I wanted to let you know about some updates to the COVID-19 regulations in Massachusetts.
1. Effective tomorrow, 10/5/2020, if your city/town is designated as a lower-risk community by the Massachusetts DPH (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-communities-not-designated-lower-risk) and will be moving to Phase 3 Step 2, your facility can have no more than 100 spectators per field. If your city/town is NOT listed as a lower-risk community or will NOT be moving to Phase 3 Step 2, your spectator limit will remain at 50. Please consult with your local BOH to determine whether or not your city/town will be moving to Phase 3, Step 2. Also please note that the limit is based on the location of the field you are playing at and not whether the team's location is considered lower-risk. For example, based on the report on 9/30/2020, if you are playing a game in Leominster, you could have up to 100 spectators. If you are playing in Framingham, you would be limited to 50.
2. There is a drafting error in the amended guidance that will be in effect Monday. The EEA used an older version of the guidance and removed the doubleheaders from the competition definition. It was brought to the attention of my contact at the EEA as well as the Lt. Governor's Office. I have been told the only change was #1 above and not the nature of the competitions. If that is not correct, I will inform everyone via e-mail, but for now nothing changes on the format of competitions from the guidance issued back in August. You can only play a doubleheader against the same team on the same day. No exceptions.
Just some reminders of the current EEA guidelines:
A. All spectators are required to wear facial coverings.
B. All adults on the field are required to wear facial coverings at all times. This includes all coaches, umpires, scorekeepers, etc.
C. Players at bat are required to wear facial coverings. They may lower their facial covering once they get on base.
D. Players not actively engaged in the game (on the bench or in the dugout) must wear a facial covering. E. Players in the dugout must social distance. There cannot be more than 5 in the physical dugout and the remainder must be in the extended dugout area. The maximum number is based on the size of the dugout and how many can be in there while keeping 6 feet apart from each other.
Note that these EEA guidelines are enforced by the local BOH, Recreation Department and/or the local police. You could be shut down for failure to enforce these guidelines. One event has already been shut down by their local BOH for blatantly ignoring these guidelines. Do not let that happen to you. If it does, USA Softball of Massachusetts may enforce further penalties up to and including revocation of registration.
I do want to thank all of you for your hard work this summer allowing softball to happen. We need to keep up this vigilance as the numbers are increasing otherwise the state may be forced to return softball to Phase 2.
Deputy State JO Commissioner, USA Softball MA.