Per a confirmed amendment by NYSPHSAA on April 20, 2021, a “face covering” is required without any further guidance or specificity other than to refer to the NYS DOH.   Additionally, face coverings for base umpires are only required when they cannot maintain six foot separation from others. 
That being said, NYSSO strongly urges base umpires to simply wear the face covering during innings since umpires can easily come within six feet of others in a moment’s notice.  Moreover, umpires need to focus on getting into position to get calls correct rather than adjusting a face covering while moving into position.
As previously noted, sections, counties, school districts and individual schools may require greater precautions.  It is incumbent upon each NYSSO chapter to obtain as much information as possible to disseminate to its membership to avoid any unnecessary delays or cancellations of contests.

The NYSDOH has determined that Softball is a low-risk sport (greatest ability to maintain physical distance and/or be performed individually; greatest ability to (1) avoid touching of shared equipment, (2) clean and disinfect any equipment between uses by different individuals, or (3) not use shared equipment at all).

General Considerations:

•Only the scorekeeper shall touch/handle the scoresheet.

•Disinfect the bench/dugout prior to competition.

•The home team will be responsible for game balls

      1: One individual in the home dugout should be appointed to handle game balls which includes entering a ball into a game, collecting used game balls, and sanitizing balls as needed.

      2: Every half inning should be started with a new or sanitized game ball; previously used game balls should be collected and sanitized immediately for re-entry into the game at a later time. Balls will be tossed to the catcher to be put back in play.

     3:  Umpires are not required to collect or handle game balls at any time.

 •Sanitize bases after each contest.

•Suspend handshakes, fist bumps and similar gestures prior to and following the pregame conference in addition to at the conclusion of the game.

 •A socially distanced plate conference with only the umpires and head coaches will be conducted for game/ground rules, etc.

     1:  Each team shall provide the umpire a lineup card; teams may exchange paper lineups at the plate or make arrangements prior to the game to share lineups (examples: teams post lineups in dugout, send a digital photo, etc.).

Considerations for Umpires:

   •Bring personal hand sanitizer.

   •Wash hands frequently.

   •Do not share equipment.

   •Follow social distancing guidelines.

   •Gloves are permissible.

   •Umpires will not be required to check player’s equipment prior to the game. Umpires, instead, will ask the head coach if players are legally equipped and if they will remain so throughout the game. (Waiver of USA Softball Rule approved by NYSPHSAA Officers 3-3-2021)

Also see NYSSO TRAINING PRESENTATION (light blue pages). Click Here to download.