2021 COVID GENERAL POLICY
The information in this document is not intended or implied to be a substitute for the “Guidance for Sports Activities” published by the New Jersey Department of Healthy but rather is in addition to those guidelines. The knowledge and circumstances around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, Berkeley Heights PAL Baseball (BHB) 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 individual return to practice and competition.
Baseball Practice and Competition:
All players, coaches, volunteers, spectators and other attendees shall adhere to specifically required guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Health. Furthermore, because our travel baseball teams utilize non Berkeley Heights fields, both public and private, for practice and competition, additional requirements may be in place based on guidelines set forth by the hosting township, county or private facility. Any such additional guidelines or requirements should be provided to BHB teams by the hosting team or facility should be followed where they exist.
Guidelines Prior to Practice or Competition:
● 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.
● Out of State Travel: Do not come to practice or competition if you or any member of your household has traveled outside of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or Delaware. If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel. If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers must quarantine for 10 days after travel.
● Positive COVID-19 Test: Do not come to practice or competition if you have tested positive for COVID-19. You may return 10 days after symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. If no symptoms, you may return 10 days after the positive test.
● Close Contact: Do not come to practice or competition if you have been in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. If no testing is available, stay home for 10 days. If testing is available, stay home for 7 days, get tested at Day 5, 6, or 7. Stay home while awaiting results. If the test is negative and you stay symptom free, you may return to practice or competition.
● Do not come to practice or competition if you are not comfortable with the guidelines set forth by the NJ DOH, BHB 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.
● All players, parents, spectators, volunteers and coaches should do their own daily health assessments prior to coming to the fields for practices and competition.
● Temperature Checks: Each BHB team manager/head coach or their designee will screen all athletes, coaches, staff and any other participants with a temperature check and ask general health questions before they are allowed to enter the field or dugout prior to all practices and games. Anybody showing symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be permitted to participate.
Guidelines During Practice or Competition:
● Hygiene 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.
○ Parents are encouraged to supply their players with hand sanitizer for cleaning hands between innings and antibacterial wipes for regular use in the dugouts.
○ Players, coaches, umpires and spectators should maintain 6-feet of distance whenever possible.
○ Minimize the number of coaches and assistants for practices and games.
○ Best efforts should be made to remain socially distant from others outside of your immediate household.
○ Parents and spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs. Use of the bleachers, where shall be avoided.
○ All players, coaches, volunteers, spectators and umpires shall have facecoverings with them when entering BHB facilities and shall wear them as additionally described herein.
○ 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.
○ Coaches: Should wear face-coverings at all times when 6-feet of distancing is not possible (i.e in the dugout).
○ Parents/Spectators: Should wear face-coverings when at the facility, and particularly when recommended social distancing is not possible.
○ Players: Are not be required to wear face-coverings when actively participating in vigorous activity during practice or competition. However, players should wear face coverings while not playing and when 6-feet of distancing is not possible (i.e. in the dugout). Any player is permitted to wear a cloth face-covering any time (including on the field during practice or game play) if physically able to do so, based on any directive of a medical provider or the individual determination or choice of the player/parent/guardian.
○ Umpires: Encouraged to wear face-covering whenever applicable and possible.
● Drinks & Snacks:
○ All players, coaches, spectators and umpires should bring their own food or beverages. There should not be any shared food or beverages.
○ Consumption of food of any kind on the field or in the dugout is prohibited.
○ Players, coaches and managers shall clearly label personal drinks with their name.
○ Sunflower seeds, gum, chewing tobacco etc., are not 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 individual batter’s helmet, glove, bat and catcher’s equipment, where 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.
○ Player equipment (e.g. bags, helmets, bats, gloves, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected after each practice or competition by a parent or guardian.
● Game Guidelines:
○ Limit plate meetings to one manager or coach from each team and the umpire. Social distancing should be implemented during all pre-game plate meetings.
○ Game field must be exited completely and cleaned by previous teams before new teams enter the field and dugouts.
○ A maximum of 15 minutes is allowed for pre-game warm-ups for each team.
○ Physical contact celebrations between players shall be avoided (i.e. no high fives, fist bumps, etc).
○ Post-game handshakes should be replaced by a “tipping caps” as a sign of good sportsmanship.
○ Players and families should vacate the field/facility as soon as is reasonably possible after the conclusion of their practice or game to minimize unnecessary contact with players, coaches, and spectators from the next game, ideally within 15 minutes.
● Field and Dugout Preparation and Maintenance:
○ Fields shall be prepared for play (i.e. raked, dragged and lined) prior to teams and spectators arriving at the complex.
○ Upon arriving at a dugout for the first time, teams are to disinfect hard surface areas (benches, bat racks, etc.).
○ Teams must clean their dugout of all trash and other items after each game, and to wipe down (clean) hard surfaces such as benches, bat racks, etc.
A COVID WAIVER MUST BE SIGNED BY ALL PARTICIPATING FAMILES. THE FORM CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE.