UPDATED 5/27/20

Read the complete COVID-19 Safe Return to Play Plan


Dear Coaches, Parents and Players,

By now you have all heard that Fastpitch Nation Park will be opening for the season June 20! When this journey started for all us when I shut down my business on March 14, we had no idea it could ever last this long. But during that time I chose to work as hard as I possibly could to get you all back out onto the fields safely and also to save my business, my park, my livelihood and the livelihoods of my employees. Through tireless and often frustrating efforts and collaborations with softball colleagues from around the nation, health experts and the local and state governments, we were finally able to achieve our goal of re-opening to serve our customers. The leaders in the local government here in Windsor, CT were especially helpful and worked very hard with me to achieve this. The people in the state government I worked with in the State Senate, State Assembly and the Governor’s task force all recognized how important youth sports is to the community and everyone did their very best to work with me as our plans evolved and as the Governor rolled out the overall phases for the state.
 
Over the past months I have literally spoken, emailed or texted with hundreds and hundreds of coaches and parents. The overwhelming support and encouragement I received was both humbling and motivational. Everyone shares in the victory but it will take everyone’s cooperation to ensure that we open safely and that we operate safely throughout the summer, so eventually we can return to pre-pandemic days of “free-range” softball. But for now softball will look very different this season. Let’s all just treasure the opportunity to be back out on the field competing and enjoying the game we all love.
 
I will share with you the details of our Safe Return to Play Plan I created in collaboration with the government during the past two months. We created an extraordinary plan and we also gathered info from all over the country adding anything to our plan that made it better. Outside the box thinking was required to meet all the various and often changing conditions we needed to include. Tournament directors from USSSA, USA Softball, NSA and independent tournaments have all contacted me for advice and we also shared ideas. I have freely shared the work we have done with anyone who pursued the safe return of softball for all teams anywhere. Any tournament provider is free to use our plan to safely run their tournaments.
 
What follows is what we agreed with government we would do to gain approval to play once the state opened youth sports. It will be by no means be trivial. There is no doubt that this entire softball season will not resemble a regular season. As so many of you have told me, that is practically immaterial. People just want to get back on to the field to regain even a small slice of normalcy again.
 
I have had to make many concessions and major structural changes to the way we do business and I have had to invest even more money to meet safety requirements so we can play again. What was once a shared pain when we started this journey will now be a shared sacrifice of convenience to be able to play. However, it was what we all wanted; to once again take the field just to play ball. I am supremely happy to have been able to weather this storm of the century and to lead the effort back out onto our collective fields of dreams.
 

Sincerely Yours in Softball,

David Rocha
USSSA New England Fastpitch Director
Owner and General Manager
Fastpitch Nation Park (Windsor, CT)
Fastpitch Nation Indoor (Bloomfield, CT)

THERE IS MUCH INFORMATION TO SHARE WITH YOU. PLEASE READ THROUGH ALL OF THIS IN ITS ENTIRETY AND SHARE WITH ALL YOUR PLAYERS AND PARENTS.
 
We have used an FAQ format as so many of you have the same questions.
The following info is covered below:
  • Restrictions on teams and spectators.
  • Info regarding bathrooms, on-site medical, food, merchandise, and livestreaming.
  • Updated tournament formats.
  • Expanded tournaments and new weekday tournaments.
  • New event pricing.
  • New pay-at-the-plate umpire process.
  • Updated info regarding credits/refunds for pandemic-postponed events.
  • Updated format and costs for USSSA Nationals.
  • Game play and rules modifications.
  • New roster and waiver requirements.
  • Updated info for teams needing hotels.
  • College Coach Info
  • Other USSSA tournament info
A copy of all of the updated information on this webpage can be downloaded, here.

Restrictions on Teams and Spectators

What will the restrictions be on teams and spectators?

WE CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH YOUR COMPLETE COOPERATION WILL BE REQUIRED TO NOT ONLY GET BACK ON THE FIELD BUT TO REMAIN THERE FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON. This season will be like no other and we all must remember what it has taken to get back playing again. All of our actions will dictate how successful we all are playing softball once again. Everyone must understand we will have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. It has taken an incredible effort to get back in business and we will not allow anyone in the park to jeopardize the season to end prematurely.

Below is our “Safe Return to Play” plan.
  1. Only uniformed players playing that day, 3 coaches and 1 parent/guardian spectator per player will be permitted in the park. Keeping human numbers low will be paramount. No other spectators will be allowed (siblings, grandparents, friends, etc.). Our plan guarantees there will be no group of people larger than 3 comes to the park (player, 1 spectator parent, 1 coach parent but most groups will be 2, player and 1 parent).
  2. Current state regulations call for masks or cloth face coverings in public when close contact is unavoidable. While the regulations are in place, we will require masks or cloth face coverings to enter the building to access the bathrooms and retail spaces. Masks are also required to access the food trucks. For added security we suggest people where them in any outdoor areas they feel they cannot maintain social distance. All spectators will be required to maintain 6’ social distances.
  3. Temporary fencing has been installed so there are now only two points of entrance/exit to the park. These entrances (one at each parking lot) will be managed by staff. These staffers will monitor that only appropriate people are entering the park plus provide information and safety instructions.
  4. No spectators will be allowed behind the backstops from the outfield end of the 1st base dugout to outfield end of the 3rd base dugout. All parents will spread out strictly adhering to social distancing from the outfield ends of the 1st and 3rd base dugouts and around the outfield. The backstop areas tend to be the place folks congregate and in depths more than one person deep creating a choke point in a complex with multiple backstops facing each other. This will not be allowed. With this plan the 1 parent/guardian per player will have over 650 linear of fence (5,000 sf) line to spread out one person deep.
  5. All picnic tables and bleachers will be stacked in the storage area and will not be used. Spectators will need to bring their own personal chairs for seating.
  6. No pop-up tents other than the ones teams use to extend the dugout space will be permitted as personal tents will encourage gathering too close together and adds too much time to pack up and exit the park. Individual covered chair umbrellas will be allowed.
  7. Once a team has completed play, they will need to leave the park immediately. There will be no lingering to watch or scout other teams.
  8. Each field area (benches, dugouts, gates, etc.) will be disinfected daily.
  9. Between games employees who will be maintaining the fields, will sanitize the team bench as well as the scorers table.
  10. Signage will be placed at all entrances and other locations around the park regarding social distancing and hygiene practices.
  11. We have painted dividing lines, arrows and other things painted on the walk areas. This will help people understand where to go and to maintain social distancing.
  12. For the first few tournaments , Field 3, which is closest to the building entrance and food trucks will be closed. This is the point where there would be the highest congregation of people and we want time to experiment how to manage that area most safely once games resume on that field in July.

How long will these restrictions last?

  • It’s unknown for how long we will need to enforce these highly restrictive measures.
  • Once games begin and we understand any issues we find during actual play, we can begin to evaluate any amendments.
  • Our hope to be able to allow 2 spectators per player beginning with the USSSA Nationals.
  • However, we cannot predict how the government will continue to restrict us. It’s unrealistic and perhaps also unwise to think in a matter of weeks we can go from maximum restrictions to pre-pandemic behavior.

How will the site restrictions be enforced and what happens if people do not comply?

  • For everyone’s safety all must understand we will have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY.
  • Coaches must ensure their team adhere to the one parent per player rule and on-field social distance rules. We prefer to not have to resort to a wristband system for entering the park so please monitor and take responsibility for your team and spectators.
  • A government required Director of Safety and Adherence will be on hand to monitor all fields to maintain and enforce the rules. Each field crew will also be part of the enforcement effort. Typically a 2-person crew is assigned to 2 fields for the day. They will not only groom fields but will be part of the crowd management team.
  • Umpires, the UIC and the Director of Safety will manage both the game and the social distance and safety rules on the field. However, we need the coaches to be an equally important part of the safety team.
  • Umpires will warn coaches if a team is not abiding by the social distance restrictions. Teams will have a maximum of 2 warnings. If a third infraction of social distance rules occurs, the game will end and be recorded as a forfeit.
  • Spectators are required to obey all commands from tournament staff regarding social distance and park policies. Spectators who refuse to obey commands from staff will be ejected from the park. If they refuse ejection, the police will be called.
  • If anyone, players or spectators are feeling sick, have a cold, coughing etc., STAY HOME!

Bathrooms, On-site Medical, Food, Merchandise and Livestreaming

Will the bathrooms be open and will food be available? Can we bring our own food and drinks?

  • Our professional food service professionals (Mozicatto Catering and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream) will use their two Food Trucks. As always their trucks will be sanitized each day. The area by the food trucks will be marked off with 6’ distance markers to stand in line at the truck.
  • Individual families may bring food or drink for themselves, but no tailgating, or team meals will be permitted.
  • No communal water coolers will be permitted.
  • No seeds or any food that encourages spitting will be permitted.
  • Our bathrooms will be open. Masks or cloth face covering are required to enter the bathrooms. As we always do, our restrooms will be maintained for cleanliness, monitored constantly and disinfected daily.
  • There are 5 hand washing stations (3 women and 2 men) and we are adding hand sanitizer stations as well

Will the retail space be open to purchase tournament shirts and other items?

  • Yes, it will be open but state rules for retail severely limit the number of people allowed inside. Masks or cloth face covering are required to enter the retail space. We are opening an online store and all will be encouraged to order their tournament shirts and souvenirs, online in advance or at the park and just picked up at the park. This will minimize the number of folks who wish to enter the retail space which state regulations limit.

Will medical personnel be on site?

  • As always, Hartford HealthCare will have certified athletic training medical staff on site at every game. Aside from their role to provide athletic training, concussion assessment and minor first aid, they will also be prepared to do temperature checks for anyone who wishes one. We are working with them to determine what more they can offer during games.

Will the games be livestreamed?

  • Yes, all games will be livestreamed. As good as our system was last season our livestream system and wifi network was undergoing a major system upgrade when the pandemic hit. We have now resumed that upgrade and it will be ready for June 20.
  • We are testing a new system that will take the output of our scoreboards and overlays the data onto the video stream with MLB style graphics.
  • We will be soon testing and rolling out play-by-play broadcasting on specific games.
  • The new livestreaming system requires an account and subscription to watch games.
  • Go here to access the livestream system.

Updated Tournament Formats

What is the new format of the tournaments and how will you manage the teams attending?

  • The largest challenge we had to gain approval of our plan to play was the volume of teams coming to the park. We were tasked with creating a way to dramatically reduce the number of teams in the park, reduce the entrances to only 2 and have little to no overlapping games or teams waiting to play which would make management of social distance polices much more difficult.
  • To manage this we developed a new tournament format we dubbed “Micro-Events”. This round-robin format allows us to insure that only 1/3 of the teams entered into any event will be in the park at one time. To achieve this there will be no elimination component in any tournament this season other than a modified one in the USSSA Nationals. It will be more similar to a showcase format in which games are played, scores are kept but there will be no elimination play and no overall winner declared. In these unprecedented times winning a tournament seems to be of little consequence. Getting out and competing and enjoying softball is everything.
  • In a 4-game-guarantee micro-event format each team will still play 4 games (two each day). All the teams in the event are broken into 3 time blocks each day. For example in a two-day event on day one, 1/3 of the teams will play the morning time block, play 2 games, pack up and leave. Then the next 1/3 of teams will play the midday time block, play 2 games, pack up and leave. Then they last 1/3 of the teams will play the afternoon time block, play 2 games, pack up and leave.
  • In a three-day 6-game-guarantee micro-event format each team will still play 6 games (two each day).
  • With this format, we will also implement a complimentary parking strategy with alternating blocks using the lower and upper parking lots.
  • If our events have the maximum number of teams entered that the park could accommodate, our new micro-event format guarantees our actual max capacity at any one time never will exceed 33%. Moreover, even if we were at the max 33% capacity, parking would take approximately 300 of the more than 1,000 spaces available or 30%.
  • This format accomplishes two goals: 1) It’s the safest way we can manage the teams in the park. 2) The format opens up more opportunities for teams to play which is important since so many teams have lost many events around the region with some places losing their entire season. Many teams have told us they feel Fastpitch Nation Park may be the only place they can play all season.

When can I arrive for my games and where do I park, enter and exit?

  • Each parking lot will have a single entrance/exit to the fields. Teams within a block will enter and exit through the same gate regardless of the location of the field you are assigned. The alternate entrance/exit will be closed when one is open. This way no block will overlap parking lots or entrances and exits.
  • Block 1 teams being first in the morning can arrive when they want. However, Block 2 and Block 3 teams can begin entering the park 60 minutes prior to their assigned game time. In the June 20 event these will be the game times. Based on results we will determine for the following events if we need to adjust to more or less time between blocks.
    • Block 1 uses the lower parking lot and enters the park whenever and plays at 7:45am and 9:15am.
    • Block 2 uses the upper parking lot and enters the park at 11am and plays at 12:00pm and 1:30am.
    • Block 3 uses the lower parking lot and enters the park at 3:15pm and plays at 4:15pm and 5:45pm.

How long will this these restrictions and the micro-event format last?

  • The “micro-event”  format will be in place for the balance of the season (end of August). As we get deeper into the summer, approaching the Fall, we will review based on conditions and governmental regulations. Our hope is to return to a traditional play for the Fall. However, we cannot predict how the government will continue to restrict us. It’s unrealistic and perhaps also unwise to think in a matter of weeks we can go from maximum restrictions to pre-pandemic behavior.

Expanded Tournaments, Reschedules and New Weekday Tournaments

Will there be new events to enter? Will current events be expanded?

  • Every current event has been expanded to the maximum we can fit in the park under the severe restrictions.
  • We have already added weekend events for every week in August.
  • The 5/23 and 6/13 USA Elite Select 7 Inning Series Events have been rescheduled to July 28-29 and is now a 4GG, 2-day event. See pricing below.
  • The 6/26-28, FPN Cup 5-game guarantee event has been updated to 6-game guarantee. See pricing below.
  • We have added weekday events every week through the end of July.
    • June 25-26, Summer Madness I (Weekday Tournament)
    • July 1-2, Summer Madness II (Weekday Tournament)
    • July 9-10, Summer Madness III (Weekday Tournament)
    • July 14-15, Summer Madness IV (Weekday Tournament)
    • July 21-22, Summer Madness V (Weekday Tournament)
  • All events are posted and ready to enter on USSSA.com

New Event Pricing

What is the new tournament fee structure for the rest of the season?

  • All USSSA 4-game guarantee events will be $435.
  • All USSSA 6-game guarantee events will be $665.
  • All USA Elite Select 7 Inning Series 4-game guarantee events will be $535.
  • All USA Elite Select 7 Inning Series 6-game guarantee events will be $805.
  • The June 26-28, 5-game guarantee event has been updated to 6-game guarantee.
  • See info for the USSSA Nationals further below.

New Pay-at-the-Plate Umpire Process

Why are the tournaments a lower cost and what’s the new pay-at-the plate umpire process?

  • Fastpitch Nation is adopting the pay-at-the plate umpire system that is the norm in many parts of the country and at most elite level events. This format is a trend sweeping softball across the nation. This is the format we have used for local leagues and for Fastpitch Nation Indoor Leagues for the past 12 years.
  • Each team pays cash to the umpires at the pre-game meeting prior to the game starting. Umpire fees (other than championships games which FPN will pay) are no longer included in tournament registration fees.
  • For standard tournaments with 2 umpires per game each team pays the umpires $55 cash (no checks or CC) at the plate. If circumstances dictate only a singe umpire is used then each team pays $40.
  • For 7 Inning Series tournaments each team pays the umpires $65 cash (no checks or CC) at the plate. If circumstances dictate only a singe umpire is used then each teams pays $50.
  • Cash payments MUST be in an envelope to avoid too much handling of the money.

If I have already paid for an event I am playing in, will I get a partial refund to the new lower cost to cover my umpire fees?

  • Yes, partial refunds will begin to be processed after May 26.
  • If you are in a 4-game guarantee USSSA event you will receive a $220 refund as umpire fees are $55 per game.
  • If you are in a 6-game guarantee USSSA event you will receive a $330 refund as umpire fees are $55 per game.
  • If you are in a USA Elite Select 7 Inning Series 4-game guarantee USSSA event you will receive a $260 refund as umpire fees are $65 per game.
  • If you are in a USA Elite Select 7 Inning Series 6-game guarantee USSSA event you will receive a $390 refund as umpire fees are $65 per game.
  • If your event has changed format to a shorter event you may be getting a larger refund than listed above. If your event has been updated to a longer format you may be getting a smaller refund than listed above.
  • If you are in an event that was postponed due to COVID-19 and want to play in one of the other events we will process your partial refund once we move you into the new event. Contact us to move events.
  • If you are in an event that was postponed due to COVID-19 and are not moving to a new event this season see more details further below.

Why is Fastpitch Nation adopting the new pay-at-the plate umpire process?

  • We had already planned to implement this new system for the 2021 season. In a standard year having a sufficient number of umpires is difficult enough. In this season with so many unknowns, with some umpires choosing not to work, some collecting unemployment and the addition of weekday events we need to widely broaden our reach for umpires across New England, NY and NJ. 
  • Without this method of payment we believe we will be unable to attract a sufficient number of umpires for this very unusual season.
  • Looking ahead to the post-COVID world the pay-at-the-plate system is the standard in much of the country for these reasons primarily.
    • Cash payments to the umpires is the method umpires prefer and allows us to attract the most qualified umpires.
    • The system is simply fairer. Under pay-at-the-plate, during elimination play the weaker teams, which play less games, are no longer subsidizing the stronger teams who play more games.
    • In the standard process where all teams pay the same higher fee, once a team makes it past 4 games they are in effect getting “free’ umpires at the expense of the teams that were eliminated. The “more you play, the more you pay” should be the norm.
    • During rainouts teams are not paying for umpire fees for any games not played.
    • Once umpires are paid and the game begins, if the game is rained out, the umpires will keep the full fee.
    • The lower tournament registration fees allow teams to collect less money from their families early in the season.
    • In events with elimination play when teams reach a final, Fastpitch Nation (not the teams) will pay the 3-man umpire crew's fee as a bonus for making the finals.

Updated info Regarding Credits/Refunds for Pandemic-Postponed Events

My event was postponed due to COVID-19. What are my options?

  • As we alerted all teams several times since March we are guaranteeing all teams which had already paid a 100% credit to be used this season, this Fall or all of 2021.
  • Many teams have already redeemed their credits. Review all the new events posted and let us know to which events you wish to move. You can also just enter online and we will apply your previous payment for you.
  • If you prefer to hold onto your credit to use it in the Fall or in 2021 this if perfectly OK. You do not need to decide now.

Can I request a refund from my COVID-19 postponed event?

  • As we told teams in our April and May communications we were not offering refunds at that time as we were evaluating how the COVID-19 situation affected the long term survivability of our business.
  • We are now very hopeful that things will work out that allow us to recover the tremendous loses we suffered over that past few months. However, we know the government can at anytime decide to scale back and lock down again.
  • At the conclusion of the Fall season we will re-evaluate the situation and at that time determine if we can offer refunds to teams that are unable to redeem their credits. We are hopeful we can do this but cannot guarantee this process at this time. If it cannot happen then the credits will be valid for all of 2021.
  • Payments are transferable to other teams in your organization or if you made the payment and are forming a new team it can follow you.

My event is being played but we no longer can attend. Can I get a refund?

  • All the summer events are already past the normal refund period. However, due to the extraordinary circumstances this year we will extend 100% credits to teams through 2021 but will not offer refunds.
  • However, if we are able to replace your team in the event then we provide a full refund.

I cannot play in any other event this summer and I am not yet sure about the Fall or 2021. Since you are now doing pay-at-the-plate for umpires, can at least get that portion of my paid fee of a COVID-19 postponed event, refunded now?

  • Yes, we can do that. Please contact us if you want that partial refund now.

Updated Format and Costs for USSSA Nationals

Will USSSA Nationals at Fastpitch Nation Park be affected by all the restrictions?

  • Yes, normally nationals is a 6-day event, with a large opening ceremony, multiple days of pool play and then double elimination.
  • It is impossible to produce a socially distant quality opening ceremony.
  • Double elimination or even a full single elimination is impossible in today’s conditions to maintain the restrictions we have and produce a safe event.
  • Teams want to spend as few days as possible in a hotel.

What is the updated USSSA Nationals format?

  • Fastpitch Nation Park in conjunction with the USSSA HQ has agreed on the updated format.
  • USSSA Nationals will be the only event for the rest of the summer that will use an elimination format due to its very special nature.
  • The updated events will begin on a Thursday and conclude on a Sunday. 12UB/14UB is July 16-19. 16UB/18UB and 18U Open is July 30-Aug. 2.
  • Each team will play 6 pool games Thursday through Saturday.
  • Only the pool winners will advance to Sunday for single elimination play.

What are the updated costs for USSSA Nationals in CT?

  • The national registration fee remains the same at $630.
  • The Local host/gate team fee is drastically reduced to $195 from $795 (a reduction of $600).
  • USSSA Nationals will also use the new umpire pay-at-the-plate process. All games except the finals will use 2 umpires. Each team pays the umpires $55 cash (no checks or CC) at the plate. However, in each final Fastpitch Nation (not the teams) will pay the 3-man umpire crew’s fee as a bonus for making the finals.
  • In this way the teams that do not make the elimination round are not subsidizing the umpire fees for the teams that make it to the final day.
  • With this new update teams that do not make the final day are saving $270 from the original format cost.
  • All teams are spending at least 50% less nights in a hotel.

If I have already paid my USSSA Nationals local host/gate team fee. Will I get a partial refund?

  • Yes, partial refunds will begin to be processed after May 26.

How many spectators can I bring to Nationals?

  • Current restrictions are players, 3 coaches and 1 parent/guardian per player.
  • We hope by the time Nationals are here we can allow 2 spectators per player. Governmental restrictions will dictate.
  • All games will be livestreamed.

Can I withdraw from Nationals and get a refund?

  • Yes, Nationals is different as it is technically an event put on by the USSSA national office that we host for them locally. The refund policy is unchanged.
  • Teams will be given a full refund of the entry fee and local host fee if they withdraw on or before the entry deadline of June 30, 2020.

Game Play and Rules Modifications

Will the rules of the game be any different this summer?

  • The play adaptations are mainly in terms of social distance. We have tried to preserve the game as we know it as much as possible. These are the on-field protocols all will need to follow.
  • On the field and around the field, we will follow strict social distancing. Fastpitch softball is a non-contact sport and is ideally suited for such a thing since the players are so far apart for nearly the entire time.
  • Umpires, the UIC and the Director of Safety will manage both the game and the social distance and safety rules on the field. However, we need the coaches to be an equally important part of the safety team.
  • Umpires will warn coaches if a team is not abiding by the social distance restrictions. Teams will have a maximum of 2 warnings. If a third infraction of social distance rules occurs, the game will end and be recorded as a forfeit.
  • Teams will warmup in the outfield and edges of the infield only. Since at any time the teams in the park will be the ones playing no warmups are needed in other areas.
  • At the conclusion of a team’s second game they are to immediately pack up their gear and exit the park. They are not permitted to linger in the park to scout other teams, shop or eat at the food trucks. It’s important the teams exit quickly so the next block of teams can enter the park.
  • Teams as required to completely clean out the dugouts and leave nothing behind that others must touch to clean or discard.
  • The catcher and hitter are the players in closest proximity. Yet they are not at the same eye level and the catcher is typically 3 feet below and 4 to 5 feet behind the hitter. We suggest the catcher wear a face mask underneath her safety mask and for the hitter as well while up to bat only. However, if the mask impedes the player’s ability to perform and breathe naturally they will be permitted to remove the mask.
  • The homeplate umpire will be in a new position to call balls and strikes. We are experimenting on the field now to determine the best view of the ball and plate while maintaining social distance. Umpires will not call balls and strikes from behind the pitcher due to safety reasons to protect the umpire from batted and thrown balls and to avoid colliding with a player and restricting play.
  • There will be no shaking of hands, high fives, fist bumps or even elbow bumps. At the game’s conclusion teams will just exit the field.
  • There will be no players at the homeplate meeting prior to the game and social distance will be maintained by the two managers and umpire.
  • All games will use free substitution and free courtesy runners for the catcher and pitcher.
  • Lineup cards will be optional and only exchanged between scorekeepers. If one team does not wish to exchange physical lineup cards that will be permitted. If you can exchange lineups via text that will be ideal. No physical lineup cards will be given to the umpire. We ask teams use the honor system and any lineup card disputes will need to be resolved between scorekeepers.
  • Mound visits will be limited to the pitcher, catcher and manager at a proper social distances.
  • No team huddles, pre or post game meetings will be permitted.
  • No seeds or any food that encourages spitting will be permitted.
  • No sharing of equipment will be permitted.
  • New balls in fresh packaging are used at the start of each game. Used game balls will be sanitized after each game.

How do we manage the dugouts and social distancing?

  • Our dugouts are 8’x30’ all made from chain link fence and covered so air flow is very good. It’s not an enclosed space. However, we will limit the number of players in the dugout at any one time. For players on defense usually the whole team is on the field with one or two players and the coaches on the bench. Coaches and umpires will keep watch to maintain strict social distancing. No more than 5 people maintaining 6’ social distances are allowed in the dugout at one time.
  • For the team on offense the 4 players in the batting order due up that inning and 1 coach will be in the dugout. The other 2 coaches will be at the 1st and 3rd base coaching positions.
  • The remaining players will be outside the dugout in a marked area from the end of the dugout down the baseline.
  • Players will need to bring chairs if they want to have seating in this area and teams can place pop-up tents to cover the players seated in the uncovered dugout area.
  • Each team will be required to have one or two parents or a coach delegated to monitor the players outside the dugout for social distancing and to monitor and maintain the flow into and out of the dugout.

New FPN and USSSA Waiver Requirements

What are the waiver requirements for Fastpitch Nation Park and USSSA?

  • FPN has used athletic waivers for the last several seasons. We have an updated waiver in light of the COVID-19 situation. All players/teams will need to go through the updated FPN online waiver process prior to playing. You can access the system here.
  • USSSA has now added a waiver process in light or the COVID-19 situation. They are using the USSSA guardian system for each parent to process the waiver. The player will not be added to the USSSA roster unless the waiver is completed. To access the USSSA waiver the parent must go into their guardian account and accept the waiver and then the player will appear on the roster.
  • We will be emailing teams directly more detail on this process.

Updated info for Teams Needing Hotels

Will hotels be open for the tournaments?

  • Along with softball, hotels will be back in business accepting leisure travelers June 20. For those of you who already have their reservations, they are in tact. If you have not yet made reservations you can access our hotel reservation system.
  • Hotels for the new weekday events will be posted soon.
  • If you were in an event that was postponed our hotel administrator will cancel your reservations. Do not call the hotel directly.
  • You can contact our hotel administrator, Joanna Vanderslice at joanna@ctmeetings-housing.org, or call 860-310-5804.

Do I have to stay in a hotel if I prefer to drive?

  • Our Stay-to-Play hotel policy has always allowed this. We impose no distance limitation that forces you into a hotel. If you prefer to drive you can. However, if you are suing a hotel you must book through our hotel process
  • Every effort is always made, when possible, to not put teams from a long distance into morning games if they are not in a hotel.

College Coach Info at FPN

Can College Coaches attend to watch games?

  • Yes coaches may attend. We ask that you email me in advance so we can have your names ready at the entrances to avoid any issues. Please have your college ID available to show my folks at the gates in case you are asked.
  • Coaches may attend any events they want. However, we may need to limit the number of coaches who attend so please contact is in advance.

If I cannot attend an event but want to watch can I access the livestream and do I need to pay?

  • We actually prefer you use the livestream just to keep the number of people in the park to a minimum.
  • Livestream access for college coaches is FREE.

Where can I see what teams are playing in each event?

Will you be hosting your usual USSSA Dudley Showcase this year?

  • Yes the USSSA Dudley College Showcase is July 24-26. We have 60 teams in 3 divisions.
  • Here are links to the Who's Coming lists.

Will you be hosting your usual FPN Individual Showcase Camp this year?

Other USSSA Tournament Hosts Opening Dates and Details

Are the other USSSA events not at Fastpitch Nation park also begin held this season?

  • The hosts of the events in Southington East Hartford and Guilford CT  are still getting their approvals to rent fields to run their events.
  • Those hosts will contact the teams entered into their events with details.
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