Sports

What summer sports will look like

The Iowa high school sports world was flipped upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic fallout, but life for athletes, coaches and fans begun to turn rightside up when Governor Kim Reynolds gave the thumbs up for summer sports to resume this June in her press conference on Thursday.

Baseball and softball games will begin in mid-June, with June 15 being the first game day, but when the first pitch is thrown, the field will look a little different as summer sports face certain restrictions in 2020.

The Iowa Department of Education released a guidance on Thursday for the 2020 summer sports season. These rules will aim at lowering the spread of COVID-19 even as players and fans gather around the ballfields.

Listed below are some of the new rules you’ll see around the ballpark this year. The first set of guidelines will be for June 1, the first practice date. The second set of guidelines is for June 15, when games begin.

JUNE 1

— Post signage prominently indicating no one should attend or participate in practice if they currently have symptoms or have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 14 days.

— No dugouts may be used. Players’ items should be lined up against the fence at least six feet apart.

— Parents must remain in their cars or drop off and pick up players after practice.

— Players should use their own gloves, helmets, and bats as much as possible.

— Coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained between players as much as

possible. This means additional spacing between players while playing catch, changing drills so that

players remain spaced out, and no congregating of players while waiting to bat.

— Players must bring their own water/beverage to consume during and after practice. No shared drinking

fountains, portable hydration stations, or coolers may be used.

— Coaches must sanitize shared equipment before and after each practice.

— Players and coaches should check their temperatures before attending practices.

— Anyone with symptoms of illness is not allowed to practice.

— Coaches should be knowledgeable of their students with pre-existing health conditions and work with

school nurses or other health officials to take additional precautions as needed.

— Players should be encouraged to provide their own hand sanitizer.

— Coaches must ban the spitting of sunflower seed shells.

— Coaches are responsible for tracking absences for the purpose of noting potential COVID-19 cases.

— Contact public health if a positive case of COVID-19 is reported.

JUNE 15

— Post signage prominently indicating no one should attend or participate in games if they currently have symptoms or have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 14 days.

— Use of dugouts is permitted during games only.

— Players should use their own gloves, helmets, and bats as much as possible.

— Players must bring their own water/beverage to consume during and after games. No shared drinking

fountains, water stations, or coolers may be used.

— Coaches must sanitize shared equipment before and after each game.

— Players and coaches should check their temperatures before attending practices or games.

— Anyone with symptoms of illness is not allowed to participate.

— Schools must limit the use of bleachers for fans. Encourage fans to bring their own chairs or stand.

Fans should practice social distancing between different household units and accept personal

responsibility for public health guidelines.

— Schools must also implement any other reasonable measures under the circumstances of each school

to ensure social distancing of staff, students, and community members, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the IDPH.

— Fans must not attend if they have symptoms of illness.

— No concessions stands are permitted.

— Contact public health if a positive case of COVID-19 is reported.