COVID-19 Safety Tips For Re-Opening Your Ballfield Facilities

Getting your baseball and softball fields into shape might be a little tricky this year, especially if you haven’t been able to do much other than keeping the turf mowed. If you’ve been able to at least do minimal maintenance or been able to make bigger improvements, you’re definitely a step ahead. Either way, consider these tips to get your fields and facility opened quickly and safely.


Run Your Operations Safely

Have and enforce written work safety policies that follow CDC health safety procedures for all areas of your facility.

  • Adhere to strict guidelines that make sure staff who are feeling sick do not come to work.
  • Wear masks and gloves.
  • Sanitize equipment before and after use.
  • Minimize face-to-face meetings in smaller areas.
  • Have sanitizing wipes available in many areas at your facility.
  • Schedule staff to work in shifts for easier social distancing while working on fields.
  • Minimize projects that require staff to be in close proximity.

 

Communication is key.

Meet with your staff to discuss your policies, if you have not done already. Technology apps like Zoom allow for internet-based meetings. If virtual meetings are not possible, limit your meeting sizes and practice social distancing while together. To accelerate things getting done, consider reaching out to coaches and/or trusted parents for a volunteer maintenance day. A few suggestions for maintenance day include:

  • Provide plentry of time slots to minimize the the number of volunteers working at one time to keep everyone safe.
  • Schedule specific tasks for volunteers before they arrive so they know exactly what they’re doing.
  • Review all COVID-19 safety policies prior to and at arrival to emphasize the importance of adhering to safety guidelines.

Manage Your Field and Facility Use

If games and practices will happen, make sure your schedules are achievable. Inform coaches and leagues in advance of any changes that will occur with how your facility is going to be run.

  • Cut practices down to 75% of their normal time to make sure every team is getting enough access.
  • Build in buffer times between practices and games so that players and coaches are not crowding at the gate while that wait to get on the field.
  • Consider cutting games down by 1 or 2 innings to help alleviate scheduling dilemmas.
  • Prohibit sunflower seeds in the facility. We all know that players, coaches, and sometimes parents love to eat the seeds and spit shells, but the virus has proven to spread through airborne droplets.

 

Inform and Educate

Post signage around the shop and facility to remind people of your safety policies and the CDC guidelines for coronavirus safety. Keep messages short and on-point. It’s not practical to expect people to read lengthy notices. Locations may include:

  • In and outside of your staff area (shed, garage or shop)
  • All facility entrances
  • Backstop fence/netting areas and bleachers — anywhere spectators convene to watch games
  • All field entrance gates
  • Restrooms (doors and inside on mirrors)
  • Dugouts
  • Concession areas
  • Batting cages and warm-up areas

 

Moving forward will be different, but manageable.


Once you have ensured your field is safe and you’ve had time to implement all safety measures to protect your crew and visitors to your facility, you can turn your attention your regular field opening safety walk-throughs. Survey your fields and facility for any safety hazards, particularly with netting, dugouts, benches, bleachers, anchors, cages, and screens.

Once fields are determined to be playable, you can start to perform more of the general field maintenance practices that have been overlooked to get games and practices going.

Work safe. Play safe. Stay safe.

 

Beacon Athletics

Beacon Athletics

We’ve been in your shoes. So it’s about giving you what you need, when you need it. To live up to “the ultimate ballfield resource” it goes beyond just delivering superior products. It’s also about giving you on-demand resources that will help make your job easier. That’s why we created Ballfields.com and GroundskeeperU.com. Whatever your ballfield needs, think Beacon.

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