Crack of baseball, softball bats can return in June

Legion teams here will start practicing June 1

    June 1 will be a big day for summer sports fans.
    That’s the date when restrictions will be eased for youth sports programs in Nebraska—specifically baseball and softball.
    Starting June 1, organized practices can start for ball teams with first games slated for June 18.
    In his press conference Monday, Gov. Pete Ricketts said his office has received a lot of questions about youth sports.
    While okaying the start of baseball and softball next month, Ricketts has tacked on several restrictions for players, coaches and spectators.
    Social distancing will be in place, post-game handshaking is prohibited and markings for six-foot spacing in bathrooms at the parks are all suggested.
    Fans will have to watch games beyond the dugouts in cars, chairs or standing, with no bleacher seating allowed, according to the directives.
    At his Tuesday press conference, Ricketts added, “We’ll be doing social distancing for awhile.”
    “We want people to take advantage of the outdoors with appropriately socially distancing,” Ricketts said.
    Dugouts will be off limits during practices but can be used during games. Keeping players’ gear six feet apart is also recommended. Coaches must sanitize shared equipment before and after each practice and game, according to the guidelines.
    Concession stands will not be open.
    No one’s more happier about the restrictions being eased than Imperial Legion Baseball Coach Bruce Peterson.
    “It’s a relief. For the kids and fans, we need something normal again,” Peterson said.

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