• Mia Young, reporter

Pro Sports Make a Return

With professional sports finally returning, there are bound to be changes in what they will look like. From the MLB no longer allowing sunflower seeds, to the MLS having to isolate themselves, and the NFL's 71-page document on rules to follow to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the sports world has had to adapt to continue playing the games we love to watch.

Major League Soccer was one of the first sports leagues to decide and continue on with their season. They did not take this lightly, and many precautions and rules have been set in place to keep their players and staff safe.

All MLS employees started off the season essentially living in a bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, where they also played all of their games for the MLS Is Back Tournament. After this tournament, the MLS will only allow its members to take private travel to and from games, and they will arrive to and depart from the game the day of said game.

In addition, all staff and players are tested regularly as well as the day of each game. If someone tests positive, there is a plan set in place for them to isolate until they are able to test negative twice in a row at least 24 hours apart.

The MLS’s precautions have been paying off, as there have been no new confirmed cases since July 14th.

Another sport that has more recently returned is football. It is arguable that the NFL has been much less careful about the precautions they are taking.

The players, coaches, and all additional employees are allowed to play and travel normally. There are also no restrictions on who the players are allowed to see or meet outside of games and practices, but players are tested every day with the exception of the day of their games.

The NFL released a 71-page protocol document, and if players fail to follow the protocols and rules listed they will be fined, in most severe cases up to $50,000. In this document, there is no statement that requires face coverings to be worn on the sidelines, though it is strongly recommended.

Surprisingly, the NFL is also allowing fans to come to select games. Fans are only allowed into certain stadiums, depending on the team's decision on whether they want to allow a crowd or not. For teams that do allow them, there is a much lower number of people allowed in the stadium, in some cases less than 25% of the stadium's full capacity.

Baseball is another sport that has returned. Compared to the 162 games that they normally play each season, each team in the MLB is only playing a total of 60 games this season. This allows teams to reschedule games if there is another outbreak of Coronavirus.

The MLB is requiring daily temperature checks, swab testing every other day, and even blood testing at least once a month to check for antibodies. They are also requiring face coverings at all times, with certain exceptions of practices and games.

Similar to football, teams will still be traveling to play games regularly, however, the teams and staff of the MLB are not allowed to leave the hotel for any reason while on the road.

They also follow the same general rule as the MLS, that after testing positive members of the MLB must take two negative tests at least 24 hours apart before they are allowed to return back to their practices or games.

Sports have finally returned, and although they look different, viewers around the country have tuned in, watching the sports they have not had for nearly four months.


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