We’re delighted to share the BUSK’s latest Return to Play Plan for Softball in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Plan lays out actionable and proportionate guidance intended to keep our sports safe and compliant for all. It focuses on the first of the four milestones in the England roadmap starting from 29 March 2021, with further iterations to follow once known.
Whether you’re an administrator or player, we all have a role to play in keeping one another safe so please read through the guidance, especially if you’re picking up a glove for the first time in over a year.
The good news is that there remain no mandatory changes to how softball are played; instead the guidance focuses on simple measures to be taken around social distancing, hygiene and good administration.
At a glance
- Game-Specific Modifications – considerations before, during and after play
- Health & Safety Measures
- Risk Assessments – what to consider when planning activity
- Participant Registration – keeping an attendance record
- Covid-19 Officer Role – focuses on health & safety
- Participant Code of Conduct – a quick guide of what is expected from those taking part
What’s new since our last update in December
- England. From 29 March, organised outdoor sport is now unrestricted in numbers, with travel also unrestricted. Indoor activity for children, disability and elites sports are permitted. See Sport England’s FAQs.
- Scotland. Organised outdoor sport for up to 30 people in a ‘field of play bubble’ permitted; local travel restrictions in effect.
- Wales. Organised outdoor sport based on own household or support bubble, or four people maximum permitted, local travel restrictions in effect till 27 March. Participant numbers based on own household or support bubble, or four people maximum, no limits for children aged 18 and under.
All activity must be formally organised and conducted under Government-approved guidance, that is to say, adhering to the protocols within BaseballSoftballUK’s Return to Play Plan.
The Plan was developed last year in consultation with a cross-section of players, umpires and administrators from the softball community including the British Softball Federation, Baseball Scotland, British Baseball League, East of England Baseball League, West Midlands Baseball League, South West Baseball League and now even baseball’s newest recruits, Westcountry Baseball League. The Plan was then presented to Government departments including Sport England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, sportScotland and Sport Wales for review and approval.
Guidance was first issued in July 2020 and this is version 11 indicating the extent of the constantly changing regulations. Updates will be issued in line with the further Steps: 12 April (Step 2), 17 May (Step 3) and finally 21 June (Step 4) when all restrictions are due to be lifted. It will also reflect relevant elements of the Scottish roadmap (2, 5, 26 April, 17 May, early/end June) and Wales regulations.
Whilst we hope that the easing of restrictions remains on a steady trajectory, clearly the situation and the roadmaps remain subject to change at short notice. Therefore, please keep yourselves updated through regular trusted channels and remember that local and national Government guidance supersedes advice provided by BaseballSoftballUK.
Thank you for playing your part in taking responsibility for your teammates, opponents, officials, volunteers and the reputation of our sports.
Return to Play Framework
BaseballSoftballUK‘s comprehensive Return to Play Plan – DOWNLOAD HERE
The following templates are designed to help you with your own Risk Assessments prior to hosting or playing in any event:
- Risk Assessment [Fomite] – Enhanced Hygiene: DOWNLOAD HERE
- Risk Assessment [Droplet] – Social Distancing: DOWNLOAD HERE
- Risk Assessment [Population] – Controlled Attendance: DOWNLOAD HERE
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Risk Assessment Template: DOWNLOAD HERE
- A helpful guide to filling out Risk Assessments, created by Club Matters: DOWNLOAD HERE
- sportScotland Risk Assessment template: DOWNLOAD HERE
- sportScotland Risk Assessment completed template: DOWNLOAD HERE
The following templates will be useful for managing participant data following the Return to Play:
Participant Code of Conduct
Ensuring a safe return to play for softball in England, Scotland and Wales will require cooperation and diligence by all participants.
We therefore ask that you please read, understand, adopt and share the Participant Code of Conduct, which will enable everyone to play their part in keeping our sports as safe as possible. Please also support your Covid-19 Officer by helping provide information requested and adhering to guidance they’ve put into place to support you.
Read the Participant Code of Conduct HERE.
Gov.UK – UK Government Coronavirus Guidance and Support
NHS – NHS Coronavirus Information
World Baseball Softball Confederation – Covid-19 Prevention Guidelines
Sport England – Return to Play hub
Sport England – Return to Play legal guidance
sportScotland – Covid-19 information and resources
sportScotland – Operational Guidance for Indoor Sports Halls
Sport Wales – Taking Part in Sport and Exercise in Wales – The Guidance
Club Matters – Toolkit to help sports clubs prepare for reopening
*Updated 31st march 2021