Latest Updates: Provincial Government / City of St.Catharines
05/01/2021: Niagara is currently under the "SHUTDOWN - ENHANCED MEASURES" Provincial Mandate. As such, all in-person baseball activities have been suspended until further notice (after the Shutdown has been lifted). Currently, the Shutdown is targeted to end on May.19/2021.
02/12/2021: Niagara is now in the "RED-CONTROL" stage of re-opening. SCMBA is focusing on how to safely begin in-person activities for our Rep teams under the Red-Control guidelines.
02/12/2021: Niagara leaving mandated Provincial Lockdown, but remaining in the “GREY-LOCKDOWN” stage of re-opening. SCMBA will continue to focus on online initiatives, and other pre-season preparations.
01/27/2021: We are currently still in the Provincially mandated LOCKDOWN. No in-person baseball activities.
- Rep teams are starting to schedule ONLINE meetings.
- Coaches are starting to put together AT-HOME Drills & Training Activities
Latest Updates: Baseball Ontario
05/01/2021: Currently under the Provincial "Shutdown" Regulations, all Baseball Ontario authorized activities have been suspended until the shutdown is lifted.
01/27/2021: We are currently working under the assumption that the COVID-19 Return to Baseball Guidelines used in 2020 will still be in effect for 2021.
Return to Baseball -- COVID-19 Guidelines
Quick Summary of Return to Baseball (COVID-19) Guidelines
- Gathering Limits:
- Must follow Provincial gathering numbers guidelines.
- Must follow restrictions as applicable to your home region.
- Attendance Tracking:
- Coaches will keep track of attendance for all practices, games, and in-person activities.
- Required by all participants, volunteers, and spectators prior to any in-person activity.
- Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or who has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days MUST NOT attend any in-person activity and MUST notify their local public health authority.
- Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must be cleared by appropriate medical authorities prior to attending in-person activities, and this clearance must be provided to SCMBA.
- Teams are to have soap and water, or 70% (or higher) alcohol hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (or acceptable option) readily available at all times.
- Cleaning of common objects should be done several times a day.
- Cleaning personnel should be protected with face mask and gloves.
- 15u and below, only adults shall perform cleaning/sanitization functions.
- Cleaning/Sanitization products will remain under the control and supervision of adults at all times.
- Safe Physical Distancing:
- Minimum 2m distancing during physical activities wherever possible.
- Benches should be avoided.
- Avoid congestion at points of entry to the diamond.
- Spectators are also required to maintain physical distancing for those outside of their family groups, or as required/recommended by the local public health authorities.
- Hygiene Standards:
- Wash/Sanitize hands at least every inning (for games), or every 30mins (for practices), after handling shared equipment.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
- Sneeze/cough in a tissue, or the crease of the elbow. Sanitize afterwards.
- Dispose of all used cleaning supplies appropriately.
- Scheduling of diamonds must allow for 45mins between scheduled sessions.
- Teams should sanitize their areas upon arrival, and prior to leaving.
- "No New Inning" and "Drop-dead Time" rules should be implemented to help avoid crossover between sessions.
- If local gathering limits do not allow for spectators, the spectators must remain in their vehicles.
- Washrooms will be open at the discretion of the municipality.
- Snack bars/Concessions/Canteens are prohibited from being operated by the Baseball Association until the provincial limit on gatherings is at least 250 persons.
- Must follow usage limits as established by facility owners.
- Maintain physical distancing requirements.
- Spectators should not wander around the area.
- Participants, volunteers, and spectators are to return to their vehicles.
- If someone does not have a vehicle, they may shelter in a safe location, but must maintain safe distancing from others.
- Sharing of equipment should be avoided.
- Equipment that must be shared must be cleaned/sanitized between players' use.
- PPE (masks) may be worn at the discretion of the participant, but they are recommended to not be white or grey).
- General field equipment (eg. screens) should be sanitized between groups.
- Participants must have their own water bottle, and should not share.
- Spitting is not allowed.
- No sunflower seeds or chewing gum.
- No sharing of drinks or food.
- No handshakes, fist bumps, or high-fives. (Alternative, distanced options should be used).
- 2m distancing for any home plate meetings, or other on-field discussions.
- 2m distancing when coaches are on the field talking to players (eg. pitchers), unless for a medical emergency.
- Defensive team will maintain control of game balls while they are on defense (this includes chasing foul balls). Members of offensive team are not to touch the baseballs of the defensive team.
- Batter should retrieve own bat whenever possible, or a team representative (coach) shall pick up wearing PPE gloves. Team Representative shall sanitize the bat if it is to be shared. Team Representative shall sanitize hands upon conclusion of that half-inning.
- Other Equipment:
- No sharing of catcher's masks when warming up pitchers. If no catcher's mask is available, warm up pitches may be thrown to a player/coach who is standing (no squatting).
- 9u Pitching Circle (around machine) will increase to 12ft (from 8ft) in diameter.
- 9u Pitching Coach shall sanitize hands after every offensive inning.
- Plate umpire is to be positioned 2m behind pitcher.
- Will not hold any game balls.
- May wear PPE at their discretion.
- Should also use hand sanitizer, especially if they have touched the ball.
- Lead-offs are prohibited from 18u and below.
- Tag plays are allowed, but defensive player must vacate the area as soon as reasonably practicable following the tag.
- Defensive team should avoid throwing the ball around the infield after outs.
- Base coaches must stay within their designated "coach box", except to avoid a play being made. They cannot approach the runner. 2m distancing must be maintained at all times.
- Must comply with all competition requirements.
- Opening Ceremonies and Medal Ceremonies are prohibited until such time as the provincial limit on gatherings is at least 250 persons.
- Best Practices:
- Run drills with players in groups of 3-4, and maintain these groups throughout the practice.
- Each player should have their own chair.
- Distribute practice plan in advance to reduce the need for huddles / close communication.
- Group rotation should always be in one direction.
- Local Associations and their participants are expected to enforce these protocols.
- Coaches will be the front-line with regards to ensuring protocols are followed. If required Board Personnel will become involved.
- There will be a warning provided to anyone not complying with these protocols. Repeated violations may lead to the removal of that person from the activity. Repeated removals may lead to removal from the program.
- In the end, the Local Association (eg. SCMBA) can face discipline if these protocols are not followed.
- Everyone must do their part, so that we all can enjoy a full baseball season!
New RAMP Mobile App
Our new RAMP Interactive Mobile App has some great built-in features that will allow us to better ensure that we are meeting the Pre-Screening, and Attendance Tracking requirements of the Baseball Ontario Return to Sport Protocols, as well as any Government Regulations.
Health Check (Screening) Feature (MANDATORY)
RSVP Attendance Tracking Feature (MANDATORY)
- ALL FAMILIES will be required to use the RSVP feature in the Mobile App in order to communicate their intention to attend any scheduled event.
- As a back up, ALL COACHES will be required to ensure that their RSVPs are all complete PRIOR TO STARTING THE SESSION!
Team Sanitation Supplies & Procedures
- All teams will be provided with a bucket consisting of:
- Hand Sanitizer spray bottle
- Lysol spray and/or Lysol Wipes
- Nitrile Gloves
- Safety Glasses
- Disposable Surgical Masks
- These supplies are to remain in the possession and oversight of a coach, or designated parent.
- Coach/Adult is to be in charge of spraying the sanitizer on the player's hands, and sanitizing equipment that must be shared.
- Where possible, SCMBA will attempt to provide additional equipment to help reduce the need to share.
- The Coach will be responsible to contact firstname.lastname@example.org PRIOR to running out of any of the supplies.
- The Director of Equipment/Uniforms will co-ordinate with the Coach to get the required supplies.
- Hands should be sanitized according to the following guidelines (from the OBA Protocols):
- At Practices:
- At the start of the practice.
- After every 30mins during the practice.
- At the end of the practice.
- At Games:
- At the start of the game.
- Every half inning (on way in from the field, and on the way out on to the field).
- At the end of the game.
Social Distancing and Face Masks
- Players are required to socially distance from other players when their team is at bat.
- All players should bring their own chairs to sit on as the bench does not have enough space to adequately distance.
- Players should hang/place their equipment on/at the fence near the bench area, but they should be spaced apart from each other.
- When entering/exiting the field of play through the gate, players should slow down to allow for social distancing to be maintained.
- On the field of play, players are asked to separate after making plays in order to resume the social distancing.
- Coaches will assist in reminding, and positioning the players to ensure distancing is maintained at all times.
- Families need to remain distant from the bench/player area.
- Players should not leave bench/field area during the game to go visit with their families.
- Families need to remained socially distanced from other families that are not part of their family group.
- Masks are not required at the park, or on the field, but are encouraged, and should be in everyone's possession, in case social distancing is not able to be maintained.