Playing in a Pandemic

Whether it be professional, college or high school sports, games and seasons have been canceled or drastically changed due to the coronavirus.


Abby Kim

The year 2020 has been erratic with the spread of Covid-19 hitting the world which has changed many people’s lives into what is now known as the “new normal.”

Large crowds can no longer gather to watch their favorite teams play due to the Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.

The pandemic resulted in professional to high school sports shutting down temporarily when it hit America hard in March of this year.

However, sports started to come back in June. Here is the rundown of the Olympics’ return, professional sports, college sports, and Laguna sports.

Tokyo Olympics

The much anticipated 2020 summer Olympics, held in Tokyo, Japan, has been postponed until 2021.

The decision was pushed back for a long time since the Olympics is an important international event.

However, the decision to postpone was inevitable, considering the severity of the virus.

Even though no one knows how long Covid-19 will be affecting our lives, the return of professional sports around the world has made the idea of the Olympics returning in 2021 a hopeful reality.

A concern is whether or not spectators may be allowed to the Olympics since people worldwide travel to see the Olympics in person.

Spectators are sources of income that make the Olympics a reality; if there are no spectators, the Olympics may not return by the summer of 2021.

Professional Sports


The Ultimate Fighting League, otherwise known as UFC, was the first of the professional sports leagues to return on May 9 with no spectators.

While attempting to make a return in April, the UFC ended up being postponed until May.

However, this was still a very early return in the 2020 sports world, and it was due to the unyielding perseverance of the UFC staff and company.


Next, professional golf made a return on June 11. The most-watched golf event in history was the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, which aired on June 11, proving that golf fans and all sports enthusiasts were excited to see golf come back.


Professional soccer made its comeback on July 8. Some setbacks Major League Soccer, otherwise known as the MLS, had were the travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, which were inconvenient but necessary for people’s health and safety. Overall, many fans are glad that the popular sport was able to make a comeback.


Major League Baseball made its return on July 23. While at first no crowds were allowed, the MLB was creative when it came to a lack of spectators.

They still let people buy seats in stadiums and, to get the fans involved in games, put cardboard cutouts of the fans in seats and added cheering sounds.

If the ball hit one of the cardboard cutouts, that fan would be shipped the ball in the mail, adding to fans’ excitement and motivation to buy seats.

Students have expressed their opinion on the return of professional baseball, especially with the World Series. “Go Dodgers,” freshman Griffin Rick said.


The National Basketball Association returned on July 30 and resumed their highly-anticipated finals. The NBA firmly shut down after one player tested positive for Covid-19, which started the trend for other professional leagues to shut down.

However, its return has lifted many fans’ spirits, and the finals resulted in the L.A. Lakers’ victory.


Professional hockey made its return on October 2, continuing the much-awaited Stanley Cup tournament. Twenty four teams were allowed to return with only 50 staff members per team. The NHL is one of the first major professional leagues to announce its return plans and extensive procedures to ensure the virus would not further spread among the league.


Professional tennis made its return on Aug. 14, starting with the Citi Open held in Washington D.C., followed by the famous U.S. Open held on Aug. 21.

The prize money for the U.S. Open has been reduced by $850,000 since no fans could attend the matches and fund the award.

Also, no ball boys or girls are allowed to attend, which is unfortunate since it is an opportunity for young tennis players to see matches up close.


The National Football League, NFL, made its comeback on Sept. 10, exciting fans all over America. Since football is a high contact sport, it was very uncertain whether it would make a return, however with many precautions put in place such as wearing masks and daily Covid-19 testings, football was able to make its comeback.

Students are excited about the NFL’s comeback. “I love it! I missed watching sports, mostly football, so it’s nice to have that back,” freshman Spencer Hlavaty said.


College sports are nationally recognized and watched by people across the country.

The NCAA, or the National College Athletic Association, announced that men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s water polo would return in the fall and spring.

However, precautions include only filling brackets to 75 percent of their normal capacities.

Laguna Sports

Since many students are part of a sports program or maybe a fan of sports, it is important to get an insight into how they have been affected by the stopping of sports in their community.

Especially since California is one of the most populated states in America, student-athletes have felt the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to play sports.

“I started playing volleyball last year at Laguna, but when Corona happened, I felt really sad and disappointed that we couldn’t play anymore,” sophomore Victoria Goldman said.

For seniors, not being able to play during their last year of high school is incredibly disappointing. “I really want to play sports right now,” the senior Max Grotstein said.

Overall, most students expressed sadness. However, there is the hope of sports returning. “With so much uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are still on a “wait and see” approach regarding competitive high school sports. It has had a major effect on everything related to sports. Seasons have moved, schedules have been adjusted, and we still don’t have any specific answers on whether or not we’ll be able to compete,” said Director of Athletics Jason Donnelly about the possible sports schedule for Laguna.

“We knew we would have the opportunity to safely return to in-person learning as soon as it was possible. That was the focus. Now that we have returned to school, we will look at bringing the teams we have in the currently scheduled “fall” season, Cross Country, Boys Volleyball and Girls Volleyball back to some on campus training. We are working to see what that will look like and we are following all of the county and state guidelines put in place for sports,” Donnelly added.

All hands are on deck in the effort to safely bring back sports. “With so much chaos going on, it is such a blessing that we have such a hardworking staff that has allowed us to come back in person already and prepare sports to return safely,” Donnely added.

“We are all waiting for updated information. Hopefully, we can get some on-campus information from the state, as well as the CIF in the coming months.”

For sports, where social distancing is doable, there’s a bright future; all other sports are somewhat uncertain. “[I am] Excited for basketball,” junior Sebastian Fisher said.

Bringing sports back will give students something to keep them active and preoccupied while everything else is currently closed. “It better happen. Seriously! I need it to happen,”  sophomore Katherine Ball said.

Covid-19 changed the world; for better or worse, the world is adapting to those changes.

Sports are an incredibly important part of the average persons’ daily life and are needed more than ever to keep people preoccupied and busy while cooped up.

Thankfully, due to people’s hard work in the professional sports community and to the Laguna staff, sports are slowly starting to come back so that the world may feel normal again.