Batter up.

This week was a return to normalcy for many youth and their coaches as the new Directed Health Measure (DHM) allowed for the return of non-contact sports, namely baseball and softball.

Teams, coaches and parents have had to jump through hoops and follow strict guidelines to ensure player safety.

Guidelines include social distancing, no use of dugouts, players using their own equipment, sanitizing, fan attendance limited to household members of the players on the team and no postgame handshakes or interaction between teams.

The City of Blair approved use of the city's fields, including the Blair Youth Sports Complex, former Dana College fields, and Vets Field for area teams, but each player or player's parents and team must sign releases prior to playing.

The new DMH has also opened weight rooms at area high schools.

It's not ideal, but it's a start.

Since schools closed in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic, youth have been longing for some type of activity and the opportunity to see their friends. With so many other activities and events, such as Gateway to the West Days, canceled and others summer activities, like the Blair Municipal Pool, in limbo, it's exciting to see the players take the field.

It's also still uncertain if a 2020 Major League Baseball season will happen. That leaves Legion baseball, Blair Cubs and traveling softball teams as our only likely action on the diamond this summer.

So let's be safe and play ball.

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