How Have Sports Been Affected by 2020?

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Sports are a very important part of American culture. Many Americans enjoy watching sporting events with family, friends, or even alone. But this year, sports were majorly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On February 2, 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. Fans tuned in to watch this game and see who the National Champion would be. But what Americans didn’t know was that this would be the last “normal” game of 2020. About a month after Super Bowl LIV, COVID-19 took over the United States. As the year went on, millions of people were infected with the coronavirus and thousands died from it. But that’s not the only thing that COVID-19 did. Due to mandatory restrictions by the United States Government, many sports leagues suspended/postponed their seasons. Americans were devastated by this because, to some people, sports were their way of life.

One of the sports affected by these restrictions was the NFL. First off, teams were not allowed to have fans present in the stadiums during games. As a result of this, many teams placed cardboard cut-outs in the stands to imitate the feeling of a full stadium. Many players are thrilled and motivated by the roar of the crowd, but now, it would be silent. Besides having no fans to cheer them on, coaches and players would have to wear masks on the sidelines, in the locker rooms, and on the buses to games. There were many other restrictions put in place due to COVID, but regardless of all these restrictions, many teams still got COVID and had to cancel/postpone games.

The NFL isn’t the only league affected by these restrictions. The NCAA football league was majorly affected as well. Due to the status of COVID, as well as rising numbers, the Big 10—which includes Ohio St., Michigan, Iowa, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan St., Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and Rutgers—stated that they would not be participating in the 2020 NCAA football season. This affected not only the Big 10, but also the entire NCAA football league, as schedules had to be changed and moved around to accommodate for this. However, despite their previous statement, the Big 10 ended up participating in the 2020 season, but they did miss a few games.

Major League Baseball (MLB) was no exception to the effects of COVID. On March 13, 2020, the MLB announced that they were suspending all spring training camps. Major League players were given the option to return home, remain near training camp in Arizona or Florida, or return to their team’s home city. Some teams, such as the NY Yankees, voted to remain in training. Two days later, the Yankees confirmed that a minor leaguer in their affiliation tested positive for COVID. That same day, the MLB advised that all non-roster players should return home to avoid any further exposures. The following day, the MLB suspended the start of the 2020 season until at least the middle of May. Once the season began, the MLB made many restrictions to minimize exposures in the league. Just like the NFL and NCAA football, MLB teams were not permitted to have fans in the stadium during games, and coaches and players were required to wear masks and practice safe social distancing to prevent any further exposures. Similarly to the NFL, many major league players were motivated and energized by the fans and the crows. MLB teams began placing cardboard cutouts of fans all over the stadium, as well as playing sounds of the crowd to give the feeling of a full stadium.

As you can see, many sports teams and leagues were affected by COVID and the restrictions sanctioned by the Government. But regardless of all these difficulties, restrictions, and hardships, with the assistance of sports pitch consultants, sports events were able to proceed, teams were able to compete, fans were able to watch their favorite teams, and the way of life for American Sports was saved.