On Thursday, May 21st, the Minnesota Stay Safe plan was updated to include guidelines for Organized Youth Sports to resume practices on June 1, 2020. LBA will be starting practices on June 8.
LBA is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our members. To ensure that, we have developed a Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coaches, parents, spectators, umpires, and players (Participants) are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to provide reasonable protective measures to limit risks for the potential transmission of COVID-19 on and around the field of play, and that requires full cooperation among everyone involved. Through this cooperative effort we can establish and maintain the safety and health of our participants.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recognizes that sports provide opportunities for youth to develop or maintain fitness, specific skills, mental well-being, and social-emotional health. We all want to support youth engaging in sports, but we want to do it in a way that will keep them safe. Minnesota has made good progress on slowing the spread of COVID-19. As we continue the process of reopening our economy and returning to work and activities we enjoy, we must continue social distancing practices to save lives and stay safe. To promote a safe return to youth sports, MDH released Guidance for Social Distancing in Youth Sports as part of Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan. These guidelines outline the practical application of prevention strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among sports activities.
Our program is following the parameters outlined in the above referenced document, including the development of a program-specific plan (COVID-19 Preparedness Plan). In general, the guidance includes recommendations for:
Following social distancing.
Masking when appropriate.
Encouraging and enforcing norms of health etiquette.
Enforcing stay-at-home when sick expectations.
Ensuring policies are considerate of participants at highest risk of complications.
Following routine disinfection of high-touch items.
In addition to these parameters, LBA is working closely with state and local resources to ensure strict adherence to outdoor recreation and facility use guidelines. As we move toward resuming practices beginning on June 8th, we will be training coaches and team personnel on proper social distancing, health screening, disinfecting methods, and practice plans. Additional communication and training will be provided on an ongoing basis.
Future steps provided from MDH may include allowing for larger gatherings and/or flexibility for intermixing between teams and will likely have different guidance based on the type of contact that normally occurs in the sport. At this time, we do not have a specific timeline for when games or league play might resume. There is a coalition of baseball and softball organizations including MYAS, Gopher State Baseball, Metro Baseball and Minnesota/USA Softball that over the past few weeks, has worked with health experts and the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC) task force to develop a Safe Play: Back to the Diamond plan. They are proposing that games be permitted by no later than June 15th to allow for the shortened season of baseball and softball in Minnesota.
This week, we will be meeting with coaches, distributing equipment, and preparing field/practice schedules so you can expect more information by end of week. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
COVID-19 LBA Preparedness Plan
COVID-19 Stop the Spread