COVID-19’s Potential Impact on Fall Sports

Keilani Mayo, Staff Writer

During this time of quarantine, the sports world is wondering, “When will sports be back in our lives?” The NBA has postponed its season, colleges across the nation have ended their seasons, and every sport off-season training has been put on pause. As every athlete, coach, and sports fan is all at home, the question brought up is what happens if COVID-19 goes through the summer and into the fall? What does that do to the fall sports? 

Hypothetically, if COVID-19 bleeds into the fall, and social distancing is still in effect, that means only essential coaching staff, officials, and possibly immediate family members would be able to sit and watch. For fall sports such as volleyball, a sport that is heavy on team momentum and driven by fans, how would playing in a gym with no fans affect overall play? 

Junior libero Lauren Friis says that one of the best feelings is the “unreal experience of being able to feed off of the crowd.” 

The cheers and intensity that come from the crowd helps the team feel more motivated and driven to win each point. It feeds into the team’s energy given on each point. 

Redshirt sophomore Patty Kerman best states that having fans helps with “[h]ype.” 

On the other hand, if the death rate of COVID-19 and fear of social gatherings thin out crowds past the end of the pandemic, then “it would change the atmosphere of the entire game,” sophomore setter Syd Dunn explains. 

Reflecting back on the volleyball team’s successes in the fall, Dunn says, “After playing in games with the largest crowds Westmont Volleyball has seen, I think it would totally alter the game for us without any fans.” 

She mentions that the new look of having no fans would be a situation that the team would have to adjust to, because the team would have to rely on their own energy and not the fans’ energy that helps fill up the atmosphere. 

Looking beyond, it would be interesting to see how COVID-19 continues to affect the sports world. So far, it has put a pause on games, team practices, and overall entertainment. Will this pandemic interrupt the sports realm even further than it already has during this spring season?