The current health crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge effect on the sporting world. Events all over the planet have been affected, but how have the authorities tried to ensure that things carry on as close to normal as possible?
Many sporting events have been rescheduled for later in the year, or even in 2021. Perhaps the biggest example is the Summer Olympics that were due to behold in Tokyo, Japan this year. The games will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
The horse racing world has taken a similar approach. An example here is the famous Kentucky Derby. It was scheduled to take place in early May but has now been put back to September 5 this year.
In fact, very few events or tournaments were completely canceled this year, although some very carried out virtually. The Wimbledon tennis tournament in the UK was one of the few to be totally wiped off the calendar.
Naturally, the postponement of so many events means that the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 will be crammed with all of the matches that need to be played. This is good news for sports fans who want to enjoy watching a lot of action at home.
Playing Behind Closed Doors
The next big decision in a lot of cases was to carry out major events behind closed doors. This had the effect of taking away a huge amount of the atmosphere and causing the organizers to lose money. However, at least events were able to go ahead as planned.
Some of the events to be played behind closed doors so far include European soccer matches and the Belmont Stakes. The end of the 2019-20 NBA season is currently being played out behind closed doors, so games can be seen on the TV, and basketball betting still be carried out online through websites like BetAmerica. Check it out here: https://extra.betamerica.com/nba/
Players Living in a Bubble
Another interesting solution has been found in a few sports, with players, coaches, and other staff living in a bubble while a tournament is played out. This is the case with the NBA season, as the teams are based in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Orlando, Florida during the season.
Another sport that considered the use of a bubble was football. It was finally decided that the 2020 NFL season would be played without a bubble being used, as the length of the season was deemed to make it impractical.
The Spring League that is played between six teams will be the first example of a bubble being used in football. This tournament takes place in Las Vegas in October and will copy the sort of bubble structure seen in the NBA and the NHL. Close to 300 players, coaches, and staff will be in the bubble for the duration of the tournament.
Opting Out Is Accepted
Not every athlete wants to accept the risk of playing at the present time. This is why they have been given the chance to opt out, particularly in those sports where they need to spend a long time living in a bubble.
So far, it has largely been fringe players who are unlikely to feature in games that have decided to opt out, but some big names have also taken a step back. In the NBA, this includes Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets. NFL opt-outs include CJ Mosely of the New York Jets and Nate Solder of the New York Giants.
It is hoped that sport will return to normal as soon as it is safe to do so. For the moment, watching the action on the screen is the best option for fans who are missing the excitement of going to games.