The following is a statement outlining Baseball Australia’s position relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 across Australia, and key pieces of information that stakeholders across the country need to be informed of as of the 13th of March 2020.
We want to reassure our baseball community that we are in regular consultation with the key departments of Government, both Federal and State, and are monitoring the public health situation and any possible impacts as a result of COVID-19 (also known as ‘coronavirus’).
Current Position on Future Events: Until further directives from either Federal or State Governments in relation to group gatherings due to COVID-19 concerns are received, all Baseball Australia events will proceed as planned, specifically the 2020 Australian Women’s Championship and the Australian Women’s Youth Championship commencing over the Easter weekend in Canberra and State Baseball events will be going ahead as planned. Likewise, planning and preparations for the Australian Little League events is continuing, and at this point in time will be held as planned.
Noting the above paragraph, if the direction from Federal or State Government medical advice changes, we will follow that advice and update accordingly.
It is of the utmost importance to note that the local situations across the country are evolving daily, and while at the time of writing all events will continue, individual teams and/or the entire event status will be assessed daily in relation to participation in the events based on the direction of medical experts within Government.
As COVID-19 relates to individual states and territories, there is a vast difference between locations in relation to both current and future exposure. The local state/territory government is in the best possible position to advise State/Territory associations of this local risk, and the resulting decisions that may be required by local associations and their boards. Baseball Australia will be in full support of local decisions, and will only step in should the Federal Government issue a mandate that all sporting competitions cease operations.
As this relates to your local competitions, please keep in close contact with your club, League or State Association for the most up-to-date information as it comes to hand.
We understand people’s concern given the potential seriousness of the situation, but ask our community to remain credibly informed, and instead listen to evidence-based, real-time advice of health professionals and government officials. Please follow the directions and information on COVID-19, issued by the Australian Department of Health, which can be found here; https://www.health.gov.au/, not through social media or pieces within the mainstream media.
For sport specific advice, please refer to the Australian Institute of Sport webpage, which includes information on travel, as well as FAQs relating to COVID-19.
Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections. Good hygiene habits include:
- washing your hands often with soap and water;
- using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze;
- avoiding close contact with others, such as touching;
- visiting your local doctor should you been experiencing and cold or flu symptoms, including aches, pains, dizziness, runny nose or coughing
You can read more about protective measures against COVID-19 on the World Health Organization website.
We also wanted to reassure you that in the current environment if you feel uncomfortable shaking hands with your opposition at the end of a game, there are plenty of other ways to display sportsmanship and gratitude at the end of a game; such as a verbal congratulations.