Vicente: Sports bubble

A GREAT turnaround of things has changed the landscape of everything including sports and sports leagues.

Recently, the National Basketball Association (NBA) resumed and concluded its season inside the bubble, with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the 2020 NBA Finals and bagged the franchise’ 17th championship, paved by the likes of Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and other greats who came before Lebron James.

So, what is a bubble?

According to the Merriam Webster online, “in response to Covid-19, the bubble is seeing new use in the realm of sports, referring to an isolated set of accommodations and venues in which athletes can reside and compete away from the general public.”

Basically, the concept of the bubble is isolation of everyone from the usual crowd. Meaning, games will be attended by only the teams and people directly involved, accommodations for everyone involved are also confined to designated billeting with strict monitoring so as to avoiding contact with unauthorized people. Everything is provided like food and transportation from and to the playing venue, which should be close to each other (venue and billeting).

Aside from isolation and confinement, constant or regular disinfection of venue, vehicles used and quarters are conducted, to include regular and constant rapid testing, antigen testing or even swab testing if needed.

The Philippine Basketball Association or the PBA has also resumed its season and has adapted the bubble concept with its own version or modification.

The bubble is not a new concept for sports but is not a preferred option especially for a crowd driven event, and not a welcome format for the business side of events like the NBA or the PBA.

Whether we like it or not, the bubble concept is one of the best options for events, especially in sports to protect athletes and spectators.

Even with the hopeful discovery of a Covid -19 vaccine to fight the virus, the bubble is seen to be a format of choice for the next few years until a country or a league is capable of securing and ensuring the safety of its audience, its athletes and all the people involved, which is likely to be realized in the span of more or less five years.

As we all try to go back to our normal lives, let us continue to be alert and conscious of our health and safety to include our loved ones and the people around us.

We should learn from this pandemic that even with the vaccine or cure in the future, the protocols for hygiene should remain to remind us that something like this could happen again. God bless us all and let's all stay safe!


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