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How Has COVID-19 Affected Sports?


By Dulce Sandoval and Jeryah Machado

Tahoma Staff Writers

Sports have always been a great way of exercise and fun for many people, for others, it provided them with great bonds and competition. Once, the COVID-19 pandemic had overtaken most of the world’s attention, m

Interviewing Emmanuel, Photo Credit: Jeryah Machadoany things would change and with that so would sports. Now the question is in what ways has COVID-19 affected sports?

Emmanuel L., a freshman in Summit Tahoma whos been playing soccer his whole life, stated, “In 2020, the seasons got canceled and schools, in general, got closed down, as well as COVID could have made other kids obese.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken a year out of everyone’s plans, with many things canceled or postponed by the pandemic. Sports are among the many things that have been impacted and changed, with Emmanuel saying, “One of our games was postponed as one of our opponent teams had a COVID outbreak.”

One thing that is difficult for the players are the new rules. Celeste W. stated, “So I did a year or two of fencing during the COVID pandemic and that made it very hard because it’s hard to maintain social distance when trying to sword fight the person… We did have to wear masks under our fencing masks and it was very hard to breathe…”.

Jeryah Interviewing Celeste, Photo Credit: Dulce Sandoval

Due to COVID-19, many sports seasons were canceled, but that wasn’t the case for sports such as fencing. Celeste said, “At the beginning of COVID our fencing center was shut down for a while and we just didn’t have any fencing and then we did fencing online which was hard to do in the limitation of your own house, so when we came back because COVID slightly got better we had to wear masks, open windows up, social distance.”

High school students aren’t the only ones that this pandemic has affected, however. The MIUC (Marbella International University Centre) stated, “To illustrate, for the first time in the history of the modern Olympics, and as one of the world’s most-watched sporting broadcasts, this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been moved to next year.”

Another significant effect that COVID-19 has brought to high school students is that their games are being canceled and they are losing their opportunity to show their skills to colleges for scholarships. On CNBC News, Devin Schoenberger, a soccer player at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, Califstated, stated, “That was my moment to have colleges watch me and it’s canceled,” said. “We don’t know what other opportunities we’re going to have and a lot of us aren’t committed yet.”

Another impact that COVID-19 has had on sports teams was the loss of money and revenue. An article named “Potential loss of revenue in the NBA due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as of March 2020,” talked about all of the combined league gate revenues, as their loss due to these cancellations was about a total of 300 million to 400 million U.S dollars. 

Furthermore, in an article named “COVID-19: How the pandemic has made football’s structural problems worse” it states, “For more than a year, the revenues of European clubs have been significantly affected by the absence of fans in stadiums and by smaller TV audiences.” 

For the most part, sports have been affected and changed on many different levels. Not only has it affected people’s ability to play sports, but it also affects the fans that watch games in person. Franky C., a Junior here at Summit Tahoma, said, “I mean I guess for the fans it’s fewer people coming to games, but it has affected a lot of different things.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on all sports, now in 2022, we are beginning to see some changes. Franky also stated that the rules have “changed a lot during the height of COVID we would have to stay six feet apart had changed a lot but now it’s pretty much back to normal for both sports.”

Whiile things are starting to slowly get back to normal for high school students, that’s not the case for the big events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as they still have to limit guest capacity. An article by “Sports Travel,” states, “Select and limited groups of Chinese spectators will be allowed to attend the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, but organizers announced Monday they would no longer sell tickets to the event.”

Tahoma Boys Playing Soccer at Lunch, Photo Credit: Dulce Sandoval

Locally and globally, COVID has affected sports fornearly two years. However, in 2022, changes in rules and a slight return of normality have begun to lessen the effects of COVID. Franky would later state, “I think things are getting better now, so hopefully, we can lose the restrictions.”

For the most part, COVID has postponed and even canceled seasons for others, but the protocols of COVID implemented for sports are there for a reason. Celeste would state, “I think that once COVID passes or we all get vaccinated, I think people will stop having to wear masks and I think once COVID is over sports will go back to normal.” The protocols may seem annoying at times, but their implementation has allowed players to continue playing sports in the long run.

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