#LifeWithout: Sports

On March 12, 2020 the sports world stopped almost completely. The night before, the NBA announced that they would be suspending play “until further notice”. Over the next couple days, almost all major sports leagues followed them and suspended their seasons. 

In the beginning the NBA only postponed events for a few weeks, with plans of reopening in early April. Back then people thought the coronavirus lockdown would be over within a month or two. But it quickly became apparent that it would be a lot longer than that, so leagues started moving the restart date back further and further into the summer. 

Before the pandemic hit, I had watched sports almost every day. I was looking forward to March Madness, the NHL playoffs, and the Olympics. When everything stopped I, along with the rest of the country, wondered what we would do now that there weren’t any sports. People started watching other things, like Jelle’s Marble Racing and Major League wiffle ball, along with watching old replays of professional sports. In July, some sports began planning how they would reopen. Now in September we have the NHL, NBA, and the MLB again, but we are still unsure about the NFL and all of college sports.

The virus has also impacted almost all student athletes. The spring sports season was a couple weeks in when the schools closed in early March. The tennis team, which I am a part of, had only played four matches before the season was cancelled. I was really disappointed when they cancelled the season, but at least I will be able to play in the next couple years. The seniors had to miss their last season and their senior night. Durham parks and rec took the hoops off the basketball courts in public parks, removed nets from  tennis courts, and roped off playgrounds all over the country. Now when I play tennis, we have to have different balls for every person, and there are still no rims on the basketball courts. People have to find another way to exercise and play. I started to bike around my neighborhood, and I really enjoyed that. By the end of the summer, I could bike about fifteen miles compared to only being able to bike about 5 miles before I started. 

COVID-19 will affect fall sports, too. A lot of Riverside sports have already been pushed back to the spring, and they might be pushed back even further. Non-contact sports, like tennis and volleyball, can probably safely go back to normal sooner than contact sports, like basketball and football. Eventually playing sports will go back to normal, but some things will probably take a long time to get there.

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