The Boards of the British Softball Federation (BSF), British Baseball Federation (BBF) and BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) are pleased to make the following joint statement regarding the further easing of restrictions in England and Scotland on 19 July and its impact on baseball and softball.

It is the Boards’ continued position that both baseball and softball remain low risk, non-contact sports, especially when played outdoors. This assessment is made against the Team Sports Risk Exposure Framework created by Sport England, sportScotland, Public Health England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), based on which Return to Play protocols were first established in 2020.  As a result, protocols across baseball, fastpitch and slowpitch softball have never needed to include modifications to the game on the field of play.

The British Government has advised that as of 19 July, mandatory protocols are no longer required for grassroots community sports and that sports should be responsible for determining what they deem to be the most suitable approach.

Therefore, it is the Boards’ collective position that, effective 19 July, we ask that both our membership and non-affiliated independent groups, including players, event organisers, administrators, volunteers and umpires, continue to adhere to the following basic and proportionate measures until further notice for both formal and informal activity.

These recommendations are made as best-practice responsible guidance in order that we collectively continue to keep those within our community as safe as possible at a time when cases are rising, despite the protection provided by vaccinations for those who have had them. The recommendations should also be familiar to those of you who have returned to play earlier this year.
 

Continue doing:

  1. Support NHS Test and Trace by:
    1. Completing a Participant Opt-in Form prior to attending activity.
    2. Completing Covid check-in on the day of activity.
    3. Keeping a Participant Attendance Register on the day of activity.
       
  2. Maintain basic hygiene precautions to minimise fomite (contact) transmission by:
    1. Disinfecting all personal and team equipment and hands before and after activity with hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes.
    2. Avoiding sharing equipment wherever possible and sanitising where unavoidable.
    3. Ensuring you have a First Aid Covid kit.
       

Scotland update:

Please note the following key changes that come into effect from 19 July when the remaining local authorities move to Level 0:

  • Organised, formal activity outdoors: 500 athletes maximum; social distancing removed.
  • Informal, casual activity outdoors: no limit, social distancing removed.
  • Indoor activity: numbers determined by venue size based on 7sqm/person to achieve enhanced ventilation; social distancing reduced from 2m to 1m.

Further updates, including for Wales, will be made when clarified. 

Federation websites and BSUK’s COVID-19 Guidance online hub will shortly be updated to reflect this information. Sport England updates can be found here, sportScotland here.

Finally, the situation and Government 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 the BBF, BSF and BSUK.

If you have any questions, please contact your Federation or BSUK at returntoplay@bsuk.com.