The Softball Community Faces Its Toughest Opponent Yet: Covid-19
The COVID pandemic has hit the entire globe and has bought many businesses to a standstill. Team sports like softball have been immensely affected by the epidemic. Individual games have still been able to thrive. But when it comes to team sports that cannot meet the social distancing norms, the world seems to have come to a standstill.
A Challenge for the Sportsperson
Continents have gone into a complete lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Softball players not used to staying indoors long find this routine a challenge, depriving them of their training schedules. No one is sure what the long term impact this pandemic could have on the sport. The epidemic has shattered the dream of many players who were to join the University of Alabama softballs team. It also came as a big blow to the softball game organizers who have lost a lot of money because of canceled leagues. It feels like team sports are over, at least for the time being.
The softball athletes are finding it hard to cope with the pandemic. It feels like board games are the only games that one can indulge in during these trying times.
The New Technique of Training
Fields, coaches, and teams have become a thing of the past. Today, softball players continue to practice in their backyard with a built-in pitch mound and a pop-up batting net. It looks like homeschooling even in the game of softball. Private lessons with the coach under strict pandemic rules have become the new norm for the softball players.
To be able to play softball in the usual way again, some athletes continue to practice.
Why Is It An Offseason For Games Like Softball?
Limited gathering to 10 or lower number of people rules out the games like softball. A larger team size needed to play the game goes against the law to practice the game. Players need to abide by the social distancing rules. It does not let one come close than six feet to another person. These restrictions and the new usual way of living go against the game of softball. Because of the pandemic and its conditions, thousands of softball players in college, high school teams, and leagues across the country have been impacted.
All That the Best Athletes of Softball Need to Do Is To Wait
The rising softball players had a bright future ahead until the Covid-19 pandemic struck the entire globe. The softball players have to stay at home like the others. For many, the only option is to put their travel on hold and keep practicing and training for the softball game with no clear timeline of return.
College coaches have lost all communication with the softball athletes that they were waging to recruit. They are still deciding on whether to offer any scholarship to the new softball player. And those on the high school team may have lost their chance of being recruited altogether.
Softball has taken a hard blow in this age of gloves and masks.
Olympic Dreams Are Broken
Many of the softball players were bucking up to play on the biggest stage of their lifetime- the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Unfortunately, some of the players already about to represent their country in softball in the Olympics see all their dreams shattered because of the pandemic. The 2020 Olympics is postponed to the next year giving the athlete a year to train. However, this is another challenge to the softball players. They now need to train without a field, a team, or a coach.
For Many, It Is Goodbye To The Sport?
None of the softball players ever saw this coming. Many have committed to this game for years. COVID 19 has become a big break in their game. For many of the players, the last softball match was the end of their career. They never even knew about it.
What Is The Future Ahead?
The COVID cases are peaking. No one knows the end. It has left many of the softball players in the guessing zone with no clue when they would play a real tournament. Nothing is clear about what holds in the future. Team games like softball cannot be played in limited group size. Nor can the team play it, maintaining social distancing.
It is all about the ‘wait and watches’ now. The game rules could change. The University of Alabama softball games, though majorly hit by the pandemic, expect things to get normal again soon.
COVID tests before the game, temperature check, masks and gloves as a part of the team uniform, and sanitizers use at regular intervals could be the new way of playing softball. As of now, all that we can do is to see what the future holds for the softball players.