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Bubbles Work in Creating a Safe Environment for Sports

Basketball

The bubbles are working. The WNBA, NBA and NHL, three leagues playing inside bubble environments, have collectively gone another week without a positive COVID-19 test. So why the heck isn’t everyone sticking to the bubble plan?

August 13, 2020
MIKE EHRMANN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIKE EHRMANN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The GIST: The bubbles are working. The WNBA, NBA and NHL, three leagues playing inside bubble environments, have collectively gone another week without a positive COVID-19 test. So why the heck isn’t everyone sticking to the bubble plan?

Who’s out of the bubble?: Baseball, still. The MLB has been avoiding the bubble for months, ultimately agreeing on a regionalized travel schedule, which has resulted in more positive cases and postponed games than we care to count.

  • But they might finally be getting the hint. The league is apparently in preliminary talks to hold the postseason (which will start September 29th) in a bubble and are looking at good-weather options like Texas and Southern California. About damn time.
  • In contrast, the MLS is going the opposite route. After conducting the MLS Is Back Tournament (which the Portland Timbers won, BTW) inside a bubble environment in Florida, they’re switching to the MLB’s modus operandi for the regular season, which started yesterday.

So bubble is best?: Yes, but someone needs to remind the NBA. Despite their good results, the league is looking to bend the bubble rules. They’ve laid out their plans to allow guests into the bubble when the postseason starts next week.

  • The policy will allow players and staff to be with their significant others and children after over a month-long separation, but the league has made one thing very clear: they’ll require proof of long-standing relationships before letting any significant others in. Sorry boys, no Tinder hook-ups allowed!
  • Meanwhile, the NHL and WNBA are sticking to the status quo and loving their bubble lives. We highly recommend following the WNBA and NHL Bubble Life accounts on Twitter for behind-the-scenes best-of-the-bubble highlights, and listening to this week’s edition of The GIST of It for more NHL hot goss.