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May, 2020

COVID-19 Playing Rules


Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA) has announced several new rules and recommendations (see below) designed to make senior tournaments and senior leagues safer for players, directors and umpires.  HCSSL will implement a subset of those that apply to our League and our circumstances.  A group of 38 SSUSA staff, directors, Umpire-in-Chiefs and a medical professional discussed these recommendations to help the sport begin to phase back in.  The recommendations focus on social contact - before, during and after games; the dugout; the game; and personal hygiene.

Social Contact before, during and after games:

• There will be a “no-contact, no-handshake policy” to be observed at every level of the organization until further notice. This includes all physical contact and extends to customary game-related activities, such as post-game handshakes between members of opposing teams. Instead, staff, players and coaches should verbally “good game,” at a 6 foot distance without shaking hands, high-fiving or fist-bumping.

• Players will be expected to maintain social distancing before and after the game – and during the game when possible.

Managers shall notify the umpire if a player he/she knows to be sick attempts to play in a game.

• Any player testing positive for COVID-19 must notify their manager immediately.  The manager in turn will notify the Player Coordinator.  For any player testing positive, that player must test negative before being eligible to return to play.

• Any player exposed to a person with COVID-19 may not return to play until 14 days after that players last contact with the person with COVID.

• Spectators will be required to maintain social distancing during games. 


Players are not to sit in the dugout but should bring their own chairs to be placed every 6 feet outside the fence. The dugout is only to hold equipment. 

The gates should remain open at all times so that no one needs to touch them when going to and from the field.

• At the end of a game, the team occupying the dugout must completely vacate the dugout before the next team is allowed to enter. 

• The team leaving the dugout will need to police the dugout and get rid of trash, especially empty drinking containers.

Pre Game Items:

Before each game, each team will be asked to stand in front of their respective dugouts following social distancing guidelines.  The umpires will use a no touch thermometer to take each players temperature.  Any player that registers a temperature higher than 100 degrees will not be allowed to play and must leave the park.  Any player arriving late cannot enter the game until their temperature is checked by the umpire.

On both Fields #1 and #2, if one pitcher is right-handed and the other is left-handed, please agree to a system that works comfortably for both. Perhaps the home team pitcher "handles" the screen, or both agree to handle one side or the other.

For each of the 3 games on both fields, the umpires will handle the dominoes/chips for drawing play-ins.

• Each dugout will have a supply of Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer for player use.

The Game:

• Players are encouraged to wear masks when not on the field. 

The home plate umpire will be responsible for wiping down game balls each half inning with spray sanitizer.  Any new ball put into play during an inning will also be wiped down. 

• Should the catcher choose to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth then the home plate umpire shall also wear a mask.

In an attempt to minimize the number of people handling a bat, after a ball is put into play by a batter, either the player on deck or the player in the hole should retrieve the bat, holding it by the barrel, and place it in the bat rack.  The bat barrel should then be wiped down by it’s owner before the next at bat. 

Managers questioning a call should keep social distancing from the umpires.

• Any gatherings of teams or players before or after games will follow personal distancing recommendations of being 6 feet apart. 

IMPORTANT: The umpires will be enforcing these safety measures so that we can get back on the fields as soon as possible in the safest way for all of our players and officials. They will be ejecting any player or guest who refuses to follow these safety rules for the good of everyone else in the park.

Personal hygiene (nothing new here):

• Most important: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Cover your mouth and nose – with a tissue, if possible – when coughing or sneezing, then properly discard the tissue in the trash.

• Avoid close contact with anyone else who is coughing or sneezing or who is otherwise sick.

• Wash your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

We appreciate your cooperation in following these new procedures as we work together to maintain the highest health and safety standards.

HCSSL’s primary concern is the health and welfare of players, officials and their families.

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