Fastpitch Nation Park Implements Safety Guidelines for Players, Coaches, Fans

NBC Universal, Inc.

Hundreds of softball players are finally making their way back to the field after the coronavirus pandemic cancelled many of their seasons.

Fastpitch Nation Park opened their fields for the first time in more than three months to host several softball games throughout the weekend.

Several precautions are now in place to protect public health.

X markers set up outside the field gate for parents to set up lawn chairs.

First, only uniformed athletes, three coaches and umpires are allowed on the field and only one parent per player will be permitted in the park.

Balls along with dugouts will be cleaned after every inning and handshaking and hi-fives are not allowed.

Once teams are finished with their games, they must leave the park immediately.

Signage will be placed at every entrance to encourage social distancing.

David Rocha is the owner of Fastpitch Nation Park and has worked for months to brainstorm and implement the guidelines.

"It's a huge responsibility and we represent thousands of players," said Rocha. "We made it our mission for months to try and create a plan that works for all those who are allowed to attend."

Inside the park's retail shop, plexiglass dividers are installed to protect workers.

Rachel Sosnovich is one of the parents who is happy to see the park take extra precautions while giving teams the opportunity to play softball.

Umpires have shifted their typical location behind home plate. It's an effort to practice social distancing as a batter prepares for a pitch.

"It is important to understand what and who is around you and to adhere to the guidelines," said Sosnovich. "I think it's great to have softball on a beautiful day like today."

Chelsea Indyk is a pitcher for the Western Mass Warriors and has been itching to get back on the field.

"I literally missed my teammates so much so it's great to finally be able to see everyone again," said Indyk. "I think we're safe and I feel good about being out on the dirt."

The park says they are set to host several more games every weekend until November.

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