What Ball looked like after coronavirus.... Finally got my team out on the field to play ball in an actually tournament this weekend. It was an out-of-state tournament. Coming into the tournament, I was concerned about my girls, the gameplay, masks, the interactions between players, umpires and staff members, and the hotel stay. I had abided all the governors rules about youth practices, so we hadn’t had any, my family had taken all the precautions to stay safe, staying confined to our house with limited trips over to ball fields to get some work in, wearing masks when we went out (not in the dang car though), we did let them play with the next door neighbors with tons and tons of wiffleball games. Gameplay: I was prepared for this new change in youth sports. I had gotten masks, many hours thought over how to keep everyone 6 feet apart, my assistant had tons of wipes, brand new game balls to use and we didn’t know what to expect. Would the game be affected in any way, would it slow the pace, the camaraderie, the teammate interactions. It changed nothing. Ball was ball, the same game that I truly had missed coaching for the past 3 months. No masks, social distancing precautions were there, but girls were still interacting the same with each other. Dance offs, playing tag, goofing off/wrestling, peering over another’s shoulder looking at tik tok videos, hugs, high fives, chants in the dugout, and a ton of smiles and laughter. Most coaches and umpires extended their hand out first to shake hands at the pregame meeting as I was conditioned to be hesitant these past 3 months with interaction. We kept our distance after the greeting, respectfully while talking ground rules, etc. We tried as much as we could in the dugout, wiping things down, kept the same ball from inning to inning, telling the girls to distance themselves, and they did pretty well in the dugout. Sheriffs were their monitoring and families pretty much kept to themselves and sat together. A lot more sitting around the outfield fence, so most families were vigilant in their efforts. This coronavirus is a weird kind of strand of flu, I absolutely get it. I have family members who if contracted coronavirus could get very ill because of pre existing conditions. Anyone can get it and fall gravely ill, but have I forgotten all the other things that could get me or my family. Being a passenger in this car and getting into an accident, swimming in the ocean with the “flesh-eating bacteria” or being stung by a jellyfish or bitten by a shark, on a roller coaster, bungee jumping, sky diving, being struck by lightning, or a fallen meteor, or contracting A different kind of illness... I know I’m being a bit fictitious and could I be comparing apples to oranges, I could be, but we take calculated risks everyday. As I’m traveling back to Ohio, I’m thinking to myself, man I’m going to go back to a world of very little interaction of between people, disinfectant, masks, and a scared community and city. It really felt great to be back seeing the smiling faces, the concentration and focus of the athletes, the high pressure situations, and even know there was disappointment of our tourney getting rained out, the girls were really happy to see and interact with each other. See you next week on the fields in Ohio!! 4-0 on the weekend playing up in 12U, but tourney was cancelled due to a monsoon that hit last night!