Dear Beth-Wood Baseball Community :
We hope that you and your families are safe and well as we continue to navigate these uncertain times. Our thoughts are with each and every one of you and your families.
The Beth- Wood Baseball Board has been closely monitoring the CDC guidelines, the State of CT guidelines and also the guidelines put forth by Babe Ruth Baseball. Our goal and hope is to be able to provide the children of our League a baseball program at some point this summer.
As of now, the State of CT has given permission for youth sports to begin under strict guidelines on June 20th. Beth-Wood Baseball has carefully evaluated these guidelines and believes it is best for the safety of our children, parents and coaches to not rush into starting a league right when we are able. As a result, we have developed a plan that we believe allows us to take a more proactive and cautious approach, learning from other early adopter leagues and also with the hope that later on in the summer the restrictions set forth are relaxed further. As you all know this situation changes daily, sometimes hourly and we will continue to monitor each and every situation to ensure the safety of our Beth-Wood families.
Regardless of when we begin, baseball will look very different this season and perhaps beyond. We just don't know what we are dealing with yet. We have hereby attached a presentation from Babe Ruth Headquarters that shares their specific guidelines for us to follow. Please take a few minutes to review ALL of the restrictions, as many of your questions can be answered in this document. Rest assured, Beth-Wood Baseball will go above and beyond the minimum restrictions, as again safety is our number one priority.
Some of the highlights from the guidelines are :
- Special “COVID-19” release Waivers MUST be completed by all players, Coaches, volunteers, umpires and / or regular spectators of program activities before the start of any practices and / or games (draft of the proposed Waiver is attached)
- All local & state health official guidelines must be followed for any activity to take place.
- No handshaking/celebrations: Players and coaches should refrain from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc.
- Only two (2) players MAXIMUM in the dugout at one time, while also following 6’ social distancing guidelines at all times. Remaining players & coaches will be positioned down the left & right field lines (off playing field & outside of fence – if possible) away from throws that might come to 1st and 3rd base. Players will be seated or stand no less than 6’ apart and must have at least one (1) Coach to watch over players in this area at all times.
- Players should limit any sharing of playing equipment, bats, gloves, fielder’s mask, catcher’s gear, helmets, water bottles etc. Baseballs and Softballs should be cleaned whenever possible and an adequate supply should be on hand.
- All participants should wear some type of face covering while at the park, and especially while at the games. For example, umpires, players, coaches, scorekeepers, etc. If a player chooses to wear additional PPE, they may do so as long as it does not compromise the safety of other players.
Note : we have received confirmation recently from CT Cal Ripken State Officials that Players who are either playing in the field and who are either batting and / or on base as a runner do not necessary require wearing a face mask if they opt not to. At the end of each half inning, the players in the field must put on their face masks. If a batter makes an out and / or a runner is put out, they must also put on their face masks at that time as well.
- Parents should be advised to have backup supplies in the player’s equipment bag for use when needed and their own marked water bottle or sports drink. No Team or dugout coolers are permitted.
- Review cleaning and sanitation of common areas like dugouts, bathrooms, concession stands or similar areas between games or activities.
- Limit the number of fans to one (1) spectator per player attending games in the park.
- The use of candy, chewing gum and/or sunflower seeds is not permitted by players, coaches, umpires or spectators. In addition, no spitting will be allowed as well.
- Have each Team keep track and report all of the players, Coaches, umpires and spectator’s names that are at the park for each game to their designated League Representative.
Below you will see our proposed plan :
- We plan to begin summer baseball sometime in mid-August.
- Registration will be open in mid-July and will close on or before August 1st - Registration will be open for all levels (Tee Ball, Rookies, Minors and Majors).
- Depending on our numbers, we will construct Teams, Coaches and Managers for all the different levels of our League.
- Our season will begin mid-August and go right through until the end of October with no interruption and therefore will be an 8-10 week season (August- October).
- In addition, there are several other Leagues local to Beth-Wood that are planning a similar program which we will likely engage to compete against us as we expect numbers to be down slightly as they always are during Fall Baseball due to competing sports and obvious concerns around COVID-19.
- Our plan is to have games played on Saturdays and Sundays with a practice during the week. This will help with convenience for working parents.
In closing, we realize that this is unchartered territory for all of us and the stress, anxiety and fear is real. We also understand that for the well-being of our children (and parents) getting back to some sense of normality and social interaction, while participating in a sport they love, will pay dividends in the future. Rest assured, we are going to follow every protocol (and beyond) set forth by the State of CT, recommendations of the CDC and also the guidelines established by Babe Ruth, however we will need all of your help to make this season safe and successful.
We thank you for your continued patience and understanding during these difficult times.
Beth-Wood Baseball Board
Email : email@example.com