The MLB and it’s Player’s Association have agreed to COVID-19 health and safety protocol rules for the upcoming 2021 season.
Both sides have agreed have agreed on terms for both spring training and for the regular season, and the protocols will impact players on and off the field.
There are a handful of differences from the 2020 season, with the biggest difference of switching back to a full 162 game schedule.
Here are more differences in 2021, where some were not followed last season
- Doubleheaders will be two seven-inning games.
- Each offense will get a runner on second to start every extra inning.
- Active roster limit will revert to 26 and expand to 28 in September.
- MLB clubs are permitted to carry up to five additional Taxi Squad players on all road trips.
- There will not be a universal designated hitter
The playoff format will return to five teams per league; three division winners and two wild cards, with one play in game with the winner moving on.
The league announced health and safety measures and rules for the 2021
- Mandatory five-day at-home quarantine prior to reporting to spring training and frequent administration of PCR tests.
- Ten-day isolation period required for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
- “Individuals who have been identified as having been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of seven days and must test negative on day 5 or later among other requirements to rejoin Club facilities.”
- A new league-wide code of conduct prohibiting certain high-risk activities outside the ballpark (“indoor gatherings of 10 or more, indoor restaurants, bars and lounges, fitness and wellness centers, entertainment venues, gaming venues (e.g., casinos) or any other activity that is prohibited by state or local governments.”)
- During the season, “individuals during road trips are not permitted to leave the hotel other than for team activities at the team facility or ballpark, other than for medical reasons, outdoor walks/exercise, outdoor dining (if approved by the Joint Committee), or for other low-risk outdoor activities, or in extraordinary circumstances. Members of the traveling party must notify a Club Compliance Officer before leaving the hotel.”
- Contact tracing program will require Kinexon contact tracing device to be “worn at all times while in Club facilities, during Club-directed travel, and while engaged in team activities including group workouts and practices.”
- “Face coverings must be properly worn at all times when in Club facilities and in the dugout, other than for players on the field during a game or during pregame warmups.”
- All MLB clubs will have a compliance officer, contact tracing officer and a face mask enforcement officer. Fines will be issued for non-compliance during games, and the fines will be donated to charity.
General reporting for Spring Training will begin on February 17.
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