Ravens tweak autograph policy

OWINGS MILLS - The Baltimore Ravens are introducing a new autograph policy for training camp that limits autographs to children only after the morning practice and has eliminated autograph signing altogether following afternoon practices. The Ravens said that safety concerns are the impetus for the changes.

"We have considered changing the way we do autograph signings for a few years," team president Dick Cass said. "Our crowds for the morning practices have become so large that we've had safety situations with people pushing each other to try and get closer to the players. Often times, children would be put in difficult positions with the rush for autographs, especially from our most popular players.

"We want to keep the spontaneity and closeness we have with our fans who come to training camp. The connectivity we have with our fans at camp is important to us and a Ravens' tradition. We know that every person who comes to camp and wants an autograph cannot get one because of the players' schedules. Under our new system, more children will have the opportunity, and that's important to us."

The first training camp practice is set for July 27 at McDaniel College.

Children ages 6 through 15 will be allowed on the field after morning practice and will be given a wristband by the Ravens to enter a designated autograph area.

Only one item will be autographed and adults aren't allowed to accompany their children into the autograph area.

Because of weightlifting and other workouts, only a third of the team will be available to sign autographs, and there's no guarantee that everyone will get an autograph.

Running, aggressive language and disorderly conduct can be grounds for ejection throughout training camp.

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