COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc and cause stress on the sports tourism industry. As a means to talk my favorite subject – SPORTS – I thought it would be a slight change of pace to look at how this pandemic would affect sports if they were still being played but following social distancing rules. It should be noted that I’m just looking at the competition level of the sport itself – the action on the field/court/ice, not taking into consideration the benches or spectator experience.
Social distancing at its worst. Imagine an Offensive Line having to lineup six feet apart from each other - not much protection for the quarterback. You have a Center and Quarterback touching the ball every play. Maybe a precaution to germs would be the QB's best protection, but then again might hinder his receivers, too. The kicker is the safest position out there, as long as he wipes his kicking shoe off after it touches the ball! All huddles, high fives, and endzone dances will look quite different as well.
The six feet distancing aspect is a bit better here, but the amount of hands that would have to be washed after touching the ball after every play is pretty high. There is no really safe position, as all ten players on the court pretty much touch the ball repetitively throughout a game and are extremely close to each other. Imagine setting a screen using a 6-foot-forcefield!
Baseball is probably the best way to practice social distancing out of all these sports mentioned. The pitcher and catcher are the only players most at risk of coming in contact with the virus with the amount of times they touch the ball. Pitch. Catch. Throw. Repeat. Maybe replace the rosin bag with hand sanitizer! The safest position is probably the Designated Hitter on a team, he may never touch the ball…even with his bat! (especially if he is a horrible hitter) But for all hitters, maybe replace pine tar with Lysol wipes!
Hardly any hand-touching, and the players even wear gloves and masks! The six feet distancing does come into violation when going for the puck along the boards. As with the kicker in football and the DH in baseball, the goalie has probably the easiest position to remain virus-free. An even greater case of being virus-free is if the opposing team hardly finds themselves in the crease and within six feet of the goalie. The goalie’s team being on the other side of the ice a lot will also leave that goalie in complete on-ice-olation.
I’m sure there are plenty of other ways social distancing affects sports that I haven’t covered above, but it was a creative way to visualize COVID-19 affecting sports if events were still being played.
One Challenge. One Ask. I challenge you to think of other sports and how they would look different if still played during the pandemic. I ask you to consider hosting your future sporting event in Green Bay when we can, in fact, host events and sports wouldn't look ridiculous as outline above. Start a conversation with Destination Sports Manager Joel Everts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be safe and stay healthy. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to our community with your sports and for all to enjoy many other sporting events in Greater Green Bay!