The coronavirus outbreak has sent shockwaves all around the world. It has resulted in mass cancellations of events, postponements, relearning, and some significant infrastructural changes, systems, and sports practice. It has been an extremely challenging year for all the athletes, coaches, referees, managers, and tournament organizers as the pandemic has struck both their lives and career paths.
However, the arrival of vaccines has implanted a sense of encouragement that things will magically change, and soon everything will be a likeness of the old normal in this new world. But considering thousands of athletes across the globe and several organizers, the ground’s situation contradicts the hope floating on the surface. Although the world has said goodbye to 2020, the complications will brim over into 2021, and things might not be the same at least shortly.
Here are the top challenges that the tournament directors are likely to encounter this year and beyond.
1. Size of the event
The size of the event determines the risk. If spectators and support staff are to be present at the event, organizers must ensure attendees’ physical distancing. Thus, this is where the organization will need to come up with ideas and address the problem. The number of participants compared to spectators in sporting events are usually low. Therefore, the participants who are also a known group can be easier to advise, support, and follow up if needed. The tournament organizers will now consider holding events in closed stadiums till the situation is in control.
2. Operating models
The pandemic is going to thrust some organizations to adopt the new operating models based on the local government regulations. Some of the organizations might have already been considering new ways of overcoming the pandemic’s challenges. On the other end, it will force others to adopt whether they’ve been planning to or not. Thus, many will see this as an opportunity to transform and help them for many long years.
3. Venue Facilities
Although things are getting back to normal slowly, the tournament organizers will require liaison with the venue owners to ensure safety measures for the participants and all other people involved. It will become more challenging as a minor mistake can cost a negative PR nightmare. The organizers must be proactive in adopting the local guidelines and be compliant to avoid any legal issues.
4. Demographics (Age & Health)
Participants of sporting events tend to be younger and healthier than spectators. However, the parents, coaches, and support staff may have underlying health conditions. It’s better to discourage the parents from avoiding attending the games, which means lost gate revenue.
5. Financial Distress
One of the significant hindrances will be the financial misery that some organizations will have to face. Considering many events might need to be canceled due to recurrent outbreaks of Coronavirus in the future. One should always believe that the financial impact of an event cancellation close to the event’s time will negatively impact the event organizer, associated organizations, athletes, or spectators.
6. Employment Arrangements
Many sports organizations had to reduce staff numbers temporarily. As we know, organizing an event is not a one-person job, it is thus essential to distribute tasks among the team members at the preparation stage and during the event. Allocating responsibilities by zone is very crucial to avoid last-minute confusion.
For example, someone is accountable for the registration of participants, someone else is handling the equipment, catering or communication with the participants, etc. Every person needs to have clear responsibilities, which they should be responsible for throughout the event’s duration. Thus, the employment arrangement is going to be very crucial for sports tournament organizers.
7. Development of eSports
With many people staying indoors, sports fanatics worldwide have shifted their focus to online gaming during the outbreak. The lockdown has undoubtedly boosted esports user engagement. The increasing demand for online games and rising awareness of esports contribute to the growth of its market. With the development of technology, video content and competitions are increasing at a rapid pace. Now the organizers have to compete with eSports to make their events more attractive to the participants.
8. Digital Workplace
The pandemic forced many workers to work from home. The majority of the organizations have adapted to the new environment, and work-from-anywhere policies are becoming the new normal. However, granting remote workforce access to scalable, secure, virtual systems may require new digital, technological, and cyber services. The sports organizers must plan to adopt and take advantage of remote work where applicable.