In MSL we are taking the Return to Play (RTP) protocol seriously, so as to provide a safe environment for everyone to enjoy the return to softball. All players are urged to read RTP carefully, where the additional rules for COVID-safe play are fully outlined, but the following summarizes the main impacts on our game this summer. Note that the rules may well change from June 21st (if and when Step 4 is reached).
- Every team should have appointed a COVID Officer, who is responsible for ensuring that the provisions of RTP are followed. Each team must notify who their Covid officer is to the MSL Welfare/Covid officer.
- Team sheet and score sheets (which should be signed by both captains pitch-side) to be sent electronically to the Fixtures secretary.
- All persons attending the game, whatever their role, must have completed their Opt-in registration BEFORE playing. This rule will be strictly enforced. Any team using a player who has not done so will be liable to an automatic 1-point deduction. It is the COVID Officer’s responsibility to ensure that all players have opted in. It is worth noting that opt-in takes only a few minutes, and can be done pitch-side (for a new player, for example) before the game on any phone with internet connection. Players from other leagues still need to opt in to MSL even if they have done something similar elsewhere.
- Under RTP rules, spectators are not allowed, unless accompanying a youth player or disabled player. And for the purposes of track and trace, all persons present must be listed on the team sheet, even if they did not play. This includes unused subs, coaches, scorers, etc.
- RTP aims to minimise handling of equipment. Shared equipment such as helmets, bats, etc. should be sanitised between use. Among the rules are that different balls should be used by each team and sanitised after any play involving contact with the opposition (tag plays). This means that the ball exchange goes through the 1st-baseman, not the umpire. The unused ball should be left on the ground, beyond the dead-ball line. Another rule is that both teams should have available two sets of balls, so that balls can be sanitised after a tag play. The requirement to provide NEW balls is suspended: but good condition used balls should be provided.
- If any person attending a game (in whatever capacity) tests positive for COVID within 3 days of the game, they must inform their team’s COVID officer, who must inform the League’s COVID officer, who will decide what steps to take.