24 March 2021
In response to the government return to sport disclosure on 24 March 2021, the BBF has updated its Covid-19 risk assessment.
As the National Governing Body of baseball, all affiliated member clubs must follow and complete our risk assessment before any activity occurs. The mentioned is a part of our members and insurance terms.
Our risk assessment document includes a single generic collection of risk assessment guidelines that supports steps to mitigate COVID-19 risks are, or will be, for clubs to protect the health and safety of participants and all relevant interested parties; participants should not be allowed to take part in activities (baseball training, games, events, etc) until these measures have been implemented. This risk assessment update provides insights for organisations and their volunteers on how to handle these threats, and it is appropriate for organisations that are resuming activities. The information is common and can be used by any club, regardless of its size, complexity, or nature of operation.
To view the document click here.
British Baseball Federation (BBF) return to baseball play guidelines
Today, according to the government statement, "This COVID-19 Response sets out how the Government will continue to protect and support people across the UK and provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England." Four steps are outlined in the government roadmap for easing restrictions. Before moving on to the next step, the government will review the data to determine the previous step's effect.
Sport (baseball) and physical activity are extremely important in our lives; but, in order to meet broader public health goals, certain activities and environments have been restricted in order to limit social contact and decrease transmission.
Where the rules mention ‘organised’ sport, this means sport which is formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body (BBF), company or charity and follows sport-specific guidance. If the sport is not organised by one of these groups (for example, some friends playing catch) or the sport’s NGB (BBF) guidance is not being followed (for example, a baseball club ignoring the BBF's safety measures), this is considered to be informal or self-organised sport.
Taking part in organised sport sometimes means that other restrictions such as legal gathering limits don’t apply when taking part. This is because the organising body has considered the risks and set out ways to mitigate them so people can participate safely. Informal or self-organised sport is not covered by any exemptions.
The UK government has released guidelines for the safe return to play. Below is a summary of the government guidelines (incomplete and subject to change).
Check your local regulations and government guidelines before attending any event. For example, travel restrictions may apply. We suggest (optional) you download the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in England and Wales.
You should self-assess for coronavirus before attending any activity. Suppose you are experiencing (fever, prolonged cough, etc.), or have been exposed to anyone with corona in that case, you should self-isolate, get medical and NHS advice and refrain from attending any event (until cleared).
If there is a conflict between these guidelines and the government guidelines, the government terms will control that conflict.
All children and students will go back to schools and colleges e.g., face to face education in schools and colleges. It is up to the schools to decide on how physical education will apply. All indoor and outdoor sport facilities are currently closed, and cannot be used for exercise or recreation. People should stay within their local area (for example, within the village, town, or part of the city where they live), and should not travel to take part in exercise or recreation. However, overall everyone should stay at home, with limited exclusions e.g., support bubble, etc.
- People will not be required to stay at home, and will be permitted to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people, or as a group of two households, for exercise or recreation.
- A group made up of two households can include more than six people, but only where all members of the group are from the same two households (or support/childcare bubbles, where eligible).
- Social distancing must be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
- Outdoor baseball for adults and children is permitted in larger numbers (greater than six), provided it is formally organised (for example, by a national governing body "BBF" or a qualified instructor/coach) and follows government and BBF COVID-secure guidance.
- Organised sport (baseball) and supervised children’s sport and physical activity can take place outdoors in any number, but people should maintain the rules on social contact before and after sporting activity. This applies to organised outdoor (individual and team) sports (baseball), organised sports participation events and outdoor licensed physical activity.
- Participants should adhere to social distancing when not actively participating (e.g. during breaks in play, or when awaiting substitutions).
- Social interaction before and after playing baseball should only take place outdoors, and in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to six people or two households.
- Baseball training and game-play should be organised to reduce the level of contact so far as reasonably possible and take steps to minimise risk.
- Where baseball activities are not formally organised, it can only take place within the rules on social contact above - in groups of up to six people, or two households.
- Outdoor sport facilities can reopen, and can be used for sport, physical activity and exercise.
- Changing rooms should not be used, except by people with disabilities, although toilet facilities can be accessed.
- Spectators are not permitted in any indoor or outdoor sport facility. This does not apply to carers for people with disabilities, or adults needed to supervise under-18s in a safeguarding role. Where it is necessary for them to be present, supervising adults should not mix with others from outside their household or support bubble.
- Always check that it is safe to travel before you set out to take part in baseball activities. You should minimise travel wherever possible, but you can travel to exercise and take part in informal and organised baseball activities, where necessary. You should not stay away from home overnight for baseball and physical activity.
- Baseball game officials, medics, scorers and coaches should observe the relevant guidance in the same way as participants. Where legal gathering limits apply, people participating in a volunteering capacity (such as umpires, scorekeepers, medics and coaches) are exempt and therefore not included in the number of participants. However they must remain socially distanced from players where possible during play.
- Toilets use will be limited e.g., they must be sanitised accordingly after each use.
- Clubs should also update their Key COVID-19 contact and participants with the BBF and update their clubs medical emergency action plan.
No earlier than 12 April (five weeks after Step 1):
- Formal (club/coach supervised) organised outdoor baseball activities can occur for youths and adults.
- Outdoor unorganised activity (non-club/non-coached) can take place in groups of six.
- Outdoor competition can take place (club/coach supervised).
- Indoor leisure facilities open for use individually or within household groups.
- Indoor group training allowed for u18s and disabled people.
- Spectators allowed, subject to government guidelines.
- Changing rooms can reopen. However, under strict COVID-19 hygiene guidelines.
- Outdoor food and drink allows following the rule of six or two households.
- Participants travel to and from events should be minimised.
No earlier than 17th May (five weeks after Step 2):
- Formal, organised outdoor baseball activities that are Covid-secure can take place for both youth and adults.
- Outdoor competition can take place.
- Accommodation/hotels are open, allowing for two-day events, and larger-scale events are permitted with spectators.
- Indoor leisure facilities open for use individually or within household groups.
- Indoor organised group training for youths and adults.
- No travel restrictions.
No earlier than 21st June (five weeks after Step 3):
- No legal limits on social contact.
- Club and competition can return to normal.
- Individual activity can return to normal.
- Every club or organisation needs to have an assigned COVID-19 Key Contact responsible for conducting a risk assessment. Following our safety guidelines and sign off, the event is Covid-secure.
- A Key Covid contact needs to register with the BBF.
When planning a baseball activity, you should ensure that:
- All participants and attendees (including players, officials, organisers, volunteers and spectators) need to self-assess for coronavirus symptoms, before attending any sporting activity.
- Any participant or other attendee reporting coronavirus symptoms should not attend any baseball activity and is directed to follow NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation.
- Participants are aware of any increased risk associated with taking part in baseball activity, based on the national governing body’s (BBF) guidance and risk assessment.
- Participants are strongly advised to comply with public health restrictions and avoid high-risk behaviour outside the baseball setting to reduce the risk to their fellow participants when they do attend.
- Participants continue to adhere to legal gathering limits before and after baseball activities, act responsibly and limit transmission risk wherever possible.
- Participants are aware that they are choosing to take part in the modified version of the game (practice, training, etc), including any relevant COVID-19 measures, and should comply with these measures as a condition of participation.
THE ABOVE IS INCOMPLETE, AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. UPDATES WILL BE PROVIDED WHEN AVAILABLE.
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