The Covid-19 pandemic came at the time of the year when most seasons were to kick-off. It brought many upsets to fans who were anticipating the matches with a cheerful spirit. That forced sports teams to take a different approach that redefined the players’ and fans’ expectations towards their support.
The sports teams had to create an entirely different routine, where the fans had to watch them from home or screens in hotel rooms. It happened so because of the social distancing rule the ministry of health and the government introduced to curb the virus’s spread. That led to the burn of crowds.
As the world is getting used to the virus and learning to live with it, the biggest question remains if things will ever return to normal entirely and have the fans celebrate their teams’ wins live. The good news is that the sports leagues have come up with strategies to handle the pandemic.
They do so to ensure that their fans and players are safe. Leagues like the NBA has taken the initiative and carried out covid-19 tests on all of its players. The team owners have also played a significant role in ensuring that the league achieves its set goals concerning the pandemic.
You can find an excellent example of how NHL teams approach the Covid-19 situation in this Silver Seven Sens news Article. In this post, Eugene Melnyk, Ottawa Senators owner, is given credit for handling the Covid-19 pandemic in his team.
The NHL cannot achieve their set goals without the team owners, managers, and players’ help. Major League Baseball had the most challenging time in handling the Covid-19 regulations. It was hard for the players to observe the social distancing rule.
Sports Leagues that Handled the COVID-19 Pandemic Best
When it comes to Covid-19, every team is responsible for curbing the spread of the virus. Leagues that did not take precautions had the number of cases spike. Now, take a look at the sports leagues that handled the pandemic the best.
Major League Baseball (MLB)
One of the ways that the virus spreads is through mass gatherings. The World Health Organization advised people to avoid crowded areas to stay safe. Governments imposed a law of social distancing, which greatly affected the sports sector.
Many sports leagues, including the MLB, canceled many sports events to limit the virus’s spread. MLB teams mitigate the virus’s outbreak among the players and fans by not allowing live participation in the games.
The stadiums are empty, and their games are being aired on television to keep their fans updated. They also update all the events on their social media and websites so that their fans can remain updated.
The players are tested before the beginning of a game. Their players who have been unlucky and contracted the virus have isolated as recommended.
The league has encouraged their players and staff members to ensure they put on their face masks all the time and sanitize. They also limited their staff members’ travel and burned visits of the staff members and players to crowded places.
National Basketball Association (NBA)
The NBA has made covid-19 a small part of their team. The league achieved this success with the team members who adhered to the rules and took the measures to curb the virus seriously.
The team has ensured that players and staff members get tested regularly to know who is infected and who is not, which helps curb the virus’ spread. However, this has been a challenge because industries have not produced enough testing tools.
Contact tracing is done to those who test positive, and they are taken to quarantine. The patients undergo treatment immediately. The NBA has collaborated with other leagues to invest and listen to what scientists say about the virus and practice the precautions.
For example, most NBA teams are the most generous supporters of research to create vaccines for the virus. The NBA gathered its players, coaches, and staff in a single set during the bubbles to prevent the spread. And this yielded positive results.
However, there were challenges because they still interacted with hotel staff and media personnel who moved out of the bubble daily. The league plans to collaborate with more organizations after the season is over to find a long-term solution to different problems.
National Hockey League (NHL)
The NHL paused the 2019-20 NHL games in March due to the outbreak of the virus. As the world is learning how to live and cope with the virus, the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoff games started. The teams got the artificial crowd cheering from empty arenas.
That happened to help the league and teams practice social distancing to curb the spread of the virus. They also ensured that each player was getting tested for Covid-19 before starting any game, reducing exposure to the deadly virus.
The NHL and NBA have restarted their seasons inside their respective bubble securely. However, according to the NHL’s commissioner, Gary Bettman, they still have a long way to keep safe from the virus.
The league ensured that they did not miss in the bubble. According to the league’s chairman, things will not return to normal soon because the pandemic is already here with us. It is now more of risk mitigation and not risk elimination.
NHL ensured proper testing, with all the players and staff checked for any covid-19 signs. During their phase 3 camps, the players were free to visit their families, go to bars and restaurants, and move around. That called for personal responsibility.
The league has not been perfect in containing the virus, bet they are being commended for a job well done.
After living with the virus for a couple of months, the question has changed from ‘can it be done’ to ‘will it be done.’ If the leagues handle the pandemic with a lot of seriousness, there will be a significant change in how their teams and players contain the virus. It will even influence how the upcoming seasons will occur amidst a pandemic or crisis.