Socially-distanced buses and elbow bumps: German football’s new world

first_imgAnd the weighty text underlines that “all of the measures are conditional on the fact that they do not divert indispensable resources from the fight against COVID-19 for the rest of the population”.Testing and quarantine The central pillar of the DFL’s plan is the mass testing of players, coaches and backroom staff. They are tested at least twice a week and once on the eve of matches. Any that test positive for the virus are separated from the rest of the team.The decision to quarantine teams rests with the authorities in each of Germany’s federal states, which explains why the entire team of second-division Dynamo Dresden was placed in quarantine after two players were found to have coronavirus but Borussia Moenchengladbach, in a different state, continued to train after cases were found among their squad. Topics : Players arriving in several sparsely-populated team buses, substitutes wearing masks and goal celebrations limited to elbow bumps — when German football returns to the pitch this weekend, it will have to follow a draconian set of guidelines.The German Football League (DFL) presented political leaders with a 51-page document of guidelines to earn the right for the Bundesliga to become the first of Europe’s big five leagues to resume action.The matches will be surrounded by extraordinary measures to protect players and officials from infection by coronavirus.center_img Empty stadiums Only around 300 people will be allowed into the stadium on matchdays. They are divided into three zones to avoid any contact between each group. Only players, match officials, first aid personnel and a small group of photographers are allowed on the pitch.In the otherwise empty stands there will be just a handful of reporters and TV camera operators. Outside the stadium itself is the third category of personnel including security guards. It is the police’s job to prevent supporters gathering outside the stadiums.Team arrivalsThe teams will arrive in several coaches to ensure each occupant is sitting 1.5 meters apart. Everyone in the vehicles must wear masks.The social distancing rules must also be respected in the changing rooms. When the players come onto the pitch, handshakes are banned, there will be no team photos or handshakes and no team pennants will be exchanged.On the pitch Players and the match officials do not need to wear masks, but everyone else on the pitchside does, including substitutes on the bench. The match balls will be disinfected regularly during the action.Players have been told that physical contact should only be made as a result of play during the match and embracing or high-fives to celebrate goals is to be strictly avoided. “Contact with elbows or feet is preferred,” the document states.The DFL urges players to show “exemplary behavior”.Media coverage Eight pages of the health document detail the measures that the TV teams must take to avoid contact, including erecting plastic screens between interviewer and interviewee.Just 10 journalists will be admitted to each match. There will be no press conferences and the mixed zone where reporters can normally ask players questions, will be closed.Holed up in hotels Wherever possible, visiting teams must book an entire hotel or, at the very least, an entire floor. The hotel has to be disinfected before the players arrive. Players are banned from the hotel’s weights room and must respect the required distance from their teammates even at mealtimes.Private lives At home, players must live in near-quarantine conditions, without seeing their neighbors or friends. The same rules apply to all of a player’s family members. The players are not even permitted to do the family’s shopping.last_img read more

Former champion Smith is qualifying feature winner

first_imgNo stranger to victory lane at Boone Speedway, Doug Smith won the Wednesday qualifying feature for Northern SportMods. (Photo by Tom Macht,, Iowa (Sept. 5) – The 2016 Northern SportMod champion begins his drive for a bookend IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s trophy from the outside of the front row Saturday night.Doug Smith reeled in longtime leader Chad Briese on the 18th of 25 laps and edged away from the rest of the field for the Wednesday qualifying feature victory.Briese held on for second. Lining up behind the front pair in the big show will be third through eighth place finishers Alec Fett, 15th starting Daniel Fellows, 25th starting Anthony Kobus, J.J. Baumli, Ethan Braaksma and Brandon Dale. Tony Olson was disqualified from a transfer spot for illegal valve springs.Also the runner-up in 2013, Smith will make his career seventh Saturday night start. The other seven Wednesday qualifiers all are in the big dance for the first time.Qualifying feature results – 1. Doug Smith, Lake City; 2. Chad Briese, Albion, Neb.; 3. Alec fett, Thompson; 4. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk; 5. Anthony Kobus, David City, Neb.; 6. J.J. Baumli, Lathrop, Mo.; 7. Ethan Braaksma, Newton; 8. Brandon Dale, Arbela, Mo.; 9. Kyle Olson, Cedar Rapids; 10. Rodger Peck, Minneapolis, Kan.; 11. Ron Hults, Centennial, Colo.; 12. Tyler Inman, Altoona; 13. Timothy Warner, Malone; 14. Cody Schroeder, Manitowoc, Wis.; 15. Kent Haugland, Wesley; 16. Robert Draper, Valparaiso, Neb.; 17. Austin Schrage, Cresco; 18. Chris Wright, Chillicothe, Mo.; 19. Austin Howes, Memphis, Mo.; 20. Steve Clancy, Odessa, Mo.; 21. Brandon Tharp, Vinton; 22. Trent Brink, Bussey; 23. Jake Hagemann, Fort Ripley, Minn.; 24. Shawn Albers, Wellsburg; 25. Andy Voigt, Beaver Dam, Wis.; 26. Cody Brill, Harrisonville, Mo.last_img read more

U.S. survives blackout

first_imgNEW YORK – So you may have heard: Paris Hilton was ticketed the other day for driving with a suspended license. Not huge news, even by celebrity-gossip standards. Here at The Associated Press, we put out an initial item of some 300 words. But it actually meant more to us than that. It meant the end of our experimental blackout on news about Paris Hilton. It was only meant to be a weeklong ban – not the boldest of journalistic initiatives, and one, we realized, that might seem hypocritical once it ended. And it wasn’t based on a view of what the public should be focusing on – the war in Iraq, for example, or the upcoming election of the next leader of the free world, as opposed to the doings of a party-going celebrity heiress/reality TV star most famous for a grainy sex video. Then Hilton was arrested Tuesday for driving with a suspended license – an offense that could conceivably lead to jail time because she may have violated conditions of a previous sentence. By that time, our blackout was over anyway, so reporting the development was an easy call. (On the flip side, we never got to see what repercussions there would have been if we hadn’t.) Also by then, an internal AP memo about the ban had found its way to the outside world. The New York Observer quoted it Wednesday, and the gossip site linked to it. Howard Stern was heard mentioning the ban on his radio show, and calls came in from various news outlets asking us about it. On Editor and Publisher magazine’s Web site, a reader wrote: “This is INCREDIBLE, finally a news organization that can see through this evil woman.” And another: “You guys are my heroes!” We felt a little sheepish that the ban was over, and braced ourselves for the comments that would come when people realized it wasn’t permanent. We also learned that Lloyd Grove, former columnist for the New York Daily News, had attempted a much longer Paris Hilton blackout. He began it a year into his “Lowdown” column and stuck to it, he says, for two years until the column was discontinued last October – except for a blind item (no names) about Hilton crashing a pre-Oscar party. So was Grove attempting to raise the level of discourse in our society by focusing on truly newsworthy subjects? Well, not really. “The blackout was a really heartfelt attempt on my part,” he says, “to get publicity for myself.” A trait that Hilton, it must be said, has turned into an art. Grove thinks the so-called “celebutante” achieved her unique brand of fame because she boasts an irresistible set of traits: wealth, a big name, beauty with a “down-market” appeal, and a tendency to seem … oversexed. “This is what mainstream society celebrates,” he says. “She is, in the worst sense, the best expression of the maxim that no bad deed goes unrewarded in our pop culture.” One measure of Hilton’s fame: She was No. 5 last year on the Yahoo Buzz Index, a list of overall top searches on the Web site (her ever-so-brief buddy Spears is a perennial No. 1). In every issue Another is that US Weekly has at least a mention or a photo in just about every issue. “People now come to expect to see pictures of her,” says Caroline Schaefer, deputy editor of the celebrity magazine. “They’re intrigued by her unshakable self-esteem. People are fascinated by that.” Jeff Jarvis, who teaches journalism at the City University of New York, decries the “one-size-fits-all disease” afflicting media outlets, who feel that “everybody’s covering it, so we must, too.” Even The New York Times, he noted, had substantial coverage of a hearing concerning where Anna Nicole Smith – perhaps the one person who rivaled Hilton in terms of fame for fame’s sake – would be buried. “That disease leads to the Paris Hilton virus spreading through the news industry,” says Jarvis, who puts out the BuzzMachine blog. So what have we learned from the ban? “It’s hard to tell what this really changes, since we didn’t have to make any hard decisions,” says Jesse Washington, AP’s entertainment editor. “So we’ll continue to use our news judgment on each item, individually.” Which means that for the immediate future, if not always, we’ll still have Paris.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! No, editors just wanted to see what would happen if we didn’t cover this media phenomenon, this creature of the Internet gossip age, for a full week. After that, we’d take it day by day. Would anyone care? Would anyone notice? And would that tell us something interesting? People noticed It turned out that people noticed plenty – but not in the way that might have been expected. None of the tens of thousands of media outlets that depend on AP called in asking for a Paris Hilton story. No one felt a newsworthy event had been ignored. (To be fair, nothing too out-of-the-ordinary happened in the Hilton universe.) The reaction was to the idea of the ban, not the effects of it. There was some internal hand-wringing. Some felt we were tinkering dangerously with the news. Whom, they asked, would we ban next? Others loved the idea. “I vote we do the same for North Korea,” one AP writer said facetiously. The experiment began Feb. 19. A few days before, the AP had written from Austria about Hilton’s appearance at the Vienna Opera ball, just ahead of her 26th birthday. We didn’t cover her weekend birthday bash in Las Vegas. During “blackout week,” the AP didn’t mention Hilton’s second birthday party at a Beverly Hills restaurant, at which a drunken friend reportedly was ejected by security after insulting Paula Abdul and Courtney Love. And editors asked our Puerto Rico bureau not to write about her visit there to hawk her fragrance. However, her name did slip into copy unintentionally three times, as background: in stories about Britney Spears, Nicole Richie, and even in the lead of a story about Democrats in Las Vegas. last_img read more


first_imgFEATURES: THE SHANDON SPA AND HOTEL hosted a superb open night yesterday evening as locals got a glimpse of the stunning state-of-the-art facility – ahead of it’s official opening tomorrow.Since news emerged that The Shandon Hotel and Spa had been bought by new owners – a flurry of excitement was expressed by those in Dunfanaghy and across the county who had sampled the superb Spa before it closed in 2011. While the hotel continues to undergo renovations ahead of its official opening next Easter, management have pressed ahead with the launch of the Spa.The brand new Spa was only opened a few years before the Shandon closed and is one of the most luxurious facilities in the North-West.Manager of the Spa, Chanelle Da Silva has been extremely busy organising everything ahead of the official launch and has ensured that the Spa is ready to open today.She told Donegal Daily, “We are grateful to all the people that joined us tonight for our opening night. “We look forward to welcoming you again soon. There already has been a huge influx of people that have already pre-booked the Spa ahead of its official opening today.We wish the new management team well on their new venture ahead.   STUNNING SHANDON SPA AND HOTEL HOSTS SUPERB OPEN NIGHT AHEAD OF OFFICAL OPENING was last modified: August 1st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BusinessFeaturesnewslast_img read more