As youth sports leagues start back up in the next few days, many are implementing safety protocols for players, coaches, and parents. Like not shaking hands before and after each game and wiping down equipment after it’s been used.
“This is all about how we can get these leagues started and I think we can get our kids out and playing sports and interacting with each other again and being safe at the same time,” said Jason Olsen, Recreation Superintendent for the City of Norman.
Representatives with the Canadian Valley Baseball Association, which is one of the largest youth baseball leagues in the state, said they encourage players to bring their own helmets and use their own gloves and bats. They will provide hand sanitizer but ask parents to bring their own lawn chairs.
The league said they will also have additional workers to wipe down everything in between games.For the City of Norman, league practices for soccer and baseball start Friday.
“We’ve suggested that coaches wear masks during practice and work on drills that doesn’t necessarily involve contact between children,” said Olsen.
Another league, Putnam City Optimist Baseball, said dugouts, bleachers, and scorekeeper tables will be closed while games are being played. They ask that only one family member per player attend. They also said those who are in the high-risk category should not attend games.
Those involved in youth sports said returning to the field is important for not just the kids, but for the community.
“Youth sports between the social interaction, exercise and being outside, it’s a very important part of any community,” said Olsen.