DHYS Guidance for Practice and Gameplay in era of COVID-19
DHYS is committed to the safety of its players, families and coaches. Our overarching approach is and will remain in line with local and state guidelines for facilities and events. This includes limiting the number of people at practice to remain within limits of the current mass-gathering limitations of the local jurisdiction.
SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR SPRING 2021 RECREATION SEASON
Schedules of team activities and general expectations of families during team activities.
Team practices and games will be scheduled to maintain distance within fields and throughout the parks. At Medlock Park, Kelley Cofer Park and First Baptist Church of Decatur this will include staggered start times for games and practices on all of the fields to minimize interaction when entering and exiting the fields and batting cages.
NO UNSCHEDULED practice activities are allowed during the Spring 2021 rec season. This includes bullpen and cage sessions. This is to ensure we maintain appropriate reduction of density of people in the park during our baseball/softball activities.
Team managers are responsible to stay within strictly prescribed practice times to avoid overlap with other teams. This will include use of cages and adjacent spaces. Practice schedules will be staggered with time gaps in between to allow for participants to leave the field.
Only players assigned to practice may be in attendance. No additional players can join practice, including siblings. Players may not arrive early for practice. If they need to, they must remain in the car until the scheduled practice time.
Parents will drop-off players for practice. If they wish to remain, they must stay in their car or stay in other areas of the park (i.e. along the outfield fences, away from dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, and stands). Parents and other caregivers are expected to maintain safe social distances while at the park for team activities. Younger siblings must be kept with their families if in attendance.
All spectators at games and practices are required to wear masks at all times.
Health screening of players
Prior to team activities
If players or any of their household contacts have a fever or exhibit other symptoms of COVID-19 within 24 hours of practice, the player will notify the coach and not come to practice. The DHYS coronavirus monitoring team will evaluate the situation regarding when the player may return to team activities.
If a player or someone in their family tests positive for an active infection of COVID-19 (so not an antibody test stating said person had it at some point previously), then the player must not attend any team activity and notify the coach of the positive test and date the test was administered (not reported). The coach will then notify the DHYS coronavirus monitoring team with the information.
On arrival to practice or games, prior to any participation, each participant (player and coach) will be screened before the start of team activities including a temperature check and with the questions below.
Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
A body temperature exceeding 100.4 F OR answer of yes to any question will prompt the player being immediately dismissed from practice to return home for their safety and the safety of all other participants.
Precautions to be taken during team activities
Teams will take proactive steps in creating appropriate social distancing during practice to include:
No congregating in dugouts. During practices they are only to be entered to get on and off the field. During games, when on offense or as a substitute on defense players will sit on designated marks on the bench or along the fence toward home plate in stands until they are on deck or called into the game.
Players are expected to be wearing masks to practice and games including walking to and from the field, and during games while waiting in the dugout.
During practices, players will hang their personal equipment and bags along the fences of the fields separated by at least one pole/six feet. During games they will hang them on the fence in their designated waiting spot.
Parents and other observers are not to congregate in the stands during practices or games. They are permitted to space out along the fences down the foul lines and along the outfield fences where possible. Every effort should be made to keep one family unit per panel of fencing.
Coaches will wear masks at all times during practice and in games.
All players and coaches will bring and use hand sanitizer before and after practice and games.
There will be no intentional physical contact allowed to include high fives, handshakes, hugs, shoulder bumps, etc.
During practice, there will be no use of communal water coolers or other food/beverage items. Players should bring their own personal cooler and their personal water bottles for the duration of practice, and pre-game and in-game use. No seeds, gum, or snacks (unless medically necessary). Licking of fingers is also prohibited and if it occurs should be followed by immediate sanitizing of involved ball, equipment and hands.
There will be no sharing of equipment to include fielding masks, catcher’s gear, batting helmets, batting or fielding gloves, etc. It is not possible to control the touching of the baseball/softballs, however. Players and coaches should be encouraged to sanitize hands and balls to the extent possible after each drill and after each practice session.
DHYS encourages parents to supply their players with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer for disinfecting equipment and cleaning hands during practice. DHYS is not in the position to provide disinfecting equipment for all its teams.
DHYS will allow players to wear other PPE items if they choose, as long as the items do not compromise the safety of any and all participants in the activity.
DHYS teams will be encouraged to disinfect all hard surfaces when arriving to practice.
Umpires will be required to wear masks in addition to their usual protective equipment.
Click here to learn more about the 2020- 2021 Medlock Monarchs Travel Baseball Teams
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