WOA – WIAA Protocols for Baseball – COVID




Updated February 24, 2021

UMPIRES ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for players, coaches, fans not following policy UNLESS it directly affects the umpire’s personal well-being.

EVERYONE FOLLOW WOA/WIAA GUIDELINES for face coverings (coach will acknowledge waivers for non-mask application.) Facial coverings are required for all coaches, volunteers, athletes and umpires at all times under the State of Washington Activities Guidelines.

• Umpires will not handle game balls at any time. Game balls will be provided by the team that is on defense at all times. Umpires may inspect balls but must do so without handling them.

• Proper hygiene should be applied to baseballs at all times, with limitations on amount of physical contact. Abrasive dirt, either dry or mixed with water (NOT saliva) should be used to remove coating from new baseballs. Umpires will not monitor this process.

• Application of disinfectant upon a baseball while in the dugout is advised under the current standards. Such application does not violate 6-2-1a as it is not applied by the pitcher and is in compliance with safety standards.


• May or may not have their temperature taken on site, recommend taking at home prior to traveling to the match and if above 100.4 call assigner and do not officiate.

• Come dressed to officiate; a locker room will not be provided.

• Are recommended to bring their own food and water.

• No touching of baseball should be undertaken by umpires. Requests for inspection shall be visible only upon umpire request with ball handled by member of defensive team.

• Should bring their own equipment and not share.

• Should remain 6 feet apart from other officials, coaches, players, and fans. Umpire-in-chief may need to modify or extend the stance behind the plate to increase distance. This is not to imply a 6-foot distance be maintained while working the plate, but a half step back to gain distance can be accommodated with minimal loss of opposite corner of strike zone.

• Will not be expected to monitor the physical distancing of others. Will not be expected to enforce mask requirements except as deemed necessary for umpire safety.

• Bring your own hand sanitizer. You can also bring this to the field. Use of one ball bag still recommended for storage of sanitizer and other equipment.

• Encouraged to have a pre- and post-game briefing while maintaining social distancing.

• Should request middle copy of three-part line-up card and not handle and compare all three copies. If uncertain, do not have to take a lineup and can use a notepad to track inning, names and numbers, and any other pertinent information regarding changes.

PRE-GAME CONFERENCE • Only (1) representative of each team, with physical distancing from all parties at the plate meeting. If the coaches move closer, the Plate Umpire should step back to a safe distance and let them manage themselves. Base Umpires should line up about 6 feet back from normal position towards pitcher’s mound.

• Rosters should be listed on a three-part line-up card with the bottom copy provided to the opposing coach and the middle copy to the Umpire-In-Chief. Umpire-in-Chief will not compare copies; it is the responsibility of the coaches to assure all copies match, but the copy provided to the Umpire-in-Chief is official. Exception – if middle copy is illegible, Umpire-in-Chief may request the most legible copy.

• Taking the lineups is at the umpires’ discretion but if umpire chooses not to receive a physical copy of the lineup, he/she should still ask the coach to hold a copy up to quickly scan for mistakes, i.e. names, numbers, P/DH, etc. DUGOUTS

• If bench area/dugout does not provide adequate area for physical distancing, personnel should be allowed outside of dugout as long as not in live ball territory.

• Requirement for coaches to stay inside of dugout during live ball is not waived if inadequate room for physical distancing. Rule 3-3-1a is still to be enforced strictly.

DURING THE CONTEST • Coaches and umpires must enforce physical distance as much as practicable throughout the course of the contest.

• For a request by a head coach to address the umpire, the coach shall proceed to a spot on the foul side of the foul line on the side of his dugout (opposite side allowable if acting as a base coach on that side of the field) and as far from bases as practicable. The umpire engaged in the discussion shall remain on the field of play and exercise appropriate physical distancing. This procedure should be covered by the Umpire-In-Chief during the pre-game meeting.

• Umpires should politely remind coaches as they start to step across the foul line of the proper procedure. This will be new for all involved so please be patient.

• For a request to “get help” from a partner, the umpires shall confer in an area as far from players as possible and maintain physical distance. Players may be cleared from the discussion area to allow umpires to have a discreet conversation while distanced.

• Coaches’ and players’ mouths must be covered when speaking to umpires. If necessary for an umpire to have a private conversation with a coach where physical distance cannot easily be maintained, the umpire and other party involved can stand about a foot apart shoulder to shoulder, both facing the same direction and away from anyone immediately in their vicinity while they finish their discussion both looking forward at ALL times. Mask or other face covering should be in place.

• Excessive reminders of proper social distancing and/or not having the mask covering their mouth when conversing with umpires should be considered to be in violation of NFHS Rule 3-3-1f 6, with penalty ranging from warning to benching to ejection.


6-2-1   Illegal acts [by the pitcher] include:
  a. applying a foreign substance to the ball;

3-3-1  A coach, player, substitute, attendant or other bench personnel shall not:
  a. leave the dugout during a live ball for an unauthorized purpose
  … … …
  f. commit any unsportsmanlike act to include, but not limited to,
  … … …
  6. any member of the coaching staff who was not the head coach (or designee) in 3-2-4 leaves the vicinity of the dugout or coaching box to dispute a judgment call by an umpire.

PENALTY: The umpire shall warn the offender unless the offense is judged to be major, in which case an ejection shall occur. A warning may be verbal or written. If written, the offender shall be restricted to the bench/dugout for the remainder of the game. If a coach has previously received a verbal warning, he shall receive a written warning (10-2-3j) and be restricted to the bench/dugout for the remainder of the game. If a coach has previously received a written warning, he shall be ejected for any subsequent offense. Any offense judged to be major in nature shall result in an immediate ejection.

For coaches … … [who violate] f(6), both the head coach and the offending coach shall receive a written warning and be restricted to the dugout for the remainder of the game unless the offense is so severe the umpire may eject the offender and restrict or eject the head coach. A coach may leave the bench/dugout to attend to a player who becomes ill or injured.

3-2-4   The head coach must attend the pregame conference, if available. PENALTY: The head coach will be restricted to the dugout for the remainder of the game, except to attend to a sick or injured player, if he refuses to attend the pregame conference.

10-2-3   [The Umpire-in-Chief’s] duties include those listed in 10-2-1, 2 and the following:

j. Keep a written record of … … team warnings.