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Updated: Jun 7th, 2020
Return to Play Guidelines - Tournaments
By: Brian Werner | brian@prospectwire.com

Tampa, FL -

*Updated July 13, 2020 - Subject to change as CDC, State or Local Guidelines are adjusted

RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES - RETURN TO PLAY (TOURNAMENTS)

  1. Follow all local and state guidelines for all team activities.

  2. If a participant or spectator has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or showing any symptoms, they should not enter the park.

  3. Encourage social distancing between attendees as much as possible when inside the park.

  4. Limit person-to-person contact as much as possible.

  5. Discourage unnecessary physical contact such as handshakes, high fives, etc.

  6. Discourage post-game meetings with players on the field. When the game is over, teams should clean up and sanitize their area as best as possible, and then quickly vacate the area. Team meetings can occur outside the park, either at an off site location, or in the parking lot area with social distancing observed. 

  7. Limit non-essential visitors, spectators and activities around the event. This may include closure of batting cages to prevent groups from congregating. We encourage AT RISK individuals to stay safe at home if possible. 

  8. If player safety is not compromised, allow participants & spectators to spread out when room permits.

  9. Encourage spectators to supply their players with antibacterial hand sanitizer for disinfecting shared equipment & cleaning hands between innings/games as needed.

  10. Discontinue the use of team water coolers that are provided by the tournament host, the park or the teams. Players should bring their own, personal water container. Please do not share.

  11. Prospect Wire will try stagger times at facilities where it is possible. If field of teams makes that format difficult, we will try to increase time between games to allow teams to safely depart the field, and new teams to arrive. At fields where social distancing is easier to follow due to the space between the fields, Prospect Wire will work with local park & city officials on what they feel is safe under their guidelines. Formats of events are subject to change based on each complex's guidelines.  

  12. Encourage players and spectators to wait in their cars until right before they can get onto the field. Try not to arrive extra early for your games & come to the field when previous games have ended and players have vacated the dugout area. 

  13. Teams should try to sanitize and clean up their dugout after each game.

  14. No sunflower seeds, gum or spitting will be permitted at any time.

  15. Players should be permitted to wear any PPE items they choose, provided it does not compromise the safety of any and all participants in the game.

  16. Make sure any umpire/coach pre-game meeting is done with social distancing guidelines observed. 

  17. Limit mound trips to just the coach and the pitcher (catchers may join if necessary). No position players should attend a mound visit meeting. 

  18. For spectators, if using a tent, only the owner of the tent and immediate family members may utilize the tent. One family per tent please. 

  19. Prospect Wire may be asked by facilities to limit outside spectators to adhere to state or local guidelines set forth. This may include only immediate family being permitted, or even excluded altogether. Please understand these are facility guidelines meant to ensure the players are able to have their games. 

  20. Guidelines are subject to change, depending on the state/facility we are using. Different states may have different requirements not outlined here. PW events will adhere to all state and local guidelines set forth. 

 

PREPARING FOR WHEN SOMEONE MIGHT BE SICK

  1. Require sick individuals to return home immediately while following CDC guidelines for medical questions or home isolation.

  2. Immediately separate individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of senses, etc.)

  3. Remind coaches to not bring any players who may have been exposed to or experience any symptoms of the virus. Require all players to continually update their coach, should they feel they may have come in contact with someone who has the virus. 

  4. Staff & Coaches should use proper protection when interacting with a player or spectator who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

  5. If an entire team has been exposed, Prospect Wire may require the team to withdraw from the event. Depending on the situation and how many other players/parents may have been exposed to that team, Prospect Wire reserves the right to terminate the rest of an event, if the facility staff or our staff believes health and safety of the majority of the event is at risk. 

 

POSSIBLE GAME RULES/FORMAT ADJUSTMENTS

  1. Prospect Wire may adjust formats of events to accommodate CDC, state and/or local guidelines. 

  2. Home plate umpires will be given the option of umpiring from behind the mound if they feel more comfortable doing so. Umpires may be permitted to wear masks if set up behind the catcher. 

  3. Please limit the number of assistant coaches to allow for additional space in the dugout areas. Utilize bullpens if possible as well. 

  4. Base coaches are encouraged to maintain social distancing guidelines from players whenever possible. Limit contact between base runners and coaches as much as possible. 

  5. Any interaction between umpires & coaches must include a 6 foot distance between parties. Coaches are NOT PERMITTED (nor are umpires) to get into the face of each other to argue. If social distancing cannot be followed, Prospect Wire staff will interject and issue warnings to all parties involved. Multiple warnings will result in ejections or removal from the event.

  6. No post game handshakes between teams. Players are encouraged to tip their caps or exchange “good games” across the diamond if they chose to. 

  7. Game times may be altered by Tournament Host if the facility requires additional time for cleaning and preparing the facility. This includes a reduction of time limits, or including a drop dead time limit if necessary. This is in an effort to have more control over when games end, thus when new teams come in & old teams leave. 

 

***Prospect Wire reserves the right to refuse entry or remove any individual who is not abiding by required guidelines for that event. All guidelines are in place to ensure the players have a chance to play baseball. It is up to parents and coaches to be responsible and help keep the kids playing. When guidelines are ignored, that is when risk increases and the liklihood of an event (or future events) being cancelled increases. Please do your part in helping us create the safest & most responsible atmosphere we can provide. Thank you

About Brian Werner
Played 2 years of college baseball at Clemson University, appearing in the College World Series in 1996. Played final 2 years at the University of South Florida in Tampa. After graduating, Brian began work as an intern in Scouting & Baseball Operations for the NY Yankees. He was hired full time in 2000, starting as an assistant in Baseball Operations, before eventually becoming the Director. Brian also assisted in running the Pro Scouting Department, serving as the main contact between scouts & executives. In 2008, Brian started with Prospect Wire as Scouting Director, before becoming the National Tournament Director in 2010. He has assisted in most aspects of PW operations over the years, and was named the company's Vice President in January 2020.
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