By Patrick Culcasi || Layout Assistant
Sports have all but disappeared in the wake of the global pandemic we currently face. Coronavirus has caused sports leagues across the country to close down and suspend play since March, and re-runs of classic games on ESPN playing every day are the closest thing to sports right now. People miss sports, and as all the top sports leagues across the world are scrambling to figure out what their plans are for their upcoming or halted seasons, there may be hope coming from one of the youngest professional leagues in America.
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) was scheduled to have its second-ever season in 2020 after it was founded last summer by professional lacrosse legend Paul Rabil and his brother. Yesterday morning, Rabil talked to NBC and announced that the league he founded and plays in will, in fact, have a champion this year. The Washington Post reports that the season was slated to start at the end of this month, but in the new solution, the season will take place in the form of a three-week fan-less tournament in late July.
Being a smaller league, with only 7 teams in total, there are fewer overall people in the league compared to the likes of a thirty-plus team league like the MLB or the NBA. According to The Washington Post, Rabil is on record in saying that the entire three-week event will require fewer than 300 people. To maintain safety for all participants and staff necessary for this tournament, Rabil stated that the event will be fully quarantined and individuals will be tested before the tournament, upon arrival, and throughout.
As reported by The Washington Post, the Premier Lacrosse League has based their plan off the World Health Organization, the White House, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying that testing will be more widely available by the end of July. Rabil has gone on record to say that he does not think sports teams should have the ability to use virus tests as a preventative measure for their players when there are people across the world who need them to address symptoms.
If everything goes to plan, Premier Lacrosse League could be the first professional league in America to return. All of the games will be played on NBC, due to the league’s partnership with the network, and they would be set to crown a league champion on the 9th of August. Rabil states, “We’re hoping that other pro leagues can use this model as an indicator to do something where we can bring sports back that’s medically safe.”As most every other league struggles to mount their comeback, a strong example is being set by the Premier Lacrosse League, despite only being a 1-year old organization.
As of now, there is proof that sports can come back in a country that has suffered from coronavirus as there are currently live baseball games in Korea being streamed on ESPN. Therefore, there is hope for sports to make a return in the US as well.
Sophomore Patrick Culcasi is a Layout Assistant. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.