Good Afternoon Everyone,
The Massachusetts EEA has released their guidance for Phase IV, Step 1. There are two majors changes that affect softball:
1. Out of state travel restriction has been rescinded. Massachusetts teams can travel out of state to play softball and return without having to quarantine or have a negative test. Massachusetts is still under a travel advisory. Please see Mass.gov/MATraveler for further information as to what that entails. Out of state teams are now allowed to play in Massachusetts and return to their state. Those teams will need to still follow their state's travel restrictions, if any.
2. For all sports played by individuals under the age of 21, there is no longer a limit to the maximum number of spectators per player. Indoor facilities still have a maximum capacity of 50%. There are no spectators allowed for sports played by individuals 21 years of age or older.
Some of you have also asked if tournaments will be allowed. While the EEA guidance says softball is moderate risk and cannot have tournaments that way we used to have them (3 pool play into single elimination), we are allowed to have a "hybrid" format allowing teams to play either one game per day or a double header against two different teams. If a team is playing two games in a day, they HAVE to be back to back with no game off. There can only be a limited break to allow for transition between one game and the second game. Do not ask for any exceptions to this format. If you fail to follow the proper format, you risk being shut down and shutting down all of softball in Massachusetts. We will be issuing additional guidance as to how to run a "hybrid" tournament over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you to everyone for all you have done over the past year keeping the virus in check and doing what was necessary to allow us to get to Phase IV, Step 1. We are almost at the finish line/ home plate. Let's all continue to work hard and follow all of the guidance and we will have another successful season.
Deputy State JO Commissioner, USA Softball MA.