Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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National, collegiate sports create new normal

In the earlier part of the spring the world as we knew it seemed like it took a pause, especially with sports. Multiple sporting events were cancelled or postponed such as the NBA, college hoops, golf and tennis.

There was much uncertainty about whether sports could play in the fall. Fortunately the NBA season has restarted in a bubble-like format in Orlando, FL and is proving to be very successful thus far. Since the start-up date on July 31, the NBA has had zero positive tests since the opening. The WNBA has a similar bubble-like format, and are holding a shortened season at 22 games, and then will start their playoffs afterwards.

The problem is all sports are not able to do a bubble-like format, which has a whole league in hotels isolated where no one can come in or out. Without isolation, there can be problems, as we saw with the MLB team Orlando Marlins which has had 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest of any sports team to date.

Although there are no fans, players will have to take precautions and try to avoid being out too much. With the NFL season ramping up Sept.10 with the defending super champions the Kansas City Chiefs against the Houston Texans, things are looking bright for the league, and the sports world will have a sense of normalcy.

In training camps there have not been many players and coaches who have tested positive for the disease, and with the strict rules and regulations from city to city, and with players having the choice to opt out the season, the NFL is doing their part to ensure safety for their players.

On the collegiate level, sports are in a kind of uproar. Certain schools have elected to cancel all fall sports and will resume with spring sports. It started with summer voluntary workouts where teams like Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, had 47 confirmed cases with 37 tests coming from football players. This led to division like the Big Ten which includes Ohio State to postpone their season till the spring, as well as the Pac-12, while conferences like the SEC, ACC, and the Big 12 will play their conference-only season. Smaller teams in the FCS like the Ivy league has cancelled all fall sports which was the first collegiate conference to do so.  SWAC, MEAC, and Big Sky have elected to play their fall sports in the spring. 

Most professional sports are not going to have fans at the games such as the US Open with tennis and golfing tournaments, but some sports like the NFL will have a low capacity depending on what is the state mandate. There are many precautions being taken for the safety of the players and for the enjoyment of the fans.

by Caleb Harris

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