The Best College Recruiter

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                             First Downs and Second Guesses

                          Blog #188 - February 2021

Welcome to life in "the Bubble."  We all watched cautiously as the NBA played the entire 2020 season in the "bubble" at Florida DisneyWorld.  Even though there were several COVID-related stoppages, the entire regular season and NBA Finals were completed.
The administrative eyes of college athletics were watching.  In fall 2020, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference played the first half (20 games) of the season in a "bubble" setting in Omaha.  The eight-team league played all their games at Baxter Arena, home ice to league-member University of Nebraska-Omaha.  Amazingly, there were no COVID-related postponements or cancellations during this portion of the season.  The post- season tournament will be played in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the home ice of the University of North Dakota.

The 2021 NCAA Division I volleyball tournament and Final Four will be played in the "bubble" environment of the CHI Health Center arena and convention center in Omaha in April.  The 2021 volleyball Final Four was originally scheduled for Omaha.  NCAA bigwigs decided that bringing all 48 teams to Omaha to play in a "bubble" was the safest way to conduct the tournament.

    "Bubble" environments will also be utilized for the 2021 NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments.  The men's 48-team tournament will seclude itself in Indianapolis and a few other select playing locations in Indiana.  The women's 48- team tournament will align in San Antonio.

Omaha hotels are ecstatic about the entire volleyball tournament being played in Omaha.  The local industry lost millions of dollars of revenue in 2020 when a first-round NCAA men's basketball regional, U. S. Olympic Swim Trials, men's College World Series, Big 10 post-season baseball tournament, and other national youth sporting events were cancelled because of the pandemic. 

It is imperative that all cities hosting "bubble" environments for sporting events run a clean, efficient operation.  Great care for sanitizing playing locations and hotel accommodations must be maintained.  Players, coaches, team personnel, family members, and other fans who might be allowed to watch the competitions, must feel safe in the environment.

With the Pfizer, Moderna, Johson & Johnson, and other vaccines being available for vaccination in the United States, it's critical that 75% of the populace get vaccinated in order to activate a herd environment and eradicate the pandemic once and for all.  That's our greatest challenge now.

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