ID Organization Name Type
105775 aso Other

Softball Season Update - Very Important

Thursday, July 30, 2020
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All,

Here is the latest on the upcoming softball season.  As of today, CHSAA and the State of Colorado have approved having a 2020 Fall softball season.  Yeah!  There are several things we all need to be aware of.  Most of the items do not involve us directly, but we still need to know what is expected of us, the teams, coaches and players.  There is no determination yet on fans, but that is out of our control or concern. 

With this in mind, we are going to hold two zoom meetings that will act as our Master Clinic for this year.  It will be a scaled down clinic with us only discussing new protocols and rule changes.  They will be the exact same clinic.  We are just giving you two different opportunities to join in.  The zoom clinics will be:

Sunday, Aug. 9th at 10:00 am

Tuesday Aug. 11th at 7:30 pm

Because of time constraints and the other nature of these meetings, we ask that should you have any questions, you drop an email to myself, Mike Wiley or Randy Pacetti (preferably all three of us, as we are going to share them between each other anyway).  We will also be able to forward them to our Rules Interpreter, Scott Cochran, if needed.  Scott, I am confident will be on at least one of these meetings if not both.  So, mark your calendar.  I will send out an invitation a couple of days prior to the meetings. 

Before I get into all of the new changes, let me add that we all need to be extremely flexible this season.  Your schedule WILL change.  The new protocols may and probably will change some as the season progressives.  When you get notified of your schedule change, it is imperative that you respond to the assignor as soon as possible

The season for practice will start Aug. 10th with the first game any time after Aug 13th.  They have reduced the season to 16 Varsity games and 12 Junior Varsity games (down from 23, hence the schedule changes).   Teams have been restricted to a 12-player limit per team. 

They will be modifying the playoffs to a 16-team state bracketed tournament the weekend of Oct. 10th, with the regular season ending Oct. 3rd.  Again, be prepared for some changes to this if the coronavirus impacts schools and our season.   More on this later.

Following are the 2020 CHSAA Girls Softball Bulletin and the COVID-19 Requirements and Mandates.  Again, these are subject to change, so be attentive to notices about them and ready to make necessary changes.  You can and should download these documents at:

http://www2.chsaa.org/sports/softball/pdf/2020_Softball_Bulletin.pdf

http://chsaanow.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/COVID-19-document.pdf

Please read them carefully and submit any questions to your Area Directors.  Here are some bullets of the important parts (subject to change):

From the Softball Bulletin:

  • Games/Contests
    • All personnel (that includes umpires) will be subject to the Daily Symptom Tracker
    • Everyone must have access to their own mask when not on the field or on offense
    • Non-active partipants (coaches, volunteers, manages) must wear a mask throughout game.  This includes athletes not actively participating in the game
    • Rosters limited to 12 players
    • Pitchers are permitted to carry a small wet rag in their back pocket “in lieu of licking their fingers” (rag must not be a distraction).
    • Pitchers are allowed to wipe fingers on rag for grip
    • Pitchers must dry fingers on pants before going to the ball
    • Umpires can inspect rag if opposing coach or team suspects illegal substance
    • Pitcher may use a rosin bag (must take it with them back to the dugout)
  • Social Distancing
    • Teams may extend dugout toward outfield (areas must be clearly marked)
    • Can be outside the field practicing social distancing and wearing masks
    • No handshakes, high-fives, fist bumps or elbow bumping or other physical contact
    • Water bottles must be kept six feet apart for social distancing
    • Use separate entrances and exits for participants and essential persons
  • Scrimmages
    • There will be NO interscholastic scrimmages or foundation games for the 2020-2021 school year
  • Fan Attendance

o             Will be dictated by local, state and federal guidelines

  • Playing Rules
    • No plastic shields covering the entire face unless integrated into the face mask and attached to a helmet
    • Cloth facial coverings are recommended but NOT required
      • All bench playing personnel must wear face mask when not on field.
      • Must be of one color, not distracting and no designs
        • Pitchers cannot wear optic yellow
    • Pre-game conference
      • One coach from each team and umpires
      • Must stay six feet apart
      • Coaches must stay outside width of batter’s box
    • Substitution verbiages should occur 6-feet from coach to scorer and opposing teams
    • Umpires do not handle equipment on field during play
    • Each team plays defense with their own softballs, throws out balls to pitcher after every foul ball.
    • Defense takes ball to their own dugout for sanitization after each half inning
      • To be wiped down with Clorox type disinfectant
    • Coaches wanting to discuss a rule must maintain 6 feet distance from umpire
    • Base coaches must stay 6 feet from runner after suspension of play
    • Players cannot leave dugout to congratulate other players
    • Coaches holding charged conferences must stay on the home plate side of the pitcher’s circle and players must be on the opposite side of the pitcher’s circle
    • No more than two players plus the pitcher are allowed
    • Only one coach permitted
    • Offensive conferences shall follow same social distancing restrictions
  • Line up Cards
    • Lineups will be handed to the umpire and verbally approved by umpire (not between teams)
  • Infractions by Pitcher
    • No licking of fingers
    • Not allow to put hands to mouth to blow into their hands prior to pitching ball
      • This will be a “NO PITCH”
      • Ball will be returned for sanitizing
      • Pitcher will sanitize hands before play continues
        • (Again, remember, this is a no-pitch, not an illegal pitch)
  • Plate Umpire
    • SHALL STAND DEEPER THAN NORMAL TO CALL BALLS AND STRIKES
      • We will inform coaches of implications on strike zone
        • More on this during our zoom meetings
  • Face Coverings
    • Cloth face coverings are recommended by not required for players and umpires
    • Players and coaches in dugout must wear them
    • One color, not distracting and no designs
    • Umpires may wear disposable gloves and masks
    • Base umpires shall maintain 6 feet from any player as a starting position.
    • The batter and catcher shall be 6 feet apart and away from umpire cleaning plate
  • Media Area
    • Schools and/or districts will have FINAL word on how media may or may not access contests
    • Decision will be sole determination of the school/district
      • (This is not umpire’s decision, unless they are interfering in live-ball territory)
  • Quarantine and Isolation
    • Anyone (including umpires) who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 must quarantine
    • If an umpire test positive for COVID-19, it is the official’s responsibility to report this case to the health officials and any teams/individuals affected
      • (You shall contact the school, partner, assignor and Area Director to report this as soon as possible)

 

  • Important General CHSAA Softball Reminders
    • All helmets must have NOCSAE approved face mask/guard
    • Practice begins Aug. 10th
    • Competition begins Aug. 13th
    • Varsity can schedule 16 regular season games
    • Sub-Varsity can schedule 12 regular season games
    • Regular season ends Oct. 3rd
    • State Tournament Oct. 10th – 16 team brackets
    • Run rules
      • 10 after 5 innings
      • 12 after 4 innings
      • 15 after 3 innings
  • Sportsmanship Items
    • Noisemakers are prohibited in dugouts, including shakers, cowbells and anything else that is prohibited in the stands
    • No taunting of any kind
      • Umpires are responsible for what they deem to be taunting or enticing an illegal pitch
    • Player ejections
      • Next two contests
    • Coach ejections
      • Next two contests
      • Coach automatically put on probation
        • (We put this here so you understand the consequences of ejecting a coach.  It is a bid deal.  Keep them in the game if at all possible)
    • No Drones
  • Lightning
    • Schools will have some sort of weather app
    • Must clear field when lightning within 8-10 miles
    • Unsafe areas are: picnic areas, parks, open sided shelters (dugouts) storage sheds, open garages, tents, press boxes, areas close to open water, tall objects such as trees, poles, towers and elevated areas
      • (Get out of there, let this be the responsibility of game management and/or coaches, not us.  Let game administrator know how to reach you)
    • Play suspended for at least 30-minutes (and 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard or lightning in witnessed

 

  • Colorado State Rule Adoptions
    • Double first base required
    • Protest not allowed
    • Umpire considers weather or ground condition unfit for play (Once game starts)

 

  • Colorado COVID-19 Requirements and Mandates
    • Masks
      • Everyone must arrive wearing mask
      • All non-active participants (coaches, volunteers, managers, essential workers, security, medical personnel, and non-working umpires
      • must wear a mask throughout the event.  This includes athletes not actively participating in competition
      • All spectators must wear masks.
    • No handshakes before or after games,
    • No high-fives, fist bumps, or elbow bumps
    • No postgame gatherings of players, parents and fans
    • Colorado limit on spectators
    • All common areas, seating or standing must be spaced 6 feet apart
    • Student/Athletes must practice social distancing on bench
    • Separate entrances and exits
    • At conclusion of event, all participants, essential workers, officials, media etc. must leave facility immediately
    • NO interscholastic scrimmages or foundation games
      • (These are the responsibilities of the game administrators, not us)

 

  • Officials
    • Contact school at least 24 hours in advance
    • Must be included in Daily Symptom Tracker for that contest
      • Schools will be doing this
    • Umpires are encouraged to come dressed to officiate, if possible
    • Umpires are encouraged to bring their own personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizers, towels, water, gloves, masks and snacks.
    • A private location for pre-game discussions should be provided
    • When not officiating, umpires must adhere to all proper personal protective and face mask protocols and social distancing
    • No sharing of equipment, towels water, etc.
    • Umpires MUST wear a mask to and from the field AND during any coach/official pre-game meeting
    • Umpires must have mask available to wear for any extended conferences with officiating table and coaches.
    • Umpires must not be present at any pre or post informal gathering with players, parents and fans
    • All Umpires must sign a waiver of COVID-19 liability
      • (more to come on how we will do this)

 

I realize this was a very long and detailed email regarding new protocols.  But this is what is necessary for us to have a season.  We are all just happy for that.  Anything you can do to insure we continue to completion with a successful season is greatly appreciated. 

 

We will discuss all of this and more on our zoom meetings.  We will also be setting up in-season zoom meetings for all to attend.  There will be four of them, which will require you to attend at least two of them in order to be eligible for playoffs and next year’s draw (that’s down dramatically from last year’s requirements).  Since there are no scrimmages allowed, there will be no credit given for meeting attendance for working a scrimmage. 

 

Please, in order to keep all of this running smoothly, submit any questions you have prior to our meeting to your Area Directors.  These are trying times, we all understand.  If you have issues with working plate or field, and think we may be able to help, let us know.  We will accommodate what we can. 

 

Take care, be safe, practice good COVID-19 prevention.

 

CHSSUA Area 1 Directors,

 

Mike Coulter                 mcoulter01@comcast.net

Mike Wiley                   wileymr@comcast.net

Randy Pacetti               randy.pacetti@gmail.com

 
 
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