Sharon Youth Baseball and Softball Association (SYBSA) Response and Safety 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 on 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 4/25 and end 6/13. Tee Ball will run from 5/2 - 6/6
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?
A1: 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. Neck gaiters are NOT ALLOWED.
A2: 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 Safety Coach for that field 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 two (2) spectator per player to reduce traffic and adherence to current Massachusetts gathering guidelines (Subject to change). Designated SYBSA Safety Coaches 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. Safety Coaches 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 Safety and Response 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 Safety & Response Plan and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Be vigilant while at the fields and help us make this season a success. And, if you haven’t already, consider signing up today to volunteer and help us out!
Q: Under what conditions would the season be suspended due to COVID-19?
A: The spring 2021 baseball season may be suspended if
State rolls back the reopening phase
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: 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 $150. Our average cost per player is $44 (expenses incurred to open a season), your refund will be $106.
Q: What if I travel outside Massachusetts?
A: SYBSA follows Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines regarding out-of-state travel. As of March 22, 2021, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts strongly urges non-vaccinated individuals who travel outside the state for greater than 24 hours to either quarantine or receive a COVID-19 test when returning to the state. Prior to March 22, 2021, quarantine or COVID testing was required when returning to the state.
Q: What if I have received a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Vaccination against COVID-19 is currently ongoing. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts no longer requires fully vaccinated individuals to quarantine or receive a COVID-19 test when returning to the state after out-of-state travel. However, all rules in the SYBSA reopening plan apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals (i.e vaccinated individuals must still wear a mask and must remain socially distant from members of other households.)
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 Response and Safety Plan. Supervise the safety measures at their specific field 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.
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 (email@example.com) and/or Matt Harma (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 spring 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: How do I know everything I need to know to be a Safety Coach?
A: Training will be provided, and we will provide a checklist for you to use.
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
Q. Will the baseball or softball leagues use Tees?
A. We will treat this as, "shared equipment," which must be sanitized, "before and after each game or practice" (section 2, c, ii) Also if tees are used they should be set up and removed by coaches to minimize the number of people handling them. In general, this should apply to any other shared equipment not specifically mentioned in the reopening plan (i.e. coaches should handle setup/removal)
For questions about Equipment, please email Rob Fried (email@example.com)
Bathroom Coordinator FAQs
Q. Will bathrooms be open?
A. Restrooms will be provided during the season at Ames and Deb Sampson. If restrooms are not opened, then a porta-john will be provided and will be cleaned on a regular basis
For questions about Bathrooms, please email Sean Muldowney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Uniform/Masks Coordinator FAQs
For questions about Uniforms/Masks, please email Sharon Silverman (email@example.com)
If you have questions not addressed in the FAQs, please reach out to Michael Berkleyat President@SYBSA.org or Matthew Harma at firstname.lastname@example.org