Which is the best way for major sports leagues to come back to action after the Covid-19 forced break? We are about to find out. Leagues like the NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL have opted for the “bubble system”, which implies getting everyone involved and placing them in a single location for the remaining of the season. However, others like MLB and NFL have chosen a different path and will take their chances while traveling back and forth and hoping for the best, following hundreds of new safety protocols, of course.
Why have NFL and MLB opted out of the bubble system?
As in everything during this pandemic, decisions involve many different angles that most of us can’t even imagine, from local economics to merely sports related issues. Whatever the reasons are, the decision has been made and by now it’s practically impossible to change it, even though league officials are emphatic to remark that players and staff safety will always remain #1 priority.
It is a tough plan to follow and as people usually say, the chain is just as strong as its weakest link, meaning that, if you have 100 players, and 1 doesn’t follow the rules, then everyone else will automatically be compromised.
MLB started playing last Thursday, July 23rd, and on Monday, we already had a first setback, 17 positive Covid-19 tests among the Miami Marlins players, and games being cancelled throughout the whole week. The NFL faces exactly the same challenges and even bigger, considering that NFL teams and staff involve a lot more people to take care of and travel around, city by city.
One of the main reasons we can think about of why NFL and MLB chose a different system, is that these two will play their whole season and it’s hard to keep people in a bubble for so long, isolated and separated from their families. On the other hand, NBA and NHL are restarting and going right into playoffs, so the season will be over soon, while MLS and WNBA opted for a complete system change and are playing short tournaments, reducing the amount of days in the bubble considerably.
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