For months most sports around the world have been canceled. While that’s a good idea to help contain the coronavirus, it’s a bad move for people who like to watch and bet on sports. Luckily it looks like sports are thinking about coming back. The first to take the chance will be the PGA. If that works out well then other sports could soon follow.
The Players Championship shut down during the first round of play on March 12. Since then there has been no more golf for anyone to play or bet on. Now it’s going to return. On June 11 the Charles Schabb Challenge will launch. This is a test to see how well professional sports can be run with coronavirus still out there.
They are talking about taking a layered approach to the tournament to help protect players and spectators.
“That layered approach will include plenty of testing.,” said Tyler Dennis, senior vice president and chief of operations for the tour. “Players and caddies will be expected to comply with medical questionnaires, thermal (temperature) readings, and RT-PCR nasal swabs. It will start before they travel to tournaments and continue when they arrive. We’re excited about how the PGA TOUR can play a role here in the world’s return, if you will, to enjoying things we love and doing so in a responsible manner.”
Tournament sites will have masks and sanitizer, and the tour will keep tabs on capacity inside structures. On top of it all, when it comes to players and caddies, there will be pre-travel and upon-arrival testing.
Any testing, as tour officials emphasize, can only occur without taking resources away from local communities.
This seems like a good way to go about reopening sporting events. Yes there will always be some risk involved. But taking into account everything you can do to protect players is important. Having masks and sanitizers handy will help.
Testing people before they arrive will help even more. And limiting the number of spectators will help even more. Other sports will be able to watch what the PGA is doing and learn from their success and their mistakes. Even more importantly bettors will finally be able to get back to betting on sports.