Good morning everyone,
The EEA has issued new rules effective today May 10, 2021 concerning softball. Please note that you need to also contact your local BOH to verify these rules are in effect for your city/town as several are delaying these rules for three weeks. Please understand that these updates have come from the EEA and not USA Softball of Massachusetts. The EEA is responsible for all rules concerning all amateur sports, not just softball. That is why sometimes their guidance is vague when it comes to softball related issues. Please note that the MIAA has not issued any updates to their rules as of May 10th, so high school modified rules are still in effect as they were when their season started. The MIAA will issue further guidance as necessary. These changes are for any USA Softball of Massachusetts event (leagues, tournaments, scrimmages, etc.)
1. Softball can now run tournaments like we have in the past. That means tournaments are allowed to have three pool play games into single elimination. Just ensure that teams move out in a timely fashion to allow dugouts and areas to be properly cleaned.
2. Spectators are allowed for both youth and adult softball games. No longer are events for participants over the age of 21 prohibited to have spectators.
3. Facial coverings are required where social distancing cannot be consistently maintained.
a. This means if a player or coach is within 6 feet of another player or coach, they will have to wear a facial covering. Batters and umpires will be required to wear a facial covering. Batters will be allowed to remove their facial covering when they reach base. All defensive players will not be required to wear facial coverings while on the field.
b. Players MUST wear a facial covering when they are in the dugout (including the extended dugout), in team huddles, and when there is an offensive or defensive conference.
c. Coaches MUST wear a facial covering in the dugout (including the extended dugout), team huddles, during conferences and during the pregame meeting at home plate.
d. Spectators MUST wear a facial covering if they cannot remain 6 feet from other spectators.
e. This facial covering rule is in effect for all USA Softball of Massachusetts events (leagues, tournaments, scrimmages, etc.), whether the team is a Massachusetts based team or out of state team. Just because a state does not have a facial covering rule does not mean an out of state team does not have to follow Massachusetts EEA rules.
On behalf of USA Softball of Massachusetts, I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation over the past year as we worked through all of these regulations to be able to play softball. It is our hope that soon, we will fully return to normal softball.