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Mar, 2021

Return to Play Guidelines - 2021 Covid-19 Safety Plan

North Riverside Little League

The goal of this plan is to create as safe of an environment as possible for players, coaches, families, volunteers and umpires while they are participating in or experiencing a North Riverside Little League event. The following recommendations are made using resources from Little League International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). These plans will be reviewed regularly to ensure that at all times, North Riverside Little League will follow Illinois State and local guidelines and regulations regarding group gatherings and youth sports activities.


General Guidelines:


  • Families will be asked to take the temperature of all players before leaving home for practices or games. Any participant with a temperature above 100F should stay home.
  • Any participant, fan or volunteer with symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms including but not limited to: fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell/taste.
  • All players will be asked about these symptoms by coaching staff before commencing each NRLL activity.
  • Individuals at risk of severe illness or with underlying medical and respiratory diseases should attend NRLL activities only with specific permission from a medical professional.
  • Any participant or fan who has been at an NRLL event and then becomes sick within two weeks should immediately notify the league.
  • Social Distancing (6 feet distance between people) will be expected whenever possible and when not possible, an appropriate face covering will be required.
  • Hands should be washed frequently for at least 20 seconds or hand sanitizer used as frequently as practical and always after touching common surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, gate handles or latches.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all fields during all events in sufficient amounts to supply all players, coaches, volunteers and families. Players will also be encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer for personal use.
  • No spitting, eating sunflower seeds or chewing gum will be allowed.


    On-Field Guidelines:


  • Players are encouraged to present on-time but no more than 30 minutes before scheduled game/practice time.
  • Teams will not enter the fields until previous teams have completely vacated and commonly touched surfaces have been cleaned by previous event coaches.
  • No pre-game meeting at home plate with coaches and umpires.
  • Foul balls will be retrieved by players only not spectators or coaches. If touched by non- player, a coach will disinfect the ball before returning to play.
  • Measures must be taken to prevent all but the essential contact necessary to play the game. This includes refraining from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps or group celebrations.

  • No handshake line at the end of games. Instead players will line up outside dugout and tip hats toward the other team.
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned by coaches after each event. These include dugouts, fences, gate latches, benches and bleachers.
  • Field must be vacated no later than 20 minutes after the end of each game.




  • Equipment is not to be shared between players. Bats MAY be shared if they are disinfected after each use.
  • If any player does not have individual equipment, team equipment will be used and then disinfected after each use.
  • Player bags will be placed outside the dugout and separate from each other.
  • Players will bring their own beverages and these drinks will not be shared. Please label with your player’s name.




  • When not on the field, only 5 people (one coach & four players) will be allowed in the dugout at a time and MUST wear a mask. Remaining players will be assigned spots on the bleachers, each separated by 6 feet. These areas will be marked out and enforced by the coach in the dugout.
  • The dugout will be sanitized after the game is completed by the coach.




  • Will be encouraged by coaches at all times to maintain social distance amongst each other.
  • When social distancing not possible face covering will be worn.
  • Will be allowed to touch only their own equipment (with the exception of a bat, see below).
  • If using a shared bat, they will need to be sure it is disinfected between uses.
  • Bring, label and touch only their own beverage.
  • Do not bring any food, gum or sunflower seeds to events




  • Must have face covering available for when social distancing is not possible.
  • Maintain communication of expectations, plans and progress with parents/guardians.
  • Must have face covering available for when social distancing is not possible.
  • Persistently monitor and remind players of social distancing precautions/procedures.
  • Disinfect multi-use items.
  • Clean/disinfect high touch surfaces before and after games/practices.
  • Minimize exchange of scorecards and pitch counters.




  • Must have face covering available for when social distancing is not possible.
  • Plate umpire will call balls and strikes from no less than 6 feet behind pitcher’s mound.
  • Field umpires will keep at least 6 feet distance from each other and players.
  • Will not touch baseballs.
  • Will not retrieve pass balls or foul balls.
  • Equipment inspection will be visual only.


    Family Members/Fans Guidelines


  • Take players’ temperatures before game.
  • Monitor for and report to NRLL Board of Directors any signs of illness in participants.
  • Fans at games will be limited to household members or immediate family of players.
  • Maintain social distance from all other attendees at all times.
  • Must bring own chairs and sit along fences or down foul lines.
  • Maintain 6 feet distance between families and groups.
  • Ensure arrival no more than 30 minutes before scheduled start time and exit within 15 minutes of conclusions.
  • Players’ equipment and bags should be cleaned after each use.


    Restroom Guidelines


  • Public restrooms will be operating on a “one in, one out” basis.
  • Bathrooms will be disinfected after each event.


    Concession Stand


  • Concessions will be limited to prepackaged, individual serving containers.
  • Volunteers/Staff running the concession stand will wear PPE at all times.

Guidelines for returning to play for players/coaches/umpires/volunteers who have had symptoms, been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or they themselves have tested positive.

Definition of contact:


A contact is a person who experienced any one of the following exposures during the 2 days before and the 14 days after the onset of symptoms of a probable or confirmed case:


  1. Face-to-face contact with a probable or confirmed case within 1 meter and for more than 15 minutes.
  2. Direct physical contact with a probable or confirmed case. For any player/coach/volunteer who becomes ill, they may resume activity:
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

  • 10 days after a positive test if an individual tested positive but was asymptomatic.
  1. In the case of a severe infection (inpatient or observation hospital treatment):
    • Requires MD clearance and negative COVID test ● OR stay home 20 days after onset of symptoms and completed all treatment, and;
    • 24 hours clear of any fever or fever reducing medication. If one player/coach/volunteer reports a positive test, that exposed team members and coaching staff exposed to the individual must pause play/quarantine according to the CDC guidelines.
      • 10 days without testing
      • On day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
  2. If the positive individual was involved in a game within their potential infectious window (48 hours before onset of symptoms until 10 days AFTER onset of symptoms) the other team must pause play/quarantine according to the CDC guidelines.
  • 10 days without testing
  • On day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)



  • If parents/guardians, coaches, or players have any concerns regarding their personal health and safety, they should alert the North Riverside Little League of concerns and avoid league events.
  • The guidelines and recommendations listed above may change due to updated local public health, State of Illinois, Centers for Disease Control, or Little League International guidance, recommendations, or best practices.

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