COVID-19 Update

6/13/2021

The California Department of Public Health has recently released new guidance effective on June 15th. We encourage everyone to read the document entirely. But, the most impactful change for our league is related to physical distancing.

Physical distancing requirements are expected to be lifted on June 15th. The previous requirement was the main reason we were only playing on two courts. So, we’re happy to announce that we’ll soon be scheduling additional matches on courts one and three. We’re in the process of drafting these additional matches, which will tentatively start on Tuesday, July 6th.

While we’re excited to add matches to the schedule, we need to plan for the possibility that the guidance may change after June 15th. So, we’ll be watching closely during the two weeks after the changes go into effect. If all is well by the end of June, we’ll leave the extra matches on the schedule. But, in the worst case scenario, we may need to cancel them. Expect to hear back from us on July 1st. That being said, we’re optimistic, and we’d like to get the new schedule in your hands as soon as possible to accommodate any of your other plans this summer.

You can go online today to review the newly added matches. We recognize that many players have likely made plans during the times they weren’t scheduled to play. For that we’ll use our rescheduling system. Team capos should review their team availability, then go online to reschedule matches necessary ahead of time.

The masking guidelines have changed, even as of today. The June 15th memo continues the current guidelines on masking, which allows for fully vaccinated individuals to go without masks outdoors, but still requires unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask. We are adopting those same guidelines within our league, effective immediately.

We are also removing the surface related restrictions. Hand sanitizer and the option to use two sets of balls are now optional.

While these changes bring things a bit back to normal, please remember that not everyone is in the same situation. Please respect others’ choices to continue with safety precautions. Further, everyone visiting the courts should continue to perform a self health check before arrival. If you are experiencing COVID associated symptoms, or have had a positive test in the past two weeks, please stay home.

Additionally, we are pushing back the traditional three-week period for making roster changes. You can now make additional roster changes through July 1st.

As always, send any questions you may have to info@beniciabocce.org.


2021 Season Summary

3/31/2021

These restrictions have been updated. See our latest post for more information.

Are you ready to roll? I sure am.

The board has met and agreed that we’ll be able to play this year. But, while we’re all looking forward to playing, the county and state guidelines are cautiously sanctioning sports like ours, which will mean some changes to how we do things this year. So, here is our plan for playing during COVID-19:

Distancing

Socially distancing must be adhered to. Everyone will need to maintain 6 feet from others who are not in their pod. To maintain enough space, we will only be using one court on each level. This will allow players on both teams to maintain a safe distance from others. Capos, since we don’t have any officials on site, we’re going to rely on you to remind everyone to keep distancing in mind.

This will have implications on the length of the season. More on that below.

Masks

Every person who comes on to the courts, whether playing or not, must wear a mask that covers both their nose and mouth. Masks may only be removed while eating or drinking, only while seated, and while maintaining a 6 foot social distance.

We’ve decided to specifically require folks to be seated when removing their mask, as it’s simply the easiest way to keep things safe without too much effort or reminders. This leaves no grey area for interpretation.

If you would refuse to wear a mask, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not, PLEASE do not come down to the courts. It should be routine by now that people take a mask with them when they leave their house. That routine must transfer to playing bocce.

Sanitation

In order to limit shared handling of bocce balls, we’re going to play games with two sets of bocce balls. This allows each player to have a dedicated pair of balls for their own use throughout the entire game. After each round, instead of rolling the balls forward to your teammate, you’ll roll your balls back to your end of the court instead.

Sanitation stations will be located at each end of the courts. Sanitize your hands before and after each game, before tossing the palino, and before handling court maintenance equipment.

Measuring

Because of social distancing, only players within the same household can take measurements together. Typically, both teams tend to review measurements together. Instead this year, if both teams want to take a look, we need them to take turns. You’ll also need to sanitize your hands before handling the tape measures.

Scorekeeping

In order to limit shared surfaces, capos will pick a single person who will be responsible for paper scorekeeping.

Health Checks

Everyone coming to the courts will need to perform a self-check prior to arrival. If you have a fever above 100.4 degrees or cough, you need to stay home.

Waivers

Every player will have to sign a new waiver, which we’ll be sending out shortly.

How successful we are this year will depend almost entirely on the commitment of all players and teams to work together toward a common goal of getting back to playing the game we love and miss. So, if you happen to take objection with any of the special rules, it’s probably best if you sit out this season. The failure of players and teams to follow these rules risk not only individual and team penalties, but cancellation of the season for everyone. We know no one wants that. We are all of us in this together.

Schedule

Because we are only using two courts at a time, the number of matches for the season needs to be reduced. On average, teams will only be able to play every other week. In order to reduce the delay between matches, we’ve reduced division sizes to just 8 teams, preventing the traditional bye week. The plan is to play as many regularly scheduled matches as we can fit into the summer.

Additionally, we are going to be watching closely as state and local guidelines change. If we feel able to relax the distancing rules, we’ll try to schedule more matches, using all four courts.

And finally, some regular news. You can now find out which division your team has been assigned online.

Benicia Bocce Season 2021 - Divisions

You can click into each division to see the schedule, both for your division and your individual team.

Opening Day will be Sunday April 25th, just under a month away. We won’t be able to hold a one-off tournament this year. But, we will be holding a traditional playoff bracket. The schedule for that is to be determined. If we’re still only using two courts, it might take longer than usual to get through it.

Same as in the past, you can reschedule matches online. The full rules for rescheduling can be found in the Rules and Regulations, also available online.

Fees

We are going to send out invoices to capos to collect fees for the season. The invoice will request the full standard fee of $350 per team, plus $10 per player. But, we do not intend to charge full price for only half of a season. Hopefully soon, we’ll be able to use all four courts. And at the end of the season, we’ll process prorated refunds based on the number of matches we were able to play this year.

Note, once invoices are sent, the invoice will need to be paid prior to removing any players from your team. This allows us to have funds to refund the $10 player fee.

Invoices are due by the date of the Capo Meeting.

Capo Meeting

We’re going to be holding the Capo Meeting virtually this year. The meeting will take place on Saturday, April 10th, at 7pm. The video will be recorded, but please do not delay in watching, as important dates and information will be included.

YouTube Live Stream

Summary

That’s it for now! We’re so happy to be able to get together again this year. Hopefully, the trend continues towards opening up, and we can get the most of our long overdue summer. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask: info@beniciabocce.org

 - Matt DeClaire
   BBL President


2021 Season Registration

12/6/2020

Hi Rollers,

Long time no see... We’ve all been missing bocce, and I for one now realize what an essential part of my summer being on the courts has been. I hope you’ve all found productive ways to adapt your time.

This is the time of year that we start preparing for the next season of bocce. Of course, things are still very much up in the air. But, if we’re going to be able to play, we need to start planning now, even without knowing whether it will be possible to be on the courts this Spring. So, we’re going to get started, preparing as we usually would, and cross our fingers real hard.

We’re going to hold registration as normal for the 2021 season, but with one important difference. We won’t be charging for registration up front. Instead, we’ll get all the teams registered, and then later in the Spring, if and when we determine we’ll be able to play, we’ll invoice everyone for the fees prior to Opening Day.

We’re not exactly sure when we’ll know if we’ll be able to play or not. It will be determined largely by the City of Benicia and state regulations. Beyond that, we still need to consider the nature of bocce being a mass gathering, mixing people between bubbles, with shared equipment, and a culture of food and drink. Rest assured that we’ll be as conservative as we were with the 2020 season.

With that all said, Registration will open on Sat. Jan. 30, starting at 12pm, and wrap up on Sat. Feb. 27., also at 12pm. As usual, registration will be done completely online at beniciabocce.org/registration. Be sure you know your password, and have gotten your team settled when registration opens. If you are looking for a team to join or more players for your own team, head over to the BBL - Find a Team Facebook group.

Here are the key dates:

  • Registration: Jan. 30, 12pm - Feb. 27, 12pm
  • Capo Meeting: Apr. 10, 10am
  • Opening Day: Apr. 25

The dates for the rest of the season are still TBD.

One important note: If you do not feel comfortable registering to play this season, rest assured that you will not lose your priority for the 2022 Season. If you played on a Wednesday in 2019, you’ll be first in line for Wednesday in 2022, regardless of whether you play this year or not. We don’t want anyone to feel they need to put themselves at risk to ensure their spot in the future.

We’re all looking forward to a return to the courts. It’s just a matter of time. I hope to see you all soon.

 - Matt DeClaire
   BBL President



2020 Season Cancelled

6/3/2020

I hope that you and your families are all doing well.

I’ll get right to it. The board met earlier this week, and after reasoned deliberation, unanimously decided to cancel the 2020 bocce season. The board does not foresee an immediate future in which getting together on the courts is going to be safe for our players, particularly with many in the league being in a high risk population. The safety of our players is our top priority.  We are also cancelling the July tournament. The remainder of your 2020 registration fees will be refunded in the near future.

I look forward to when we can put this crisis behind us and have a happy community celebration with everyone down on the courts. Until then, please stay safe and let’s look forward to the 2021.


2020 Season Start Postponed

4/5/2020

We’re going to postpone the start of the season until later this summer. We’re going to refund half the registration fees at this time (not including the $10/player fee for now). We’ll reevaluate as the situation evolves. And if the entire season needs to be cancelled, we will refund the rest.

At this time, the Tournament is still tentatively planned for July 11-12. But, we’1ll need to play that one by ear as well. Feel free to optimistically sign up, as we’re not collecting fees up front.

The safety of our players and community is our top priority during this time. If getting on the courts is at all risky, we will not hesitate to cancel the season. But, hopefully we see a return to normalcy soon enough, and bocce can be a happy reunion for friends and family. Until then, please stay safe.

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