West Metro Senior Softball
Covid 19-Related Game Rules & Procedures
Adopted by WMSSA Board on May 26, 2020
UPDATED MASK REQUIREMENTS - APRIL 30TH
IMPORTANT: WMSSA’s primary concern in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is the health and welfare of our league members and their families. We will enforce these safety measures so that we can get back on the field as soon as possible - in the safest way for the league and our families. We will eject any player or guest who refuses to follow these safety rules, for the good of everyone in the park. We appreciate your cooperation in following these new procedures as we work together to maintain the highest health and safety standards.
UPDATED MASK REQUIREMENTS: APRIL 30, 2021
News reports are full of changes in recommended COVID-19 safety practices, based on slight reductions in the spread of the coronavirus and rising numbers of vaccination coverage. This is very encouraging, but please remember that the coronavirus pandemic is not over. People continue to get infected, become seriously ill, or die. There is a lot of pressure from all directions to "get back to normal." As a board, we are watching the situation closely and will continue to modify what we can do at the park to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible and has a good time.
The results of our vaccination survey were outstanding. As of April 30th:
- Eighty-seven percent of current players have responded and only 3 are choosing not to get vaccinated.
- Ninety percent of our players report that they have completed their vaccines as of today
- 098.75 percent will have completed theirs by the end of May.
Masks are now OPTIONAL in the field, but still strongly encouraged, especially around the home-plate area. Masks or face shields are still required as you leave the playing field, go into the dugout or anywhere else on the grounds. This especially includes the dugouts and pavilion areas. We also encourage the use of masks during post-game gatherings, but once the games are over, everyone's on their own.
We will still not have league-organized post-game lunches, water or other beverages. We understand that some players want to bring food & beverages. Those doing that will need to supply any cooking equipment needed.
We'll continue to watch decisions from government and health authorities and let you know as other modifications to our safety practices are possible.
General Considerations for Social Contact and Safety
- We are revising the West Metro Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk Agreement and all players and spectators will be required to sign it before participating. Part of the form will be agreement to participate under the guidelines below, including any modifications made by the league throughout the season.
- Everyone at the ballpark must wear a facemask at all times. An exception will be made for outfielders, once they are in the outfield. We will have a supply of masks available, but we expect that you will provide your own.
- Hand sanitizer and cleaning products will be provided. Everyone will be expected to assist with pre- and post-game cleanup as needed.
- There will be a “no-contact, no-handshake policy” at every level of the organization until further notice. This includes all physical contact and extends to customary game-related activities and post-game handshakes between members of opposing teams. Instead, without lining up for handshakes, everyone should verbally communicate “good game,” without shaking hands, high-fiving or fist-bumping.
- Players and spectators will be expected to maintain social distancing (6 feet of distance) before, during and after the game, as much as possible.
- There will be no league sanctioned gathering following the games. There will be no picnic lunches. Gatherings post-game will be at each individual’s discretion.
- There will be no beverages (beer, soda or water included) provided. Players should bring their own water.
- Pregame batting practice will be left to player discretion. However, for those choosing to participate, social distancing must be maintained at all times.
- If at any time, a player or someone they live or work with develops flu or cold-like symptoms, they will be required to notify one of the board members as soon as possible. The league will consider the situation and decide how to proceed.
- When leaving the dugout at the end of the game, each team is asked to clean up the dugout and get rid of trash, especially empty drinking containers.
- We encourage players to bring lawn chairs to allow comfortable seating for everyone. Please put your name on your chair, so we can return it to you when you forget it.
- There will be no “shared” batting helmets. If you wish to use a batting helmet, please provide your own. We do have 8 league-owned batting helmets (2 ea, SM, Md, Lg, XLg) that we will make available as season-long loaners on a first-come, first-served basis. Check the “Helmet” box on your registration form to request a helmet.
- League bats will be available, along with sanitizing spray. We strongly encourage that each player provide their own bat.
- Catchers, umpires and batters must maintain 6 feet of separation from each other.
- Most important: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- 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 (coughing, sneezing) will be asked to leave the park. If you have family members with these symptoms, please don’t come to the ballpark. As stated above, please report any illness in your family or other close contacts to one of the league directors; Bob Hartshorn, Gary Bingner, John Hovde, Bruce Torgerson or Ron Wenaas.
- Make liberal use of the hand-sanitizers available. Bring your own hand-sanitizer if possible.