A lot has happened in the world of sports in 2020. From the coronavirus pandemic to social unrest, it has been a year like no other. Here’s a look at some of the biggest stories in sports from 2020.
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It was a year like no other in sports.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement or cancellation of seasons for many professional and amateur sports leagues around the world.
In the United States, the major leagues that were able to continue playing did so without fans in attendance.
The pandemic also forced the delay of the Summer Olympics, which were originally scheduled to take place in Tokyo in July and August. They have now been postponed until 2021.
Here is a look at some of the biggest stories from 2020 in sports:
Major League Baseball
The 2020 Major League Baseball season was unlike any other. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a stop to the season in March, fans were left wondering if and when the season would resume. In July, the season finally restarted, but with some major changes. Teams played in empty stadiums, there was a designated hitter in every game, and players had the option to wear masks. Despite the challenges, the 2020 MLB season was a success.
COVID-19 and the 2020 Season
The 2020 Major League Baseball season was impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The season was originally scheduled to begin on March 26, but was postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic. On June 23, MLB and the MLBPA reached an agreement to start the season on July 23. The agreement included several health and safety protocols, such as the use of face coverings, regular COVID-19 testing, and expanded rosters.
The shortened 60-game season saw several teams struggling with coronavirus outbreaks, including the Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies. The Oakland Athletics were also forced to play several “home” games in San Francisco due to local restrictions in Oakland.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the 2020 MLB season was a success. The Los Angeles Dodgers won their first World Series title since 1988, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games.
The 60-game Season
A Major League Baseball (MLB) season is a 162-game regular season that typically runs from late March or early April to late September or early October. Each team plays 162 games over a 186-day schedule. The regular season is designed so each team plays 19 games against each division opponent, four or five games against non-divisional opponents within its own league, and 20 or 21 interleague games.
The 2020 Major League Baseball season was shortened to 60 games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The season began on July 23 and ended on September 27.
The World Series began on October 20 and ended on October 28, with the Los Angeles Dodgers defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games to win their first championship since 1988.
The Major League Baseball postseason is a playoff tournament held after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. The winners of the American League and National League (AL and NL) each advance to their respective league’s championship series.
The AL champion then plays the NL champion in the best-of-seven World Series to determine the MLB world champions. Additionally, one team each from American League and National League play in the Wild Card Game, a single-elimination game to determine which team will face its respective league’s divisional round winner in the ALDS or NLDS.
The 2020 Major League Baseball postseason was originally scheduled to begin on October 1 and end on October 27, with the World Series held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, the regular season was shortened to 60 games per team, and the postseason was expanded from 10 teams to 16 teams.
The expanded postseason began on September 29 and ended on November 1, with all games played at neutral sites. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in six games to win their first World Series title since 1988.
National Basketball Association
The 2020 NBA Draft was held on November 18, 2020. The first two picks were LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards. Zion Williamson was the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, but he missed most of his rookie season due to injury.
The 2019-2020 Season
The 2019-2020 NBA season was one of the most unique seasons in the history of the league. It was a season that was defined by the global pandemic, social unrest, and a playoff format that had never been seen before.
The regular season was originally supposed to start on October 22nd, but it was pushed back to December due to the pandemic. The NBA then decided to have a 72-game regular season instead of the usual 82 games.
The playoffs were also expanded from 16 teams to 20 teams. This meant that there were 8 play-in games before the actual playoffs started.
The NBA Finals were originally scheduled to start on June 4th, but they were eventually pushed back to October due to the pandemic. The Finals were also different from previous years because they were played in a bubble.
The 2020 NBA Finals were won by the Los Angeles Lakers, who defeating the Miami Heat in 6 games. LeBron James was named the Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career.
The 2020 Playoffs
The 2020 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association’s 2019-20 season. The playoffs were originally scheduled to begin on April 18, 2020 and end on June 13, 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic in North America caused the season to be suspended on March 11 after several players tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. On March 15, it was announced that the season would be postponed indefinitely. On June 4, after reviewing multiple options with health and safety as the top priority, it was announced that the playoffs would resume on July 30 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
The 2020 playoffs featured 16 teams in a traditional bracket. The format were changed from previous years: in the First Round and Conference Semifinals, teams were seeded by their overall record regardless of whether they are a division winner; teams with better records would face lower seeded teams. The four Division winners in each conference with the next best record regardless of divisional alignment would round out the playoff field as the 5th–8th seeds. The 5th seed would play the 8th seed in one First Round matchup while also playing one of the four Division winners in a Conference Semifinal matchup; this was repeated for seeds 6–7 and 3–4 to determine all other Conference Semifinal matchups. Home court advantage remained tied to record better record regardless of seeding except when two teams with identical records faced each other; those games were played without home court advantage.(source: Wikipedia)
The 2020 NBA Finals
In a highly-anticipated matchup, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games to win their record-tying seventeenth NBA championship. The Finals MVP was awarded to Lakers’ star LeBron James, who became the first player in NBA history to win the award with three different teams. The series was largely overshadowed by the social justice protests that were taking place across the United States at the time.
National Football League
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league. It was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).
The 2019 Season
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, the highest professional level of American football in the world, the wealthiest professional sport league by revenue, and the sport league with the most valuable teams. The regular season is a 17-week schedule during which each team plays 16 games and has one bye week.
Beginning in 2020, the NFL began using a new schedule formula under which each team plays 20 games: 17 regular season games and three preseason games. The preseason games are not counted in the standings. Under this new format, all teams will play one game against each of the other teams in their own divisions, two games against teams from another division within their conference (the first place-scorer from each division plays the first place-scorer from another division within their conference, etc.), and one game against a team from the other conference.
The 2020 Season
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, the highest professional level of American football in the world, the wealthiest professional sport league by revenue, and the sport league with the most valuable teams.
The 2020 NFL season was the 101st season of the National Football League (NFL). The season began on September 10, 2020 with the NFL Kickoff Game, in which the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans 34–20. This marked the first time since 1966 that a defending Super Bowl champion did not open up their title defense at home. Week 1 also featured an expanded 16-game Thursday Night Football schedule produced by Amazon through its Prime Video service, marking Amazon’s first foray into live sports broadcasting.
Super Bowl LV, the league’s championship game for the 2020 season, was played on February 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. This was originally slated to be hosting duties shared between Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California and Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium; however due to construction delays with Hollywood Park (which will now open in 2022 as host of Super Bowl LVI), Tampa was awarded exclusive hosting duties for Super Bowl LV. It was also announced that Los Angeles would instead host Super Bowl LVI.
It was a year like no other in sports.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down leagues and cancelled tournaments around the world. Fans were forced to watch from home as their favorite athletes sat on the sidelines.
But even in the darkest of times, there were moments of light. Leagues found ways to finish their seasons safely. Athletes used their platforms to speak out on social justice issues. And fans found new ways to connect with the sports they love.
As we look ahead to 2021, let’s remember all that happened in 2020 and celebrate the moments that brought us together.