As a softball league, the Yellowknife Fastball League is permitted to continue play in 2021 under the N.W.T. government’s Emerging Wisely Plan. Below are the league’s precautions to minimize risk and maximize safety as we play during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All participants (players, umpires, scorekeepers, and maintenance staff) are required to sign a declaration that they have not travelled outside of the NWT in the past 14 days, are not currently self-isolating or have been in contact with someone self-isolating, and are symptom free, if they are to participate in Yellowknife Fastball League activities.
- During phase 1, teams are limited to 11 participants each. The gathering at the field will include these players, up to two umpires, and one scorekeeper.
- Spectators are not permitted on the bleachers near the field in phase 1. Small numbers of spectators could sit in the beer garden seating area in the centre field. Signage will be posted advising of this guideline prominently around the field.
- League will mark appropriate spacing in seating areas for both players and spectators, and post guidelines clearly around the field.
- During phase 1, game start times will be staggered to give teams enough time to leave the field before participants in the next game arrive.
- During phase 2, participant limits for teams will increase as per the allowed guidelines by the NWT’s Emerging Wisely plan. Small numbers of spectators may be allowed on the bleachers, provided physical distancing can be followed. Game times may also be moved closer together, allowing for games to be played later into the summer as hours of sunlight begin to lessen.
- During phase 3 or when outdoor gatherings are permitted to be unlimited, participant limits for teams and spectators will be removed, providing physical distancing can be followed.
- Players are advised to arrive and leave the field as close to their scheduled game time as possible.
- Upon arriving at the field, all participants are expected to sanitize their hands. They are asked to do this at regular intervals and again after the game has ended.
- Players must self-identify if they are showing any symptoms and are prohibited from participating if they are.
- Players must respect physical distancing when not on the field; if the dugout does not provide ample space to physical distance, players will use the bleachers in order to do so. Spacing will be clearly marked and guidelines posted at the field.
- Changing in the dugouts is prohibited.
- Team huddles are prohibited. Pitchers mound visits are limited to the pitcher, catcher and one bench coach and must be conducted using physical distancing.
- Spectators must not enter player areas (on the field of play or bench areas).
- Every player is required to have their own individual batting helmet. Communal food or drink, including water coolers and team bags of sunflower seeds, are prohibited.
- Smoking near the playing field is prohibited.
- Spitting is prohibited.
- Players are expected to use their own equipment and leave it in their own individual gear bags when not being used. Players may not enter gear bags that are not their own.
- Whenever possible, equipment and personal items should have proper separation and should not be shared. If equipment must be shared, proper sanitation should be administered between users. League will provide disinfectant spray to teams.
- Umpires will be provided with hand sanitizer and disinfecting equipment; gloves are recommended for umpires.
- Players must respect physical distancing when close contact is not required in the course of play.
- Scorekeepers are required to bring their own pens and sanitize their hands before and after games. All communal scorekeeping equipment will be disinfected before and after each game.
- Handshake lines are prohibited.
- Players are asked not to congregate in the parking lots.
- Players are encouraged to wash their equipment and shower once they get home.
- If a case of COVID-19 is confirmed within the fastball community, infected individual is required to inform league executive as soon as possible after seeking medical attention.
- League will immediately suspend play and work with team reps to determine participants who may have been potentially exposed, and will work with GNWT to inform all potential exposures.
- League will work with NWT Environmental Health Officers to determine when it is safe to resume play.
- YK Fastball League players must respect physical distancing rules while using the batting cage.
- Players are strongly recommended to bring their own bats to use at the batting cage. If you are sharing bats, they must be disinfected between uses.
- All ball feeders must wear gloves when feeding balls. Balls should be disinfected and wiped down once session is completed. Disinfectant spray will be provided in the batting cage area.
- Batting cage users are recommended to wash their hands and equipment once they get home.