Palo Alto Little League 2020 –

COVID-19 Health & Safety Requirements & Phased Reopening

 

Last modified 6/8/2020

 

The following requirements apply to all Palo Alto Little League events as set forth below.  As of June 5, 2020, the Order of the Health Officer of the County of Santa Clara (“Health Order”) permits certain activities to proceed in accordance with specific requirements.  Under the current Health Order, certain activities are restricted.  As a result, the Palo Alto Little League has established a “phased” approach to reopening the 2020 spring program.  Phase 1 of this plan will operate within the current guidelines and restrictions set forth in the Health Order and will consist of Team Practice Camps only. Phase 2 of this plan will begin as the Health Order is revised at such time when the Health Order will presumably allow the resumption of Little League games and is provided now for informational purposes only.

 

 

 

General Requirements & Restrictions (All Phases)

 

The following restrictions and requirements apply to any and all Palo Alto Little League events, regardless of which phase is in effect:

 

Before departing for any Little League Event

 

  • All individuals must measure their body temperature prior to participating or attending each Little League activity. An individual with any of the following symptoms/conditions cannot attend a Little League activity until evaluated by a medical provider and given clearance to do so:
  1. Active COVID-19 infection
  2. Known contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days
  3. Any of the following within the previous 3 days:
    • Fever greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

 

  • Any individual, including players, with higher risk for severe illness or with a serious underlying medical or respiratory condition, or any individual living with a high-risk individual, should only attend Little League activities with permission from a medical professional and should ensure the strictest adherence to safety guidelines, such as those regarding face coverings, distancing, and handwashing. Such groups include:
    • Those with a serious underlying medical condition, including but not limited to heart disease, morbid obesity, diabetes, lung disease, immunocompromised status, and chronic kidney disease
    • Those currently residing in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • Those over 65 years old

 

 

General Guidance & Requirements for Participation at any Little League Event

 

  • A team manager, acting manager, or league official, has discretion to remove from activity, separate, and request parental pick up for any player showing any of the symptoms listed above or who, despite reminders, is not following these health and safety guidelines.
  • All players, coaches, volunteers, independent contractors, and spectators should wash or disinfect their hands before leaving to attend any Little League activity.
  • All players, coaches, volunteers, independent contractors, and spectators must practice social distancing of at least six feet wherever possible from individuals not residing within their household. For situations when players are engaging in the sports activity, see below for more information.
  • Players and coaches must take measures to prevent all but the essential contact necessary to participate in practice and play. This includes refraining from and prohibiting handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc.
  • All managers/coaches, volunteers, umpires, etc., must wear cloth face coverings at all times.
  • Players are permitted but not required to wear a cloth face covering on the field during play, if physically able to do so, based on any directive of a medical provider or individual determination of the player/parent/guardian.
  • Players must wear cloth face coverings any time they are not on the field of play.
  • 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.
  • No shared or team beverages, snacks, or food of any kind are allowed. Players should bring individual, pre-packaged food, if needed.
  • Players, managers/coaches, and umpires should bring their own personal drinks to all team activities. Drinks should be labeled with the person’s name.
  • Players should not wear protective medical gloves on the field during play.
  • Players must have their own personal equipment: batting helmet, glove, batting gloves, etc.; this type of personal equipment may not be shared.
  • Some necessary equipment (e.g., bats, catcher’s gear) may not be able to be obtained by every individual. When it is necessary to share such equipment, all surfaces of each piece of shared equipment must be cleaned first and then disinfected with an EPA-approved disinfectant against coronaviruses and allowed sufficient time to dry before being used by another player. Increased attention must be paid to detailed cleaning of all equipment directly contacting the head and face (e.g., catcher’s mask).

 

At Home (Recommended)

  • 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. If surfaces are visibly soiled or dirty, they should be cleaned with a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • 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.
  • Players should wash hands/shower immediately upon returning home. Player clothes/uniforms should be laundered.

 

 

 

 

Phase 1 – “Team Practice Camps” Only

 

In the first phase of reopening, each Little League team will operate as its own practice camp.  Each team will operate as an unchanging (i.e., stable) group of 12 or fewer players.  Once assigned to a team and practice camps begin, a player may not change from one team to another.  A player participating in a team practice camp may NOT participate in any other group childcare program (e.g., soccer camp, chess camp, etc.) during the same period.  In addition, a player may not move from one group childcare program to another more often than every three weeks. An unchanging (i.e., stable) set of no more than four adult coaches may work with any one team. Coaches may not work with any other group of children (e.g., another team, camp, or daycare facility).

 

 

Guidance Specific to Practices

  • Only a single team is allowed to practice on a field at any time.
  • Practices are limited to the managers/coaches and players of the team.
  • Players should arrive and depart with members of their own household only.
  • If there is another team’s practice prior to yours, families are encouraged to stay in their vehicles or at recommended social distances – at least six feet away from others – until the start of your practice.
  • During use of batting cages, at least 6 feet distancing must be observed whenever possible, including while players are waiting their turn.
  • Managers shall maintain a supply of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol and request players and coaches sanitize their hands at various appropriate times during practices (e.g., during water breaks).
  • Players and families should vacate the field/facility as soon as is reasonably possible after the conclusion of a practice to minimize unnecessary contact with other teams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phase 2 (DRAFT) – Resumption of Intra-League Games

At this time, the Health Order does not allow the resumption of youth baseball games.  Therefore, the following represents a DRAFT set of guidelines under which Palo Alto Little League is anticipating to operate once the Health Order permits games to resume. These guidelines and requirements may change as the Health Order is revised.

 

Arriving to a Game

  • Players/families/spectators are instructed not to show up to fields more than 40 minutes before game time.
  • If there is a game prior to yours, families and spectators are encouraged to stay in their vehicles or at recommended social distance – at least six feet away from others – until the start of their game play to prevent overcrowding of spectator spaces and walkways.

 

The Game Site

  • All spectators must follow social distancing practices — stay at least six feet away from individuals outside their household; wear a cloth face covering; and avoid direct hand or other contact with players/managers/coaches.
  • Spectators should bring their own seating or portable chairs when possible.
  • No food/drink/concession sales will be allowed at facilities.
  • Families are encouraged to bring their own food/beverages for their own consumption only.
  • Sunflower seeds, gum, etc., are not allowed.
  • All players, umpires, and managers/coaches are to refrain from spitting at all times, including in dugout areas and on the playing field.
  • A “one-in-one-out” restroom policy, where only one individual is permitted within the restroom at one time, shall be implemented to ensure adequate distancing in the confined restroom space. Wash hands!

 

Pre-Game

  • Each player will be assigned a spot in the stands or other designated area to place their equipment and sit while waiting for their opportunity to play. These spots are to be maintained at least six feet apart and must be placed behind a fence whenever possible. While on offense, the on-deck and in-the-hole batters only are allowed in the dugout.
  • No personal player bat bags/equipment bags are allowed in the dugout. Player equipment is to be spaced accordingly outside the dugout to prevent direct contact by others.
  • When instructed to do so, players should place their individual equipment in a well-spaced out manner for inspection by umpires. 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.
  • Social distancing of at least 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 plate meeting participants should wear a cloth face covering.
  • Players may not be a part of plate meetings.

 

Game Play

  • In order to limit individual contact, each team is required to provide new baseballs for their team to use while on defense. Baseballs are to be wiped with a disinfectant wipe after each half-inning of play.
  • Balls used during infield/outfield warm-up should be isolated from balls not yet used that game; a different set of warm-up balls should be used each half-inning.
  • Managers shall maintain a supply of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol and request players and coaches sanitize their hands at the beginning of each offensive half-inning.
  • Foul balls landing outside the field of play should be retrieved by participating players, coaches, and umpires. No spectators should retrieve a foul ball.
  • Players are to stay at their assigned spots when on the bench or while waiting their turn to bat. While on offense, only the on-deck and in-the-hole batters are allowed in the dugout.
  • Umpires, managers, and coaches are required to wear a cloth face covering.
  • Players must wear a cloth face covering while not on the field of play.
  • Umpires are permitted to position themselves 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.
  • Umpires should limit their contact with the ball, and catchers should retrieve foul balls and passed balls where possible.

 

Post-Game

  • Little League Baseball suggests lining up outside the dugout, while maintaining at least 6-foot distancing, and tipping caps to the opposing team as a sign of good sportsmanship after a game.
  • All post-game meetings must maintain at least 6-foot distancing.

 

Departing a 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.

 

 

 

 

 

General Health Recommendations to Improve Personal Protection

Wash Your Hands Often:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, using the restroom, or before/after eating.
  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or face covering. Wash or sanitize your hands if you do so.
  • Players/coaches/spectators are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer for personal use.

 

Cover Your Mouth and Nose with a Cloth Face Covering When Around Others:

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should 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.
  • 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.
  • The cloth face covering is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker, as it is important that these facemasks are available for those professionals needing that personal protective equipment.
  • Continue to keep at least six feet between yourself and others. The cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes:

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to 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 and coaches should practice good general health habits, including maintenance of adequate hydration, consumption of a varied, vitamin-rich diet with sufficient vegetables and fruits, and getting adequate sleep.

 

 

 

 

References

 

https://www.littleleague.org/player-safety/coronavirus-update/season-resumption-guide/best-practices/organizing-playing-watching-games/

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

 

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/public-health-orders.aspx

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/order-health-officer-05-18-20.aspx#updates

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/health-order-appendix-c1-additional-businesses.aspx