Updated September 11, 2020
The following outlines USSSA East’s status and position as it relates to our events and teams during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document will be updated as the situation evolves and more is revealed about re-opening protocols in the jurisdictions that host USSSA East events. Please check back frequently.
As we return to play, we all need to be aware of guidelines to do so in a safe and responsible manner. The following are the current USSSA East guidelines for returning to play. They align with CDC, State, Local and USSSA recommended guidelines. They will be updated as the situation continues to evolve.
USSSA East Return to Play Guidelines
Staying Home When Appropriate
- In line with current state orders, all staff, officials, coaches, players and attendees are highly encouraged to stay home if they are not feeling well.
- Individuals, including coaches, players, and families, should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
- People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Individuals, including coaches, players, and families, who have had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the event should also stay home and monitor their health.
All participants, coaches, officials and spectators are required to self-check temperatures daily prior to attending the event. If they exhibit a temperature of 100 or more, they are not permitted to attend or participate.
PPE / Masks
- On the Field of Play
- Participants/officials/umpires are permitted to wear PPE if they choose to, so long as it does not create a safety concern for themselves or other participants
- Off the Field of Play
- Participants, officials/umpires and spectators are not mandated to wear masks unless they are not able to maintain physical distance
in line with current state orders.§Exception – some local jurisdictions have mandated that players, coaches and/or
spectators wear a face covering at all times when not on the field of play in the game.In those cases, the local mandate must be
followed and USSSA East will notify those participants separately.
- Exception – some local jurisdictions have mandated that players, coaches and/or spectators wear a face covering at all times when not on the field of play in the game. In those cases, the local mandate must be followed and USSSA East will notify those participants separately.
- All staff and volunteers are recommended to wear masks.
- Masks should be worn by everyone when using indoor bathroom & concession facilities.
- Participants, officials/umpires and spectators are not mandated to wear masks unless they are not able to maintain physical distance in line with current state orders.§Exception – some local jurisdictions have mandated that players, coaches and/or spectators wear a face covering at all times when not on the field of play in the game.In those cases, the local mandate must be followed and USSSA East will notify those participants separately.
- All in attendance including spectators, officials/umpires, staff and spectators are required to work to maintain CDC’s social distancing. Face coverings must be worn when individuals who are not from the same household are unable to properly distance.
- Tournament staff and umpire gathering points will be reconfigured to encourage social distancing.
- No handshakes, high fives or other personal contact between teams before, during or after competition.
- Facility Management will post signage reinforcing social distancing and illness prevention measures. These messages may include information
- Staying home if you are sick or do not feel well, and what to do if you’re sick or feel ill.
- Using social distancing between individuals in all areas of the park.
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Currently, attendance is limited to only people who are directly related to a participant in the event.
- At risk individuals, youth or adult (particularly those over 65 or with preexisting health conditions) are recommended to stay home.
- Where possible, we encourage our spectators to livestream the event as opposed to attending in person.
- Teams should arrive as close to scheduled competition as possible to minimize interaction with other attendees.
- Spectators should bring their own seating. Bleachers and shared spectator spaces are not currently available at events.
- At the conclusion of games, spectators and participants should return to their cars and teams should minimize post-game meetings to allow everyone to leave the area in a timely fashion.
Teams should utilize warm up space that maintains appropriate distance from other teams and spectators.
Dugouts and Spectator Viewing
- Restrictions on bench/dugout areas will be suspended to allow participants the opportunity to appropriately distance themselves with the space to do so.
- Spectators are not be permitted in the bench/dugout areas. To the extent possible, spectators should observe the games down the sidelines or from the perimeter of the outfield in a socially distanced manner.
- The amount of time in between games will be extended to relieve the pressure and reduce crowding when teams are changing dugouts.
- Teams leaving the dugouts are asked to do so quickly.
- Teams waiting to enter the dugouts must wait for the previous team to fully vacate before coming into the dugout.
- Tents are not permitted at any parks in Anne Arundel County, MD. Umbrellas are permitted.
Sharing of Equipment
The sharing of equipment between players is strongly discouraged.
Team tailgating is not permitted. Any groupings should be limited to single family units with sufficient space between groups as spectators following social distancing requirements.
- All vendors should follow state, local and CDC guidelines on operating either retail or carry out food establishments.
- Gathering / eating areas are discouraged. Patrons should take their food away to a location in the facility sufficiently distanced from others to consume.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own water. Water fountains may not be available and shared community water sources are discouraged.
- Schedules and scores will be updated and posted at www.usssa.com. Physical brackets or score postings will not be used as they are gathering points.
- Pregame meetings will be limited to only necessary people (officials and 1 coach from each team) and are to be conducted while practicing social distancing.
- Parents and teams are encouraged to supply their players with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer for disinfecting shared playing equipment and cleaning hands periodically.
- Use of sunflower seeds, gum and other items that encourage spitting shall not be permitted.
- Use of shared objects and equipment should be limited, or cleaned between uses by each individual if possible.
- Face Coverings must be worn in bathroom, concession and merchandise areas.
Roster Maintenance and New Guardian Waiver
Regardless of when we might be able to resume play, now is a good time to do some roster maintenance. Coaches, we ask that you please do the following:
- Take time to go through and remove players who no longer play for your team on a permanent basis.
- When you login to your team account, you will see a Post COVID-19 Waiver to accept.
- Every athlete's Guardians must login to their accounts and accept the Post Covid-19 Youth Waiver for when we are cleared to return to play.
Once they accept the waiver, the athlete will become active on your roster. You can help expedite this process by doing the following:
- Look at your roster. On the far right there is a “Guardian Name” column. If a player has a name populated in that column, that means they have a guardian. If there is no name there, there is no guardian tied to that player.
- If there is no name in the “Guardian Name” column, verify the email accuracy and click the blue “Send Invitation” button to give them an invitation to become the Guardian.
- If the parent does not have their Username and Password but are certain that they have a guardian account, direct them to the Lost Password link at sign-in.
- Your state office can assist you in correcting other Guardian Account issues including:
- The need to change the Guardian for a player.
- Updating account information.
- Combining player accounts if a particular player was created more than once. For example, one coach puts Abby Jones on his roster one year and then another coach outs her on his roster as Abbigail Jones the following year.
We ask that the manager of each team compile ONE list of Guardian related issues and/or questions for your state office and submit it on the entire team’s behalf. That way your state office can work through each team as a whole and you can ensure that any issues related to your roster have been resolved before you take the field. For Delaware and Maryland, you can send that email to Stacey@usssa1.com. Please do not have parents reach out to the state office individually.
Please note that when you return to play, any player whose Guardian has not executed the new waiver is ineligible to participate. If you choose to use them in a game, you assume the liability for anything that may come of them not having accepted the waiver. Additionally, if you are discovered using an ineligible player, the penalty as prescribed in the rule book will be applied.
If you have questions or need assistance with the Guardian System or completing the new waiver, please contact Stacey@usssa1.com
If your team is a “C” or Rec / All-Star team in Delaware or Maryland and you need to have your roster unlocked, please contact Glen Warholic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Increased Opportunity for Odd Aged Events in 2021
USSSA East is planning to offer more odd-age divisions in events, beginning this fall to create more opportunities for 2020 teams who wish to keep their current roster intact for the 2021 season.
Odd age divisions are not new. USSSA has been offering them for many years and it is hugely popular on the baseball side of our program. It has been slower to catch on in softball for a couple of reasons. We have a lower volume of teams than baseball and the even age delineation has been ingrained in the culture. That said, there is no reason why it couldn't work in fastpitch.
Given the circumstances this year, we will offering 11U, 13U and 15U divisions in every fall tournament. That would allow current rosters to stay together. Of course, we can't guarantee that every 11U, 13U or 15U event goes off. That has more to do with teams registering that way and entering events, but the ones that do will have teams all on the same age plane. And if it doesn't go off, the team would still have the opportunity to play 12U, 14U and 16U respectively.