Youth sports leagues prepare for delayed start to spring season


SUGARCREEK TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – Some youth sports leagues are preparing for a late start to their spring seasons next week.

The Dayton Ducks Baseball Club has started holding practices to get ready for this season’s games.

“I think our kids need to get back to some normalcy in life,” said Tara Luis, whose son plays baseball with the club.

“We were allowed to hold practices with groups no larger than 10, and that’s what you see out here,” said Todd Pickthorn, president of the Dayton Ducks Baseball Club. “My kids are spaced out. Parents are still in the parking lot this week.”

State officials have dropped their mask requirement for baseball and softball, now recommending coaches wear face coverings at all times and athletes put them on while they’re not actively playing.

“When we get into the heat of the season of June, July, 85- [to] 90-degree weather, it’s going to be very hard for the boys to breathe,” Pickthorn said.

To abide by social distancing guidelines, Pickthorn told 2 NEWS not all of his players may be able to sit in the dugouts, and instead, some may have to sit in the stands with their parents.

Meanwhile, high school athletic departments are also trying to prepare for their games later this year.

“I’m envisioning just right off the bat, of right now every other bleacher and measuring six feet and putting an ‘X’ down where they can sit,” said Frank Russo, athletic director at Trotwood-Madison High School.

Russo told 2 NEWS he feels optimistic about the upcoming fall season as state officials announce all athletes, including those who play contact sports, may resume skills training Tuesday.

“There’s no contact involved in that,” Russo explained. “So that being said, they’re going to be just simply working on skills and drills.”

Russo told 2 NEWS he is meeting with school administrators Friday to work on a plan for fall sports.

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