Island Baseball League: COVID-19 Guidelines

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every single one of us. This is a challenging time for people and businesses around the globe. While many of us are feeling uncertainty in our lives, we have all the confidence that we’ll rise up to the challenges this crisis presents and come out stronger on the other side.

The well-being, health, and safety of players and families remains our top priority. We are doing everything we can to assess the current situation and make the best available decision for our league. We understand that every players situation is different. We may have some players who have recently become unemployed or who have family members that are at a greater risk to COVID. We are taking all of that into consideration, that is why we are putting this season into the players hands. While baseball is important to all of us, the livelihood, safety, and well-being of our families and players is far greater.

These guidelines are temporary and may be amended during the course of the season. We will shape our approach as we learn more information and get more feedback from the state of RI. Participants should understand that even with these guidelines, no activity is 100% safe.

Keeping Participants Socially Distanced
1. Home plate umpire will stand behind the pitcher’s mound with an appropriate distance between himself and the pitcher.
2. All participants should maintain a six-foot social distancing to the extent possible. This includes batting cages, pre-game warm-ups and pregame umpire/manager rules reviews.
3. Dugouts to be open to only the next three hitters in the offensive line up or up to three players during defense. Where possible, all other players will spread six feet out behind the dugouts, down the fence lines, etc.
4. No touch rule. No post game handshakes or high fives (A tip of the cap is suggested to acknowledge the opposing team).
5. When holding a meeting on the mound, all participants need to stay a safe distance from each other. 6. First and third base coaches are reminded to stay at least six feet from other participants.
7. Post-game gatherings at the field and in the parking lots are not allowed until further notice.
8. Where possible, participants are strongly recommended to travel to/from the field alone or with a member of their immediate household.

Sanitizing/Risk Reduction Guidelines
1. Baseball policy. The league is thinking through several options to reduce risk around contact with a baseball. Options being considered: a. Baseballs should be sanitized every half inning by the umpire and/or home team manager. Home team to provide sanitized spray or wipes. OR b. Defensive teams are responsible for supplying baseballs to reduce the number of players touching baseballs.
2. Players are not permitted to throw the ball around the horn after outs.
3. Whenever possible, equipment and personal items should have proper separation and should not be shared. If equipment must be shared, proper sanitation should be administered between players.
4. Participants are encouraged but not required to wash/sanitize their hands before/after each game as well as during the game.
5. Pitchers will NOT be allowed to go to his mouth between pitches. This will constitute an illegal ball and the ball must immediately be replaced by the pitching team.
6. No team water coolers or shared drinking stations.
7. No spitting seeds or other similar products.

Waiver Forms 
1. Players are required to sign an extended liability waiver noting the additional COVID-19 risks.
2. If you are feeling sick please stay home. Any COVID-19 positive players will not be allowed to the field until a doctor’s note is provided showing negative test results.
3. Fans must adhere to six-foot social distancing practices. Bleachers are off limits until further notice.

Face Masks
The use of face coverings/neck gaiters is currently being evaluated. We do anticipate requiring face coverings in certain circumstances and need to work through those situations to balance vision concerns vs virus spread.