Return to Play - Indoor Training
As we move toward the Winter months and baseball session move indoors, it is important to give program planners, players and coaches a framework for running effective indoor sessions during the pandemic. Please use the link below to help you plan, implement and/or attend indoor baseball training sessions.
Return to Play Impact Grant
Baseball Manitoba, in support of it's member associations, has developed grant opportunities for associations whom have been negatively impacted by the Return to Play Parameters, based on the COVID-19 Pandemic. Grants of $500-$1000 will be available to associations and leagues who were active members in 2020 and who can demonstrate financial impacts directly related to the following:
- Sanitizing Supplies
- Revenue Loss
- Other Related Expenses
Member associations must complete the application form to be considered eligible.
Deadline to Apply is October 26, 2020.
2021 Start Up Grants
Baseball Manitoba will also be offering start up grants for associations who were unable to financially commit to a season in 2020 and wish to operate the association in 2021. More details will be available early in 2021.
Baseball Manitoba's 2020 Return to Play Document is located below (click the logo for the PDF). The document was approved by the Provincial Government on June 1, 2020 and is the foundational plan for baseball's return to the field in Manitoba this season. Please note that the exact implementation of each detail is continuously being developed and these details will be added to the plan and communicated as they are established. Phase 1 (training) began on June 8, 2020 and has been going well.
Phase 2 (competition/play) for baseball is now able to resume on June 24, 2020. As we move towards Phase 2 and navigate the first few weeks, we ask for our members patience and understanding as local baseball association volunteers navigate Phase 2 to make is as safe, smooth and enjoyable as possible. The Return to Play 2.0 document is now available below, with items in bold print showing important updates to the plan.
RETURN TO PLAY 2.0 - June 22, 2020 (click the logo below)
Return to Play Member Checklists: Training and Competition
These checklists are to be used in conjunction with the Return to Play document.
Return to Play: Practice Plan
This plan explains how to run an effective practice while following the Return to Play safety guidelines. It includes a full two-hour practice, physical distancing tips, and how to make Batting Practice more efficient.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Do baseballs need to be sanitized during practices or games? No, baseballs need to be sanitized between each session only.
Can players share equipment? Although it is discouraged, yes they can so long as the equipment is sanitized between users.
Do players, coaches, umpires or spectators need to wear masks? No, anyone who wishes to wear a mask may do so, but it is not mandated.
Are there are any rule changes for baseball games? No
Where can I find the 2020 Baseball Manitoba Waiver and Release? The updated Waiver and Release, which contains information related to COVID-19, has been signed by all new registrants (after June 1) through RAMP, emailed to every previously registered (before April 1) member or sent to members via Google Forms. This is being tracked by local associations and Baseball Manitoba's office to ensure compliance. If you have yet to acknowledge the new Waiver and Release online, please contact your local baseball association or Baseball Manitoba.
Where will the home plate umpire be standing? Umpires may stand where they traditionally stand, however, if they choose they may stand 6 feet behind the catcher or behind the pitcher's mound.
How many people can be at one session? Baseball facilities can operate at 50 percent capacity, so long as all persons can effective physical distance (6ft), except for brief exchanges.
Can teams use dugouts? Yes, they can so long as the benches are marked with 6 foot markings and all people are physical distancing. This will mean that players and coaches may need to be outside the dugout, behind the fence.
Who should I ask questions to when I attend a baseball session? Each team must have a Health and Safety Coordinator in attendance at each game. They will have the answers and resources to assist all persons.
Can I bring sunflower seeds or gum? No, no persons are allowed to use gum or sunflower seeds at a baseball session in 2020.
Are Double Headers allowed? Yes, so long as sufficient time is allowed between games for sanitizing equipment.
Are tournaments allowed? Yes, so long as all Manitoba Health and Baseball MB RTP guidelines are followed, such as; physical distancing is maintained at the event, sufficient time is allowed between games for sanitizing equipment and game start times are staggered to minimize large groups in common areas.
Can teams travel out of Province to compete? No, it is strongly advised that Manitoba Baseball teams DO NOT travel outside the Province to play games.
What can I expect to be different when I am at a baseball game? There will be many differences that should be noticed, such as; signage at the field for physical distancing and sanitizing reminders, sanitizer areas for spectators, sanitizing of equipment between plays, someone may ask you if you have any flu-like symptoms or if you have traveled outside Western Canada, players located outside the dugouts, spectators watching from all around the ballpark to enhance physical distancing, umpires may be standing in irregular positions, nobody eating seeds or chewing gum, and more.
Considering Umpires are to limit the touching of baseballs and the offensive team cannot touch the ball, what can associations and team do about game balls? Umpires will not be handling baseballs, except in situations where an umpire must inspect a ball to ensure it is acceptable for play. Only the defensive team may touch baseballs. Therefore, each team must bring their own game balls to every competition and have the pitcher or catcher carry out the game ball for each inning. Or, associations may organize for home teams to supply the balls and give new baseballs to the visiting team before the start. The defensive team is also in charge of collecting passed balls and foul balls and must put balls back in play from the dugout. Home teams may designate one spectator, who is healthy and will sanitize their hands before and after touching the ball, to collect foul balls, if they wish.
Are mound visits allowed? Yes, coaches and players may visit the mound. Physical distancing (6ft) must occur at all times during the visit.
What is prolonged contact, as defined in the Risk Assessment and Mitigation Tool? It is known that person to person contact that is closer and more prolonged results in a higher risk of COVID-19 virus transmission. Evidence shows that physical distancing lowers the risk of transmission. In a sport or activity where there are multiple close contacts, including accumulation of brief contacts adding up to a greater contact time, there is a greater risk of COVID-19 viral transmission. There is no definable amount of close contact time that can be considered safe or permissible. All options to avoid/reduce close contact should be explored and implemented. If a sport or activity isn’t able to make changes to remove all close contacts then it should implement all possible measures to reduce the risk of viral transmission. The more close contact, the more additional measures that are needed.
Examples of additional measures include:
- reducing participant group sizes and the number of people they come into close contact with (smaller teams, smaller practices, smaller cohorts of players that remain separated at practices)
- tournaments that bring multiple teams/players together should be avoided
- ensure that all participants and spectators are screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and anyone who is ill should not be in attendance
- all participants should engage in frequent hand hygiene (alcohol based hand sanitizer or soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds)
- no sharing of water bottles / food
- Maintain 2 m physical distancing between players whenever possible and avoid congregation (i.e. players seated on benches)
- Cleaning equipment / mats between each use
- Consider additional equipment such as face shields
- Record names of participants and keep records for 21 days to allow for contact tracing if needed
It is important for planners and participants to have an understanding of these risks to make informed choices. It is important to review the entire Risk Assessment and Mitigation Tool for Recreation Activities and to follow the other guidelines to reduce risk.
Will phase 4 ease the physical distancing or contact restrictions? As physical distancing is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission and spread in Manitoba, it is unlikely that this messaging will change anytime soon.
Considering that only the defensive team can touch the ball, how can we effectively implement the "4 balls and soft toss" rule, when applicable? The offensive team should identify their coach who will do soft toss and he/she will disinfect their hands before the first soft toss of the inning. He/she will use the defensive team's ball that was in play and then after the inning is done he/she will disinfect his/her hands again.
Where can I find more information? All baseball related information is found on this web page. For more information, please use the following links:
Restoring Safe Services - Phase 1 May 4, 2020
Restoring Safe Services - Phase 2 June 1, 2020
Restoring Safe Services - Phase 3 June 21, 2020