New rules are being applied in spring sports because of COVID-19.

As we move into another season of sports, two high school sports associations have released new rules that players must follow. These new rules are being put into place because of COVID-19 by the Michigan High School Athletic Association and National Federation of High School Sports Associations. The new rules will affect track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and more.

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Athletes are now able to use gloves when passing the baton.

In previous years, student-athletes were not allowed to use gloves when passing a baton between runners because of the possibility of the gloves giving them extra grip. Starting this year, gloves will be allowed, although not required, and batons will be sanitized after each race.

Baseball and softball players are not allowed to touch their mouths or blow on their hands.

Rules now prohibit players from "going to their mouths" or blowing on their hands during a game. If a baseball player goes to the mouth on the field, that player will be asked to leave the field to sanitize their hands before returning to the game. If a pitcher blows on their hands or goes to the mouth with possession of the baseball, a ball will be added to the count for the batter.

Likewise, if a softball pitcher does this, the ump will call a "no pitch" and it becomes a dead-ball situation. Before the game can continue, the pitcher must sanitize their hands and the softball is removed from the game.

Boys lacrosse players must wear two layers of face coverings when taking a faceoff.

During lacrosse games, all players are required to wear a face covering at all times during competition. However, any player taking a faceoff must wear two layers of face coverings and one of the layers must be a tightly woven cloth or other multi-layer absorbent material that covers both the nose and mouth. The second layer can be cloth, a non-rigid plastic face shield attached to the helmet, or a cloth face shield attached to the helmet.

No handshakes, high-fives, or fist bumps in Tennis.

For the spring tennis season, players will not be allowed to give handshakes, high-fives, or fist bumps with anyone. This included opponents, partners, coaches, and more.

To see more information about the rules and spring sports, click here. 

Source: MHSAA

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