Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19
League Eyeing 24-Team Playoff Format
Sources confirmed with ESPN that the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association are discussing a 24-team playoff format for the potential restart of the 2019-20 season. The proposed format, which was first reported by Sportsnet, would be broken up by conference.
Under the proposed playoff format, 12 teams from the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference would qualify for this year’s playoffs. The top four seeds in both conferences would receive first-round byes if the proposal were to be passed. The first round of the postseason will reportedly be a five-game play-in series between seeds five through 12. Sportsnet is reporting that discussions about the proposal could begin as early as today.
Players Hoping For More Freedoms Under New Health Proposal
ESPN is saying that some Major League Baseball players are hoping the league makes some adjustments to the recently-proposed new health protocols. The players are apparently most interested in reducing the frequency of player and staff tests in clubhouses.
St. Louis Cardinals’ Infielder Paul DeJong was able to explain what his concerns were. He said, “the daily testing, I’m a fan of, to quickly determine our status every day, but given that, I’d like to see the freedom operating in the clubhouse and on the field.”
DeJong went on to say that no pothole is big enough to derail the return of baseball. He said that he is more concerned about the financial issues that will arise moving forward. He ended things by saying, “There were a lot of rules and infrastructure to get in place and enforce. … We’ll find the right mix. We can pull this off.”
Timberwolves Announce Plan To Open Practice Facility
The Minnesota Timberwolves released a statement that they will be opening the team’s practice facility for workouts starting today. The announcement was made by Minnesota’s PR team yesterday. The practice facility at Mayo Clinic Square will be open to all voluntary player workouts.
The Timberwolves are following all new health guidelines passed down by the NBA, just like every other team that has opened their facilities since the season pause. About 15 NBA teams have re-opened their training facilities for workouts so far.
Teams Start Process Of Re-Opening Facilities
A number of NFL teams have begun to re-open facilities after they were given permission to start doing so by Commissioner Goodell starting on May 15th. Teams are only allowed to open facilities if they adhere to all state and local health protocols.
The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said that eight teams opened up facilities in some capacity coming into today. The Chiefs, Cowboys, Falcons, Steelers, Texans, Colts, and Cardinals all reportedly reopened some facilities on Tuesday. Pelissero said that the Cincinnati Bengals were the only team to open facilities yesterday. At this time, coaches are not allowed to return to facilities according to the new NFL rules.
Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.