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EMPTY COURTS: The Current State of Sports

Our situation today doesn’t allow for much sports. There’s no basketball or volleyball—no football and the like. Nonetheless, enthusiasts find ways to keep themselves tied to the hobby, and sports still somehow finds its way into their lives.


Sports continues to thrive in one way or another.

The boom of online chess

Though it has slightly died down as of late, the boom of online chess is definitely a landmark of the sport. As not much physical activity is allowed, chess has been (re)popularized, especially because content creators that aren’t really elite at the game have started to broadcast the game to their viewers. Albeit having a bit of a controversy amid the community, online chess saw a spurt in its playerbase.

A highlight of this is’s PogChamps, where video game streamers battled it out over a chessboard, far from their actual action-packed expertise.

Basketball and the NBA Bubble

I was slightly off when I said “no basketball” in the intro; there actually is, though not in the local scene. The National Basketball Association continues its games in a “bubble”, where, after an allotted time for quarantine, gathered all the players from 22 out of the total 30 teams to finish the cut-short season, vie for playoff spots in the play-ins, and compete for the NBA title in the playoffs.

As of the time of writing, the NBA Finals is currently underway, where the favorite Los Angeles Lakers and the surprising Miami Heat battle it out for the championship.

The WNBA also has its own bubble, and the WNBA Finals is also ongoing.

Other physical sports

The big leagues of different sports, mostly those of the US, also have their own versions to keep broadcasting games amid the quarantine. To name a few, the National Football League (which is a league for American football and not “soccer”), La Liga (which is a league for “soccer”), the National Hockey League, and the Major League Baseball are still holding games.


There’s very little activity locally, but we always have our ways.

The sports scene in the Philippines

Our very own basketball league PBA is on its early stages of the bubble. Of course, there are still preparations to be made to keep the players and staff safe, but this is a sign that Philippine basketball will start to see some action soon.

Otherwise, there’s very little buzz around the other sports.

Sports in our daily lives

We conclude this section with what possibly might be what matters most—what is the state of sports in our daily lives?

While mostly regarded as a hobby, sports actually provides for a great form of physical exercise, as well as recreation for our mental health. Unfortunately, there’s very little chance we can actually play the sports we used to play currently at our homes. Say, basketball doesn’t only require you to have your personal hoop, you also need enough space to hold it in our homes; it’s a sport that can’t really be played with distancing, so if you want to play with someone, you also need a family member to compete with.

Notwithstanding, we have to make do with what we have, and there are still ways to enjoy sports in the comfort of our own homes. Esports has been a rising star over the last few years, and, while still a bit frowned upon by others and doesn’t really provide much “physical exercise”, it’s still a good sport to be involved with today (and, yes, online chess is technically an Esport). We can still watch the games of sports we love, whether by going through the archives of past events or tuning into the currently ongoing games, hopefully still giving us satisfaction and enjoyment despite the circumstances. Lastly, the exercise side of sports can be substituted in by home workouts; these need not be hard or on a long session.


Times are tough, and sports isn’t an exception. Nonetheless, we have our hopes up that everything will be normal soon. Till then, sports continues to find ways to keep us entertained, if a bit different.

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