Many sport lover’s worlds came to a crashing halt at the end of March 2020 when the pandemic shut down every major and minor sports season. All sports from NASCAR to the NBA were in a hiatus, and nobody knew how long the hiatus would be for.
Some sports are attempting to make a comeback, even though the pandemic is showing very little signs of being eradicated.
Major League Baseball
According to ESPN, Major League Baseball is planning on starting up. The Opening Day that so many fans anticipate is planned to be held on either July 23 or 24. Players were able to begin training after the league and union reached an agreement for health and safety protocols.
The MLB and MLB Players Association butted heads for three months while trying to come to some type of agreement, yet finally came to one on June 23. The agreement, which guaranteed players a fully prorated portion of their salaries, imposed a 60—game season that will run through September 27.
The players had to agree to a 100-page health and safety manual to contain the coronavirus spread.
The safety manual covers travel, social distancing, and even has a ban on spitting. It also covers the following:
•Teams will play their four divisional opponents 10 times and the other 20 games against interleague opponents in the same geographical area (i.e. National League West teams vs. American League West teams).
•The National League will use a designated hitter.
•In extra innings, teams will begin with a runner on second base.
•The trade deadline will be Aug. 31, less than a month before the regular season is scheduled to end.
•Rosters will start at 30 men for the first two weeks then go to 28 for the next two weeks and stay at 26 for the remainder of the season.
•Teams will have a taxi squad that allows them to have as many as 60 players available to play in major league games.
•There will be a COVID-19 injured list with no minimum or maximum length of time spent on it, while standard injured list stints will be for 10 days and the typical 60-day stint will instead be for 45 days.
Players will be tested every other day, even if they are asymptomatic and show no health issues. Pitchers must use a wet rag to moisten their fingertips instead of licking them like in the past. All staff members in the dugout will be wearing masks.
Players and staff members began traveling to training camps for a July 1 check-in. Rosters unfroze and opened June 26, leading to potential trades and free-agent signings. Fans are ecstatic to think
Fans are ecstatic to think that baseball will be back for a scheduled 60 games in 66 days. Even though the season will not be the typical 160 game span, fans are probably excited for the 60-game season.
Major League Soccer
The MLS has plans on returning to action on July 8 with the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament. The tournament will be held in Orlando, and all 26 teams will participate. Of course, there will be protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The MLS’s medical department developed the safety and medical protocols for all teams to follow. Since the tournament will
Since the tournament will be held in Orlando, all 26 MLS clubs must travel to the tournament site via charter plane, and they must arrive no later than seven days before their first match.
All essential members of a club must undergo two Polymerase Chain Reaction tests 24 hours apart from each other. Players must also submit an antibody test as part of their physical exams; including a temperature check and a questionnaire.
Any players or staff member who test PCR positive will be isolated and forbidden to travel. Individuals who test PCR negative, but the antibodies showed positive can travel as long as they are asymptomatic.
All players and staff members will receive an additional PCR test upon arriving to Orlando. Players may begin training if their tests are negative. Players, coaches and PRO staff will be tested every other day during their initial two weeks in Orlando; including the day before each matchday.
Along with all the tests and questionnaires, individuals are also asked to wear face masks, practice social distancing, avoid touching your face, wash hands frequently, and clean and sanitize surfaces.
There are a few changes to in-match protocols to aid in slowing the spread of COVID. Players, coaches and of
Players, coaches and officials are asked to exercise care when spitting or clearing their nose; Players, coaches and of
Players, coaches and officials on the bench or technical area are required to wear masks and practice social distancing to the extent possible;
Players involved in the game are asked not to exchange jerseys or kiss the ball;
Masks or face shield protections should be used during press conferences or flash interviews.
National Basketball Association
The NBA is poised to resume their 2019-2020 season in July with a slight difference; all 22 teams will be playing and living at a site near Orlando. The goal is for all the teams to use the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World. The weirder aspect of the deal is there will be no fans in attendance.
The 16 teams in the playoff position are split up into the Eastern and Western Conference, with each conference having eight teams. The Eastern Conference consists of the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, and Orlando Magic. The Western Conference has the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and Memphis Grizzlies. Also, added to the mix are the Washington Wizards in the East and the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs in the West.
NASCAR and any subsequent racing affiliated with the NASCAR brand also saw a stop in their regularly scheduled season due to the pandemic. The schedule restarted its engine on June 26 in Pocono as the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, Gander Truck and ARCA Menards all ran a race.
NASCAR and subsidies have a jam-packed schedule to attempt to fit in all the races for the cups. Sixteen races are slotted for a span of 23-day span which should tame even the pickiest NASCAR fan.
The races will take place like many of the other sports, without any fans in the stands. This allows the racing teams to spread out more in the infield to allow social distancing. NASCAR takes the health and safety of their members seriously.
Any racer or staff member who does not adhere to the new safety protocols in place could face a $50,000 fine.