The big US sporting events have had announcements made for when they’re expected to return to our screens – with the NHL and MLB just around the corner and the NBA at the end of the month, fans are about to have an overwhelming of games to watch once again, but many will have a big number of changes that may require some adjustments to get used to.
The first big change that may have a bigger impact that many would think is within the lack of fans in attendance – it has been made clear that stadiums will remain empty for the foreseeable future especially as the pandemic continues to grip the US but as we’ve seen in other sporting events around the world the lack of an audience can change the dynamic quite a lot – it may impact the way some teams perform as getting used to a changing environment from what they’re used to. Many of these sporting events will also be played at a much faster schedule in order to get the seasons seen out to a close before September, with many teams playing multiple times per week – this puts increasing stresses on the players and it has been a suggestion that they may be at a 25% increased risk of injury due to this schedule, there may be some changes in ruleset as have been seen in European football as substitution rules had been adjusted to compensate for that.
Testing and player safety also has to be considered – this has been factored in with the NBA as players will be entering the ‘Orlando bubble’ as they all attend the same location and will be unable to leave and reenter without being tested multiple times, in order to ensure that safe play can be met it may be important to introduce some stricter testing procedures as well as other methods that have been found in other sports where players are required to exist the tunnels at different times, there are restrictions on personnel at games, and there are specific sections within the stadiums to limit where some people are able to go – players and essential staff in one area, broadcasting in another area for example.
Many of these changes are also important for punters, with changes in the sports being so big it has had a big impact on how betting is taking place too – despite changes in regulation for online gambling such as a recent ban in credit card gambling and further authority given to initiatives such as Gamstop which has been aimed at reducing participation options for players – fortunately there are a growing number of sites listed where Maximum Casino’s list of sites not on gamstop that provide players with a place to play – but if you’re going to gamble on these sporting events it’s important to keep many of these changes in mind as there could be a big impact on the results and many have shown that there can be big upset results occurring based on these changes.