2021 RIABUA COVID-19 Guidelines for Umpires

RIABUA has issued the following coronavirus safety guidance for umpires. RIABUA will review and update these guidelines as needed during the season based on the most current medical data and state and local guidelines. Updates or modifications from previous guidance are highlighted in blue.

REVISED 5/17/2021

Status Update

  • Based on Massachusetts state EEA guidelines, updated May 17, masks will no longer be required during participation in baseball effective May 29. Effective May 29, umpires do NOT need to wear a face covering during active play.
  • RIABUA asks umpires to have a mask or gaiter on their person. The state of Massachusetts advises non-vaccinated individuals to continue wearing a face covering and distancing in some situations. Be aware of the guidance and take the steps you deem necessary to protect yourself on the field. Review the guidance at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts.

Game Preliminaries

  • Umpires will work behind home plate using traditional mechanics.
  • Umpires may handle baseballs.
  • If an umpire does not arrive at the game site, or an umpire leaves a game early, due to COVID-19 or otherwise, RIABUA has approved the use of COVID-19 distancing mechanics to complete the game, with the ‘plate’ umpire working from a position behind the mound. If the game is a playoff game, the distancing mechanics shall not be used, and the replacement umpire must work behind home plate.
  • RIABUA umpires must report to the field a half hour prior to first pitch.
  • The umpire-in-charge will ensure all umpires working have completed a COVID-19 self-check, meaning the umpire has confirmed he has no symptoms of the virus before arriving at the park.
  • Any umpire with symptoms of the virus should NOT report to the park and should report his absence to the assigner at least 2 hours prior to a scheduled game start time. Common symptoms are available on the CDC website. A test may be recommended before returning to the field, depending on circumstances.
  • The umpire-in-charge designated by RIABUA for each game will ensure umpire compliance with league specific coronavirus-related safety guidelines. RIABUA guidelines listed here do not supersede league guidelines.
  • The umpire-in-charge will have disposable masks available to provide to any umpire who does not have a mask and needs one.
  • The umpire-in-charge will have hand sanitizer available for all umpires to use as needed.
  • All umpires taking the field MUST have signed and returned a COVID-19 waiver provided by the association.

Following the Game

  • The umpire should leave the field following the final out.
  • If there were any on-field incidents regarding coronavirus rules, they should be reported in writing to the assigner using the online RIABUA report form available here.
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