Five Town Little League [Change Organization]
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2021 COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines

Five Town Little League
COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines

(updated May 18, 2021)

The FTLL Board met today to discuss possible changes to its 2021 COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines in light of changes in Covid guidelines announced by federal and state authorities. The Board unanimously voted to update its policy as follows:

Masks are generally not required for outdoor practices and games when players and adult volunteers are on the field of play but are required when six feet of physical distance is hard to maintain for a substantial period of time (including as examples, but not limited to, players together on the bench, in a huddle, or in a dugout).

This policy update is effective May 18, 2021.

Here are further guidelines for all coaches and other volunteer adults to follow during practices and games:

  1. All players, coaches, and other adult volunteers must bring a mask to every practice and game and have it at the ready at all times.
  2. Face masks do need to be worn when six-foot social distancing cannot be maintained for a substantial period of time. If players come into close contact for only 30 seconds during an outdoor practice drill or during a game, no masks are needed. On the other hand, if multiple players and/or coaches and adult volunteers gather in the dugout for several minutes, everyone must mask up.
  3. Everyone must mask up while in a dugout, sitting on a bench together, or closely gathered otherwise.
  4. Avoid big groups clustered together in the dugouts or on the field for extended periods of time.
  5. Tee Ball coaches, other adult volunteers, and parents should work together to keep players as spread out as possible before and during games. This includes when a team is in the field and batting. Coaches should require Tee Ball players to wear face masks if players are clustered for more than 30 seconds.This specifically includes but is not limited to periods when Tee Ball players are preparing to hit, even if not strictly located in a dugout.

 

POLICY HISTORY

(updated April 28, 2021)

Five Town Little League is committed to providing the best possible baseball, softball, and tee ball programs while continuing the great progress our community has made in managing the public health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To honor that commitment, Five Town Little League requires all program participants and other individuals wishing to observe league activities to adhere to the following guidelines.

Community sports activities for both youth and adults require careful consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health experts recognize the role of outdoor recreation and exercise in promoting mental health, physical fitness, and cognitive development. Reducing exposure to respiratory droplets through physical distancing and face coverings, as well as increased hand hygiene and avoidance of shared and common touch items, remain the primary tools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. When multiple mitigation strategies—including masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and ventilation—are consistently and correctly used, risk of transmission is decreased. 

All Five Town Little League activities will operate in a manner that are no less protective than the latest published state requirements.  The specifically includes (but is not limited to) the current version of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development’s [“DECD”] “COVID-19 Prevention Checklist Industry Guidance” for “Community Sports,” available for review here.  This also specifically includes (but is not limited to) all applicable, current executive orders and other related actions published by the Office of the Governor, available for review here

If and when the state relaxes its requirements for Community Sports, Five Town Little League will loosen its requirements in a manner that continues to respect the health and safety of all members of our community.  Decisions by the Five Town Little League Board of Directors are final on this topic.

Our present focus (but not the limits of our attention) are on two essential requirements:

Gathering Limits

Our activities – whether indoor or outdoor – must adhere to the gathering limits in effect at that time.  As of April 28, 2021, all gatherings are subject to the following limits:

1.   All indoor gatherings:

  • Effective March 26, 2021 through May 23, 2021: 50% of permitted occupancy or 50 persons, whichever is greater.
  • Effective May 24, 2021 and thereafter: 75% of permitted occupancy or 50 persons, whichever is greater.

2.   All outdoor gatherings:

  • Effective May 24, 2021 and thereafter: 100% of permitted occupancy.
  • Effective March 26, 2021 through May 23, 2021: 75% of permitted occupancy.

Face Coverings, Physical Distancing, and Sanitizing

  • As of April 28, 2021, all participants, coaches, officials, and other on-field adult volunteers must wear face masks during practices, games, and other league events. 
  • Consistent with the Governor's latest guidance, spectators are not required to face coverings in off-field spectator zones, but only insofar as they maintain a 6+ foot physical distance from other spectators.  Above all, show respect for other spectators who demonstrate discomfort around unmasked individuals.
  • To the greatest extent possible, coaches and other adult volunteers will endeavor to maintain spacing between players of at least six feet apart.  (e.g., during warmup, skill building activities, simulation drills, when explaining drills or the rules of the game). 
  • All individuals are asked to refrain from and actively discourage unnecessary physical contact, such as high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, or hugs.
  • To the greatest extent possible, coaches and other adult volunteers will endeavor to assure that players regularly clean and/or sanitize themselves during league activities. This includes the cleaning/disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces at league facilities between uses as much as possible, and the cleaning of shared objects and equipment (e.g., balls, bats, helmets) between uses if possible.  To the greatest extent possible, participants are encouraged to use their own bats and helmets and discouraged to share use of their personal bats and helmets.
  • No eating in the dugouts or on the field.  This includes sunflower seeds.  If a player needs to have a snack during a game, the player should exit the field and eat the snack with family members and otherwise away from the playing field.  Water may be consumed on the field and in the dugouts, but players and adult volunteers should be conscientious about quickly re-setting their masks after drinking.

Failure to follow any safety rules are grounds for expulsion from FTLL events. The FTLL Board reserves the right to expel participants and/or spectators from subsequent program activities in the event of repeated failures to follow safety rules. Any such expulsion is final and not subject to appeal


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