Ladies and gentlemen:
We’re quickly approaching scrimmage season, and I wanted to provide you with guidance on the following issue:
For social distancing purposes, you may arrive at a site to find the school has extended their dugout/bench area toward the outfield. This is LEGAL, as long as it complies with NFHS Rules, which mandate that the area be “Away from home plate in foul territory. Similar to a designated media area, it should be marked & designated as dead ball area.”
For us, it’s very simple: In order for an athlete or coach to be seated on the outfield side of a dugout / bench area THE EXTENSION MUST BE CLEARLY CHALKED OFF.
The Shore Conference has advised us that schools should implement a policy within the NJSIAA guidelines which works for their particular facility. This is a school issue, NOT an SUA issue. As long as the area is marked (chalked off) as “dead ball” territory, we play the game. What happens inside dead ball territory is the responsibility of the school.
Feel free to e-mail or call me with questions.