AP PHOTOS: The images of a sports year like none other

The games have changed.

The rules are largely the same. Everything else is different. Many stadiums and arenas are empty, or at least largely empty.

Sports at all levels, in basically every corner of the world, began stopping on March 11, 2020. Virtually every professional sports league halted play for several months. Most are back, though the feel, the sounds, and the look is still very different.

Throughout the past year, as the games and events have happened, photographers from The Associated Press were there, capturing the images that few could have imagined in the days before the pandemic began dominating the global conversation. Cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands, instead of actual people there to cheer. Competitors wearing masks. At events where ticketholders were allowed, people being spaced out to allow for social distancing.

The world has changed.

The sports world has changed with it.

These are the images of the last year in sports.

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