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NORTHAMPTON LITTLE LEAGUE COVID-19 RETURN TO PLAY PLAN

On July 1, 2020, Hampton entered Phase 3 of the “Forward Virginia” plan for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to promote the health and safety of everyone involved with Northampton Little League (“NHLL”) activities, and to comply with the state’s recovery plan, NHLL’s Board has adopted supplemental operating protocols based upon the latest authoritative guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Little League International, and others.

The following protocols presume the season will occur during Phase 3 of Virginia’s COVID-19 reopening. They will be adjusted as appropriate and necessary if circumstances or government guidance change. In the event that the State of Virginia reverts back to Phase 2 of the Reopening Plan, only practices will be held and no games will be played while adhering to the guidelines set forth by the Governor of Virginia and the City of Hampton. If Virginia reverts back to Phase 1, all events (including practices, scrimmages, and games) will be cancelled until further notice.

Managers and coaches will be provided with a training session that will outline all of the League’s expectations and procedures for pre-event screening procedures, cleaning procedures, as well as any safety procedures to ensure a safe and clean environment throughout the season. It will be stressed that without their cooperation and due diligence of their responsibilities NHLL will halt all activities until it has been determined that activities can resume again safely.

Parents/Guardians, Volunteers, Coaches, and Managers will be required to sign a Release of Liability Waiver Relating to illness (Covid-19) during registration.

This Return to Play Plan applies to all NHLL activities unless it is amended or rescinded. Updates may be posted on the NHLL Website at www.nhllbaseball.com.

  1. Pre Screening Procedures

• Prior to taking the field for the first practice, parents and volunteers will sign-off on a well-check survey. This will be kept with student medical release forms and destroyed at the end of the season. Parents are responsible for alerting the team manager if the status on the well-check survey changes from practice to practice.

• Parents must adhere to the following health guidelines:

If a volunteer, player, spectator has had any of the following in the past 24 hours, we ask that you keep you/him/her home until the symptom is gone or unless your physician has stated it is safe to return.

The symptoms include:

  • Fever (must be fever free for 24 hours without the assistance of medicine prior to
  • returning to practice)
  • Moderate to severe coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite or smell

• If any of the above symptoms are present of in someone is exhibiting unusual behavior or just seems generally unwell, parents/players/volunteers/spectators are asked to remain home. It is imperative that we work together.

• If a player, volunteer, or spectator has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, awaiting test results, or is presumed to be positive for COVID-19, that player/ volunteer may not return to practice for 14 days from last contact. Team managers are required to keep an attendance log for each practice.

Protective Face Coverings

• NHLL promotes parent choice to provide their player with a mask to use off the field or in the dugout.

2.                Restrooms and Concessions

• Restrooms will be open for the season. They will be cleaned and disinfected daily regularly. 

• Concessions shall be open for games and Concessions Manager will schedule cleaning and sanitizing.

3.                 Scheduling

• To avoid excessive crowding on/around playing fields, all games and practices will be scheduled with firm start and end times with 30 minute intervals between. Managers are to dismiss players at the conclusion of their event to ensure that they depart immediately and not linger around. 

4.                 Practices and Games

• Baseballs and Softballs should be rotated so that each team uses its own ball during the game. (Home team uses its ball on the field and Visiting team uses their ball when in the field) This will limit possible exposure from sharing a ball.

• Foul balls landing outside of the field of play should be retrieved by players, coaches and umpires. If a spectator should retrieve the ball, the ball needs to be disinfected by a coach before being put back in play.

• Players and coaches should take measures to prevent all but the essential contact necessary to play the game. This should include refraining from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc. NHLL suggests lining up outside the dugout and tipping caps to the opposing team as a sign of good sportsmanship after a game.

• Each player will sanitize their hands coming off the field each inning. 

• Players must use their own equipment. As an additional safeguard, we ask that parents highly mark their player’s equipment and sanitize it between practices.

• No food, including sunflower seeds, gum, etc., will be allowed in dugouts or on the field.

• Sharing of drinks is prohibited. Players should bring their drink and have it clearly labeled.

Umpires

• The Team Manager or Team Safety Officer of the HOME TEAM will ask the volunteering umpires the Well Check Survey questions before the game begins. If an umpire fails a screening, they will not be eligible to umpire the game and will be asked to return home for the safety and welfare of the players, other volunteers, and spectators.

 • The umpire can call the game from behind the pitcher’s mound. In this case, no umpire mask or equipment is required. 

Dugouts/Bleachers

• Dugouts will be permitted for use in Phase 3. Dugout benches and other high touch areas will be sprayed or wiped down with disinfectant 10 minutes prior to use and after each game or practice. 

• When batting, only one coach will be allowed in the dugout. When the team is on the field, all the coaches can be in the dugout.

Spectators

• Spectators must wear masks over their nose and mouth in accordance with section II of the Governor’s executive order. Ten feet of physical distance must be maintained between spectators who are not Family members, as defined in section I, subsection D, paragraph 2.

• Spectators are encouraged to bring their own seating to ensure social distancing.

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