CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has given the green light to summer sports leagues to play ball as early as May 26.
But some leagues in the Cleveland area say they would have to jump through hoops so young people could enjoy one of America’s favorite past times.
The good news is that Ohio’s summer sports programs, like little league baseball and softball, are allowed to resume during this pandemic.
But the question is: will they be able to? The state of Ohio is strongly recommending that athletes playing little league baseball or softball travel to the game alone, or with family, not in car pools.
They are also suggesting that organizers keep a list of attendees, in the event that someone involved in the sport turns up positive for COVID-19.
That’s just several of the dozens of recommendations by the state, but it’s what many communities view as challenges if they decide to play ball.
Sean Ward is the recreation director for the city of Mayfield Heights, “So we’re not making a snap decision on this. We want to move forward, but at the same time we have to go through this slowly and make sure that all the hurdles are cleared, and we can provide this activity in a safe manner.”
Responsible Restart Ohio recommends that everyone adheres to the six-foot physical distancing rule, except athletes on the field when the ball is in play.
Coaches and players must also wear face coverings. They’re also asking the players not to share drinks or equipment.
“Will players be able to provide their own equipment, will there be someone to enforce it in all locations that everything is being adhered to,” Ward said.
Ohio also recommends that players do not touch each other through a “high-five” or a handshake. Then there’s the question of who will be responsible for taking temperatures to make sure everyone is healthy enough to play during each game?
Ward says, “There’s going to have to be some thinking outside the box and some innovations we come up with if this is ever going to be possible.”
According to Ward, they are waiting for additional guidelines to come down from the state of Ohio, but they plan to meet next week and work to determine if they can play ball this summer.
Ward says the saddest part of all of this is if things can’t be worked out and they choose not to play, what do kids do in the summertime to find enjoyment?