The Mabel League takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. Our cancelled 2020 season represented what would have been the 30th year of consecutive fastpitch softball for queer women, nonbinary, and trans players, and women allies. We love playing softball – but we are only prepared to do so if we can do so safely taking into account provincial and national guidelines and public health best practices.
February 8th, 2021
This guideline is based on Softball BC’s “Return To Bases” guide, and is in conjunction with requirements of the Worksafe BC and the BC Health Authority.
Players will only be allowed to play on one team. Subs from other teams will not be allowed.
All players and spectators must maintain standard physical distancing (2m/6ft)
All teams must designate a Distancing Monitor who will observe their own team and
Spectators, and encourage them to maintain physical distancing.
All teams must designate a screener who will be responsible to pre-screen all players and spectators in attendance.
These questions must be answered by everyone and if they give a positive answer to any of the following questions that person must be instructed to either return home, or to seek medical attention, but they are not allowed to attend the scheduled softball activities.
Screening questions are:
- Are you exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, chest or respiratory pain?)
- Has any member of your household exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
- Have you or any other member of your household arrived from outside Canada in the past 14 days?
All teams will be responsible to track all players and spectators in attendance. Team reps will be asked to take a photo of this list (a template will be supplied by Mabel) and text or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-612-3656 after every game.
All players and umpires will be required to wear face coverings at all times. If players are exempt or unable to wear a mask for any reason, they will be required to wear a full face shield.
Should a player need to leave the field during play due to breathing concerns associated
with wearing a face covering, any player on the bench may replace the removed player
and not be counted as a substitution leaving/re-entering the game.
Team Equipment Sanitation
All teams must designate a “Sanitation Champion” who will be responsible for maintaining sanitization for all shared team equipment. This includes sanitizing the dugout and applicable fencing/gates/latches surrounding the team area before and after the game.
In the event that first aid is required to be administered during an activity, all persons attending
to the injured individual(s) must be wearing masks and gloves.
Each team must appoint an ‘In Charge Person’ (Injury Attendant), and if an injury occurs to a player only the coach and In Charge Person, both wearing protective gloves and face coverings, may attend to the injured player. Everyone else must maintain physical distancing.
** If any player experiences COVID-19 symptoms they should remain at home **
These symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat
and painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches,
fatigue and loss of appetite.
If a player experiences any of these symptoms at the field they should leave the field immediately and use the Provincial online symptom assessment tool here: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
Team reps will be responsible to report any players who develop new symptoms to the Exec, who will then in turn contact the local health authorities to start the contact tracing procedure immediately.
The umpire is not to handle any equipment other than their own during a game including game balls.
- Teams may only use players on their approved roster, no pick-ups are allowed, and teams may play with as few as 8 players without being penalized.
- No teams are to warm up on the field prior to games.
- Water bottles and food items are not to be shared.
- No spitting, sunflower seeds or gum allowed
- Where personal equipment must be shared, the equipment must be thoroughly sanitized between each use. When players are sharing a bat, it should be picked up by the barrel and sanitized by the Sanitizing Champion before being used by the next player.
- The minimum amount of people should be responsible for setting up and taking down all equipment for a game.
- Line up cards must be prepared, but will not be physically shared – photos may be taken by scorekeepers, etc. and the lineup card must be made available to show the umpire when requested.
- Pre game meetings will take place at home plate while respecting distancing of at least 2 metres (6ft). Only one representative per team and umpire (s) to attend the meeting.
- All participants are to leave the playing field immediately after the game has ended. No team meetings at the venue post game.
- No team huddles before, during or after the game.
- No handshake with the opposing team/officials after the game.
- It is recommend that all participants bring back up face coverings should their original face coverings become dirty or require replacing
- Offensive coaches are to remain a minimum of two metres away from 1st and 3rd base at all times, regardless of where it may locate them on the diamond (as long as it doesn’t increase the danger to a coach’s personal safety).
- Between pitches, the umpire is to move 2 metres away from the catcher, and the batter is to move 2 metres away from the catcher. Once the play is ready to resume, umpire and batter move back into position, and umpire signals play ball.
- Coach to umpire, player to umpire and umpire to umpire conferences will be done with physical distancing at all times (2m/6ft).
- Offensive team conference may be held with a two metre distance being observed by all participants.
- Teams are to maintain physical distancing while off the field of play, with players in designated spots as appropriate in the ballpark. Spectators will maintain physical distancing, along the sides of the diamond, behind the backstop or in the outfield as appropriate to the layout of the ball park.
- No player may lick their fingers during softball activities. If a player does lick their fingers while on the field, the player must leave the game and may only return to the game after they have sanitized or washed their hands with soap and water. Any player on the bench may replace the removed player and not be counted as a substitution leaving/re-entering the game.
- At the conclusion of a play at a base or bases, the batter/runner and defensive player should separate and establish appropriate distancing again as soon as possible. Umpire may assist in this by verbal reminder.
- On deck batter may only have one bat for warm-up.
- When an at-bat has finished, if the batter struck out or was put out prior to reaching first base, the batter will pick up their own bat and carry it back to the dugout, where they either hand it to a Sanitizing Champion or return it to their personal equipment bag. If the batter reaches base, their bat will be picked up by the barrel by the on-deck batter and handed to a Sanitizing Champion for either sanitizing or return to the original batter’s equipment space.
- All players must sanitize their hands when returning to their dugout at the end of each half-inning.
- Participants and spectators are to leave the playing field and park immediately at the conclusion of the game.
It is expected that members of Softball BC will follow the protocols in place for return to play not only for their own safety, but for the safety of all participants. Failure to abide by these rules will have consequences. Member organizations and participants are expected to adhere to these protocols for their in-person softball activities. Except where a protocol identifies a specific penalty, enforcement should be by way of warning against the violator, and request to leave the in-person activity when repeated violations of a protocol occur. Member organizations not following these protocols may result in expulsion from Softball BC. Intentional violations of these protocols by individuals may result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension.
We are hopeful for a great 2021 season, and thank you all in advance for your efforts to keep us all safe!
The Mabel League Exec