The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all areas of our society, including sports. Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, every athletic competition whether professional, collegiate, or just recreational has had to adapt. It’s been tough for the sporting world to play their games, but they’ve still managed to put on a show for the fans (even if the fans are mostly watching from home).
When the NFL started to play games again there was a lot of concern in the NFL for the player’s health since every aspect of the game involves physical contact. In response, the league has taken many precautions such as: a virtual draft, no fans in the stadiums, and mandatory covid-19 tests for every player before every game. The NFL was also committed to giving back to their communities by raising over $100 million in coronavirus relief to help support six national nonprofits.
The NCAA college basketball season also committed to a new season, which is slated to begin on November 25th 2020. Unlike the NBA which contained its entire league to a bubble in Disney World for the season, the NCAA will be playing in their college stadiums. But the players, coaches, and staff will be tested 3 times a week for COVID-19. They are limiting access to the court and to the bench. And in case of a positive COVID-19 result, the player/staff member has to get 3 negative tests in a row before they’re cleared to play again.
The MLB (major league baseball) had to start its season late and only played a limited number of games. They made a 101 safety protocol book about how they are going to stay safe with covid. These protocols must be followed by players, staff, and coaches. Dozens of games were also postponed due to covid outbreaks. But despite the challenges they successfully got through the season, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.
Even with all of these changes to the sports world, sports fans are largely grateful to have any sports at all. Jesse Klink, a WMS social studies teacher and sports-fanatic, thinks the NHL and the NBA did very well in their time in the bubbles while the playoffs were going. But he thinks that baseball and football, especially college, are at the highest risk of COVID-19. Jesse Klink thinks that golf is the safest sport because there is no contact involved in the game.
Carson Kramer, another WMS teacher, is a really big fan of the bubble for the NHL and the NBA. He is glad that College Football and the NFL has started on time through all of this madness. He likes the fact that they are limiting the fans to outdoor sporting events, but he does not think that fans should be allowed to indoor games. He really wants to get sports at Williamsburg but he does not think it will happen. He really does hope that sports get back to normal sometime soon.
Sports in the Covid-era has been a challenge, but each league is making the best of a difficult situation. Game on!