Return to Play

Arlington Travel Baseball

Guidelines for Baseball Activities in Fall 2020

General Principles

  • The ATB Board believes that pandemic  baseball can be played responsibly, consistent with Virginia and Arlington County guidance.
  • Like all activities outside the home, engaging in baseball activities will increase risk of exposure to COVID-19.  All participants in ATB activities need to understand that we cannot create a risk-free environment. 
  • The strategies outlined below have been derived from review of various publications on the return of youth sports generally and baseball in particular. They are intended to reduce the risk to players, families and coaches that baseball activities will expose them to COVID-19. 
  • The success of this plan depends on families’ responsible adherence to the rules set forth, and their willingness to work flexibly with ATB as we move forward. 
  • We fully expect these guidelines to evolve as additional information about the transmission of COVID-19 becomes available.  
  • The focus of the ATB Board will always be on promoting baseball activities in a way that protects the health of our families and coaches, while preserving the spirit of the game we all love.  

Prerequisites to Participation in ATB Activities

  • PLEASE RESPECT AND PROTECT ALL OF OUR ATB FAMILIES BY ADHERING TO THESE RULES AND GUIDELINES
  • The safety of the ATB community will depend on our families, coaches and umpires adhering to social distancing guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health authorities. 
  • Any individual – player, family member, coach, or umpire – who has symptoms of illness  the CDC has recognized as consistent with COVID-19, including fever, cough or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell, must not participate in ATB activities, and should seek appropriate medical guidance.  
  • Any individual – player, family member, coach, or umpire – who may have been exposed to another person who has tested positive for COVID-19 cannot participate in any ATB activity for 14 days from the date of exposure.
  • We also ask that within 30 minutes before departing for practices and games, players and family members who will attend the event take their temperatures at home.  If a player or family member has a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees, we ask that the player or family member stay home and consult with their medical professional.
  • All ATB participants (coaches and players) shall complete a pre-screening. Families may use:
    • ATB Website "COVID Questions"
    • NVTBL Forms
    • TeamSnap “My Health Check”
  • Team COVID coaches shall ensure that all practice and game participants complete their pre-activity questions before participation.  Failure to complete the questionnaire will result in the participant being prohibited in engaging in the scheduled ATB activity.

Guidelines for Practices

  • Practices will be scheduled so that there are at least 10 minutes between the end of the prior event and the scheduled start of the practice.  Coaches must complete their practices on schedule and ensure their teams promptly exit the field.  Families should not report to practices earlier than their scheduled start time.  
  • Other than coaches and players, no parents are permitted on the field.  We will coordinate coaches so that at least two ATB coaches attend every practice.  If a coach needs support from a parent for practice, the supporting parents shall be identified by the coach.  
  • Coaches will wear face coverings during practices and use them when they are not able to social distance.  Players shall have their masks with them at all times.  Players are encouraged to wear facial coverings before and after practices, and during practices when practical.  As temperatures rise, we do not expect that all players will be able to wear masks throughout practices and games but encourage mask use whenever conditions permit.    
  • Each team will receive several bottles of hand sanitizer.  Players and coaches will wash hands or use the sanitizer before practice begins, between each drill, before drinking/eating, and at the end of practice.  We strongly encourage players to have their own bottles of sanitizer for their personal use.
  • Each player shall have their own water bottle, helmet, bats, gloves, and other equipment.  Sharing of any equipment or water bottles is not permitted.
  • Rather than store equipment in dugouts, players will store their equipment along the fence line at intervals of at least 6 feet. 
  • Coaches will plan practices to avoid team huddles and promote distancing to the maximum extent possible.  
    • To the extent practical, practices will be station-based with smaller groups of three to four players per station.  Players shall always remain at least six feet apart during drills unless closer proximity is required due to play (i.e. tagging a runner or hitter and catcher)
    • Coaches and players will follow a “no touch rule.”  There will be no hugs, high fives, handshakes, or other familiar form of physical contact.  
    • Chewing gum or seeds is not permitted.  Spitting is strongly discouraged.  Players and coaches shall minimize hand to mouth contact. 
  • Families are encouraged to send one person to transport players to and from practices.  
  • Parents and families are encouraged to remain in the outfield or in their vehicles.  All spectators should (i) wear masks at all times, or (ii) stay at least six feet from any other person they do not reside with.
  • If a player is injured during practice, the coach shall aide the player while being cognizant of social distancing guidance.  Each team will have a first aid kit that will include latex gloves. In the event of serious injury requiring that a coach have contact with a player, the coach shall use the gloves if contact with the player is required.     

Guidelines for Games

  • Players and coaches should wear face covering /masks at all times reasonably possible, especially on the sidelines and in dugouts. 
  • Subject to the rules of particular tournaments or leagues, it is our expectation that each team will have a separate set of balls to use when it is in the field.  This should limit the risk of cross-contamination between teams.  
    • Foul balls shall be retrieved by a representative of the team in the field.  (Please do not allow siblings to chase down and return foul balls this Fall!)  
    • Before placing a foul ball back into play, it should be wiped down with hand sanitizer, or a wipe, or another disinfectant.
  • To the extent feasible, ATB players will not use the dugouts at fields to preserve social distancing.  Depending on the field configuration, players will leave their equipment outside the field at an area allocated for them – their personal station – which will be at least six feet from other players.  Each team shall provide a COIVD-coach to enforce these procedures at games.
    • Players may use bleachers (at six ft intervals) or, preferably, bring folding chairs to set up their station.  
    • Players’ equipment should remain near their station.  
    • Between innings, the infield should leave the field first with outfielders remaining in the field until all infielders have cleared the gate. 
    • When a team is batting, the majority of the team will remain at their stations at six-foot intervals.  Only the hitter, the on-deck batter, and the batter in the hole may be outside their station.
    • Parents should refrain from entering the players’ area as much as possible.  
    • Offensive players should avoid picking up balls with their hands during pauses in play, i.e. batters should not assist catchers by tossing foul balls back.
  • During games coaches and players will practice social distancing to the maximum extent feasible.  Coaches may coach from dugouts at six-foot intervals from one another.
    • Coaches and players will follow a “no touch rule.”  There will be no hugs, high fives, handshakes, or other familiar form of physical contact.  
    • Chewing gum or seeds is not permitted.  Spitting is strongly discouraged.  Players and coaches shall minimize hand to mouth contact. 
    • Coaches should avoid using signs that involve touching hands to faces.
    • If necessary, one designated parent can be allowed to coach 1st base during games.  He or she should adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times.  
  • Spectators should remain outside of the area used by the players around the entry to fields.  We anticipate that spectators will need to sit further up the baselines and in the outfield to preserve social distancing.
    • The number of spectators from each family should be limited consistent with the instructions of local governments. 
    • Because it may be difficult for younger siblings to avoid playing with their friends from other families, we suggest it may be best if they stay home when practicable, at least in the early phases of the restart   

Tournaments 

  • The ATB Board recommends small and local tournaments as opposed to large and regional events. ATB only plans to authorize tournaments that can be played without requiring an overnight stay.   
  • All teams’ GMs and Coaches shall submit a fall tournament plan to the ATB board prior to signing up for new events so that we can review the social distancing guidelines provided by event organizer.
  • At all times, ATBs social distancing guidelines shall be adhered to, even if tournaments have more relaxed guidelines.

Schools, Travel & other exposure

  • Our athletes attend school in a variety of settings.  Consistent with public health guidelines, ATB strongly encourages families to follow social distancing and hygiene practices at home, at school, and wherever they may travel for their own welfare and that of the ATB family.      
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Arlington Travel Baseball

PO Box 7088

Arlington, VA 22207

(703)801-6297