PLAY BALL – Following Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds laying the groundwork for baseball and softball this morning, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union have approved baseball and softball.
Earlier this week, the two organizations released information on how they would be making the decision if the governor would give the green-light. Those guidelines included, Keeping health and safety of participants, coaches, officials, administrators, and spectators as the top priority, working with the Department of Education, Department of Public Health, and other state officials on sport requirements and scheduling within the recommendations for schools and school facilities, and Developing practical guidelines and protocols for baseball and softball events (practices, workouts, games, postseason).
This afternoon, along with approving the season to start June 1, the association/union released guidance to members schools. That guidance includes the following steps that will be in place as of June 15th. Other guidance that will be in place starting June 1st, when practice is to start, can be found below this article.
- Use of Dugouts is permitted during games only
- Players should use their own gloves, helmets, and bats when possible
- Players should use their own water bottles
- Players and coaches should check their temperature before attending
- Fans must practice social distancing and are encouraged to bring their own chairs
- Schools must also implement any other reasonable measures under the circumstances.
- No Concessions stands
- Contact Public Health if a positive case of COVID-19 is reported
“We trust that our administrators, coaches, umpires, and fans will responsibly follow the guidelines in place to keep themselves and each other safe.” – Tom Keating, IHSAA Director
Flip the coin
“The guidelines laid out by the Department of Education and the Department of Public Health will enable us to safely move forward with a softball season this summer.” – Jean Berger, IGHSAU Director
Practice for high school baseball and softball teams will start June 1st and teams can take the field as early as June 15th. Fans will be permitted at games but as stated in the above guidelines, they will need to social distance.
The IGHSAU and IHSAA also said they plan to issue further sports-specific guidance and FAQ lists early next week. Both organizations currently plan to conduct thier state tournaments at their previously announced venues, with IGHSAU softball at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge and IHSAA baseball at Principal Park in Des Moines.
The Iowa Department of Education, coach-athlete contact for all in-person, out-of-season sports are suspended until July 1. So basketball, volleyball and all other out-of-season sports will not be able to hold open gyms at this time.