For months you’ve been itching to hear just two little words… “play ball!” It’s been so long since we’ve been on the diamond; months of lonely at-home practices and solo drills, months of longing for the days when we could gather at the ball field and play the sport we love. As the number of positive COVID cases tapers off or slows in some places we’re beginning to see restrictions eased and people returning to normal activities, including some sports. Many are wondering how we can return to playing softball or baseball while minimizing risk of COVID infection and 3N2 has some answers. Here’s our guide for protecting yourself when it’s time to get back on the diamond:
Stay Home When Sick
This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re feeling unwell, have a fever or other possible COVID symptoms, STAY HOME. If you are already at the field and begin to feel badly, tell a coach or a team manager so they can send you home. We know you want to be out there even when you’re feeling under the weather but the risk just isn’t worth it. Whether you think you have the virus or something else, stay home if you’re sick. You’ll avoid the possibility of getting others sick (regardless of what you have) and your teammates will thank you. The game will still be there when you’re well again so rest up and feel better.
Wear a Mask
Wear a mask whenever possible. We know, we know…nobody likes wearing masks, especially while you’re playing a sport and even more so when it’s hot outside and you’re working up a sweat. Even though we don’t love wearing them, masks are the best way to stay safe and to help keep others safe while still getting to play ball and be with our teammates. Be sure to stock up on extras so you have them on hand if you drop or lose one!
3N2 has less groan-worthy options that you might actually like to wear. Our protective wear helps to protect you and those around you while minimizing discomfort and can be fully customized so you can sport your team logo or colors on and off the field.
Our protective face masks feature 2-ply construction with a soft cotton inner layer and a polyester outer layer, giving you double the protection. They are washable and reusable and have adjustable toggles to ensure a perfect fit. 3N2’s protective face masks are available for immediate ordering or fully customizable with unlimited colors and design choices.
The 3N2 Neck Buff is made of our Dri Fit material, which wicks away moisture to keep you cool and dry. It is washable and reusable and is fully customizable with unlimited colors and logos. UPF and UV protection are available on our neck buffs so you can stay protected from both germs and the sun!
Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Keep as much physical distance as possible between yourself and others. Six feet is the ideal minimum distance between people to minimize viral spread so try to maintain at least that distance at all times.
When in the dugout, in practice areas, and on the bench, spread out as much as you can and try to maintain safe social distance between you and other players.
Although it’s tough, it’s important to avoid handshakes, high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, and other forms of person-to-person contact. Use this as an opportunity to come up with a team air gesture that can be used to encourage and congratulate one another. You may start a tradition that lives long beyond the virus!
Caring is NOT Sharing
We know gear can be expensive so it’s often wise to share. But in the wake of a pandemic sharing should approached with a wary eye. Better to bring your own equipment like bats and gloves and keep them for your own personal use than to use shared items that put everyone at risk.
Bring your own water bottles so you won’t need to use drinking fountains, which are often gross even in the best of times. Avoid sharing food and utensils and don’t put your things in communal coolers where water bottle spouts are likely to come into contact with one another.
Don’t share clothes, masks, towels, or any items used to wipe your hands or face.
Label all of your items with your name so they don’t get confused with others and keep your gear and equipment all together in your own bag.
If sharing can’t be avoided be sure to clean and disinfect items between uses and wash hands before and after use to reduce risk of spreading germs from person to person.
Wash Those Hands
We all know how important it is to wash our hands to help prevent the spread of the virus. Make sure you carve out extra time to wash your hands before, during, and after practices or games and if you’ve shared equipment. Clean your hands before and after adjusting or putting on/taking off your mask. Bring extra hand sanitizer to use when soap and water aren’t readily available and for any teammates who may have forgotten to bring their own.
Coughing and Sneezing and Spitting, Oh My!
Ah, the ubiquitous sunflower seeds…tiny little nuggets of germ-laden deliciousness. What would softball be without them? Well, it would still be softball, so can we just agree to forego the seeds and the spitting of the seeds until this whole thing is a long-distant memory? Minimizing or eliminating spitting at the field is an easy way to prevent viral spread.
We know that coughing and sneezing are unavoidable, so when the tickle strikes just follow some common-sense guidelines:
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Throw away the tissue and immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
Practice Smart and Other Ways to Stay Safe
When practicing or running drills, consider drills and activities that keep distance between people. Individual drills and strength training can be done while maintaining distance as can no-contact drills and batting practice.
Here are some other things you can do to keep yourself and your team safe when you return to the game:
- Limit visitors, spectators, and volunteers at games and practices. Ensure those who are present wear masks and maintain distance.
- Stay in your area. Limit travel outside of your hometown for competitions and clinics/camps.
- Don’t congregate in the parking lot or common areas of the ballpark for extended periods of time. If you want to socialize, keep your distance, wear masks, and limit the time you spend together.
We’re All in This Together
At 3N2, we know we’re all in this together. Let’s all do our part to stop the spread and get life back to normal as soon as possible.
When you’re ready to head back to the ball fields, head over to 3N2 Sports to get geared up in all the latest and greatest gear and team apparel. We have everything you need to get back to it in style!