Contact sports face special challenges to restart in the COVID-19 era

The nature of some sports dictates that hard contact isn’t going to ease up, so it will be up to COVID-19 testers to be gatekeepers of sorts. And that might not be enough to keep seasons viable.

Football players ram into each other to begin a play and usually end it with a collision that brings a ball carrier to the ground.

Hockey players pin each other against the boards with body checks and use any physical means necessary to separate an opponent from the puck.

Wrestlers square off inches apart, then almost immediately grab arms, bump heads and exert themselves in face-to-face contact, often breathing the same air for six minutes or more.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have stressed social distancing to combat the deadly virus, which is largely spread through infected droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking. But for contact sports, social distancing isn’t a workable option. Continue reading at startribune.com

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