Most of all sporting activities have been halted due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Still, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is the first sports league that will be returning to action.
Nascar promised to return very soon, and PGA Tour shows interest.
A few days ago, the racing circuit had come out to say that the season will restart soon. All activities were halted on March 13, and the rumored date for the resumption is May 17 at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. As the first sporting event to return to action, they will be an example to other sports who are aiming to make a comeback very soon.
The PGA tour, scheduled to resume on June 11 is the Charles Schwab challenge will also pay interest. Just like NASCAR, the Tour has been touted as an example of a sport with built-in social distancing.
The way NASCAR will go about this first Tour will set a trail for them to bounce back entirely into the competition. Like the first four events, fans will not be available to watch the race due to the social distancing protocol, and teams will be limited to 16 members which include the driver, owner, spotter and crew chief making a total of 640 essential personnel’s not including the media league officials and the television broadcast crew.
An estimated 500 to 600 volunteers and several officials and media will be needed to hold the first event at Colonial, causing a higher risk for the Tour. The Cheif of Operations stressed that any restart would depend on the availability of tests for the coronavirus, and the officials think the tests are not available at the moment.
“I want to be clear that first and foremost, the situation at the moment with testing is that it’s most critical across the healthcare world and in our communities, and so at this juncture, we are merely evaluating it in the sports world and certainly at the PGA Tour,” said Tyler Dennis, the Tour’s chief of operations. “Our understanding is that as it becomes more widely available, it would be appropriate to be able to use that to help us return.”
Dennis explained that the Tours plan was to test players before arriving at the tournament sites, but NASCAR’s plans do not include testing drivers and staff. Still, team members and officials will be evaluated by temperature and symptom checks.
NASCAR’s vice president of racing operations, John Boho, came out to say that the “coronavirus tests should be targeted for people most in need.” People are dying every day, some players have already caught the virus, even NBA players recently tested positive for the virus. Hence, the association’s decision not to check, so staffs are risky. Social distancing protocol is right, but testing is equally important.
In a FAQ on the NASCAR website, they stated that they would ensure social distancing between crews and even add extra garages if the need arises.
A question was also asked about what will be done of a player caught the virus whiles in the game.
“What if a driver develops symptoms before the race and can’t participate? Will, a backup driver, be allowed, and what are the championship implications of that?”
“We’ve worked with the race teams to update the rulebook provisions for medical waivers to account for potential missed races due to COVID-19 infection.”
The question surrounding the return of the sports is just too many, NASCAR’s executive vice president Steve O’Donnell thinks it is a “huge responsibility” for his sports. We cannot agree less.
What are the players in the other sports discipline saying about the return of Racing?
Arizona Coyotes left winger Lawson Crouse saw the NASCAR’s news as hope for the NHL season to return as well. “…and when you see things starting to come up and rise, that’s important, and that gives everyone positive energy and motivation, I’m not a huge NASCAR fan myself, but yeah, that’s great; that gives a little bit of leeway, and it shows that if they can do it, there are some brains to the organization and staff to put things together that will make this work.”
Hopefully, this venture will pave the way for the other sports to return; little by little, things will settle, and fans can have their source of entertainment back.