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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

New study conducted on how to safely bring back youth sports

Parents will get the chance to provide input about what youth sports should look like in the age of the coronavirus.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Youth sports leagues can resume in Ohio on Tuesday for low-contact or non-contact sports like baseball.

And parents locally and all over the country will get a chance to weigh in on what youth sports should look like in the age of the coronavirus.

Many local families have made the drive to Westfield, Indiana to Grand Park. 

It's a huge baseball and soccer complex for tournaments.

While youth sports start to come back to life, likely saving the season for kids eager to get on the field, Grand Park is teaming up with Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis for a study that will cover a wide range of sports.

It could help facilities in our area and around the country.

The university's Sports Innovation Institute will lead the study, to learn how to safely open places like Grand Park during a pandemic.

Researchers will use the data collected to help organizers and venues host events in this new normal.

“Really, the goal is to find the things that people perceive is a must be that they’re really comfortable with, but the way the survey is designed, using the method that we’re using, it would also pull out the things people are really resistant to," said Dr. David Pierce, the  Director of the Sports Innovation Institute.

In a few days, surveys will be sent to parents, athletes, and referees for their feedback on how they think games should be played. 

Youth sports could look very different with sparse or empty bleachers, no handshake lines and wearing masks in the dugout.

The restrictions won't be easy, but are necessary if kids want to play ball. 

"We’re really looking at what is our new normal in the sports tourism industry, and this research will go a long way in helping them understand some of the things that they need to do as well," said William Knox, the director of the Grand Park Sports Campus.

Researchers are hoping to target 600 to 700 people in the study and the first wave of results should come in on June 1. If you want to learn how to get involved, click here