How has Covid 19 affected sports in the new normal? With safety measures and guidelines in place we see how the game has changed.
Seeing how sports is coming back it was quite obvious that humans can not be confined for too long seeing as though we are very social beings. Falling into boredom much too quickly is a curse as well as a blessing; a fortunate and unfortunate fact that humans themselves are their biggest enemy. The question is, how will we adapt to sports and athletics in the 'new normal'?
Having the skill to create and create so much over the years to keep ourselves entertained and chasing some of our biggest achievements from musicals, to dances, to theater performances, to art festivals and most of all sports, all of these come under the name of art. Bringing people together and spreading immense joy, it required us to surround ourselves with talented beautiful souls but recently seeing the conditions that surround the world, everything had to come to a halt. Many of the European Leagues took an impact in February and March, it was also acknowledged that the Premier League would not resume in the beginning of May and so resumed on the 17th of June with a new set of rules and guidelines.
Many organisations are involved in making sure that everyone involved can stay safe and follow guidelines, The Bundesliga resumed after two months coming back with strict rules including keeping the stadiums empty and testing for Covid 19. Balls are frequently disinfected and players have to celebrate goals from a distance, in total only 213 people were allowed which included media and the medics, substitutes sit in alternative seats for social distance and wear masks until they are required to warm up, players are given masks once they are off the pitch. Most of the same rules apply in the Premier league but have incorporated one specific rule which is taking a mini break 25 minute after the game has begun, unclear of why that is necessary but one that is most unfamiliar is having an empty stadium, fortunately enough humans are known to be adaptable to change.
While football resumes the best and safest way they know how, let's take a look at how cricket is taking place, the UK government has given The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) the green-light for recreational cricket starting on Saturday, the 11th of July. Players and umpires are made to keep their distances more than usual, players can not hand over their personal items such as caps, sunglasses or sweaters to the umpire anymore, players are required to use hand sanitizers before and during the game after coming in contact with the ball. Players are not allowed to celebrate with body contact, are not allowed to share drinks or water bottles, towels or equipment as they pose an obvious and immediate threat.
Cricket, as a sport, does not require as close proximity action majority of the time but there are still quite a few risks if the rules are not followed religiously. The most common form of potential transmission in cricket is the ball, the ICC has recommended to not use saliva on the ball, only sweat is allowed to shine the ball, no saliva or any artificial substance. Despite cricket not being a contact sport the ICC states that there are still several risks, players are encouraged to practice not touching their eyes, nose and mouth after coming in contact with the ball.
Sports may have returned but it is definitely not how we imagined it to be, adjusting to these new rules and having very little clarity for what the future holds. Although we are adjusting to the new normal and may take time to get comfortable, we can all agree that we appreciate that some of our favourite sports are back in the game!