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High School Baseball and Softball Update

As we have shared with you, following the recent proclamation by Governor Reynolds, Iowa City Community School District high schools (City High School, Liberty High School, and West High School) will participate in the baseball and softball seasons this summer.  We are able to start practices on June 1, 2020, and the first games are slated for June 15, 2020.  The Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) has announced their game schedules for Sophomore and Varsity Baseball and Varsity Softball.  The schedules are available on the conference website at https://www.mississippivalleyiowa.org/g5-bin/client.cgi?G5genie=80.

While all districts have been told they can proceed with the baseball and softball seasons, student and staff safety remain a priority for us as we restart these seasons.  We ask for your patience as we evaluate and prepare the necessary precautionary measures to be put in place given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. It is imperative that we are able to provide a safe and healthy environment for our student-athletes, our coaches, and our spectators.

Beginning June 1, 2020, the following safety precautions will be put in place for practices:

  • Players and coaches will have their temperature checked, on-site, prior to practice (and games), and will be required to complete a daily health screener. 
  • The use of dugouts is prohibited during practice; players will place personal items socially-distanced along fences.
  • Players will use their own gloves, helmets, and bats as much as possible.
  • Players must bring their own water/beverage to consume during and after practices/games. No shared drinking fountains, water stations, or coolers will be used; however, each school will have bottled water available for players during practices and games.
  • District-owned and/or provided equipment will be sanitized by the coaching staff/athletic department before and after each practice and game.
  • Students and coaches will be required to socially-distance at practice and wear masks at practice when social distancing is not possible. The District encourages students and coaches to bring their own mask but will have masks available if needed.
  • Anyone with symptoms of illness is not allowed to participate, and such determination will be made by the coach/athletic director. Players and coaches must be fever and symptom-free for at least 24 hours before returning to participation.
  • No spitting of sunflower seed shells.
  • Parents/Guardians are not allowed to attend practice and must stay in their vehicle during drop-off/pick-up of a student-athlete at practice.
  • Health and safety remain the District's priority, every player and coach must make the decision best for him or her with regard to participating.
  • While baseball and softball fields (including hitting facilities) are available to students and coaches for practices (and games), all other school facilities including gyms, locker rooms, and team rooms remain closed and will not be accessible to students during practices (and games), except in the case of an emergency. As such, there will be no indoor practices allowed.
  • Signs will be posted at each facility with these reminders.

The reactivation of high school athletics is still developing and we will continue to update protocols for student, staff, and spectator safety. While the above protocols have been established for practices, the below protocols will be used for games (and will be updated prior to June 15, 2020):

  • Appropriate areas will be designated for spectator seating that allows for proper social distancing.
  • Spectators will be prohibited from congregating near or around dugouts or behind the screen surrounding home plate.
  • Per the MVC, each player will be allowed three tickets per game.  Attendance will be strictly limited to this rule and tickets will only be issued for a player’s family members.  Other members of the community, including students, will not be allowed attendance into games. Each school will provide information to their players on how the ticketing process will work prior to the first game.
  • Spectators must not attend if they have symptoms of illness.
  • Bleachers will not be used for spectators.  Spectators are asked to bring their own chairs or stand and should practice social distancing between different household units. In addition, spectators will be required to wear face masks while attending games.
  • No concessions stands are permitted.
  • No spitting of sunflower seed shells.
  • Transportation will be provided for students and coaches to away games and appropriate social distancing will be observed on buses. However, student-athletes may also travel to away games with their parents. The District will not approve students riding together or with adults other than their own parent/guardian.
  • Health and safety remain the District's priority, every player, coach, and spectator must make the decision best for him or her with regard to participating or attending a game.
  • Signs will be posted at each facility with these reminders.

These protocols will be in place at all Iowa City Community School District athletic facilities. There may be additional requirements implemented by other school districts within the conference based on their local public health regulations.  We are committed to communicating the health requirements of each school in advance so players, coaches, and families are aware before traveling.  However, regardless of the requirement, we ask that we all remain respectful and compliant when we visit our own schools and the schools within our conference.  While this may be viewed as an inconvenience, these requirements have been developed to create a safer and healthier environment for all.  

We are excited to provide the opportunity for our student-athletes to participate in baseball and softball this season.  We believe that by adhering to the safety requirements that are put in place, our players, coaches, and fans can take part in this experience to the greatest extent possible given the current situation.  We appreciate your support and collaboration and we look forward to seeing our students play ball this summer.  #ICCSDtogether