Return to Play


We’re delighted to share the latest Return to Play Plan for Baseball and Softball in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Plan lays out actionable and proportionate guidance intended to keep our sports safe and compliant for all. It focuses on the third of the four milestones in the England roadmap that started from 29 March 2021, with further iterations to follow once known.

Whether you’re an administrator or player, we all have a role to play in keeping one another safe so please read through the guidance, especially if you’re picking up a glove for the first time in over a year. 

The good news is that there remain no mandatory changes to how baseball and softball are played; instead the guidance focuses on simple measures to be taken around social distancing, hygiene and good administration.

At a glance

  • Game-Specific Modifications – considerations before, during and after play
  • Health & Safety Measures
    • Risk Assessments – what to consider when planning activity
    • Participant Registration – keeping an attendance record
    • Covid-19 Officer Role – focuses on health & safety
    • Participant Code of Conduct – a quick guide of what is expected from those taking part

What’s new since our last update in March

The following changes came into effect on 17 May 2021:

  • England:
    • Up to 30 spectators permitted outdoors, with social distancing. Six permitted indoors in line with venue capacity.
    • Up to 30 people may gather for informal, casual activity.
    • Indoor activity: Total numbers determined by venue size, ventilation and social distancing.
    • Travel: car sharing permitted.

For more information, visit Sport England's COVID FAQ page here.

  • Scotland: With most of mainland Scotland moving to Level 2 on 17 May, changes for our sports include:
    • Organised, formal activity: the limits for athlete ‘field of play bubbles’ for adults and children are: Level 0 = 500 athletes, Level 1 = 100, Level 2 = 50, Level 3 = 30, Level 4 = 15.
    • Informal, casual activity: up to 8 adults from 8 households can gather outside, no limits for children.
    • Indoor activity: Numbers determined by venue size, ventilation and social distancing.
    • Indoor: Face coverings for coaches required.

Note: Level 1 is expected to come into effect on 7 June, Level 0 on 28 June. The table on page 6 of the Return to Play Plan details the implications for sport by Level.

  • Wales: With Wales moving to Alert Level 2, participant numbers change as follows:
    • Organised outdoor activity: increases to 50 adults (from 30), unlimited for children U18.
    • Informal, casual activity: up to 6 adults from 6 households can gather outdoors at sports or regulated premises (since 24 April). Increases if unregulated premises within same or extended household.
    • Indoors activity: increases to 30 adults (from 15), children U11 unlimited. All participants will need to adhere to limits based on venue capacity, ventilation, and social distancing.
    • Indoor: Face coverings for coaches required.

Note: Level 1 on the roadmap (no date announced) would see outdoor limits increase to 100 adults and indoor to 50 adults. More information: Welsh Government’s Sport, recreation and leisure: guidance for a safe return.

About the Return to Play Plan

Organised activity must be conducted under Government-approved guidance; that is to say, adhering to the protocols within BaseballSoftballUK’s Return to Play Plan. For informal, casual activity, we recommend you follow as much of this guidance as practical. 

The Plan was developed last year in consultation with a cross-section of players, umpires and administrators from the baseball and softball community including the British Softball Federation, Baseball Scotland, British Baseball League, East of England Baseball League, West Midlands Baseball League, South West Baseball League and now even baseball's newest recruits, Westcountry Baseball League. The Plan was then presented to Government departments including Sport England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, sportScotland and Sport Wales for review and approval.

Guidance was first issued in July 2020 and this is version 13 indicating the extent of the constantly changing regulations. Updates will be issued in line with the further Steps: 12 April (Step 2), 17 May (Step 3) and finally 21 June (Step 4) when all restrictions are due to be lifted. It will also reflect relevant elements of the Scottish roadmap (2, 5, 26 April, 17 May, early/end June) and Wales regulations. 

Whilst we hope that the easing of restrictions remains on a steady trajectory, clearly the situation and the roadmaps remain subject to change at short notice. Therefore, please keep yourselves updated through regular trusted channels and remember that local and national Government guidance supersedes advice provided by BaseballSoftballUK

Thank you for playing your part in taking responsibility for your teammates, opponents, officials, volunteers and the reputation of our sports.

Return to Play Framework

BaseballSoftballUK's comprehensive Return to Play Plan - DOWNLOAD HERE

Risk Assessments

The following templates are designed to help you with your own Risk Assessments prior to hosting or playing in any event:

  • Risk Assessment [Fomite] - Enhanced Hygiene: DOWNLOAD HERE
  • Risk Assessment [Droplet] - Social Distancing: DOWNLOAD HERE
  • Risk Assessment [Population] - Controlled Attendance: DOWNLOAD HERE
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Risk Assessment Template: DOWNLOAD HERE
  • A helpful guide to filling out Risk Assessments, created by Club Matters: DOWNLOAD HERE
  • sportScotland Risk Assessment template: DOWNLOAD HERE
  • sportScotland Risk Assessment completed template: DOWNLOAD HERE

Participant Registration

The following templates will be useful for managing participant data following the Return to Play:

Participant Code of Conduct

Ensuring a safe return to play for baseball/softball in England, Scotland and Wales will require cooperation and diligence by all participants.

We therefore ask that you please read, understand, adopt and share the Participant Code of Conduct, which will enable everyone to play their part in keeping our sports as safe as possible. Please also support your Covid-19 Officer by helping provide information requested and adhering to guidance they’ve put into place to support you.

Read the Participant Code of Conduct HERE.

Resource Bank

Gov.UK - UK Government Coronavirus Guidance and Support

NHS - NHS Coronavirus Information

World Baseball Softball Confederation - Covid-19 Prevention Guidelines

Sport England - Return to Play hub

Sport England - Return to Play legal guidance

sportScotland - Covid-19 information and resources

sportScotland - Getting Your Facilities Fit For Sport

Sport Wales - Taking Part in Sport and Exercise in Wales - The Guidance

Club Matters - Toolkit to help sports clubs prepare for reopening


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