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Discussion: Best changes to improve virus safety?

Posted Discussion
May 16

22 posts
Goals are to minimize contact, maximize social distancing. and Improve game experience for leagues/tournaments
1 Eliminate 1st base white bag and establish white line just like scoring line at home. No contact, easy 6 ft distance.
2.Establish similar white line at 2nd and 3rd base. All plays are force out, no tagging required. Run through OK.
3.Eliminate need for umpire and catcher masks. Umpire stands 6ft plus to either side. Better angle to judge pitch height.
Catcher positions at least 6ft plus behind home plate.
4.Reduce unnecessary ball handling. New rule is One Pitch. Batter must hit ball fair unless pitch is declared a ball, then walk.
Much faster game would allow 9 innings with batters getting more at bats. No need for time limits.
5. Your pitcher would have incentive to get other team out by trowing to the corners, not grooving the ball. Pitcher could also
play his own defense.
7. Have back up balls continually cleaned by the batting team and inserted in game to the pitcher as needed.
8. Keep bats separated with Batter only handling his own bat and relocating it apart from others.

I'll let someone else come up with improvements for dug outs, water, food, lodging, transportation, etc.
PS I've played a lot of modified One Pitch and its really a fun game with lower scores and more defense.

What do you Think?

May 16
Omar Khayyam

1357 posts
Terrific idea. I would add that the ball in play is similar to tournament conditions where each team has their own marked ball for use every inning. Thus only teammates handle the same ball. Umpire has the backup balls (as he does in tournaments) in case of long foul or home run over the fence. Don't need to put bats in distanced places, just make sure the one retrieving the bat picks it up by the striking part, not the handle. This assumes that each team is cautious, doesn't sit too close, washes hands frequently.

I have often wanted to play a one-pitch game where the opponent pitches the ball (instead of the more normal pitch to your own team). If the ball hits the mat—strike three! If the ball is hit foul—foul out. If the ball is let go by and it misses the mat—ball four. This means the pitcher must try for the out but can't miss the mat by much or the batter walks. Illegal pitches result in a walk. lt seems like it would be a pitcher's game, but if he is not careful he has walked the bases full! The batters will generally get a grooved pitch to be sure it isn't a ball four. That's the equalizer.
May 16

550 posts
Heard another expert on TV today, the chances of dying from it are 1 in 50,000, the chances of dying from being struck by lightening are 1 in 3000. You tell me....
May 16
Full Monty

88 posts
What about Social Distancing in the dugouts?
How will players get in and out of the dugouts between innings?
I have seen dugouts that are tiny!
It's in and around the dugouts that the chances of getting the virus is higher than on the field of play.
May 16
Full Monty

88 posts

Yes the chances of dying are slim!

I doubt you really want to be in the hospital on a ventilator for a couple weeks.
May 16
Men's 55
290 posts
If we are going to change the game that drastically why play? You can take every precaution in the world and still get the Virus. If you are that afraid of contracting Covid 19 then you should probably stay home.

And for those of you wearing your mask in your car while driving and causing more accidents, wipe your damn car down with Clorox wipes and ditch the mask until you get outside.
May 16

409 posts
The total number of deaths in the US from lightning strikes is 43 per year on average
May 16

82 posts
May 17

550 posts
I believe the statistics were world wide, I came in from doing yardwork (what else) and caught the tail end of the guest segment. In any event, my point was anyone wanting 24/7/365 government assured cradle to grave protection are going to be disappointed. ANYTIME whether or not you even leave your home you are gambling to a point with your life, anything can happen. Out of all the people who visit this site how many will eventually depart this earthy existence due to virus versus other causes? Remember folks, when you leave for that first post-virus game, don't get run over by a 1953 Flexble bus stuck in reverse being driven by a 9 year old in vintage Quick Draw McGraw pajamas and careening out of control on a Friday at 9 am with semi-damp pavement.....
May 17
Men's 60
641 posts
# 3 umpire stands six feet plus to either side. huh?
# 4. unnecessary ball handling. huh?
white lines no bases. huh?

Understand that we have time on our hands but... C'MON MAN !!! LOL!
May 17

550 posts
Y'all can do what you want to, but I don't envision myself, my team or many others who would be willing to travel a significant distance and lay out time and money for a tournament that from the get go is listed as a 1 pitch tournament. Wouldn't a simpler solution (and I bet this will happen for this 'season' anyway) those that want to play will be required to sign a specific separate waiver dealing with the virus?
May 17
Men's 60
236 posts
Here's what Ohio plans to do :
May 17
Men's 75
606 posts
#1 I cannot wait to hear the uproar if this were to happen when the umpire who never leaves from behind home plate makes the wrong call. Leave the bags where they are. It's won't take long before there's less SD around the dugout than at any base. As already posted, there must be a lot of folks who have not gone shopping these past two months.
May 17
Men's 60
236 posts
For tCOLUMBUS, Ohio — Amateur baseball and softball players in Ohio will once again be able to take the field starting May 26. But high-fives, water coolers, and spitting will be banned.

Umpires will have to call balls and strikes from as far back from the catcher as possible. Just about everyone will have to maintain their distance and bring a mask.

The Ohio Department of Health on Friday released a list of mandatory measures – as well as optional recommendations – for adult and youth baseball and softball leagues to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

While no league can have more lax rules than the ones listed below, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Thursday that local authorities have the power to impose more stringent health regulations.

Husted said that other “limited-contact” sports -- such as tennis and golf -- will also be permitted to resume on May 26, but so far the state health department has only released guidance for baseball and softball.

The new rules require that:

Everyone at the game – whether on the field or off – must stay at least six feet away from each other at all times, except for players on the field when the ball is in play and families watching together in the stands.
Coaches and umpires must wear face coverings at all times. The same goes for athletes, except when actively participating in the field of play. Masks are “strongly recommended” for spectators.
Game balls must be designated to each team for use while that team is playing defense.
Players must refrain from high-fives, handshakes, and any other physical contact with other players, coaches, umpires, and fans. Instead, the state health department recommends players tip their caps.
All equipment, including bats, gloves, and water bottles, should be used on only by their owner and kept separate from others’ gear. If equipment must be shared, proper sanitation should be administered between uses.
Water coolers and shared drinking stations are not allowed, nor is spitting or eating seeds, gum, and other similar products.
Coaches and players must conduct self-evaluations before each game. Anyone who has symptoms of illness must stay home.
Coaches must make sure players are following prevention measures, including keeping at least six feet away from other players on the bench.
Must avoid exchanging documents or equipment with players, coaches, or spectators. Umpires calling balls and strikes should allow adequate distance behind the catcher while still able to perform their duty.
Spectators cannot go on the field or in the bench area, and they must stay at least six feet away from the backstop.
Individuals should not congregate in common areas or parking lot following the event or practice, and should not exchange items.
Prior to competitive tournaments, event owners must alert the local health department about the event.
Game organizers must maintain a complete list of coaches, players, and employees present at each event, as well as record the date, beginning and ending time of the event, plus name, address, and phone contact to be made available upon request from local health district.

In addition to the mandatory health rules for baseball and softball games, the state also listed a number of recommendations, including having:

Lineups be submitted online or by spoken word, instead of exchanging lineup cards.
All team meetings be held online or over the phone, and conducting check-ins and registrations digitally.
Participants and fans travel to each game alone or with a member of their immediate household.
Athletes wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently during games.
During practices, coaches divide players into groups and establish rotating shifts when possible.
Umpires calling balls and strikes “allow adequate distance behind the catcher while still able to perform their duty.”hose who do not know how to copy & paste :
May 17

550 posts
Man, that's like an appendix to the rule book. So, like the rule book, what is the 'penalty' for a violation?
May 17

22 posts
Some clarification

The bases home, first, 2nd and third still exist. The white line is used by the runner to avoid close contact if there is a play at the base. example is batter hits triple and touches first and 2nd but if the ball is thrown to 3rd he must run wide 6ft across the white line just like current home scoring line. Remember there are no tag playa at the bases. and all bases are force outs. Did the ball beat the runner, if so out.

Some umpires already position on the side of the plate, not behind the catcher and actually have a better view of the height of the pitch.

Unnecessary ball handling by the pitcher and catcher result from reducing the number of pitches from 4/3 or 3/2 to one pitch requiring less periodic cleaning.

The whole idea is to convince the government officials we are serious in reducing risk and they can give OK in opening fields. both Blue and Red states.

May 17

82 posts
How about convincing government officials that they have overreacted ... if people are afraid to play, dont play .... to give in to the insanity is insanity itself.

So now the government tell the public? THEY have caused the insanity ... the disease exists, there are studies it is sprad by close continual (not casual) contact. (AND that doesn't mean 6 minutes it means prolonged)

THIS IS INSANITY ON A HUGE SCALE ... It needs to be an additional chapter of Extraordinary Polpular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

May 17

82 posts
Just read this : " New York's Nassau County health officials just days ago. It was all about proper handling of balls to stay safe amid coronavirus. "

"You can kick their balls, but you can't touch them," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced with a serious urgency.

"To avoid confusion between whose balls are whose you can use a marker like a sharpie to put an 'X'... to put someone's initials on them," she added.

So to review: "if you’re playing tennis against someone who lives in the same house as you, treat their balls like your own... But if you’re playing against someone who lives elsewhere or you’re on a court next to other people not living with you, remember these tips"

Kick their balls
To avoid confusion, mark your balls with an “X” or write your name on your balls.
IMPORTANTLY!: Don’t touch their balls with your hands.

This from a state where 66% of the new hospitalizations are from people who stayed home, This means they caught the virus from people in their own household.

May 18

1993 posts
I’m in agreement with Benji4 on this. Implementing all these restrictions and new standards, especially sanitizing the balls, makes me wonder why even bother playing?
I played in a festival type tournament Saturday about 20 minutes west of Lansing. We had three 55 teams, two 50 teams and one 60 team. Two brackets of three teams. Two games against the other teams in your bracket then a single elimination after. No umpires, catcher called balls and strikes and everything else played itself out. Players tried their best to social distance but the way players engage on and off the field it wasn’t always evident. But it worked out perfectly!
I hope I’m wrong but it could be how softball rolls in Michigan for this season.
May 18
Men's 60
7 posts
Count me in as one of the cynics...

This is a team sport and one of the greatest aspects of playing league and tournament ball is the social factor with your teammates and rival team members who have become your friends. Now all of that is taken away.

No social time before or during the game, no friendly banter or jive, no ability to congratulate your teammate for a great AB or web gem, no grabbing a beer or dinner with your travel team and fans.

The goal was 'flatten the curve' not eradicate the China Virus. We've done that.

We sign a waiver to acknowledge that there is some danger in our sport, we could get hurt or die. Yet, we play on with standard rules of the game.

Now we have to sign a waiver that we might catch the Wuhan Bug but can't play by those same standard rules. We might get sick and we STILL might die but those of us who sign the waiver acknowledge that risk. If someone doesn't want to risk it, that's have the option to stay home.

Instead, the answer is to publish a Covid Addendum the size of Mein Kampf that will take the enjoyment out of the game just to satisfy a few.

As others have said, I'd rather cancel the entire season than abide by ridiculous rules such as sanitizing a ball that will be touched multiple times each 1/2 inning.

Common sense and freedom of choice have left the building. Sure hope they come back.
May 19

48 posts
OZ40..I was struct by lightning,two weeks later I touched someone and they got a shock :)
Penalty for getting to close..let us know how you feel two weeks after tournament. If nothing you're good to go,if positive that will be your penalty

How about all team mates on same team hang out together for one week before tourney and have temperature check while entering complex.If everyone negative no need to social distancing between team mates.If all teams do this, game on and high five all.
May 19

82 posts
Interesting news within the last 24 hours or so from the CDC :
May 19

550 posts
Interesting article Sully. It makes sense though. Not only that, the dirtier you got as kid the better your own immune system builds up. These super clean germ-o-phobe people raising kids these days are doing them a huge disservice, nothing but various viral ailments and allergies coming for them.
May 19

2 posts
Just cancel all tournaments tired of the dragging us along.
May 20

74 posts
interesting how I can get on an airplane next to 100 other people and fly for 2 plus hours but I can't be on a ball field for 1 hour with 10 other people while maintaining social distance.
May 21
Men's 65
42 posts
I know of no one/team around here that wants to pay $400-$600 to play in a 1 pitch tournament. Forget that idea please.
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