Ways to Enjoy Watching Sport During the Pandemic

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The global pandemic brought about several changes in how people live their daily lives. To minimize contagion, several governments closed ports and grounded planes, which had a significant impact on the travel industry. Aside from this, people were highly encouraged to stay home, which paved the way for work from home setups, as well as online school programs.

Even the food industry was hit by the pandemic massively, with restaurants only allowed to cater to take out services or deliveries. Most business establishments were also closed temporarily because, after all, their customers stayed home.

As the number of positive cases slowly decreased, different countries loosened their quarantine measures, allowing people to leave their homes, provided they maintain a social distance of at least a meter or more away from one another. Some business establishments were also allowed to open, including restaurants that cater to dine-in patrons. Even sports games now slowly resumed, with athletes allowed to train, provided they are all tested before entering a quarantine facility where they can train.

The New Normal

Without a vaccine that can help people protect themselves from the virus or even medicine that can cure people infected with the virus, people must adapt to the new normal. This new normal includes hand hygiene, use of protective gear, as well as proper hand hygiene.

  • Hand Hygiene

In the past, people have taken proper washing of the hands for granted, such that different kinds of viruses spread easily simply because of objects or things that have been contaminated by dirty hands. In this new normal that people are currently in, you must wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is also a good idea to always carry a hand sanitizer with you that you need to use frequently as soon as you touch various objects or surfaces that can potentially be contaminated with the virus.

  • Personal Protective Equipment

Aside from the proper hand hygiene, people also need to use a face mask or a face shield every time they go out. This is to ensure that if they are infected with the virus, they will not spread it to others through their aerosol droplets when they talk or sneeze. The face mask will serve as a filter that ensures that your droplets in the form of your saliva or mucus will not spread in the air, which can be caught by others.

  • Social Distancing

Being close to each other seems to be a thing of the past as people are advised to stay at least a meter away from each other at all times. In doing so, the risk of transmitting the virus from one person to another is greatly reduced. However, this entails a new form of greeting as handshakes and hugs can hasten the spread of the virus.

The New Normal in the Sports Industry

With the new health standards that athletes and sports coordinators need to adhere to, commencing sports games and matches may prove to be quite challenging. However, like with the other industries, there is no other option but to adapt to these health standards for the good of the majority.

  • Training Methods

While people were in strict lockdown, new training methods have been developed. For instance, athletes were asked to take part in virtual meets with their respective coaches to ensure that their training sessions are conducted properly. Aside from this, some of the athletes invested in various training equipment that can help them enhance their skills even at the comforts of their own home. To encourage each other, as well as their fans and followers, various athletes post their workout sessions online.

Some athletes use virtual reality for their training sessions, which makes their practices more efficient. In this way, they are completely safe from contracting the virus. With virtual reality, athletes are also able to review their play from any angle and better analyze their moves and strategies. Thus, they have the chance to try out new plays and techniques. However, it still holds that there is still no substitute for an actual game experience.

  • Forms of Competitions

Since various sports teams are restricted from competing during this pandemic because it violates social distancing measures, teams also took their virtual meets online. Several sports commissions looked into the possibility of holding virtual competitions or virtual challenges through social media platforms or video conferencing tools. Some were successful in hosting the event, while others are still in the process of testing the waters.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult for certain sports events to push through during this trying time. For instance, it is hard to implement social distancing on sports such as football or basketball because of the close interaction between the players, which is necessary to get the game going. It is impossible to play these games without the players passing the ball or getting near each other.

However, other sports such as pole vault or track and field have a great chance of conforming to the new normal while adhering to the standards set by the world health organization. In this case, there is a separate mat for pole vaulters, and these mats are lifted after each jump. There is also an empty lane between the runners participating in a track and field competition. In addition to this, all athletes are forbidden from touching any of the belongings of other athletes.

However, you can expect that there will be no physical audience for these sports events. While the events are held live, these are only streamed for the viewers to still watch them.

  • Empty Stadiums

During this pandemic, you need to get used to empty stadiums because people are not yet allowed to get together physically to support their favorite sports team, even if a match has already commenced. While this is not an ideal long-term solution, people need to accept this as a fact, as long as there is no vaccine released to protect people from the health degradation brought about by the virus. Watching virtually instead of being up close and personal with the players can be one of the sacrifices that everyone needs to make for the sports games to still push through. To encourage both players and virtual spectators, live stream providers are experimenting with adding crowd noise to their feeds to heighten the level of game excitement.

With the absence of physical spectators, it is relatively easier to enforce social distancing measures during the event proper.

  • Greater Responsibility

In the past, athletes have been subjected to drug testing before their competitions. Currently, athletes need to also undergo tests to determine whether they are carriers of the virus. Only after the results of their tests get out that they get the chance to play in the sports match. While they are waiting for the results of their tests, they are also housed in a quarantine facility that allows no physical interaction with each other. Once an athlete receives a positive result, he receives immediate treatment, but the match is postponed indefinitely to pave the way for contact tracing and further testing of the other athletes who may have contracted the virus.

Apart from the additional tests that the athletes need to go through, their temperatures are also constantly monitored. There is also a daily health screening that is being conducted to ensure that each of the players is fit and healthy. This is considered a great responsibility for the athletes to take because, in this case, they are not only doing these measures to prove and protect themselves but to ensure the health and safety of their teammates and opponents as well.

How You Can Still Watch Sports Games

  • Live Streaming

One of the ways for you to still enjoy watching sports games even through this pandemic is by live streaming. Live streaming is watching an event that is broadcast over the internet in real-time. There are several platforms that you can leverage to watch live streams, and two of these include the official sports sites, as well as social media platforms.

  • Official Sports Sites

There are several sports sites that you can look into if you want to live stream any available sports games. One of the most popular sports sites that allow you to stream for free is ESPN, which is also one of the biggest names when it comes to sports coverage. The company offers WatchESPN, a dedicated network for streaming sports games. Aside from living sports games, you can also access recorded games, as well as commentaries through this channel.

  • Social Media Platforms

If you are not keen on watching sports games through official sports sites, there is also the option for you to leverage various social media platforms. For instance, there is YouTube, where you can subscribe to particular sports channels that provide live streaming services. If a sports match is currently on, you can just click the game thumbnail to watch it live. Otherwise, you can set a reminder for you to receive a notification once the game goes live.

There is also Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms, that recently introduced live streaming services. If you are following a fan page of a certain sports team, then there is a great chance for you to receive a notification once they go to live and stream their game. This is also true for other social media platforms such as Instagram.

  • Recorded Replays

Another way for you to enjoy a sports game when you are stuck at home because of the pandemic is by watching replays of games that have been recorded before the outbreak. Consider this as your chance to catch up on the games that you have missed before. Similar to live to stream, you will be able to find a recorded replay of the games through official sports sites, as well as through various social media platforms. Some athletes also have a replay of their previous games in their fan pages.

  • Use of Virtual Technologies

Aside from streaming live or recorded game matches, you also have the opportunity to have an immersive sports experience through virtual technologies. This can enhance the game for you since you don’t have to be at the venue to have an ultimate experience of the game. For instance, with the use of a VR headset, you will have the chance to sit in the courtside seat to watch a basketball game. This seat is often reserved for celebrities or fans who are willing to pay a hefty price for it. In the end, the use of these immersive technologies proves to be beneficial for both the athletes and the fans.

Watching with Family and Friends

Regardless of whether you intend to stream a live sports game that is available or go for replays of previous games, you can still watch this together with your family and friends who enjoy the games as much as you do. Yes, even if you are apart or not living in the same household. In this case, it will help to look into some video conferencing software reviews for you to have a good idea on the perfect tool that you can use to watch your favorite game together with your friends even if you are not physically together. Just call each other up and watch the game together by hosting it, playing it on your screen, and sharing your screen with the other participants of the conference.

One of the ways for you to still enjoy watching sports during this pandemic is through live streaming services, either through official sports sites or through various social media platforms. Of course, there is also the option for you to watch recorded replays of the game. Rest assured that you can still do this together with your family and friends, even if you are not in the same household, and that is thanks to the advancements in modern technology. The key is in adapting to the new normal brought about by the global pandemic that has plagued the world.

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