CSSA to Resume Some Informal, Non-Statistical Games - Check with your Coach as to When.
Regarding upcoming games, policies and procedures, please see below what the BOD have issued regarding CSSA’s stance. I will also be posting a copy of the “*Return to Play Waiver”* in an announcement to follow. Please read both carefully as there is a lot of information contain in both. Any questions, please give Norm Thiem a call, text or email him. Thank you and so glad to be back on the fields again!!!
For those of you that may have missed some of the conference calls, know that we are following the guidelines set forth by CRPA to ensure proper player safety. Those guidelines are informed by the CDC guidelines which should give us confidence that we are taking more than adequate steps to ensure that the product that we are producing is safe for our players. The CRPA guidelines are as follows:
• Maintain social distancing between players especially when not on the field.
• The dugouts are not to be used except for entry and exits to the field.
• PPE’s are not required provided we maintain social distancing. Players may on their own volition use masks and gloves but CSSA will not furnish them.
• No physical contact between players before or after games to include celebrations or handshakes.
• Limit non-essential visitors / spectators
What has been made crystal clear is that playing now is a privilege. Failure to practice social distancing could result in the termination of our ability to rent the fields. CRPA generally has people at the fields during all of our events. Therefore, we all need to be extremely diligent in making sure that all players know the consequences of non-compliance. I would think that alone should be sufficient to enforce social distancing. In my experience peer pressure is more powerful than any rule that we create. What player if they are informed would want to be responsible for cancellation of the season?
In addition to the CRPA requirements, we have added our own requirement that players cannot exceed 100.5-degree temperature to gain admittance to the park. For all games except Tuesday night, players must enter at the Towne Lake Parkway gate between field #1 and #4. Anne Ryan will be there to take players temperature prior to entering the park. She will also collect money for the pickup game players. On Tuesday nights we will have a second person stationed at the Bells Ferry gate. In addition, we will have hand sanitizer for each team to use during the games.
The practical reality is that it is impossible for us to remove all risks of exposure to people with communicable diseases including but not limited to COVID-19. This is no different than our inability to prevent people from getting injured while playing. Nor should we give the impression that we have made it completely safe to play because we can’t! At the end of the day, all our players are adults and by now are fully aware of this pandemic. Some players have chosen not to play out of an abundance of caution for either themselves or someone at home. And that is completely understandable. For those that have chosen to play they will be asked to sign not only the injury waiver but also the COVID-19 waiver. Not so much to cover ourselves legally, but to make sure that they know and accept the risks that playing in this environment entails.
Our policy is to require all players that have played with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19 to be tested prior to resuming play. As John has pointed, out the incubation period may give a false negative if the test is taken sooner than three days. Also, since the incubation period could last as long as 14 days, we should require players from the week prior to be tested as well. Regarding people that have been exposed, there is no evidence that exposure means infection. Having said that, there is no difference where a person has been exposed and needs to be tested. Therefore, if a player believes that he has been in close contact with someone that has a confirmed case of the virus then he needs to be tested for his own heath as well as the rest of the players on his team.
The current CDC guidance on how the virus spreads is person-to-person close contact through respiratory droplets. This is why social distancing is the most effective means of protecting oneself. Their current thoughts on surface contamination is " it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads" Therefore a more practical approach is to constantly sanitize our hands rather than the equipment which is why there will be hand sanitizer available to each team.
Have we thought of everything? I highly doubt it. There are no playbooks nor is the virology of the virus settled science. Some things we will learn as we start playing that will enable us to continuously improve the process. And it is entirely possible that the CDC will issue new contradictory guidance in the middle of the season (they have before no mask – wear masks – don’t wear masks). And it is also possible that by exposing players to fresh air, exercise, and sunshine we will improve players health outcomes by boosting their immune system.
But at the end of the day as Randy said we are not medical experts. All we can do to protect our players is to follow the guidelines. In the final analysis, this has to be an individual decision but social distancing works. But it only will work if we all do our jobs communicating the importance of following the CRPA guidelines. It is the players not us that will make this season a success or failure.