Slo-Pitch National Covid-19 Recommendations For League and Event Management Return to Play

Recently, a majority of Provincial and Territorial Governments have announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the coming weeks and months ahead. Most regions have introduced phased strategies which will all need to be evaluated and measured within their specific regions over the course of weeks and months. All regions still have very limited group/gathering numbers in place for their initial phase back plans, and the numbers are not consistent across Canada.

Leagues and area tournaments are not run directly by Slo-Pitch National. Slo-Pitch National extends insurance coverage to these groups, and can continue to do so provided that activities are organized in a responsible manner and adhere to Provincial and Territorial guidelines that are in place. 

Leagues and Conveners can contact the Slo-Pitch National Regional Director or area appointed Slo-Pitch National representative to discuss necessary planning and implementation of suggested guidelines based on their municipal restrictions and how those restrictions pertain to the facilities that are to be utilized. 

A list of suggested common sense actions necessary during this time has been assembled but there is no “one size fits all” guideline plan that can be circulated by Slo-Pitch National. This list may be amended or updated on an ongoing basis, based on the need to adjust to the restrictions mandated in each region and how those restrictions relate to the ability to play the game.

Taking these unique circumstances into consideration in addition to the specific facilities that need to be utilized by leagues and conveners, Slo-Pitch National will be working with member leagues and events directly to assist with the necessary planning that may allow for responsible participation when allowed to do so by Provincial and local governments. 

All events that are hosted directly by Slo-Pitch National (Provincial Championships) will have plans formulated specific to that event by SPN. If events are unable to run in accordance with the provincial and municipal health guidelines & restrictions, they will be cancelled for 2020.

We are here to address those needs and answer your specific questions via our Regional Directors and Offices. The contact information for each Regional Director is also listed at the bottom of this message.

We will continue to be available to you by email and through our social media platforms, providing our members with weekly updates as they pertain to and affect our programs across Canada. Our Regional Directors continue to meet via teleconference each week to review and assess this situation as it unfolds. 

We would like to thank all of our members who are working to provide us with essential services during this crisis. We will forever be grateful for your dedication and service.

Slo-Pitch National Contact List:

President –  Trish Harrow
Vice President  – Jay Tourangeau 
Shelly Gaudet –
Tara Parent – 
BC – Lorri McAuley
AB – Trevor Hauser
SK – George Dmyterko
MB – Kent Kamenz 
QC – Pierre Cadieux 
MRT – Mike Harding 
NL – Rob French 
National UIC – Brian Gagnon

COVID-19 Game Related Suggestions

Follow all Government Health Regulations and Mandates

•    This includes Provincial, City and Municipal restrictions – all Laws and Bylaw’s must be adhered to at all times.

•    Leagues and Event Coordinators are advised to review with their local permit officers/municipal contacts their specific requirements to ensure they understand all necessary requirements. 

Personal Protection

•    Do not come to the game if you are ill, show any symptoms or have been around someone who is ill
•    The use of mask or face shield is recommended
•    The use of personal fitted batting gloves at all times is recommended
•    The use of individual antibacterial hand sanitizer is recommended
•    The use of individual bats is recommended
•    It is recommended that each team use their own set of balls, minimizing the number of people who touch the ball by half. 
•    Balls should be wiped before each inning
•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
•    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your elbow when coughing or sneezing
•    Do not spit 
•    Wash your hands often

Arrival/Departure at the Fields

•    Arrive 15 minutes maximum before scheduled game time
•    Leave facilities immediately upon game completion
•    There will be absolutely no congregating at parks, facilities or parking areas before or after your game.

Social Distancing During the Game

•    There will be a no contact, “no handshakes or high fiving” 
•    No warm up of any kind before games. 
•    Ground rules shall be provided to team representative before the game
•    During batting, players will need to line up along the fence outside of the diamond spread out accordingly
•    The dug out will only be used by the on deck batter, or participants can distance accordingly to space available
•    Coaches will stand 2 meters away from 1st and 3rd base at all times, however, it is recommended that there be no base coaches
•    The catcher will stand 2 meters behind the strike mat
•    Where multiple diamonds are being utilized it is recommended that staggered scheduling be implemented to minimize over crowding
•    A dedicated area will represent where the next scheduled team is to meet, until such time when they have been cleared to approach the diamond by the umpire or when it is apparent that the previous team occupants have vacated the facility
•    Immediately upon the completion of the game, all members will leave the diamond area
•    Spectators must sit socially distanced from team members and other spectators
•    It is recommended that spectators be kept to a minimum
•    It is recommended that children should not be left unattended while playing
•    In the case that there is a restricted number of participants allowed at the facility, a no spectator rule may have to be utilized
•    No coaching conferences or group huddles
•    All garbage must be collected and removed by each team after the game

•    It is recommended that umpires wear a mask or face shield
•    Umpires will provide further detailed ground rules on an as needed basis observing the necessary distancing before the game begins
•    There will be no exchange of lineup cards, teams will keep score with their own scorekeeping books
•    It is suggested that the umpire utilize a small notepad for necessary game management
•    Umpires will stand where they are comfortable calling the game, and at least 2 meters away from the catcher and batter.
•    Umpire conferences are to be kept to a minimum adhering to distancing requirements

Teams and or players who do not adhere to the suggestions put forth by league and event organizers risk being refused to participate. 
These measures are being considered and adopted by volunteers who are trying to organize a sport this season that will allow participants to enjoy the game. It is imperative that all participants conduct themselves in a respectful and sportsmanlike manner. Failure to accept the necessary measures put forward by league or event organizers shall not be tolerated. 
Thank you for your patience during these challenging times.