Fall 2020 Update and Safety Plan 9/11/2020

UpdatedFriday September 11, 2020 byChris Kelly.

Update for BAAB Managers 

Friday, September 11, 2020

 

Good morning! We have made a few modifications to our safety plan. Please read the entire document below. For your convenience, here are some highlights:
 

  • Anyone who exhibits symptoms related to COVID-19 should stay home!

  • Players must be fever free, without medication, for 72 hours before returning to play. 

  • We will not give out snacks this year. We will not use common coolers for water. Each player needs his/her own water. If a player must have a snack during a practice/game, he/she should leave the dugout and eat the snack away from teammates. 

  • Please practice social distancing (at least 6’ of distance from non-household members).

  • Please bring your own chairs. 

  • Please observe posted signs and do not enter restricted areas. 

  • We encourage the use of masks for spectators. 

  • Please read the remainder of this message for additional information. 

  • If you see opportunities for improvement, please email president@baabonline.com

 

Let’s play ball!

 

This document outlines our updated safety guidelines for the Fall 2020 baseball/softball season. If you have any questions about our safety guidelines, please email president@baabonline.com. We reserve the right to update these guidelines at any time.

 

What factors influence your decision to move forward with a fall season? 

Under most circumstances, our board follows decisions made by Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). In this instance, GCPS faces situations we do not face. All baseball/softball activities take place outside. While certain game situations do not allow players and umpires to maintain social distance, we are able to maintain recommended spacing in most instances. 

 

As we consider the status of our fall season, we are depending upon guidance and/or approval from two entities. First, in order to hold a season, we must receive an approved permit from Gwinnett County Parks & Rec (GCPR). In the spring, with case numbers rising, GCPR suspended all permits. Should GCPR make a similar decision this fall, we will suspend/cancel our season. Unless there is a significant change in the public health situation, we expect GCPR to issue our permit. 

 

Our board will also consider decisions made by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA). The GHSA governs all high school sports in the state of Georgia. Yesterday, GHSA announced plans to move forward with most fall sports. While GHSA holds no formal authority over our association, GHSA decisions provide us with helpful guidance as we move forward. 

 

Participation with our baseball/softball programs is voluntary. We respect the decision parents make for their children. With all our children have lost over the past five months, we want to do all we can, as responsibly as we can, to provide this opportunity for children in our community. We will not compromise safety.

 

What safety guidelines will you implement for the fall season?

 

General Safety

  • Gwinnett County Parks and Rec (GCPR) has posted signs at Bethesda Park reminding patrons to maintain distance, wash hands, and stay home when feeling sick. 

  • If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please contact BAAB President, Inman Houston immediately (president@baabonline.com). We will do our best to maintain confidentiality as we follow current guidelines for contact tracing. 

  • If your child has a direct exposure to an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, he/she should follow current protocols for self-isolation. Please refer to this resource for guidance: https://www.gnrhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/C19_Infographic_2-Questions-to-Ask_Final.pdf 

  • BAAB will follow a 72-hour fever free rule for participation in practices and games. If a player/umpire/spectator runs a fever, he/she is not eligible to participate in BAAB activities  until he/she is free of fever without medication for at least 72 hours. Players, spectators and umpires should also stay at home if they exhibit COVID-19 related symptoms or if they have had a direct exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 (see above). For a list of symptoms, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

 

Masks

  • As we start the fall 2020 season, all managers, coaches, and volunteers are required to wear masks while they are “inside the fence.” “Inside the fence” includes batting cages, dugouts, and the field of play. 

  • Updated: We will not require masks for players or spectators, but we do encourage mask wearing for all spectators, particularly those individuals who fall in high-risk categories.  

  • Updated: We have instructed our umpire associations to strongly encourage mask-wearing for umpires. 

 

Social Distancing 

  • Updated: Per GCPR guidelines use of dugouts will be limited during our fall 2020 season. 

  • Players and coaches will refrain from physical contact with one another. Such contact includes, but is not limited to, high fives, chest bumps, handshakes, etc. 

  • We will not hold pregame plate meetings during our fall season. 

  • Updated: If a manager has a question for an umpire, he/she should call time and request permission to approach an umpire. Managers should maintain at least 6’ of social distance from umpires at all times. 

  • For practices, coaches and players will place equipment along the outfield fences (inside the fence), spaced at least six (6) feet apart. 

  • Teams should alternate sides of the field for equipment storage during practices.  

  • In order to minimize gatherings, we will not permit scrimmages during our fall season. 

  • Updated: For games, players will place their equipment inside the dugout. Players will hang bats and helmets on the racks inside the dugout. Players will hang their bags on the inside of the fence which is adjacent to the field of play. Manager/coaches should help players hang bags at a distance of 6-8’. Player bags will run the entire length of the fence and continue outside the dugout. 

  • Updated: When players are sitting out while their team is in the field, players will stand at the dugout fence and maintain a minimum of 6’ of social distance. 

  • Updated: When a team is hitting, players will space out along the fence, using players’ bags to mark 6-8’ of social distance. Players will move forward one bag at a time until they are the batter on deck. Players will line the entire fence, continuing beyond the dugout. 

  • Updated: Two coaches may be on the field—subject to league rules—while a team is on defense. While on offense, three coaches may be inside the fence—a coach for each base and one coach in the dugout. League directors for the peanut, tee ball, and peewee leagues may adjust this rule as necessary. Coaches must maintain at least 6’ of social distance at all times. Other coaches will remain in the dugout and should maintain social distance at all times. 

  • Updated: Only one team will occupy a batting cage area at one time. Only one coach and one player will occupy a cage at one time. Other players will spread out in the cage area and maintain at least 6’ of social distance. Tee ball teams will NOT use batting cages for pre-game warm up. For most games, field 5 should be available for tee ball teams to use for warm-up. 

  • We strongly encourage spectators to bring their own chairs. In order to allow for social distancing, we may remove and/or greatly reduce the availability of bleacher seating for most fields. 

  • Spectators should sit with members of their household and should maintain at least 6’ of social distance from other spectators.  

 

Sanitation

  • Each player will use only his/her personal equipment. 

  • Any player wishing to play catcher must provide his/her own helmet for use during practices and games. Coaches will sanitize shin guards and chest protectors after each use. 

  • Updated: The association will frequently used surfaces near the ball fields at regular intervals. GCPR has also reopened the playgrounds, and BAAB participants are welcome to use them. The playground surfaces, however, will not be included in our regular sanitation schedule.  

  • Updated: When players and spectators enter the restrooms, BAAB strongly recommends wearing a mask. 

  • Subject to availability, BAAB will provide hand sanitizer in each dugout for use during games. Players, coaches, and spectators should bring their own sanitizer for use during practices. 

  • Updated: No spitting or sunflower seeds will be permitted in the dugouts or inside the field of play. 

  • Teams will not distribute snacks or drinks during the fall 2020 season. Teams should not use a common cooler. All players should bring their own snacks and beverages to practices and games. 

 

Concessions

  • Concessions vendors operate under separate permits from Gwinnett County Parks and Rec. 

  • If you have questions regarding the safety practices, speak with the vendors directly.