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2021 Travel League
by posted 09/03/2020

It is with great pleasure to announce that the upcoming 2021 Travel Baseball season is filling up fast. The NEO Travel League which is Niagara, Erie and Orleans will be offering all divisions of baseball from 8u through 18u. Currently there are 15 teams committed to 8u and 12 teams for 9u. These two age groups will have both an A and B level division.

You may contact John Godfrey at either 716-471-1237 or by email at   for more information. Once the divisions have been filled we will have divisional meetings this fall with each age group.

We are looking forward to a successful and safe 2021 season!

 

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Best Practices to Resume Play
by posted 05/20/2020

General Guidance

Key Audiences:

  • Players
  • Parents/Guardians/Caregivers and Other Children
  • Managers/Coaches
  • Umpires
  • League and District Officials
  • Fans/Spectators

CDC Resources:

Wash Your Hands Often:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to recite the Little League Pledge twice, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Leagues are encouraged to provide handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer, if possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Players are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer for personal use. Hand sanitizer should be placed in all common areas off-field for easy use.

Cover Your Mouth and Nose with a Cloth Face Covering When Around Others:

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face covering when they have to go out in public, for example in public areas around your Little League fields and parks.
  • 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.
  • The cloth face covering is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker, as it is important for these facemasks are available for those professionals needing that personal protective equipment.
  • Continue to keep six feet between yourself and others. The cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. substitute for social distancing.

 

 

 

 

Cover Coughs and Sneezes:

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash immediately.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Social Distancing:

  • All players, coaches, volunteers, independent contractors, and spectators should practice social distancing of six feet wherever possible from individuals not residing within their household, especially in common areas. For situations when players are engaging in the sports activity, see On-Field Guidance below for more information.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home as much as possible.

Self-monitoring and quarantine:

  • All individuals should measure their body temperature to ensure that no fever is present prior to participating or attending each Little League activity. Anyone with symptoms of fever, cough, or worsening respiratory symptoms, or any known exposure to a person with COVID-19 should not attend any Little League activity until cleared by a medical professional (CDC: Resource: If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone | PDF Download).
  • Any individual, including players, at risk for severe illness or with serious underlying medical or respiratory condition should only attend Little League activities with permission from a medical professional.

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 and protective medical gloves.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Key Audiences:

  • Managers/Coaches
  • Umpires
  • League/District Officials and Volunteers

Pre-Game Plate Meetings:

  • If possible, plate meetings should be eliminated.
  • Social distancing of six feet between individuals should be implemented during all pre-game plate meetings between teams and umpires.
  • Plate meetings should only consist of one manager or coach from each team, and game umpires.
  • All participants should wear a cloth face covering.
  • No players should ever be a part of plate meetings.

Equipment Inspection:

  • Players should place their individual equipment in a well-spaced out manner for inspection. Umpires should avoid direct contact with equipment where possible but, when required, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol after the inspection of each individual piece of equipment.

Limit League/Game Volunteers:

  • For each game, there should only be the required team managers/coaches, umpires, and one (1) league administrator (i.e. Safety Officer, player agent, etc.) in attendance.
  • Practices should be limited to the managers/coaches and players.
  • Scorekeeping should be done by team coaches or team parent/guardian via GameChanger. Proper social distancing should be practiced.
  • Press boxes should not be utilized unless there is ample room for social distancing to occur within them.

 

 

 

 

Field Preparation and Maintenance:

  • Fields should be mowed, raked, and lined prior to teams and spectators arriving at the complex and after they depart. It is encouraged that volunteers already participating in the game (managers/coaches, umpires, and league administrator) perform these tasks to limit individuals at the site.
  • It is recommended that any shared field preparation equipment be sprayed or wiped with cleaner and disinfectant before and after each use.

Umpire Placement:

  • Umpires are permitted to be placed behind the pitcher’s mound/circle to call balls and strikes. Umpires are encouraged to keep a safe distance from players as much as possible and wear protective gloves.
  • If physically able, umpires are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings while umpiring.

Key Audiences:

  • League Administrators
  • Parents/Guardians/Caretakers
  • Fans/Spectators

CDC Resources:

Clean and Disinfect Shared Equipment and Surfaces:

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily and in between all facility uses, including practices and games. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, facility equipment, dugouts, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are visibly soiled or dirty, they should be cleaned with a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Spread Out Scheduling of Practices and Games:

  • League administrators should schedule sufficient time between practices and games to facilitate the complete evacuation of individuals from a previous practice or game from the premises before the next group enters.
  • Players/families/spectators are instructed not to show up to fields more than 40 minutes before game time.
  • Where possible, individuals should enter your complex through one point of entry and exit through another.
  • Arrivals to the complex can be scheduled to help ensure a large number of individuals are not arriving at the same time.
  • If there is a game or practice prior to your event, families and spectators are encouraged to stay in their vehicles or at recommended social distances until the start of their game play to prevent overcrowding of spectator spaces and walkways.
  • On-field warm-up should be limited as much as is reasonably possible and no more than 30 minutes.
  • Ensure that practices and games follow all local and state directives regarding the number of people allowed to gather in one place.

Limiting Spectator Attendance:

  • All spectators should follow best social distancing practices — stay six feet away from individuals outside their household; wear a cloth face covering; avoid direct hand or other contact with players/managers/coaches during play.
  • Local Leagues may choose to minimize the exposure risk to spectators by limiting attendance to only essential volunteers and limited family members.
  • Spectators should bring their own seating or portable chairs when possible.
  • Leagues are encouraged to utilize streaming opportunities to provide virtual spectating.
  • A spectator with any of the following conditions should not attend a practice or game until evaluated by a medical provider and given clearance to do so:
    • Active COVID-19 infection
    • Known direct contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19
    • Fever
    • Cough
  • Those at higher risk for severe disease should consider consultation with their medical provider before attending a game and should ensure the strictest adherence to guidelines regarding face coverings, distancing, and handwashing. Such groups include:
    • Those with a serious underlying medical condition, including heart disease, morbid obesity, diabetes, lung disease, immunocompromise, chronic kidney disease, and chronic lung disease.
    • Those currently residing in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • Those over 65

Public Restrooms:

  • Communicate information on available facilities and policies to all parents prior to resuming or beginning season.
  • Access to public restrooms should be limited if possible.
  • A “one-in-one-out” policy, where only one individual is permitted within the restroom at one time, should be implemented to ensure adequate distancing in the confined restroom space.
  • Prior to and after any league activity, restrooms should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Restrooms should be disinfected on a regular basis.
  • Public water fountains or refillable water stations should not be used, and should be turned off to discourage use, if possible.

Concession Stands:

  • No food or concession sales should be allowed at facilities.
  • Families are encouraged to bring their own food/beverages.

Post Information to Promote Everyday Preventive Actions:

  • Leagues should display posters and signs throughout the park to frequently remind visitors to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These messages may include information about:
    • 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 and maintaining at least six feet between individuals in all areas of the park.
    • The CDC has downloadable resources available to post at public places; and leagues are encouraged to utilize additional resources from their state or local authorities.
    •  

Member Communication:

  • Local leagues should disseminate information to all families, volunteers, and spectators about the Coronavirus risk and the efforts your league will be undertaking to mitigate those risks, as outlined above. Information should be disseminated by way of email, league website, social media, coach talks, and public announcements.

Key Audiences:

  • Players
  • Parents/Guardians/Caregivers
  • Managers/Coaches
  • Umpires
  • League and District Officials

Tee Ball and Coach Pitch:

  • Team numbers should be reduced, to help limit the number of individuals at practices and games.
  • Volunteers are encouraged to be from the same household as players, as much as possible. Coaches should wear cloth face coverings whenever possible.
  • The focus on these divisions should be on fun and player development.

Little League Challenger Division® and Senior Challenger Division:

  • Buddies should be from the same household as the player whenever possible.
  • Buddies should wear cloth face coverings whenever possible, protective gloves are also encouraged.
  • Parents/Guardians of players with high risk health concerns should consult a medical professional prior to having their player participate.

Little League® Sandlot Fun Days

  • While activities should be player-led; the adult volunteers overseeing Little League Sandlot Fun Day events should provide a thorough overview of appropriate mitigation efforts and are responsible for ensuring these guidelines are followed.
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