Best Practices on Organizing, Playing, And Watching Little League® Baseball during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Players/Parents/Guardians/Caregivers and Other Children
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (Managers/Coaches, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing)
• If soap and water are not readily available, Fans/Spectators should use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Walpole LL will provide handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer at all facilities. Players should also plan to have their own sanitizer.
• Everyone is encouraged to bring a cloth face covering when they are at any Walpole LL function (clinics, practices/games).
• All players, coaches, volunteers, independent contractors, and spectators should practice social distancing of six feet
• 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.
Self-monitoring and Quarantine:
• All individuals should measure their body temperature to ensure that no fever is present prior to participating or attending each Little League activity. Anyone with symptoms of fever, cough, or worsening respiratory symptoms, or any known exposure to a person with COVID-19 should not attend any Little League activity until cleared by a medical professional
• Any individual, including players, at risk for severe illness or with serious underlying medical or respiratory condition should only attend Little League activities with permission from a medical professional.
No Handshakes/Personal Contact Celebrations:
• Players and coaches should take measures to prevent all but the essential contact necessary to play the game. This should include refraining from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc.
- End of the game handshakes will be replaced with teams lining up on the baselines and tipping caps to the opponent
• 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.
Drinks and Snacks:
• Athletes, managers/coaches, and umpires should bring their own personal drinks to all team activities. Drinks should be labeled with the person’s name.
• Individuals should take their own drink containers home each night for cleaning and sanitation
• There should be no use of shared or team beverages.
• Managers/coaches and players should be assigned spots in the dugout or on the bleachers so that they are at least six feet
• Players are to stay at their assigned spots when on the bench or on the other side of the fence
• All managers/coaches, volunteers, umpires, etc., should wear PPE whenever applicable and possible, especially when not able to stay 6 feet from the team
• Players and managers/coaches should wear a cloth face covering while in the dugout if not able to socially distance
• No personal player bat bags/equipment bags should be allowed in the dugout.
• Players should have their own individual batter’s helmet, glove, bat, and catcher’s equipment
• Players should not wear protective medical equipment or medical gloves on the field during gameplay.
• 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.
• 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 the reach of children.
• Players should not share towels, clothing, or other items that they may use to wipe their face or hands
• Baseballs should be rotated through on a regular basis, at least every two innings, to limit individual contact. We will look to spray/sanitize the balls in between innings and wipe with a paper towel.
• Umpires should limit their contact with the ball, and catchers should retrieve foul balls and passed balls where possible.
• Balls used in infield/outfield warm-up should be isolated from a shared ball container.
• Foul balls landing outside the field of play should be retrieved by participating players, coaches, and umpires. No spectators should retrieve the ball.
Spitting, Sunflower Seeds, Gum, etc.:
• Sunflower seeds, gum, etc., should not be allowed in dugouts or on the playing field.
• All players and coaches are to refrain from spitting at all times, including in dugout areas and on the playing field.
Pre-Game Plate Meetings:
• If possible, plate meetings should be eliminated.
• Social distancing of 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 participants should wear a cloth face covering.
• No players should ever be a part of plate meetings.
• Players should place their individual equipment in a well-spaced out manner for inspection. Umpires should avoid direct contact with equipment where possible but, when required, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol after the inspection of each individual piece of equipment.
Limit League/Game Volunteers:
• Practices should be limited to the managers/coaches and players.
• Scorekeeping should be done by team coaches or team parent/guardian by team issued scorebook or via GameChanger. Proper social distancing should be practiced.
• Press boxes should not be utilized during the regular season.
Field Preparation and Maintenance:
• Fields should be mowed, raked, and lined prior to teams and spectators arriving at the complex and after they depart. It is encouraged that volunteers already participating in the game (managers/coaches, umpires, and league administrator) perform these tasks to limit individuals at the site.
• It is recommended that any shared field preparation equipment be sprayed or wiped with cleaner and disinfectant before and after each use.
• Umpires are permitted to be placed 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.
• If physically able, umpires are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings while umpiring.
• All spectators should follow best social distancing practices — stay six feet away from individuals outside their household; wear a cloth face covering at all times; avoid direct hand or other contact with players/managers/coaches during play.
• Local Leagues may choose to minimize the exposure risk to spectators by limiting attendance to only essential volunteers and limited family members.
• Access to public restrooms should be limited if possible.
• A “one-in-one-out” policy, where only one individual is permitted within the restroom at one time, should be implemented to ensure adequate distancing in the confined restroom space.
• Prior to and after any league activity, restrooms should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Restrooms should be disinfected on a regular basis.
• Public water fountains or refillable water stations should not be used and should be turned off to discourage use, if possible.
• No food or concession sales should be allowed at facilities.
• Families are encouraged to bring their own food/beverages.