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Everlasting Joy - Socially distanced sports?
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Shooters on the Warren County High School basketball teams might find themselves more open looks this season if social distancing restrictions remain in place.

I’m eager to see how the upcoming sports seasons begin to take shape if players are forced to maintain a 6-foot distance. This is just a hunch, but I’d say Pioneer quarterbacks would have a larger window to hit their intended receivers, although tackling would be perhaps the greatest challenge.

Many of our Warren County High School athletic teams have announced June 1 tryout dates with the stipulation players must keep their distance and groups must be limited to 10 or less. Whoever made these guidelines was clearly not a football fan because if they could have added just one more person, groups of 11 could have made for a complete offense or defense.

Golf is one of the few sports which would seem to be completely immune from COVID-19 restrictions. Using my golf game as a guide, I can say my ball usually always stays at least 6 feet away from the cup.

Golf could be played right now, regardless of even the toughest restrictions. Running events like cross country could be held too. If there are concerns about runners getting too bunched together, start times could be staggered every 15 seconds or so.

But for the rest of the sports, I see trouble -- especially for football. Considering guys tackle and jump on each other in a pile, restrictions would have to be completely erased to play football.

Basketball has made the transition from an inside game to a 3-point shooting game. It’s gotten to the point where teams pass up wide open layups to kick the ball outside and shoot a 3-pointer.

I’ve often complained, sometimes loudly, that today’s basketball game amounts to nothing more than a 3-point shooting contest, so here’s an idea. Just make basketball games a 3-point shooting contest. I’m not sure many folks could tell the difference.

If social distancing guidelines remain intact, soccer could be a game of penalty kicks.

Baseball and softball could exist with the slight modification of not having baserunners. It would be like games I used to play with my friends in the backyard.

If you hit the ball to the tree, it was a single. If you hit it to the swing set, it was a double. If you hit into the garden, it was a home run. Mom would even come outside and yell, “You boys better keep that ball out of my garden!”

In this day where everyone is talking about the “new normal,” sports can change too. We may not be able to have steals and full-court pressure, but we can still shoot a jumper. We may not be able to sack the quarterback, but we can still throw a bomb.

Let’s play ball in some capacity in the name of fun.