Other major sporting competitions return in the wake of European football

The NBA, the Formula 1 or the World Motorcycle Championship and several tennis tournaments have scheduled their return after the forced stop due to the coronavirus crisis
Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix at the Circuit du Principat, 26 May 2019

AFP/ANDRJ ISAKOVIC  -   Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix at the Circuit du Principat, 26 May 2019

Major league football in Europe has made a full return to the competition and has set the course for other disciplines that have already planned a return after the forced cessation of activity due to the COVID-19 health crisis that has hit the whole planet hard. 

The coronavirus pandemic forced a halt; governments from all corners of the world imposed protection, confinement and social distancing measures in order to prevent the spread of the pathogen and this affected sport as well, as it could not be otherwise. 

After the first hard attack of the coronavirus, a certain normality was recovered, with the consequent relaxation of the restrictive measures, and this made possible the planning of the return to the activity in the sports world. Football in Europe quickly set about reviving the competition in response to an anomalous situation that had led to doubts about how to close the season and that threatened clubs and organisations linked to the world of football in a very serious financial way. After agreements between football governing bodies and various governments to implement security protocols for the return to training and for the subsequent holding of matches, activity in major leagues such as Germany (which has already ended the 2019-2020 season), Spain, England and Italy was resumed. 

Following the trail of this determination in the world of football, other sports have been added, even in practice, as basketball in Spain, which ended the season of the Endesa League through a new format of direct qualifying in a single site in Valencia, an edition that won the Baskonia of Vitoria in the final against Barcelona. 

Other major international non-football competitions have taken up the baton and planned a return to match or event play. The most outstanding cases are those of the NBA, Formula 1, the Motorcycle World Cup or important tennis tournaments. 

Through the implementation of safety protocols that respect measures imposed by the health authorities to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as keeping the necessary distance between people, the use of protective elements such as face masks and the practice of numerous tests to detect the coronavirus, and with the holding of closed-door sporting trials to avoid contact between people and subsequent contagion (as already implemented in football), other competitions with a significant impact on other sports are returning.

In this line, the motor world is already preparing to raise the curtain. Thus, the Formula 1 circus returns this very weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix, with the aim of completing an atypical season in which there are, for the moment, eight confirmed Grand Prixs out of the 22 that make up the normal calendar. After the Austrian round, other GPs will follow, including Hungary, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium and Italy. 

In order to protect everyone involved, coronavirus detection tests will be carried out before the drivers, mechanics, journalists and other personnel of each team travel. It has been agreed not to suspend any race in case of a positive result, but it has been established that, if there is one, the patient will be confined to the country where he is. If the case becomes complicated, he will be sent home.

As far as motorcycles are concerned, the Motorcycle World Championship will start with a double Grand Prix in Spain. The Jerez circuit will host the first two races of the 2020 championship on July 19th and 26th, followed by the Czech Republic GP on August 9th. 

With a strict protocol developed by the organisation's medical services and which will be tested at the Spanish circuit, MotoGP hopes that the 17 races expected to take place can be carried out normally. All participants will be tested and those who test positive will be confined. 

Basketball in the United States also has its big competition ready. After strong controversies between players who wanted to return and others who didn't (the cases of Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, respectively), it was finally agreed that the NBA will dispute the rest of the season at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida, starting July 30. Not without criticism because of the wave of contagion that the U.S. is experiencing, and especially the state chosen to complete what is lacking in competition.

The previous tests for the coronavirus practiced before the return of the activity have left almost twenty positive among players who will not be able to participate in the games; situation that will allow the teams to make last minute additions to complete templates. 

On the other hand, in the world of tennis, the return to the courts is expected initially with the tournament in Cincinnati (between 22 and 28 August), as a prelude to the US Open, at the end of that same month. Also with controversy by the scandal experienced in the charity tournament organized by Novak Djokovic in which there was a large number of infections, including the same Serbian tennis player, something that was echoed by many media. 

Competitive returns all at the expense of no resurgence of the disease and that everything goes smoothly in the so-called "new normal.