Some sports leagues face challenges to reopening in Butler County

Adult and youth non-contact sports leagues are among the things that can resume in Ohio today, but a re-start for the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League will be difficult, organizers said.

The softball league for disabled adults and children will need to overcome “some challenging logistics when you think about our athletes,” said Kim Nuxhall, volunteer CEO of the league.

Other businesses and activities allowed to resume today include limited-contact sports, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle locations, miniature golf, batting cages and pools, but not water parks. Contact sports can start conditioning and skills training only starting today.

The next industries allowed to resume operations are day camps and child care facilities on Sunday, and banquet centers and caterers on June 1.

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This year will be the eighth season for the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League will start mid-August, said Nuxhall but they’ll be watching the Fairfield Youth Baseball League as it will resume play first.

Challenges for the Miracle League include water coolers and community drinking fountains are not allowed, coaches must wear masks and players must wear masks when not actively participating. Players are asked to not share any equipment, and to keep their personal items (including bats and gloves) separated from others’ equipment.

“We have athletes that are so medically fragile, we just have to watch it,” said Nuxhall. “One person, one outbreak, that’s certainly bad for them, and it’s certainly bad for the organization, obviously. We’re just going to be extremely cautious.”

The newly opened 18-hole mini-golf course for Miracle League athletes will be able to open within the next couple of weeks as it’s “easier to manage,” Nuxhall said. He said there will be a need for a few adjustments, but each athlete already has their own golf ball and putter.

“That will give them something to look forward to, something to participate in,” Nuxhall said.

Health Clubs were to reopen today, but a Lake County judge issued a preliminary injunction on May 20 against Ohio public health director Dr. Amy Acton’s order to close gyms. The order prevents gyms and health clubs from being penalized if they opened, thus paving the way for those businesses to open immediately.

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Fitness 1o1 in Liberty Twp. Ty Singleton has a limited opening last Thursday. He said they’ll fully open on today, following their reopening plans already set. Those plans are making sure people are at least 10 feet apart — 4 feet farther than the mandated 6-foot guidelines — and extra sanitation of all equipment.

Singleton all equipment will be sanitized prior to opening, and all members will be asked to clean the equipment after it’s used. A staff member will then re-clean the equipment before it’s used again, he said.

“We’re almost over-doing it, but at the same time we want people to feel like they’re safe, where people are a little more comfortable coming in,” Singleton said.

While he’s class he doesn’t have to make the decisions made by DeWine and Ohio public health director Dr. Amy Acton, he felt “more trust” should have been given to the business owners.

“I feel like we’re good business people, smart business people and I think if they gave us the guidelines we could work around that,” Singleton said. “We want to take care of our customers just as much as the governor and Dr. Amy Acton.”

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