NASCAR shows the sports world that it can be done

Nathan Solomon
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – MAY 17: Matt Kenseth, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, walks on to pit road prior to the NASCAR Cup Series The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 17, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. NASCAR resumes the season after the nationwide lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

On Sunday, NASCAR returned to the track and has run three races over the past five days across their top two series. There was a lot of speculation about how successful the races would be in terms of health, and so far, everything has been executed flawlessly. They are proving that sports can still safely operate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of the NASCAR health plan included mandatory mask-wearing and health checks for anyone entering the track. Drivers would remain isolated in their motorhomes until race time with little to no contact with their team. Each team would have at least four fewer crew-members at the track than usual.

Some of the other major sports in the United States can pick up on some of the health principles used by NASCAR, like health checks and frequent mask-wearing. Teams could also try to limit the number of staff at games.

The issue in the health aspect of other sports is proximity to other athletes, whether they are on the same team or not. Because of that, frequent testing is an absolute necessity for sports like basketball, baseball, hockey, or football.

But I think that it can be done. Social Distance as much as possible, and try to wear masks when possible in close proximity to others when not in the game. State governors are beginning to encourage professional sports teams to return, and that’s a good sign in terms of general public health.

Hopefully, sports will see what NASCAR did to make a safe return and will use some similar health guidelines in their returns.