Key Audiences:

  • Players
    • Parents/Guardians/Caregivers
  • Managers/Coaches
  • Umpires

Healthy Practices:

  • All players and coaches should practice good general health habits, including maintenance of adequate hydration, consumption of a varied, vitamin-rich diet with sufficient vegetables and fruits, and getting adequate sleep.

No Handshakes/Personal Contact Celebrations:

  • Players and coaches should take measures to prevent all but the essential contact necessary to play the game. This should include refraining from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc. Little League International suggests lining up outside the dugout and tipping caps to the opposing team as a sign of good sportsmanship after a game.
  • Players and families should vacate the field/facility as soon as is reasonably possible after the conclusion of their game to minimize unnecessary contact with players, coaches, and spectators from the next game, ideally within 15 minutes.

Drinks and Snacks:

  • Athletes, managers/coaches, and umpires should bring their own personal drinks to all team activities. Drinks should be labeled with the person’s name.
  • Individuals should take their own drink containers home each night for cleaning and sanitation or use single-use bottles.
  • There should be no use of shared or team beverages.
  • Teams should not share any snacks or food. Players should bring individual, pre-packaged food, if needed.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • All managers/coaches, volunteers, umpires, etc., should wear PPE whenever applicable and possible, such as cloth face coverings.
  • Players should wear cloth face coverings when in close contact areas and in places where recommended social distancing is challenging or not feasible, such as in dugouts.
  • Players should not wear protective medical gloves on the field during game play.
  • Players, especially at younger divisions, are not required to wear a cloth face covering while on the field during game play.
  • Players will be permitted to wear a cloth face covering on the field during game play, if physically able to do so, based on any directive of a medical provider or individual determination of the player/parent/guardian.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Dugouts:

  • Managers/coaches and players should be assigned spots in the dugout or on the bleachers so that they are at least six feet apart and must be placed behind a fence.
  • Players are to stay at their assigned spots when on the bench or while waiting their turn to bat.
  • Players and managers/coaches should wear a cloth face covering while in the dugout.

Player Equipment:

  • No personal player bat bags/equipment bags should be allowed in the dugout. Player equipment should be spaced accordingly outside the dugout to prevent direct contact.
  • Players should have their own individual batter’s helmet, glove, bat, and catcher’s equipment.
  • Measures should be enacted to avoid, or minimize, equipment sharing when feasible.
  • Some critical equipment may not be able to be obtained by every individual. When it is necessary to share critical or limited equipment, all surfaces of each piece of shared equipment must be cleaned first and then disinfected with an EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19 and allowed sufficient time to dry before used by a new player. Increased attention should be paid to detailed cleaning of all equipment directly contacting the head and face (catcher’s mask, helmets).
  • Players should not share towels, clothing, or other items that they may use to wipe their face or hands
  • Player’s equipment (e.g. bags, helmets, bats, gloves, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by a parent/guardian/caretaker, where applicable.
  • Individuals disinfecting equipment are encouraged to use gloves while using disinfectants and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. All disinfectants should be stored properly, in a safe area, out of reach of children.

Baseballs and Softballs:

  • Baseballs and softballs should be rotated through on a regular basis, at least every two innings, to limit individual contact.
  • Umpires should limit their contact with the ball, and catchers should retrieve foul balls and passed balls where possible.
  • Balls used in infield/outfield warm-up should be isolated from a shared ball container.
  • Foul balls landing outside the field of play should be retrieved by participating players, coaches, and umpires. No spectators should retrieve the ball.

Spitting, Sunflower Seeds, Gum, etc.:

  • Sunflower seeds, gum, etc., should not be allowed in dugouts or on the playing field.
  • All players and coaches are to refrain from spitting at all times, including in dugout areas and on the playing field.
Back: General Guidance NEXT: GAME OPS & UMPIRES