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State of Ohio lays out protocols for the return of baseball, softball

No 'high fives' or handshaking will be allowed

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Thursday, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that non-contact sports will be one of the several state services and industries that will be able to reopen as part of the state's recovery from COVID-19 on May 26.

The state has put out its requirements for both baseball and softball as youth and adult leagues look to get underway this summer. 

A six-foot distancing requirement will be in effect for players, coaches, game workers and fans except in the field of play. Coaches must wear face coverings at all times, while athletes must wear face coverings when not actively participating in the field of play.

Umpires must wear face coverings at all times, while avoiding the exchanging of documents or equipment with players, coaches, or spectators. Those umpires calling balls and strikes should allow adequate distance behind the catcher while still able to perform their duty.

There will be no team water coolers and players may not share equipment. 

Also, a "No touch rule" will be in effect. This means players and coaches will have to refrain from high fives, handshake lines, and other physical contact with teammates, opposing players, coaches, umpires, and fans. A “tip the cap” can be used following the game in lieu of the handshake line.

There will also be no spitting or eating seeds, gum, other similar products.

May 26 will also be the date that the state's gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools, and BMV offices can reopen. 

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