a symptom screen of each participant before each Activity; players complete a self-check for any symptoms of illness and complete a self-check log.
  5. Report to team Manager any symptoms revealed by the symptom screen or otherwise reported, any players sent home for illness or symptoms, and any safety issues observed that are not promptly resolved. 

Daily Symptom Screening

  • Fever of 100.4 or greater
  • Chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • Fatigue not attributed to another condition or event
  • Upper respiratory symptoms (runny nose, congestion or sneezing) that you cannot contribute to another health condition such as allergies
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Muscle or body aches not attributed to a specific activity or exercise

STAY HOME IF SICK OR IF CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WITH COVID-19

League Participants, including athletes, coaches, umpires, spectators and any other volunteer must stay away from all League Activities upon any of the following circumstances. 
  1. The League Participant tests positive for COVID-19;
  2. The League Participant experiences COVID-19 symptoms but has secured a negative test result;
  3. The League Participant feels ill, without any COVID-19 symptoms but has secured a negative test result;
  4. The League Participant has been in close contact with a person who as tested positive for COVID-19; or
  5. The League Participant has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 symptoms but has secured a negative test result.
Those who are excluded from League Activities under these circumstances must follow King County or Snohomish County isolation and quarantine guidance before returning to League Activities. 


Masks and Face Coverings

Masks
To wear a Mask means to have a cloth covering, including neck gator, closely fitted over the wearer’s nose and mouth.  

Adult participants and spectators
Coaches, umpires, spectators, and any other volunteer staff must follow the Department of Health facial covering order.

Players
Players should follow the Professional Sports & Other Sporting Activities COVID-19 Requirements. All players must follow the Department of Health facial covering order.

Player equipment
  • Players must only use their own equipment, including helmet, hats, bats, batting gloves, fielding gloves and catcher’s equipment. Players must not share any equipment except bats may be shared if wiped down after each use or if players sharing the bat are all wearing batting gloves.
  • A responsible adult family member should clean and disinfect their player’s equipment before each League event where such equipment is used.
  • Shared catching masks must be cleaned using disinfectant wipes after each use, and must sit for four minutes prior to re-use.
Drinks and snacks
  • All League Participants must bring their own water bottle to all League Activities. Bottles should be clearly marked with the player’s name.
  • Players should bring individual, pre-packaged food for individual consumption if needed.
  • The following are prohibited: shared food including post-game snacks, bottles, and water coolers as well as seeds, chewing gum, spitting or horseplay likely to transfer spit between players.
Physical distancing
  • All League Participants should maintain six-foot physical distancing whenever possible.
Cleaning;
  • Each Adult Team volunteers should clean high touch surfaces including the gates to the playing areas.
Practices
  • The Team Health and Safety Officer should remind families to perform Health Screening as outlined in the Daily Screening Procedure.
  • Players and families should maintain physical distancing while approaching fields.
  • Spectators must remain at least 50 yards away from practices; and should not congregate. Families should drop off players at practice with coaching staff and maintain a safe distance from the event.
  • Players should set their equipment spaced six feet apart along the fences.
  • All Participants should wash their hands with soap or hand sanitizer before participating in any League Activity.
  • All Participants should wear a Mask when mandated by the Professional Sports & Other Sporting Activities COVID-19 Requirements.
  • Team stretching and warm-up drills must be structured to avoid close contact. Coaches are encouraged to structure and limit warm-up drills to avoid formation of lines that allow for close contact between players.
  • Players should avoid confined spaces including dugouts and bleachers for all practices.
  • Practice drills, including tee drills, soft toss, and the forming lines should optimize physical distancing between Participants.
  • All Participants should wash their hands with soap or hand sanitizer at the end of practice.
Games/Scrimmages
  • Fan attendance is governed by the Professional Sports & Other Sporting Activities COVID-19 Requirements; All fans must remain 6’ away from anyone that is not their immediate family or household.
  • Social distancing team- players and coaches will remain 6’ a part while in the dugout areas and at all times unless it is during the game on the field. The dugout area most likely will need to be extended into the bleachers (behind a fence)
  • Health Screening- parents, players, coaches, and family members must take their temperature and screen themselves before leaving their house. Players will need to follow the Daily Screening Procedure.
  • Illness / Symptoms- parents and players must remain home if they have any illness or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Baseballs- Umpires, coaches, and spectators will avoid contact with the game balls, allowing defensive players to retrieve all foul balls, whether in or out of the field of play
  • Sanitizer- All players, coaches, umpires, and volunteers will wash their hands with soap or hand sanitizer before and after the game/scrimmage.
  • After outs- the ball will go immediately back to the pitcher (no throwing it around)
  • No sharing team equipment- helmets, gloves (bats can be shared if wiped down after each use or if players have batting gloves)
  • No shared team cooler or drinks; everyone must bring their own.
  • Meetings- No team meetings where everyone isn’t at least 6’ apart.
  • Conference- Home plate conference and other meetings should be conducted electronically prior to the game when possible. If required to happen at the field everyone must stay 6’ apart.
  • Equipment spacing- Equipment should be spaced out 6’ apart behind the dugout or elsewhere.
  • Line-ups - exchanged electronically.
  • Umpires- Umpires will be required to wear a mask and socially distance when possible. Umpires can be positioned behind Pitcher or behind Catcher.
  • Masks- Governed by the leagues Masks and Face Coverings rule.
  • Reporting- the COVID Coach/Parent must report any COVID positive player or spectator to their coach, and local league within 12 hours of finding out.
  • COVID Parent/Coach- each team must have a parent or coach who is in charge of only COVID Social distancing / Hand sanitizer / Equipment / Seeds / Spitting / Wipes
  • Post-Game Sportsmanship - There should be no physical touching to including high fives or handshakes. At the end of games, players will line up on respective baselines and cheer, shout, wave, or tip hats to the opposing team and umpires.
  • Team snacks- will not be permitted.
COVID-19 Return to Play
Guidelines for returning to play for players/coaches/umpires/volunteers who have had symptoms, been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or they themselves have tested positive.

Definition of contact:
A contact is a person who experienced any one of the following exposures during the 2 days before and the 14 days after the onset of symptoms of a probable or confirmed case:
  1. Face-to-face contact with a probable or confirmed case within 1 meter and for more than 15 minutes:
  2. Direct physical contact with a probable or confirmed case.
For any player/coach/volunteer who becomes ill, they may resume activity:
  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving *Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation
  • 10 days after a positive test if an individual tested positive but was asymptomatic.
  • In the case of a severe infection (inpatient or observation hospital treatment):
    • Requires MD clearance and negative COVID test
    • OR stay home 20 days after onset of symptoms and completed all treatment, and;
    • 24 hrs clear of any fever or fever reducing medication.
If one player/coach/volunteer reports a positive test, that exposed team members and coaching staff exposed to the individual must pause play/quarantine according to the CDC guidelines.
  • 10 days without testing
  • On day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

If the positive individual was involved in a game within their potential infectious window (48 hrs before onset of symptoms until 10 days AFTER onset of symptoms) the other team must pause play/quarantine according to the CDC guidelines.
  • 10 days without testing
  • On day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
Miscellaneous
  • If parents, coaches, or players have any concerns regarding their personal health and safety, they should alert the league of concerns and avoid league events.
  • The guidelines and recommendations listed above may change due to updated local public health, Washington State, Centers for Disease Control, or Little League International guidance, recommendations, or best practices.

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