This is a photo taken from a 2019 game in the Marysville Junior Baseball-Softball Association. The 2020 season will begin on Saturday, May 30 and extend through the middle of August. (Journal-Tribune file photo)
The season has been delayed for a while, but some youth sports will soon return.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that non-contact sports such as baseball and softball may resume toward the end of the month.
Sports were shut down a couple of months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Marysville Junior Baseball-Softball Association (MJBSA) has announced it plans to begin the 2020 season on Saturday, May 30.
DeWine announced that youth sports could begin on Tuesday, May 26.
The MJBSA, however, has decided it needs some extra preparation time.
“We are delaying for a few more days in order to obtain cleaning supplies for all of our catchers equipment and to assess our batting helmet situation,” said Kira Ishmael, the organization’s director of softball.
Ishmael said this morning that many players purchase their own helmets. Other youngsters use helmets that are supplied to them by his or her respective team.
“We receive a number of helmets every two years within a grant from the ‘Play Hard, Don’t Blink’ organization,” she said.
Youngsters who use helmets supplied by the MJBSA will turn them in at the end of the season.
“We want each child to use one helmet,” said Ishmael. “We are discouraging them from sharing helmets.”
Ishmael said parents and players will be encouraged to keep the helmets as clean and sanitized as possible.
The extra time before the start of activities will also be used for umpire training.
“Our umpires only had one training session before we shut down,” said Ishmael.
Practices will begin on May 30 and last for two weeks.
“We plan on beginning the season on Saturday, June 13,” she said.
The season normally begins in early May and runs through tournament competition in late June for baseball and early July for softball.
The organization will not condense the 2020 season.
Instead, it will be extended through the middle of August.
“Each team will play between 10 to 12 games during the regular season and then we will play our tournaments,” said Ishmael.
MJBSA will use city diamonds A and B, two fields at Eljer Park, two in Mill Valley and four at the joint recreational complex on County Home Road for its games.
Organization officials recently sent out survey forms to parents seeking input on whether they are comfortable with their child or children playing this year.
“Most of the surveys we have received indicate the parents are comfortable,” said Ishmael. “We’ve received 60 from those who said they are not comfortable with their child or children playing this year.
“So far, we’ve lost 60 of our average of 600 players,” she said.
Ishmael said families who choose not to have their children play this year will receive a partial registration payment refund, minus the cost of uniforms.
“The uniforms had already been ordered, so those parents will receive the uniform or uniforms, plus some refund,” she said.
Although some youth sports are about to resume operations, social distancing guidelines will still be observed.
Youngsters in close proximity to others within the confines of a dugout could make that problematic.
Ishmael said MJBSA officials are still working on how to handle that situation.
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