Somers Little League is committed to our community and the development of our youth. We are about baseball as much as anything - not the game we adults watch being played but the game the kids feel. The pressure of the at bat, the butterflies before throwing the first pitch and the nerves when he realizes the fly ball is coming right at him. The tradition of this game brings opportunity to our towns youth that is second to none. As coaches and board members we are committed to teaching our little league ball players about character, courage and loyalty. We are committed to teaching them how to be a good teammate, how to lose with dignity, win with honor and that nothing worth doing comes easy.
COVID-19 Guidance for Somers Little League Return to Play: 2020 Season
Somers Little League (“SLL”) players, families and coaches plan on adhering to the following guidelines to maintain the health and safety of all SLL players, families, and coaches/officials.
Return to Play
Baseball is considered a moderate risk activity and will be allowed to resume on June 20, 2020 according to the the State of Connecticut’s Sector Rules. SLL’s field(s) will be limited to a maximum of two teams, officials, and family members only. Initially the fields may be used for individual or group training and controlled practices. Beginning July 5, 2020, scrimmages and games can be scheduled.
Visual signs and posters will be placed around SLL facilities to encourage and reinforce COVID-19 related safety practices including 6-foot social distancing from others, wearing of masks, hand washing or use of hand sanitizer and proper cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
Players and coaches will limit personal contact, including refraining from huddles, handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, slaps, and group celebrations. Little League International suggests lining up and tipping caps to the opposing team as a sign of good sportsmanship after a game.
Players and families will vacate the field as soon as reasonably possible to minimize unnecessary contact with others.
Snacks and Beverages
Athletes, coaches/officials and umpires will bring their own personal drinks/snacks to all team activities. There will be no use of shared beverages, snacks or food. The SLL snack shack will be closed for the season.
Athletes, coaches/officials, and spectators will not be allowed to eat sunflower seeds or chew gum while on SLL facilities. All players, coaches/officials and spectators are to refrain from spitting at all times.
Personal Protective Equipment for Managers/Coaches/Officials/Umpires/Athletes
Managers/Coaches/Officials and Umpires are required to wear a face mask or cloth face covering when unable to easily, continuously, and measurably keep 6 feet of physical distance from others, unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to medical conditions.
Players shall wear face coverings when not engaged in active play, unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to medical conditions. While engaged in the active play of baseball, athletes do not need to wear a face covering.
We will not be utilizing dugouts. Rather, the players will be assigned spaces and be required to use their own personal chairs in the out of play portions of left field and right field to maintain social distancing while not actively playing.
Personal Protection for Spectators
Spectators are encouraged wear masks or cloth face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth when 6-foot social distancing cannot be maintained, unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to a medical condition.
No personal player equipment will be allowed in the dugout. Dugouts will be closed. Player equipment should be spaced accordingly outside the dugout to prevent direct contact. There will be markings and signs directing appropriate spacing.
Players should have their own individual batter’s helmet, glove, bat, batting gloves and catcher’s equipment. Players’ equipment should be cleaned and disinfected after each use (e.g., practice or game) by a parent/guardian, where applicable. There will be NO SHARING OF EQUIPMENT.
Coaches will keep players in small groups during practice to allow for physical distancing. Practices will be scheduled with at least a 15 minutes between teams to prevent overlap of participants and allow for time to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces, including but not limited to: fence entrances and exits, equipment or other frequently touched surfaces.
Baseballs will be disinfected before and after every practice and game. In addition, baseballs used during games will be sanitized each half-inning with wipes. Balls used in infield and outfield warm-up will be isolated from a shared ball container.
Foul balls landing outside the field of play should be retrieved by participating players, coaches/officials, and umpires only. No spectators should retrieve the ball.
Dugouts, Benches & Bleachers
Traditional dugouts, benches, and bleachers will not be used. Players, coaches, and officials will establish a safe area outside of the field of play with at least 6 feet of distance (e.g., personal chairs). Spectators will not be allowed on the field of play. Spectator seating will be beyond the outfield fence and at least 6 feet of distance should always be maintained. The outfield will be marked with ‘Xs’ to aid in social distancing.
Spectator compliance with social distancing will be encouraged through periodic checks and announcements. Individuals shall not congregate in common areas or parking lots following an event or practice.
There must be daily symptom assessments (self-evaluation) before participating in practices, games, and scrimmages. Coaches, officials, players and families must stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms (fever above 100.4, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell). Contact your licensed medical provider if you experience COVID-19 related symptoms. More information on COVID-19 related symptoms can be found on the CDC website.
Individuals must also stay home if they have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19. Please refer to CDC criteria and guidelines for a safe return to play.
If you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19, have received guidance and/or treatment from a licensed medical professional, and are ready to return to play, please contact SLL’s Safety Officer Steve Hawkins (email@example.com; 860-916-4167) for clearance prior to your return.
All players and coaches are to take their own temperature prior to arriving at the SLL facility.
Should the temperature reading be above 100.4, your child should not attend the SLL event and contact your licensed medical professional for further recommendations.
We kindly recommend keeping your child home until they are fever free without the use of fever reducers (Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen) for a minimum of 24 hours and receive clearance from the SLL safety officer. More information can be found on the CDC website.
In The Event of a Positive Covid-19 Case
Players, families, coaches and/or officials shall inform SLL’s Safety Officer and follow state testing and contact tracing protocols.
Hand sanitizer will be made available at entrance points and common areas. All players will have access to hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol to sanitize hands prior to getting on and off the field. All coaches will have access to first aid kits, hand sanitizer and PPE as necessary.
Volunteers will alternate cleaning and disinfecting both bathrooms frequently. Cleaning should occur multiple times during busy times (e.g., games). This will be for home practices and games only.
Players are strongly recommended to travel to the venue with their immediate household only, if possible. Face coverings are strongly recommended for individuals traveling to and from the venue, walking in and out of the venue, and while not actively participating.
In closing we are prioritizing the health and safely of all our SLL players, coaches, umpires, volunteers, and families. If you have any safety concerns please feel free to contact Joe Radziewicz (SLL President), Steve Hawkins (SLL Safety Officer) or any SLL board member.
We are looking forward to having a great season.