Taiwan shows the world the first step to sports recovery

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Taiwan shows the world the first step to sports recovery
A broadcaster (C) operates a camera during the opening match between Uni President Lions against Chinatrust Brothers during the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) at the Taichung International Baseball Stadium on April 12, 2020.

MANILA, Philippines — Last April 11, the Chinese Professional Baseball League, Taiwan’s professional baseball league, opened. 

The stadium had no spectators. It is filled in with cardboard figures and robots – yes, robots – programmed to bang on the drums and to approximate at least some of the noise. A novel if not curious and surprising look at what could perhaps be in the immediate future of sports events post-lockdown.

That doesn’t make the games any less intense. Yesterday, April 21, saw an on-field brawl between the Rakuten Monkeys and the Fubon Guardians. After Fubon pitcher Henry Sosa (who once played for the Houston Astros in Major League Baseball) drilled Rakuten batter Kuo Yen-wen at the bottom of the fourth inning and the score at 1-1, both benches emptied. 

Social distancing is definitely out of the window.

However, no punches were thrown. The game resumed with the Monkeys winning, 3-1, over the Guardians. Over three million people watched the livestream with English commentary.

The fact that the CPBL started their season should serve as a template for the rest of the world. The aggressive stance on Covid-19 by the Taiwanese government in spite of its proximity to mainland China, has been lauded.

With only a hundred deaths and some 400 people infected, Taiwan has been one of the model countries during this worldwide pandemic. 

Many other sports leagues are on a wait-and-see position. The English Premier League was purported to resume this end of April, however, there has been no definite date for the popular football league to finish the final third of the season (that will have implications on the promotion-relegation pyramid as well as Champions League and Europa League berths.


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with
no session for state
no session for code
no session for id_token
no session for user