COVID-19 Championship Guidelines, Policies & Procedures | Local Rules - MASSGOLF

COVID-19 Championship Guidelines, Policies & Procedures | Local Rules

Below are the guidelines for Mass Golf championship. These guidelines are based on guidelines and recommendations from the WHO, CDC and State government. These are subject to change at any time as guidelines and recommendations are updated/eased.

Please note, this document will be continuously updated based on any updated guidelines and recommendations from the WHO, CDC and State government.

Last Updated: Thursday, October 5th at 11:28pm

 

2020 COVID-19 Participant Release, Waiver and Covenant:

Please be aware that ahead of any scheduled qualifying round or championship proper, all competitors and caddies will be required to complete a 2020 COVID-19 Participant Release, Waiver and Covenant. An electronic version of the waiver will be distributed to all competitors (via email) ahead of any scheduled event. All competitors and caddies will be expected to complete this before they arrive to the facility.

 

General Player Information:

  • Do NOT play if you feel sick or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone at all times.
  • Do NOT touch or handle any event supplies or equipment that is not yours.
  • Players are NOT to arrive to the golf course more than 45 minutes prior to their scheduled starting time. If a player arrives to the golf course prior to this time, they are to remain in their car.
  • Players are expected to provide their own PPE and other sanitizing materials. Masks should be worn at all times when proper social distancing cannot be practiced, while using all practice areas and/or when in any indoor spaces. Hand sanitizer will be available in common areas (i.e. starting, scoring area, etc.)
  • Mass Golf will verify in advance that host facilities are following sanitization protocols and social distancing procedures are in place at the host club.

 

Event Operations:

  • Practice Facilities
    • Players are first allowed on practice areas within 45 minutes of their tee time. The suggested flow should begin with the practice range, then to the practice putting green for the remainder of time before reporting to the tee.
      • Please note that available space on the practice range may be limited, please be respectful of other players when warming-up.
      • In general, the only players permitted on the practice putting green should be the next two starting times to play.
      • While using the practice facilities, competitors must follow social distancing protocols and must use a mask or face covering.
    • Practice at the host facility after a player’s round is complete is prohibited.
  • Starting Tee(s)
    • Players should report to their starting tee immediately after the group in front of them have completely left the teeing area.
    • Starters boxes containing pencils, tees, ball markers, sunscreen, etc. will NOT be available. Players MUST provide their own equipment.
    • Bottled water and snacks will NOT be provided. Players MUST provide their own or purchase from the host club, if available. Players are also expected to carry-out any/all trash from the course after their round.
  • Paperwork
    • Local Rules and Hole Locations may be provided to players (via email) ahead of their round and can be printed in advance or accessed electronically on the course. A limited supply of printed versions of Local Rules and Hole Locations will also be available on-site, upon request.
  • Caddies
    • Competitors may use a caddie during all rounds of a championship proper (not any remaining Mass Golf qualifiers). Caddies will be expected to supply their own face covering, gloves & hand sanitizer.
  • Spectators
    • Per the State’s (EEA) Guidelines for Outdoor Competitions & Tournaments, NO SPECTATORS WILL BE PERMITTED.
      • Spectators may only be permitted for events in which ALL COMPETITORS are under the age of 21.
  • Golf Carts
    • When permitted per the Conditions & Regulations of the competition, no more than 2 carts will be permitted per starting time/group regardless of the number of players and/or caddies in a starting time/group. Two players per cart will be permitted and single rider carts will only be available upon request and based on availability (per the discretion of Mass Golf and the host facility). If a single rider golf cart is needed, please contact the Mass Golf staff member in charge of the event with your request at least 2 days prior to the event.
      • Note: Caddies are permitted to ride in a player’s cart if there is an available seat.
  • Flagsticks
    • Flagsticks may be removed during the course of play by players, caddies, etc. (per the discretion of Mass Golf and the host facility). This also includes the lowering of hole liners to below ground level and the removal of any device  placed in the hole or attached to a flagstick (foam noodle, PVC or the like).
  • Scoring (see Local Rules for additional scoring details)
    • Online/mobile scoring through the use of the USGA Tournament Management app is strongly recommended.
      • Please click HERE for further instructions and to download the app.
    • Social distancing MUST be maintained in the scoring area.
    • After leaving the scoring area, players are expected to return immediately to their vehicle and exit the facility in a timely fashion – unless they may be needed for a potential playoff.
    • Paper/electronic scoreboards will NOT be used – event results can be found online at MassGolf.org. Links to result pages will be sent to player’s via email and/or text.
  • Weather Delays/Course Evacuations
    • In the event of a suspension of play for a dangerous situation, all players must proceed to their vehicles. If needed, shuttles will be available back to the parking lot for players in certain areas of the golf course – others will be expected to walk.
      • If players are in carts and if permitted by the host facility, players will be instructed to take the golf cart directly to their vehicle and take shelter in their vehicle.
    • Evacuation plans will be provided to all players in advance of their round if inclement weather is expected. that will include shuttle pick-up areas and other pertinent details.
    • Communication regarding resumption of play and/or further details after a suspension of play will be communicated to players via text message and/or email.

 

Additional Information:

  • Clubhouse
    • Per the direction of the host facility – clubhouse, locker room and pro shop access may be unavailable or limited.
    • Mass Golf will ensure that each host facility will have restrooms available.
  • Player Information Sheet
    • Additional information specific to each event and each host club will be made available on the Player Information Sheet that will be distributed to players shortly after the close of entries.
      • This supplemental information will include additional details about food & beverage availability, practice round availability, course set-up, host facility policies, etc.

 

Local Rules:

  • Mark, Lift, Clean, and Drop in a Bunker (to be used only if needed – will be posted on the Local Rules sheet)
    • A ball that comes to rest in a bunker may be marked, lifted, cleaned and dropped within one club length, no nearer the hole.
    • Before being lifted, the spot of the ball must be marked
    • The ball must be droppedfrom knee height and both land in and come to rest within the relief area within the bunker.
    • The area in which a player intends to drop may not be improved in any way, including smoothing, raking, kicking or any other action that will materially improve the conditions of their stroke.
      • The act of using a club to measure the one club-length area is permitted, provided it is done in a reasonable way and does not materially improve the area in which the player intends to drop.
    • Upon exiting the bunker, players should make the best effort possible to fill and smooth all footprints. Players who fail to do so, may be subject to penalty per the Mass Golf Code of Conduct.

 

  • Flagstick (only if flagsticks are required to remain in the hole, the following local rules applies:)
    • For the safety and well-being of all, the flagstick is to not be touched and must remain in the hole at all times. A player is prohibited from making a stroke with the flagstick knowingly removed from the hole or has authorized someone to attend the flagstick and makes a stroke with the flagstick removed.
      • If another player does so before or during the stroke and the player makes the stroke without being aware of this, or does so while the player’s ball is in motion after the stroke, that other player gets the general penalty.
      • NOTE: Touching the flagstick, the inadvertent removal and the subsequent replacement of the flagstick is not of itself a breach of the Flagstick Code of Conduct.
    • Penalty for Breach of Flagstick Code of Conduct:
      • First Offense – 1-stroke penalty
      • Second Offense – 2-stroke penalty
      • Third Offense – Disqualification

 

  • Holed
    • The definition of Holed is modified in this way: If any part of the ball is in the hole below the surface of the putting green, the ball is treated as holed even if the entire ball is not below the surface.
    • Devices will be placed in the hole to prohibit the ball from falling to the bottom of the cup and requiring players to reach into the hole to retrieve a ball.
    • A ball deflected out of the hole will not be considered holed and must be played as it lies.

 

  • Scoring
    • Online/Mobile Scoring via USGA Tournament Management
      • One player in the group will be required to serve as the marker for the group and input all scores using the USGA Tournament Management.
        • A paper scorecard will be provided for a player’s own notes – it does not have any status as an official scorecard.
      • Upon the completion of the round, ALL competitors must report to the established scoring area.
      • A member of the Mass Golf staff will verbally announce each player’s score hole-by-hole and require a verbal (signature) that the hole-by-hole scores are correct. One or both fellow competitors must also verbally agree as the (marker).
        • Mass Golf staff will voice record the reading of hole-by-hole scores.
      • Once a player leaves the defined scoring area – all scores are FINAL, and changes cannot be made unless permitted by the Rules.
    • Paper Scorecard (for inclement weather or technical difficulties only)
      • Each player in the group will be given one of their fellow-competitors scorecards and serve as their marker for round. This scorecard will not be exchanged at any point before, during or after the round.
      • Upon the completion of the round, ALL competitors must report to the established scoring area.
      • One player will be permitted in the scoring area at a time, where they will place the player’s scorecard they were marking for on a table and sign that card as the marker. Once all players have completed this, each player (one-by-one) will enter the scoring area again to visually inspect their own card for correctness, if no changes are needed, they will sign (again) the same scorecard they kept during the round – attesting to their own score.
      • Once a player leaves the defined scoring area – all scores are FINAL, and changes cannot be made unless permitted by the Rules.

 

Please contact Kevin Eldridge (keldridge@massgolf.org) – 774-430-9103 with any questions and/or concerns you may have.