Editorial: COVID-19 pandemic:A curve ball for athletes

Cheung, Roy T.H.; Ngai, Shirley P.C.; Baur, Heiner (2022). Editorial: COVID-19 pandemic:A curve ball for athletes Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4:1015 Frontiers Research Foundation https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2022.1015938

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More than 30 months since the discovery of the novel respiratory coronavirus in 2019, COVID-19 related public health orders and restrictions remain active in many countries on the globe in late 2022. These measures, such as city lockdown, border closure, travel restrictions, social distancing practice, and mandatory use of facemasks, affect all segments of the population. During the pandemic, we have witnessed the most significant disruption to the worldwide sports calendar since the World War II. From a global perspective, many international sports events, such as The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, SummerWorld University Games, and theWorld Games have been postponed; and more than 150 international sports events involving both professional and recreational sportsmen have been canceled. In this series, we cover original articles examining the effect of COVID-19 on the training routine and performance in five types of athletes, including distance runners (Chan et al.), soccer/football players (Wagemans et al.; Keemss et al.), bodybuilders (Imboden et al.; Iff et al.), volleyball players (Morath et al.), and paralympic athletes (Busch et al.). We are aware that this field of research is highly dynamic with new data available almost on a daily base. Hence, we aim to bemore inclusive in this Research Topic and involve a wider scope of research questions and different methodological approaches, which allow us a better coverage of this emerging and evolving Research Topic. These findings provide important information for athletes, coaches, physical trainers, and healthcare team members to identify potential health issues that may be related to the pandemic, plan specifically how we can minimize the negative influence, as well as design contingency training plan for postponed tournaments. Although COVID-19 attacks our respiratory system and potentially causes a decline in physical condition, we observed adverse findings from the studies in this Research Topic in terms of physical training. Iff et al. and Keemss et al. reported a pandemic related negative impact on the physical performance in body builders and youth soccer players, respectively. In contrast, Chan et al. and Wagemans et al. did not find any substantial differences in terms of physical function or training intensity in professional soccer players and recreational distance runners. Interestingly, it seems that COVID-19 and its related public health restrictions result in a greater influence on people’s mental than physical health. For example, Imboden et al., Busch et al., and Iff et al. reported that athletes exhibited poorer mood during the pandemic and this psychological impact may indeed lead to a change in living habits, such as increase alcoholic and cannabis intake. From a global perspective, this Research Topic also includes an investigation of COVID transmission within volleyball games. Morath et al. conducted contact tracing in a professional volleyball teamin Germany. They found that players who strictly adhere to the recommended hygiene guidelines and regulations during both training and matches are of lower risk contracting the virus, but coaches and players are advised to avoid nonessential interpersonal contacts outside the training hours to prevent the spread of infection. Although the guest editors would love to see more views, downloads, and citations of papers included in this series, we sincerely hope that athletes, coaches, and concerning healthcare professionals do not require the information presented in this Research Topic due to another wave of pandemic and disruption. May COVID-19 will be soon behind us and becomes a historical terminology in near future.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


School of Health Professions
School of Health Professions > Physiotherapy
School of Health Professions > Physiotherapy > Neuromuscular Control


Cheung, Roy T.H.;
Ngai, Shirley P.C. and
Baur, Heiner0000-0002-4780-225X


Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine




Frontiers Research Foundation




Heiner Baur

Date Deposited:

12 Sep 2022 15:23

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2022 15:23

Publisher DOI:


Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Sportsmen Training Lifestyle COVID-19 Lockdown 2020





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