The Return of Sports during Covid-19

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Bundesliga

“To ensure [social] distance in the dug-out, only every second or third seat will be used.”- Bundesliga Officials

Aryan Chauhan, Staff Writer

Amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the sports world has been pulled to a halt here in the United States. Not elsewhere though, as many sports leagues are back, with certain restrictions and conditions, around the world. One of which includes one of the biggest soccer leagues in the world, the German Bundesliga.

In the Bundesliga, games have been going on, but with no spectators. In fact, a maximum of only 213 people are allowed in the stadium, including the media, groundskeepers, the teams, and their staff. Before the game, teams are using more, bigger buses in order to practice social distancing on the trip to the stadium. When they reach the stadium, each player is assigned their own pregame changing room. Once the game is over, the players are allowed only to go home, and are forbidden from going to or taking any part in large social gatherings.

Many of the restrictions in place in the Bundesliga are also necessary worldwide for sports to be in play. There is social distancing in locker rooms, and face masks are worn whenever anyone is not on the field. The head of the Sports Medicine/Special Match Operations Task Force in Germany, Professor Doctor Tim Meyer said, “All players and staff are to be closely monitored and tested at least once a week, supervised by the hygiene officer of the respective club, who has been specifically appointed for this purpose. If a test comes back positive, it’s automatically reported to the health authorities. As a rule, the person concerned is isolated and it’s determined what contact has occurred.” 

For collegiate sports, these precautions need to be in place. However, starting on June 1st, NCAA colleges can hold voluntary on-campus training for their spring sports teams. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear had something to say about this: “I want to be really cognizant that these are student-athletes, right? They’re not paid professionals. And we want to make sure that it is safe for them.” Obviously, safety is most important during these times.

Regarding professional sports, the Kentucky Governor thinks that sports without fans is the only option available right now. Anything is possible, and no one knows what the future holds, as “a lot could happen. And that’s why we don’t want to say ‘no’ but we do want to temper expectations.”