Gov. Wolf has indicated that on Friday, June 12, 2020
Cumberland County will be moved to the "GREEN" stage of his reopening plan.
Under this guidance, organized sports are allowed to resume. Therefore, we
will be conducting Nationals' practices and opening the facility beginning
Friday the 12th. We open with a new schedule, new guidelines, and a new
baseball normal. By the time the facility opens on Friday, it will have been
cleaned and prepared for the new rules below. I ask for everyone's help in
observing these guidelines. If someone were to get sick as a result of
ignoring these rules, it would reflect on the entire organization and the
I welcome your help and feedback as we go through this. We
are exploring having a hand-washing sink installed where players would have
easier access. Until then, the bathrooms should be used for frequent
handwashing. Resuming all activity, whether in the facility or outside
assumes a certain level of risk, and I believe we all understand that.
Please communicate frequently and openly with your coaches and follow what
the board has come up with, below.
I know I speak for all of the board and coaches when I say, I miss these
players and can't wait to get back on a field. Thank you all for your
continued patience and loyalty.
The following are based on Governor Wolf's Guidelines for Contact Sports,
Baseball, Fastpitch, and Softball (included below). These guidelines are
intended for outdoor activity, but we believe it provides guidance for our
indoor efforts as well.
Most importantly, if you are sick, have any symptoms related to COVID-19 or
any other illness, STAY HOME.
Teams are encouraged to practice outside as much as possible. In ALL cases,
indoor or outdoor, practices are to be voluntary. If a parent is not
comfortable with their child participating in group activities, the player's
status on the team cannot be affected. Congruently, a parent that chooses to
hold their child out of activity, must understand that their child may not
be ready for games and game participation by their absence. Playing time
remains at coaches' discretion.
When indoor practice is necessary:
* Masks encouraged on parents and coaches (masks on players creates a
visual impairment and players are not asked to wear masks)
* Entry/Exit will be separated. Enter through the main door/lobby,
exit through the door on the front of the building, closest to the
* Wash hands as often as possible. We are exploring adding a
handwashing sink in addition to the bathrooms.
* NO SPITTING ANYWHERE ON TURF (or anywhere people may come in contact
with the surface), no seeds, gum or similar products
* No more than 90 people inside at any one time, including players,
coaches, parents. Teams average 12 players, three coaches; this would be 30
people on two teams, plus parents, plus any private lessons taking place.
Should result in less than 90 people.
* Parents encouraged to stay in cars or outside, observe distancing
within parent lounge upstairs, if parents enter the building. ONE PARENT PER
* Each team gets two full practice times per week (batting
practice-only times have been eliminated).
* Two teams (or one team and Sarge on Tuesday evenings) in the
facility at any one time: one team on turf: one team in batting/pitching
cages. 45minutes in each. Batting Practice-only gatherings eliminated from
schedule. If a team only wishes to hold BP, they can use that portion of
their full allotted practice time.
* 15 minutes between first and second round of evening practices, to
allow for transition. (eg. 5:45-7:15, 7:30-9). Exit promptly at the end of
your practice time. Schedule is attached.
* Players are encouraged to bring their own hydration and DO NOT
SHARE. The water fountain will be unavailable for the foreseeable future.
* Coaches asked to encourage players to not share any gear (bats,
gloves, helmets, catcher gear, etc). Disinfecting balls is challenging and
will be at coaches' discretion. Liquid disinfectants can compromise the
integrity of the ball.
* Cleaning supplies made available for equipment (balls, bats, gloves,
* Coaches are responsible for their team's equipment
* Doors and garage doors should be open as weather permits
* During scheduled practice times, 5:45 - 9:00pm weeknights, 8am -
12pm Saturday, All day Sunday, NO INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS ALLOWED. We cannot
account for numbers of people in the building if players are allowed to
practice at random times. Individuals are allowed to practice during summer
daytimes when teams are not scheduled to practice. There is no building
manager, and the building will remained locked (key access only).
* Coaches conducting private lessons are encouraged to hold lessons
outdoors. Otherwise, coaches are asked to consult the online schedule
(https://www.keystonenationals.org/calendar.html) for practicing teams when
scheduling individual lessons. Practicing Nationals teams get priority over
any private lessons.
* Any facility rentals by outside organizations must take into account
--Keystone Nationals Board of Directors
Pres. Trump has recommended Social Distancing guidance should continue until at least April 30 and Governor Wolf has added Cumberland and Dauphin Counties to his “Stay at Home” order for the foreseeable future…and schools are now closed indefinitely. I had hoped we would be able to re-open the facility (and schools) tomorrow, but that cannot happen. At the very least, we are forced to be closed until the governor lifts his embargo on non-life-sustaining businesses (I could make a pretty convincing argument that we should open to save our children’s lives).
I don’t have any idea how tournament organizers are planning their future. Many seem optimistic for the summer, as I keep getting email advertisements of tournaments. If you have questions, please contact tournament directors.
Hopefully all of you and yours are safe and healthy. I know among our parents and coaches we have several care-workers, first responders, and others on the front lines, and you all remain in my prayers and have my sincerest THANKS.
Baseball will be back and the Keystone Nationals will dominate the summer. Thanks to all of you for your continued support.
You are no-doubt receiving word from various school districts that they are closing. Cumberland Valley Schools will close Monday the 16th and reopen on Tuesday the 31st.
In light of this, the board has decided to close our facility, beginning immediately.
I recognize that all of our coaches have keys. Please know that I receive alerts via the Schlage lock and app when the door is unlocked and will not hesitate to involve law enforcement if someone tries to use the facility during this period. I realize kids are going to be home from school and in-need of things to do. I cannot allow anyone access to the facility for everyone’s safety. We will be conducting a thorough cleaning during this period to have things ready on the 31st.
This also applies to Sarge’s activities inside the building.
This does not apply to outside practices, we only control use of the facility. However, please adhere to guidelines from our state and health officials and use good judgement in gatherings. This virus is not simply conducted via touch and our youth can carry things home to those more susceptible to illness.
Thank you all for helping us “lower the curve”. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.
The board is currently discussing how we operate over the next few weeks. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no playbook for dealing with a virus such as this by an organization like ours. We are looking at the policies and decisions of various local governing organizations, PA and Cumberland County Government, local school districts, local sports governing bodies, etc.
As Coach Lebo likes to say, “it’s all about the kids, man.” In this case, it’s all about protecting the health of everyone that walks through our doors.
Please be prepared for us to limit activity in the KN Facility over the next few weeks, whether we change how many teams practice at any given time or close the facility completely. All options are being discussed as we monitor spread of the virus. Rest assured, it is not out of panic, but absolute caution…as much as it pains me to say it, it is JUST baseball, after all.
Please keep in close communication with your coaches and monitor our social media presence for announcements.
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”