2020-21 Baseball Considerations for COVID

BASEBALL considerations FINAL

2020-21 Baseball Considerations

In support of the Guidance for Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities, the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee offers this document for state associations to consider whether any possible rules could be altered for the 2020-21 season. The considerations outlined in this document are meant to decrease potential exposure to respiratory droplets by encouraging social distancing, limiting participation in administrative tasks to essential personnel and allowing for appropriate protective equipment.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list and there might be additional steps in each school, city, and state to help prevent the spread of virus. Even when taking all precautions, there will still be risk of transmitting illnesses. Everyone should stay vigilant about the health of members of their teams. Lastly, the situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing. These considerations may quickly become outdated. Please keep up with the latest from the CDC and other health officials in your state.

Return to Competition

General Considerations:

  • Have hand sanitizer and wipes available at the field.
  • Wash stations or sanitizer at each dugout.
  • No one touches the score sheet except the scorer.
  • Disinfect the bench/dugout prior to competition.
  • Not allowing fans.
  • Everyone wears masks at the ballfield.
  • Stagger seating of fans.
  • Check the fans’ temperature prior to admission.
  • Minimize the number of spectators.
  • Each team provides sanitized balls (bucket) while on defense.
    • Have a bucket of “dirty” balls available so they can be sanitized after the game.
  • Sanitize bases after each contest.

Considerations for Coaches:

  • Wear masks on and off the field.
  • No line-up card exchange.
  • Eliminate handshakes post-game.
  • Maintain 6’ distance between players and umpires.
  • No seeds, gum or spitting.
  • Evaluate pre-existing health conditions.

Considerations for Players:

  • No seeds, gum or spitting.
  • Players must clean and sanitize equipment after each game
  • Social distancing on the bench and/or dugout.
  • No sharing of water bottles.
  • No sharing of batting helmets.
  • No sharing of catcher’s equipment.
  • No sharing of bats.
  • Sanitize all equipment after each game.
  • No physical contact.
  • Eliminate handshakes post game.
  • Eliminate handshakes with coaches/umpires pre-game.
  • Evaluate pre-existing health conditions.
  • Carry hand sanitizer.
    • If the pitcher puts his/her hands to their mouth off the mound and touches the ball, “Time” is called, a new ball is inserted and the pitcher much sanitize their hands before throwing the next pitch.

Considerations for Umpires:

  • Bring personal hand sanitizer. Wash hands frequently
  • Don’t share equipment.
  • No touching of baseballs.
  • No line-up card exchange.
  • The umpire-in-chief should wear a face mask behind the plate.
  • Clean equipment after each game.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines. Consider six feet minimum distance when talking to others (players, coaches, other umpires) at plate meeting.
  • Do not shake hands and follow pre and post-game ceremony guidelines established by state associations.
  • Evaluate pre-existing health conditions.

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.


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