Ohio summer sports leagues playing again under new guidelines

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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - After weeks of delays due to COVID-19 concerns, Ohio's sports leagues got the go-ahead Tuesday to play once again.

"We've been doing a lot of backyard ball, and it's great to see him out here with his team again," Ryan Desimplayer said of his son.

Perrysburg Amateur Baseball and Softball Commission (PABSC) wasted no time putting players of all ages back on the diamond for practice. While teams look forward to a shortened season, there's new rules that everyone has to follow.

"We want to be sure that everybody is following these guidelines because we don't want to have any type of slip up," PABSC president Tim McGrady said.

McGrady says his club is closely following the state's guidelines, which starts by having athletes do daily health checks. Results are tracked online, and players are sent home if they're not done.

“If they follow those guidelines, we’re going to have a successful season," McGrady said.

Athletes also can't share gear, use the same water cooler or even shake hands or high-five. Meanwhile, everyone involved must social distance, wear masks if possible and stay home if they feel sick.

"These people are going to follow the guidelines because they really want to be out here," McGrady said of players and spectators.

While it's far from the norm, parents like Desimplayer say they're rules worth following so their kids can enjoy sports safely.

"We just want to get our kids back and have some sort of normalcy in our lives," Desimplayer said.

PABSC leaders say about 95 percent of players are returning for the shortened season. The remaining number are choosing to sit out due to coronavirus worries.