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National Senior Softball Summit Recommendations for Return to Play
May 1, 2020
National Senior Softball Summit
Recommendations for Return to Play
May 19, 2020
These recommendations incorporate the common elements of National Senior Softball Associations’ individual guidelines for reopening the sport for senior divisions.
Each association has additional rules and recommendations. These recommendations only list the common elements and are designed as a guideline and to display the united effort of all national senior softball organizations to re-open the sport in the safest possible way. It is recognized that this is a fluid situation and recommendations may change as the situation evolves.
Each association goes beyond some of these guidelines for competition in their organization.
Senior softball is NOT a large spectator sport, but an activity that lends itself to safe play and social distancing by the very nature of the sport. There are few spectators at senior games.
National Senior Softball organizations are dedicated to work together in an effort to re-open our sport in the safest possible manner so that senior athletes and their families and friends can once more enjoy softball in America.
1. All Associations refer to all applicable guidelines including, CDC, national, state, local Health Department, and facility Recommendations for Personal Hygiene, including:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose – with a tissue, if possible – when coughing or sneezing, then properly discard the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with anyone else who is coughing or sneezing or who is otherwise sick. People who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to leave the park.
- Wash your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- There will be a “no-contact, no-handshake policy” to be observed, extending to all physical contact, including customary game-related activities, such umpire-coach introductions, and post-game handshakes between members of opposing teams. Instead, staff, players and coaches should tip their caps or simply say “good game,” without shaking hands, high-fiving or fist-bumping.
- Players will be expected to maintain social distancing before and after the game – and during the game when possible.
- Plate meetings are limited to the umpire and one coach per team and are to maintain social distance.
- Players and coaches are to maintain 6 feet of distance and are allowed to be outside the dugout in order to maintain spacing.
- Bench personnel are limited to one or two coaches.
- When one team leaves the dugout, the next team will need to wait until all players have exited, before entering.
- The dugouts will be periodically disinfected, either by park personnel or tournament officials or players.
- There will be no community water jugs. Each participant will be responsible for bringing their own water.
- Players and coaches are instructed not to share equipment.
- Softballs are to be kept in their original package until they are introduced into the game.
- There will be a new ball for each game.
- After a ball has been introduced into a game, it will be periodically sanitized.
- Players and coaches are allowed to wear face protection (masks or face shields) during games and it is recommended that they wear face protection between games.
- No seeds, chew, or spitting.
- Umpires wear face protection (masks or face shields).
- Spectators will be requested to bring own chairs – bleachers may be unavailable, or used as part of the expansion of the dugout.
- It is recommendation spectators wear masks.
- Spectators are required to maintain 6 feet social distance.
- Players/teams will be asked to sign a waiver recognizing potential danger of both injury and contracting of illnesses during tournament play.
LVSSA – Las Vegas Senior Softball Association
ISA – International Sports Assocation
ISSA – International Senior Softball Association
NSA – National Softball Association
SPA – Softball Players Association
SSUSA – Senior Softball USA
USASOFTBALL – USA Softball
USSSA – United States Specialty Sports Association