Sharon Youth Baseball and Softball Association (SYBSA) Reopening Plan FAQ
Q: Will there be separate balls used during games/practices?
A: It is expected each team will provide baseballs/softballs for use when their team is in the field. Foul balls landing outside the field of play should be retrieved by a player on the defensive team. No spectators should retrieve the ball.
Q. How long is the season?
A: Season will begin around the week of 9/28 and end on 10/25
Q: Will dugouts be used?
A: No, Dugouts/benches will be closed to all players, except for on-deck use by a single player. Players & coaches will be assigned a specific location where they will reside, positioned down the left & right field lines (off playing field & outside of fence) away from throws that might come to 1st and 3rd base. Players will be seated or stand in their assigned location no less than 6’ apart and must have at least one (1) Coach to watch over players in this area at all times.
Q: When and who are required to use safety face coverings?
SYBSA will provide safety masks. Masks should be worn around their face as part of practice/game attire by all players. Players should wear masks covering their nose and mouth at all times they are not actively participating in the field (e.g., bench, dugout, pre/post-game/practice). Neck gaiters are NOT ALLOWED.
A1: Face coverings and social distancing of six feet is required when participants are not actively engaged in an activity (e.g., on the bench, huddles, breaks, pre/post-practice).
A2: Players may remove face coverings while participating in practice and drills, provided they are able to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from all other person’s present.
A3: Coaches, staff, umpires, and other officials are required to wear facial coverings and maintain social distancing of 6 feet from players, coaches, spectators, and other persons at all times.
Q: What kind of masks are allowed? Can players wear neck gaiters?
A: Players are not allowed to wear neck gaiters because some studies have shown they are less effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. For this reason, the CDC currently recommends not using neck gaiters. Also, masks should have two layers as these have been shown to be more effective than masks with a single layer.
Q: Can my player bring food or a snack?
A: No food (unless medically required) and no spitting. (This includes no gum chewing or seed-eating). Players are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. There will be no running water available on site.
Q: How many people will be supervising activities on each team?
A: Each team will require a Manager and 1-2 coaches for baseball/softball activities. Each team will also require a Safety Coach, their responsibility will be helping the team adhere to the safety protocols; they will have NO baseball/softball responsibilities. Each game/practice will also have a Field Supervisor for the complex for the duration of play.
Q: What can I do as a parent/guardian?
A: Parents/guardians should clean and sanitize players' equipment before use and after each practice/game.
Q: Who can watch the games/practices?
A: Maximum one (1) spectator per player to reduce traffic and adherence to current Massachusetts gathering guidelines (Subject to change). Designated SYBSA provided field supervisors will monitor spectators to ensure compliance and will ask members to sit in cars if needed. Spectators must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between spectator groups and all spectators must be at least 6 feet away from the playing field, court, or activity area. Spectators must wear facial coverings or masks. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own seating or portable chairs, and hand sanitizer when possible. Bleachers are prohibited.
Q: Where can I watch the activity from?
A: Deb Sampson Field Complex: All fans will be located on the outside of the fenced area beyond the outfield grass, and between the corners, as delineated by the foul poles/lines. Bleachers are prohibited.
Ames Field Complex: Parking will be restricted to the adjacent lot across from the high school. All fans will be in the outfield grass in a spectator delineated area (cones or similar). Do not sit/congregate on the grassy sideline areas between the parking lot and fields, or near the equipment shed. Bleachers are prohibited. To facilitate social distancing upon entry/exit, do not block or congregate in the pathway between the fields and parking lot.
Q: When can I arrive at the field and how long can we stay after the activity is over?
A: Players/families/spectators are instructed not to show up to fields more than 20 minutes before their scheduled game or practice time. Players and families should vacate the field/facility/parking lots as soon as it is reasonably possible after the conclusion of their game/practice to minimize unnecessary contact with players, coaches, and spectators from the next game/practice. Ideally within 20 minutes.
Q: What if I refuse to wear a mask while watching the games?
A: SYBSA volunteers are committed to the safety of your children and of our community. We have carefully established these rules in order to maximize safety for everyone. Field supervisors will be present at every game and will be checking that everyone is following the rules. Anyone who refuses to wear a mask or to follow any of the established rules will be asked to leave.
Q: Oh, a foul ball! Can I keep it as a souvenir or throw it back in for the game?
A: No, defensive players or their coaches shall retrieve all balls leaving the field of play.
Q: What does each participant need to do to ensure they or their child is healthy and able to attend practice/game?
A: Coaches, players, and volunteers must conduct a daily symptom assessment (self-evaluation) before leaving for the field, and anyone experiencing any symptoms must stay home. Please screen for the symptoms as noted on the CDC website for self-monitoring symptoms
Q: What if I test positive for COVID-19 during the time I am participating in the program, on or off the field?
A: The player/player’s parent must immediately stay away from all field complexes, remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, and notify their coach, VP of Baseball or Softball. If they are a coach or volunteer, they must notify the VP of Baseball or Softball. Anyone who tests positive must notify personal close contacts (defined by CDC), assist SYBSA in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from the local Board of Health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. For most people who have a relatively mild illness, they will need to follow CDC guidelines; to stay in self-isolation for at least 14 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.
For additional information, please see our Reopening Plan HERE.
Q: How can I do my part as a parent/guardian/volunteer?
A: We are fortunate that our sport can play right now. However, it only takes one event for us to potentially shut down. Adhere to our guidelines in the reopening plan and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Be vigilant while at the fields and help us make this fall season a success. And, if you haven’t already, consider signing up today to volunteer and help us out!
Q: Under what conditions would fall season be suspended due to COVID-19?
A: The fall 2020 baseball season may be suspended if
- State rolls back the reopening phase from Phase III, step 1 to Phase II
- Town of Sharon community COVID rates increase to high levels
- Town of Sharon health officials/board of health issue call to shutdown recreational sports
- There is more than one confirmed COVID-19 case among players, coaches or volunteers in the program at one time.
- There is a significant outbreak affecting Sharon residents.
- Unsafe conditions identified at practices or games
Before a final decision is made about league cancellation, the Executive Board, COVID Officer in conjunction with the Town of Sharon Health Department, will decide what is in the best interest of our community.
Q: What if Sharon Schools go Full-Remote?
A: The decision to suspend the season is not directly tied to the school system. However, if Sharon Schools decide to switch from a hybrid model to a fully remote model as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases (either locally or at the state level) it is likely that the season will also be suspended. This is because we will be using similar criteria for making this decision such as the community COVID levels (i.e. color code) as well as consulting with the Sharon Board of Health to reach any decision.
Q: Why is Registration $100?
A: This fee includes many of the costs associated with running a typical season with the additional expenses of doing so with enhanced safety measures in place.
Q: Will I be refunded if the season is canceled?
A: If at any point the season is canceled, we will refund families after taking into account the avg. expense per player. I.e., Registration costs $100. Our average cost per player is $44 (expenses incurred to open a fall season), your refund will be $56.
New SYBSA On-Field Positions for the season
COVID Officer: Oversees all protocols referenced in the reopening plan.
Safety Coach: These individuals are from each team, typically 2 that can rotate based on their schedules. They are strictly to oversee social distancing policies as outlined in the Reopening Plan. They have no baseball coaching aspects of their responsibilities.
Field Supervisors: Supervise the safety measures at the complex and be on-site for the duration of the session. Prior to the start of the session, this person will inspect the safety zones for players and spectators and inspect the facilities. During the session, this person will assist the team's Safety Coach and be available to take the lead in the event a player is discovered to be symptomatic, as laid out in the reopening plan.
Training Coordinator FAQs
Q: How will the training coordinator explain roles and responsibilities to all participants?
A: The training coordinator will host protocol review sessions at the parks, as well as via video conference.
Q: Will I be able to communicate with the training coordinator once the season begins?
A: Yes. The training coordinator will be available to discuss responsibilities throughout the year.
For questions about Training, please email Thad LaVallee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Kevin Collins (email@example.com)
Volunteer Coordinator FAQs
Q: I’d like to volunteer for something. What jobs are available? How do I sign up to be a volunteer?
A: We have many roles defined for the Fall season. While there is always room for more help, the list of available jobs is many. We’ll be happy to match your availability with a role. Please start by signing up to be a volunteer on the SYBSA website. Please go to the SYBSA website and click on “Register Online” or follow this link: http://www.sybsa.org/Registration/Default.asp?n=20213
Q: What happens after I register to volunteer?
A: After you register, you will be contacted by one of our coordinators. All volunteers must also pass background checks (CORI and SORI), so you will also hear from the SYBSA Safety Officer if you have not done this yet.
Q: What is the Field Supervisor?
A: The field supervisor is an important job because they are responsible for making sure that everything at the fields happens according to our safety plans for both spectators and players. Each session at each complex will require one person to supervise the safety measures at the complex and be on-site for the duration of the session. More information can be found HERE.
Q: How do I know everything I need to know to be a Field Supervisor?
A: Training will be provided, and we will provide a checklist for you to use.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of dates I can be a Field Supervisor? How do I sign up for a date to be Field Supervisor?
A: No! If you are able, we welcome the contribution, please use the following link.
Q: My child is playing. Should be a Field Supervisor when they are playing or on dates when they are not?
A: That depends on whether you are also a coach on their team. You may want to volunteer for a time when your child is there. But if you are a coach, you should volunteer for a day when they are not. For a reference, here are the days and times for each program to help you plan accordingly:
- Softball: Wednesdays & Sundays
- Baseball: 9 & 10-year-old, Mondays, Wednesdays & Sundays
- Baseball: 11 & 12-year-old, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays
For questions about Volunteering, please email David Tobey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Safety Supplies Coordinators FAQs
For questions about Safety Supplies, please email Alan Westman (email@example.com) and Jeremy Haskins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Equipment Coordinator FAQs
For questions about Equipment, please email Rob Fried (email@example.com)
Bathroom Coordinator FAQs
Q. Will bathrooms be open?
A. A porta-potty will be available at each complex. The usual bathrooms at the ball fields will remain closed until further notice.
Q. How often will you clean the bathrooms?
A. The porta-potties will undergo intensive cleaning, disinfecting, waste evacuation, and restocking by the porta-potty company once per week. Between these washings, all porta-potties will be inspected prior to each practice and spot-cleaned at the end of each practice.
Q. Will other non-baseball/softball people be using the porta-potties?
A. The porta-potties are for baseball/softball use only. They will be padlocked shut to eliminate others from using them outside of scheduled baseball/softball activities.
For questions about Equipment, please email Eric Tammaro (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Uniform/Masks Coordinator FAQs
For questions about Uniforms/Masks, please email Sharon Silverman (email@example.com) and Glen Silverman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you have questions not addressed in the FAQs, please reach out to Michael Berkleyat President@SYBSA.org or Matthew Harma at email@example.com