“Common sense above all else”
The information in this document is not intended or implied to be a substitute for guidelines published by the New Jersey Department of Healthy but rather in addition to those guidelines. All content, including text, link and information, are provided for general informational purposes only. The knowledge and circumstances around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, USABL makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information. Further, you should seek advice from medical professionals and/or public health officials if you have specific questions about your return to practice and competition.
USABL Practice and Competition: All players, coaches, staff, spectators and other attendees must adhere to specifically required guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH Guidance for Sports Activities). Furthermore, because USABL teams utilize both public and private fields for practice and competition, additional requirements may be in place based on guidelines set forth by the hosting township, county or private facility. Any additional guidelines should be provided to the visiting team by the hosting team prior to their arrival with adequate notice.
USABL Guidelines Prior to Practice or Competition:
- Screen athletes, coaches, staff and any other participants with a temperature check and health questionnaire prior to arrival at the field. Anybody showing symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be permitted to participate (CDC symptom checklist).
- Do not come to practice or competition if you or any member of your household are not feeling well or are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Do not come to practice or competition if you or any member of your household have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Do not come to practice or competition if you are not comfortable with the guidelines set forth by the NJ DOH, USABL or the facility at which you are practicing/competing.
- Adults 65 years and older or people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions are strongly encouraged not to attend practice or competition at this time.
USABL Guidelines During Practice or Competition:
- Healthy Practices: All players, coaches, umpires and spectators should practice “good hygiene” by regularly washing their hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Players and coaches should avoid all but the essential contact necessary during practice or competition. Post-game handshakes should be replaced by a “tipping caps” as a sign of good sportsmanship.
- Social-distancing: Players, coaches, umpires and spectators should maintain 6-feet of distance whenever possible.
- Limit Spectators & Wear Face-coverings: Please limit the number of spectators attending games for the next few weeks if possible. Any spectator that may at any point be less than 6 feet away from anyone MUST wear a face-covering. Nobody over the age of 60 should be attending games or tournaments unless absolutely necessary.
- SPREAD OUT: Teams must utilize space in AND around the dugout during the game. Many teams are placing each gear bag 6 feet apart along the fence as "their area" during the game. Spectators have ample space down foul lines along the outfield fence watch the game. Please bring your own seating, do not use bleachers.
- Dugout Rules:
- If players cannot socially distance by utilizing surrounding areas (ie. behind or next to the dugouts), they must wear masks.
- Players DO NOT have to wear face-coverings while actively playing the game or physically exerting themselves.
- Coaches MUST wear a face-covering mask while in the dugout or any scenario where they are less than 6 feet from anybody.
- A maximum of 3 coaches per team. Less is more.
- Umpires Social Distancing/Masks: Must try to social distance whenever possible. They are required to wear face-coverings when walking up to the field, ground rules and anytime they cannot be in a position to be 6 feet away.
- As per the NJDOH and Executive order 163 If the face-covering would legitimately pose a risk to the individual’s safety you do not have to wear it while active during the game.
- Drinks & Snacks: All players, coaches, spectators and umpires should bring their own food or beverages that are clearly labeled with their name. There should not be any shared food or beverages.
- Sunflower seeds, gum, chewing tobacco etc., are not be allowed in dugouts or on the field. All players and coaches are to refrain from spitting at all times.
- Player Equipment: Players should use their own equipment whenever possible. If equipment must be shared, it should be cleaned and then disinfected with an EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19 and allowed sufficient time to dry before being used by a new player.
- Baseballs/Softballs: Each team should use their own balls while in the field during competition.
- Umpire Placement:
- 46/60: ”Plate” Umpire will be positioned behind the pitcher calling balls and strikes and “Base” Umpire will be positioned at behind first base.
- 50/70 and 60/90 will be normal mechanics with an umpire behind the plate calling balls/strikes/
- Teams and umpires have the option to have the umpire call the game behind the pitchers mound if they feel more comfortable.