The question on everyone’s mind is when can sports return? With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc, we’ve compiled the latest updates on when your favorite sports may return.
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The coronavirus has had a profound effect on the world of sports. Every level of every sport has been impacted in some way by the pandemic. From cancellation of events to delays in start times, the virus has left a significant mark on the sports world.
The good news is that there are signs that the worst of the pandemic may be behind us. In many parts of the world, infection rates are falling and vaccine rollout is underway. This has led to a discussion about when sports can return to some semblance of normalcy.
The answer to that question is complicated and it varies from sport to sport. In general, however, it appears that the majority of sports will be able to resume in some form or another by the summer or fall of 2021. This timeline could shift depending on how effective vaccines are in combating the virus and how well society as a whole continues to do in following mitigation measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
Here is a look at the latest information on when various sports may be able to return:
The Current Situation
The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to most sports around the world. For months, there have been no live games or matches. However, as countries begin to reopen, some sports are starting to resume. Here are the latest updates on when sports may return.
The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and seven in Canada. Headquartered in New York City, the NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.
The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The NBA is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. It has 30 teams, 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB),which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. NBA players are the world’s best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.
The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL). The league’s several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in Midtown Manhattan.
The NBA is planning to restart their season on July 31st at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
While major league baseball has yet to announce a start date for its 2020 season, other professional sports leagues in the U.S. have already begun to resume play or are in the process of planning their return. The National Hockey League (NHL) became the first major U.S. professional sports league to resume play when it dropped the puck on its 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers on August 1. The NHL playoffs will begin on August 11 and conclude no later than September 28. The National Basketball Association (NBA) plans to restart its 2019-20 season with 22 teams playing eight regular-season games each at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida from July 30 to August 14. The playoffs will then commence and run through mid-October, with the NBA Finals concluding no later than October 13. Major League Soccer (MLS) is set to resume its 2020 season with a tournament involving all 26 teams at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from July 8 to August 11, followed by the MLS is Back Tournament knockout stage from August 12-23 and the MLS is Back Tournament final on August 27. Lastly, the National Football League (NFL) is preparing to begin its 2020 regular season on time in September, although it has not yet released its schedule for the upcoming season.
When Can Sports Return?
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc across the globe, the question on everyone’s mind is when can sports return? While there is no definite answer, there have been some updates as to when some leagues may return. Here are the latest updates on when sports may return.
The NHL could be the first professional sports league in North America to return, as they have been in talks with the Players’ Association about a 24-team playoff format that would see games resume as early as July. There are still many hurdles to clear before anything is official, but it’s a sign that the league is serious about returning at some point this summer.
The NBA is planning to restart the 2019-20 season in late July at Walt Disney World in Florida, according to multiple reports.
The league is still working out the details of the plan, which would see all 30 teams playing eight regular-season games before the playoffs begin. The playoffs would then be played at Disney World as well, with a possible finals game in August.
The plan is contingent on several factors, including approval from the Florida state government and the NBA Players Association. If all goes well, training camp could start as early as July 9, with games beginning around July 31.
Other professional sports have continued in some capacity, with the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer all holding events in empty arenas. The PGA Tour has resumed without fans and is holding the RBC Heritage tournament this week in South Carolina. NASCAR has also returned, and held a race last weekend in Darlington, S.C.
So when can sports return? While there is no definite answer, the general consensus seems to be that we will see a gradual return beginning in the summer or fall of 2020. Major League Baseball has already announced its plans to start a shortened season in July, and the NBA is reportedly exploring a similar plan. Other leagues, such as the NHL and MLS, are also considering a return to play. Of course, everything is subject to change and it remains to be seen how these plans will unfold.