If any actual local sporting events are ever held this summer – whether baseball or softball games or swimming and diving meets – don’t expect the competitions to look normal.
If whatever social-distancing guidelines in place are properly practiced, there will be significant differences.
Most swimming leagues already have been canceled. Still, pools could decide to hold non-league-sanctioned independent meets. But that likely won’t mean there will be two teams at the same pool for the meet with swimmers racing each other and pool decks jammed full of participants, timers, race officials and spectators.
Instead, meet outcomes might be determined by comparing times in the various races and relays. Three Overlee participants from the Arlington pool will swim the 100 butterfly, as will three from McLean’s Chesterbrook. The times will decide the order of the six finishers.
Each competitor likely will swim the race separately, with maybe just one timer and one coach on deck and no spectators.
Baseball and softball umpires might be standing behind the pitchers’ mound to call balls and strikes. Players could be sitting or standing safely apart – a few in the dugout and others scattered elsewhere, maybe in the stands. to maintain the six-feet social distancing safety specs.
Players on the field in those games are already safely distanced, with exceptions. How about the catcher and batter? Will the catcher have to back up a couple of more feet? And will first basemen be allowed to hold runners? In that case, with players nearly touching, separation is not six feet.
One Little League proposal is to have games with five players each for some levels. That will look weird.
How often will baseballs and softballs be changed or wiped and cleaned for safety issues? After every pitch?
Things indeed will be different.