This week marks the week that many sporting events will start to return across Europe as soccer will be headlining the way, and others to follow shortly. This launch is leaps ahead of what’s being seen in the US as currently there is still a lot of uncertainty around what sports will take place and when. As it stands the only confirmed major sport with a date behind it is within the NBA, which is set to get started again at the end of April – this means that these other big US sporting events may have a few months to learn the lessons of what is seen in Europe.
Fan and team restrictions – It’s likely that major events will follow the same rules with fan attendance across the world by running ‘ghost’ events for the foreseeable future, this has already been confirmed with the NBA restart, but they have also announced that within this instance all teams will be gathered at Disney World to play out the remainder of this seasons games with no mention of team restrictions – in UK soccer teams have been limited to 150 staff with all support and players included, given roster sizes in the US this may also be something that needs to be looked at.
Substitution rules – This isn’t as relevant in the NBA as it may be in other major events such as the NFL, but is something that has been approached in UK soccer. Given that there may be a requirement for an enhanced schedule to fit as many games in a short amount of time as possible, the risk for injury also increases – this has been tackled by increasing the number of substitutions available to a team throughout a game, and those sports in the US with substitution limits may need to look to do the same.
There are operations in the US that also give it strength however – one such area can be found in sports betting which makes up a large part of these sports, recent changes in the UK have added restrictions here as a recent ban on credit card betting for online platforms had recently been put in place, which has went alongside the change in an initiative called Gamstop which is aimed at reducing problem gamblers from using these sites, in April another change was put in place making Gamstop mandatory for all UK operators or risk losing their gaming license, there are a growing number of sites not on gamstop however and this site compares them, but also shows a challenge the US may not have to overcome.
Fans will no doubt be hoping for more good news in the near future – it’s looking as if maybe there will be some progress in both the NFL and MLB with similar dates for July being expected, but until announcements are made this is still all speculation – many will hope they’re able to avoid the issues some European leagues have faced, where an entire season will have to be scrapped to avoid further issues.