RETURN-TO-PLAY GUIDELINES

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association UPDATED: February 9, 2021

(Jan. 19, 2021) -​The WIAA staff have created a summary of the Healthy Washington Sport & Activity Guidelines for school-based activities which were issued by the Washington State Department of Health on January 5, with details added on the Governor’s website on January 11. ​

​The Healthy Washington Sport & Activity Guidelines summary can be found on the Covid-19 Planning section of the WIAA website.

Please note that the summary is intended to highlight key policies and add clarity to the DOH guidelines, and it does not reflect WIAA policies. The full language issued on the Governor’s website can be accessed ​at:

https://www.kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/covid-response/current-guidance.aspx

The Governor’s Office has declared school districts and organizations must follow these guidelines, unlike the recommendations issued in the decision-making tree for schools to return to in-person learning. It is not mandated that schools return to in-person learning before taking part in extracurricular activities given the phase requirements are met. WIAA staff strongly encourages each school to work with their risk manager while planning for a return to participation. The following document includes detailed return-to-play guidelines for WIAA sports and activities.

BASEBALL GUIDELINES

 WIAA STAFF LEAD: Cindy Adsit

Considering all recommendations by the NFHS, WIAA rules and regulations, and the SMAC guidelines, the following are the specific guidelines for Baseball. Baseball has been identified as a MODERATE RISK sport. Competitions may begin in Phase 2.

Phase 2 — BASEBALL COMPETITIONS MAY BEGIN – Minimum Practice Requirement = 5

●Ideal: 1 bat, 1 glove, batting gloves, etc. If not provided for every player, each item must be sanitized between use. ●Consider warm up pitches / arm warm up. Utilize a bucket of balls to limit contact between players.

●Only athletes will touch the balls. Umpires must inspect the balls but will not be placing balls into play.

●Eliminate throwing the ball around the horn. ●Sanitized back up ball(s) should be available and should be rotated in regularly (someone needs to be designated to sanitize the ball.) Keep sanitized and un-sanitized balls separated. Recommended to rotate balls at the end of each play. ●Hydration stations may be utilized but must be cleaned after every practice or competition. ●Recommended to have teams gather in space other than a dugout if physical distancing is notable to be met in the dugout. Team could spread out along the fence-line to maintain space. ●Limit “captain meeting” to 1-person per school and umpire, maintaining physical distance. ●Entering / exiting field process recommended to stagger athletes as they enter or leave the dugout to allow for physical distancing.

NFHS RETURN TO COMPETITION RECOMMENDATIONS

●General Considerations:○Wash stations or sanitizer should be at each dugout. ○No one touches the score sheet except the scorer. ○The bench/dugout must be sanitized according to local requirements prior to competition.

○Each team provides sanitized balls (bucket) while on defense. ○Have a bucket of “dirty” balls available so they can be sanitized after the game. ○Bases will be sanitized after each practice or contest according to local requirements.

●Considerations for Coaches:○Recommend 3-part line-up cards, so that each coach and the umpire has their own copy (umpire will receive the middle page.)

○Physical distancing must be maintained during any discussion/clarification with umpires.

○The foul line will be the boundary for any discussion/clarification with umpires.

●Considerations for Players:○No sharing of batting helmets unless they are sanitized and adequate time is allowed for the sanitizer to dry between uses. ○No sharing of catcher’s equipment. ○No sharing of bats unless they are sanitized between uses. ○Players should avoid putting their hands in their mouth and then touching the ball.

●Considerations for Umpires:○Come dressed and ready to umpire. Locker rooms will not be provided. ○A separate bathroom and a designated meeting space for pre and post game meetings should be provided for umpires when possible. ○Bring personal hand sanitizer. Wash hands/sanitize frequently. ○Don’t share equipment. ○Recommend 3-part line-up cards, so that each coach and the umpire has their own copy (umpire will receive the middle page.)

○No touching of baseballs. Tongs could be used to examine the balls. ○The umpire-in-chief should wear a face covering or modify/extent your stance behind the plate. ○Umpires are recommended to bring their own food and water. ○Umpires will not be expected to monitor the physical distancing; each person is responsible. ○Physical distancing must be maintained to insure confidentiality if umpires confer on a call or situation.

●Considerations for Parents (a family’s role in maintaining safety guidelines for themselves and others):○Make sure your child and immediate household members are free from illness before participating in practice and competition (if there is doubt stay home).○Provide personal items for your child and clearly label them. Disinfect your students’ personal equipment after each game or practice.