Softball Modifications


The MIAA Modifications and Guidelines are listed below with LHS Additional clarifying statements.
*Anything  * is an additional LHS clarification*

General Information

Every school district/program should consult with their local health department to determine which risk level to start this program safely. Continued consultation with the local health department should be used to determine when progression to the next risk level can be initiated.

This document is to be utilized in compliance with all EEA, DESE and DPH guideline in place. 

Pre-Workout/Pre-Contest Screening:

Student-athletes and coaches may not attend practices or games if they are isolated for illness or quarantined for exposure to infection.

Prior to attending practices or games, athletes and coaches should check their temperature *All student-athletes and Coaches will be required to complete an online form through AT Genius to certify that they are in good health. Student-athletes who do not feel well should stay home from practice.*

If a student-athlete or a coaching staff member has a temperature of 100 degrees or above, they should not attend practices or games. Likewise if they have any other symptoms of COVID-19 infection (, they should not attend practices or games. Student-athletes and coaches who have symptoms of COVID19 infection should follow DPH guidance regarding isolation and testing.

For students with symptoms who test negative for COVID-19 infection, they may return to sport once they are approved to return to school (when afebrile for 24 hours and symptomatically improved).

Student athletes and coaches who are diagnosed with COVID-19 infection may return to school once they have been afebrile for 24 hours and with improvement in respiratory symptoms, and once ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared, according to DPH guidelines. In addition, persons with COVID-19 infection need to receive written clearance from their health care provider in order to return to sport.

Student-athletes and coaches who were exposed to COVID should not participate in practices or games until their 14-day quarantine is completed.

Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions, but should practice social distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.

Cohorts and/or Participants:

A record *by the coach* should be kept of all individuals present at team activities i.e. – practices, practice cohorts, competitions, etc.

Social distancing:

  • Practice – Coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained between players as much as possible. This includes additional spacing between athletes while stretching, warming up, chatting, changing drills, etc. Athletes must maintain spacing, and there should be no congregating of athletes while running drills. Workouts should be conducted in ‘pods’ of athletes, with the same 5-10 athletes always working out together. This ensures more limited exposure if someone develops an infection. Records should be kept *by the coach* of who is in each group, each day.
  • Locker Rooms *The LHS locker rooms will be closed and should not be entered by the LHS student-athletes*


Inside the building: the bathrooms open will be located in the hall of fame lobby – ONLY to be used as bathrooms, not a changing facility.


When possible, students should report to workouts in proper gear and immediately return home to shower, clean clothing, and equipment at the end of every workout.


  • Benches – No benches should be used during practice or games. Players’ items should be separated as below for personal items, at least 6 feet apart. 


  • Playing Surface Access – Only essential personnel are permitted on the practice/competition field. These are defined as athletes, coaches, medical personnel/athletic trainers, and officials (competition). All others (i.e. managers, photographers, media, etc.) are considered non-essential personnel and are not to be on the field of play.


  • Personal Items – It is recommended that each athlete bring their own gym bag for personal items (see gym bag information below). All personal items should remain in the gym bag when not in use. Gym bags should be placed in a predetermined area 6 feet apart for the duration of practice.


  • Huddles – Social distancing (6 feet between individuals) must be maintained, as much as possible, and face coverings utilized when the coach is communicating with the entire team, or in smaller groups. Communicating with smaller groups is preferred.


  • Team Handshakes Athletes shall NOT exchange handshakes before, during or following practices and competitions. Some MIAA sport specific modifications suggest sportsmanship recognition practices which replace handshakes.


  • Spectators – Spectators must practice social distancing between different household units and accept personal responsibility for public health guidelines. The number of spectators is determined in compliance with EEA, DESE and DPH guidelines.   * Currently, Ludlow Athletics allows home fans only limiting two guests per player for outdoor games and one guest per player for indoor games.  Athletics will continually assess the situation as the year progresses. Ludlow High School has partnered with the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS) to live stream our games through their network. All contests played in the LHS gym and stadium will be streamed.  Families can purchase a monthly subscription of $10 or an annual subscription for $69.99 to watch the contests.*



  • *Transportation – See below



  • Media – All social distancing and hygiene guidelines for spectators must be followed by media members planning to attend games. Media members should contact host school administrators prior to arriving at games to plan appropriate entry and available workspace


Practice and Game Protocols:

  • Masks/Face Coverings – Athletes are required to wear cloth face coverings/masks per EEA guidelines. Face coverings consisting of multiple layers and a tighter weave are more effective and preferred.  *Masks will be required for all athletes. ATTENTION!! Ludlow Public Schools policy does not allow gaiters to be worn by home or visiting athletes. If an athlete/staff chooses to purchase a gaiter and wear it during competition or practice a face mask MUST be worn underneath. 


  • During play when spacing between players is greater than 10 ft athletes may momentarily take brief face covering relief. The default expectation is that the mask will be on. Athletes should reference sport specific guidelines for mask break. Athletes that use mouthpieces should prepare to have extra face coverings available. Caution should be exercised when replacing a mask if hands are soiled or dirty. For individuals that are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability. (Coach must possess the medical note/documentation excusing the player from wearing a mask) *LHS will also require that doctor’s note to be on file with the HS nurse and athletic trainer*


  • It is the responsibility of the head coach to monitor and ensure that all players not on the playing field are wearing face coverings. A game administrator, home athletic director, or other designee may also assist in monitoring this.


  • Coaches and officials are also required to wear face coverings. Coaches and officials may remove their face covering briefly for a “break” at any point during play when they are socially distanced greater than 6 feet. Spectators, workers, and others are required to wear face coverings and they are expected to follow social distancing guidelines.


  • Player habits – Coaches should work to break old habits and create new ones to minimize the spread of the virus. Spitting, nose clearing on the field, licking fingers, and spitting on gloves during practices and competitions is not permitted. The habit of minimizing any touching of the face and covering the cough should be practiced.

Given that indoor conditions and ventilation/airflow impact the playing of indoor sports, it is recommended that indoor participants and all in attendance work to refrain from active yelling due to the increased opportunity for increased droplet transmission. Coaches and game administrators are encouraged to monitor this and remind participants to eliminate any unnecessary shouting.


  • Interaction with Officials – Coaches must follow social distancing guidelines (6 feet between individuals) when interacting with an official or any other individual. Conversations can occur at a distance. Athletes should not approach a referee closer than 6 feet at any time.


  • Hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes – Athletes, coaches, and officials are encouraged to provide their own hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and/or sanitizing wipes and use them frequently – including prior to taking the field and upon return to the sideline. Additionally, it is emphasized to avoid touching the face throughout practice and competition. *LHS athletes should bring their own individual hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes each day to practice.  Each LHS athlete will be provided with a small bottle of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the season.  Additionally the LHS coach will be provided with a “sanitizing bag” the bag will contain hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and gloves.*   


  • Pre-Game Introductions and Preparation – If pre-game meetings are necessary, they should be held with limited team representation – a single coach, single captain, etc. At the pregame meeting all participants will be required to wear face coverings and to socially distance from all participants


If a school chooses to do introductions, players will take their position on the court prior to being introduced. Introductions are suggested to be limited or eliminated to decrease time of athletes on the competition surface. The National Anthem may be played before competition. *At LHS PA introductions will only be eliminated if there is a time constraint with the game (Back to Back Games)*


Indoor musical performances at interscholastic athletic events are not permitted.


  • Ball Retrievers – Ball retrievers for any sport ARE NOT permitted. See sport specific modifications for extra ball placement procedures.


  • Post-Game Procedures – Refer to Team Handshakes in this guidance. Recognition of the other team, coaches and/or officials should be done from a distance greater than 6 feet and should not delay departure from the competition venue. Teams and group of players should maintain social distancing and/or staggering departure times at the conclusion of the contest.



  • General Equipment – There should be no shared athletic equipment unless required by the sport rules – ie., one basketball is used during competition and must be used by all players. Any equipment that is used for practice should be cleaned and disinfected prior to and immediately following practice. Only one individual should handle the set-up and break-down of equipment on any given day (i.e. goals, cones, etc.).
  • Balls – Each player should bring their own ball or use the same school-issued ball during practice. Skill training, conditioning, agility, etc. can be done with the one player/one ball concept. Balls must be sanitized before and after each practice/game. Sport specific modifications also list other ball cleaning practices during competition. *LHS coaches will be provided with sanitizing wipes/spray to disinfect equipment*


  • Personal Items – Shoes, clothing, towels, and other personal items must not be shared among athletes. Any items that are not currently being worn/used should be stored inside a personal gym bag. Gym bags should be placed in a predetermined area 6 feet apart for the duration of practice/competition.



  • All students must bring their own water bottle. Water bottles cannot be shared.


  • Hydration stations (water cows, water trough, water fountains, etc.) should NOT be utilized.



  • *At LHS a water refill station will be located near the athletic trainer’s area and should only be used for refilling water bottles.  Athletes should bring an abundance of personal water and the refill station should only be used in rare occurrences*.




  • Water fountains are to be used as refill stations ONLY  



COVID-19 Coach:

  • It is recommended that schools could designate a coach to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns.


  • All coaches, staff, officials, and families should know who this person is and how  to contact them.


  • Train coaches, officials, and staff on all safety protocols. Conduct training virtually and ensure that social distancing is maintained during training. (NFHS COVID-19 FREE Course)


Gym Bag: (Supplies recommended for a personal gym bag)

  • Reusable facial covering(s)/mask(s) – The mask/face covering must be worn at all times. Sport specific modification may have further guidance for face coverings.
  • Warm-up clothing, electronic devices, and other personal items that are used by the athlete, prior to practice/competition, must be placed back in the gym bag before practice/competition begins.
  • Athletes are recommended to always have a personal bottle of hand sanitizer available. There will be less chance of possible cross contamination and less time standing around waiting to use a shared hand sanitizer. Be sure to have this inside a sealable bag, in case it leaks. This will be used when you enter and exit the practice/competition site, and at other necessary times in between.
  • Athletes are recommended to have disinfectant wipes for personal use. When using a restroom area, it is best to disinfect any surface that may be touched, before and after using the facilities.
  • Athletic braces, tape, inhalers, or any other sports-medical item used before, during or after practice/meets should be stored in a personal gym bag when not in use.
  • Additional shoes should also be stored in a separate compartment or bag inside a gym bag to prevent possible cross contamination with other items in the gym bag.
  • Any other item that is deemed necessary for practice or competition must be stored in the gym bag when it is not being used
  • Everything inside the gym bag must be disinfected after every practice and before the athlete returns to practice again. Be sure to spray the inside and the outside of the bag as well. This is for everyone’s protection.



Core health and safety practices 


Several core practices will support safe school bus operations this fall:


  • Masks

All staff and students on the bus, regardless of age, are required to wear masks at all times. Exemptions for students due to medical and/or behavioral reasons – and associated protocols – are further described later in this guidance.


  • Distance


Students should be seated no more than one student per bench, alternating sides for each row, which allows students to maintain approximately 3 feet of physical distance. Children from the same household may sit together and in closer proximity (e.g., two students per bench). Diagrams are provided later in this guidance.

  • Ventilation

Keep windows open at all times during operation, unless not possible due to extreme weather conditions.

  • Seat assignments

Students should be assigned to a single bus and a particular seat. 


  • Bus monitors


Districts should consider adding a bus monitor (e.g., volunteer, student leader, or staff member) for every bus to ensure strict adherence to these health and safety guidelines. 

Bus seating configuration 


In alignment with the Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance, the following bus configuration (i.e., one student per bench, alternating sides for each row) represents the maximum* school bus occupancy achievable while maintaining approximately 3 feet of physical distance. 


*Note: Children from the same household may sit together and are excluded from the one student per bench requirement.  


Bus Model: 71-passenger bus

Max. capacity with physical distancing requirements: 23 passengers (32% full capacity)

Seat map configuration:


Bus model Maximum occupancy (excluding students who could sit together from same household) Percentage of full bus capacity
83-passenger bus 27 passengers 33%
77-passenger bus 25 passengers 32%
71-passenger bus 23 passengers 32%
47-passenger bus 15 passengers 32%
29-passenger bus 9 passengers 31%
26-passenger bus 8 passengers 31%
22-passenger bus 7 passengers 32%
14-passenger bus 6 passengers 43%


Softball Specific Modifications

General Game Requirements:


  • Face Masks are required at all times; Gaiters are permissible but must be multiply


  • Before, during and after the contest, players, coaches, game officials, team

personnel and game administration officials must wash and sanitize their hands

as often as possible

  • At conclusion of contests, coaches and players will manage social distancing

while departing benches

  • Spectator attendance will follow EEA guidelines with consideration for venue,

school, and league policies.


Team Benches and Personnel:

  •  Everyone must have their own beverage container that is not shared; Container

must be labeled for each participant

  • Non-essential personnel in the dugout, field and near participants throughout

the contest must be limited.

  • Limit bench personnel to allow for social distancing of 6 ft. or greater, teams

must develop additional area(s) beyond the provided team bench for players to

spread out for water breaks, social distancing, and other needs. Team benches

must expand to areas on the sidelines that allow players to use additional 

seating allocated for players and coaches (only) to adhere to the 6 ft spacing


  • Disinfect equipment and uniform after use.
  • Softball equipment bags must adhere to specified protocols listed under

Personal Items and Gym Bag protocols.


Locker Rooms:

  • Adhere to established EEA guidelines for locker rooms EEA document page 9.


Game Officials:

  • Must wear a mask at all times per EEA document page 5.
  • Must plan to arrive at the facility dressed in uniform per EEA document page 10.
  • Do not share uniforms, towels, apparel, and equipment
  •  Must bring their own water bottles
  •  Plate Umpire

o The plate umpire must minimize the time in close proximity to the catcher, “stepping in” as late as possible

o The plate umpire should work to allow safe distance from the catcher while maintaining positioning to officiate the contest

o The plate umpire must use optimal mask fitting while in the position behind the catcher


Game Modifications and Management:

  •  Limitations on total players – 20 players per team total. Field design respective

of social distancing may dictate total players that may participate in a contest.

  •  No seeds, gum or spitting is allowed during the 2020-2021 Spring Season
  •  No licking of fingers or spitting on hands
  •  The umpire will issue a warning (1st offense) to a player if they intentionally

remove their mask

o 2nd offense the coach will be warned about the player removing their mask

o 3rd offense the player will be removed from the game.

  •  Captains and coaches must maintain social distancing of 6 ft. when talking or

conferring with a game umpire.

  •  Game umpires will maintain social distancing of 6 ft. during the pre-game

meeting with 1 captain from each team and head coaches.

  •  Social distancing must be maintained at all times; this includes but is not limited


o While in the dugout

o During timeouts/coach talking to pitcher and other players on the field

  •  Home team MUST supply both teams with 3 game balls, which the pitchers will

keep during the entire game.

o Home team must have more balls available in case of loss balls/damaged balls

  •  Players must bring and use their own equipment (gloves, bats, helmets, etc.)

o If a player is unable to bring their own equipment and must share with

another teammate, the equipment must be sprayed with a sanitizer before

and after each use.

  •  Suspend pregame protocol of shaking hands during introductions/pregame


  •  Suspend postgame protocol of shaking hands 
  •  Concessions are not allowed for softball games
  •  Media location is to be determined by the host school; all media members must

wear a mask at all times, and follow all social distancing guidelines for

spectators. Advance notification to host school administration is required.

Coaches Safety Checklist for Sports Participation during COVID-19



🗹Ensure each athlete has an updated physical before participating.

🗹 Ensure each athlete has taken the baseline concussion test.



🗹 Coaches and players must conduct daily symptom assessments via AT Genius. 

Using LHSlions as a sign in code

🗹Coaches must check that each athlete has taken the daily symptom assessments and everyone is cleared to practice.

🗹Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer before arriving.

🗹Avoid gathering in large groups before practice, maintain physical distance and wear a face mask (abiding by Ludlow Public Schools face mask policy).

🗹Sanitize all equipment prior to and after each session.

🗹Ensure that the bus is properly set up for transportation (see transportation guidelines).



🗹Whenever possible, maintain 6-8 feet of physical distance during drills and conditioning.

🗹No team water coolers or shared drinking stations. Athletes should bring individual water containers.

🗹Avoid these behaviors – players and coaches should refrain from: 

  • Huddles, high fives, fist bumps, handshakes, and other physical contact with teammates, opposing players, coaches, umpires and fans. 
  • Sharing food or drink with teammates.
  • Players should refrain from spitting or blowing nose without tissue.

🗹Coaches and athletes should wear face coverings at all times while not actively participating in the field of play.

🗹Coaches need to divide athletes into cohorts, with the same cohorts practicing together at every practice. A list should be kept of these specific cohorts.

🗹Equipment and personal items should have proper separation and should not be shared. 

🗹Maintain a complete list of coaches, players and staff present including name, date, and beginning and ending time of the event. 

🗹Avoid the use of pinnies. 

🗹Use individual drills and warm-ups as much as possible.



🗹Make sure athletes are not congregating after practice – they should be leaving immediately. 

🗹Sanitize or wash hands

🗹Wash face mask

🗹Clean personal sports equipment

AT Genius Instructions

For Coaches / Staff


  1. Go to
  2. New to AT Genius?
  3. Click Sign Up Here
  4. School Code: LHSlions
    1. Should read:
      1. School → Ludlow High School
      2. Athletic Trainer → Ashley Mourao
    2. Click select (if you see above information)
  5. Enter First Name, Last Name, E-mail
  6. Set-up account


Any Questions/problems please contact Ashley Mourao @

AT Genius Instructions

For Student / Athletes


  1. Go to
  2. Click Student / Athlete portal
  3. Click NEW Student / Athletes (if you signed up during the fall sports season – you DO NOT need to make a new account – use the same one from the Fall!)
  4. School Code: LHSlions
    1. Should read:
      1. School → Ludlow High School
      2. Athletic Trainer → Ashley Mourao
    2. Click select (if you see above information)
  5. Make Profile
  6. Take COVID-19 Screening DAILY
  7. Show results to Coach when arriving to practice


Any Questions/problems please contact Ashley Mourao @