Dear Members & Families,
It’s hard to believe almost seven months has elapsed since basketball was last played in our Association.
With the gradual easing of restrictions, I’m sure you’re all beginning to wonder When Can We Play Basketball Again?
So we wanted to take the opportunity to provide some information to you, to help shape your thinking, although none of us has any definitive outlook or certain dates at this stage.
Benchmarking against Regional Victoria
Even though restrictions in regional Victoria were eased several weeks ago, Basketball is still not back being played at competition level.
BV has consistently pushed for a return to play when conditions meet the “Orange 50” criteria of their return to play plan (more detail available here: RETURN TO SPORT GUIDELINES) and those conditions are still unable to be met in regional areas, let alone in metro Melbourne. We will continue to look to regional areas to see how things progress, what steps are taken and when, which should provide a roadmap of sorts around what we can expect in the city.
Considering we are unlikely to get any further indication about return to play timing until at least October 19 at the earliest, and understanding it takes both the Association and Clubs around 5-6 weeks to set up for a season, it is highly unlikely that any formal Domestic Season will commence in 2020. Ultimately we are hoping to resume domestic competition in 2021 and will work closely with all Clubs to determine the nature and length of the Summer Season.
The way that restrictions are being eased in regional areas and elsewhere across the country suggests that children’s indoor sport is likely to be able to recommence prior to adult indoor sport. Accordingly, while we have no certainty on timing, we can assume no resumption of our Senior Domestic competition until 2021.
Training / Casual competition
It is possible that we may be able to squeeze some much-needed conditioning training and skills sessions in the final weeks leading up to Christmas on a “pay to play” basis. We are also investigating other ways to re-engage our players across all age groups on a casual basis if we are able to access courts and stage any kind of events in 2020.
While the YMCA, the operator of the council-controlled BSC, has indicated we will be able to access courts once the State Government permits junior indoor sport to return, our school venues are less able to commit at this stage. We remain in close conversation with all our 26 venues ahead of the resumption of play.
Junior Rep Tryouts
BV remains hopeful of launching a VJBL season early in 2021. This might mean we have a very limited timeframe in which to conduct Hawthorn Junior Magic tryouts. They might therefore be rolled out differently this year compared to previous years. We will communicate with our Magic community and prospective players in coming weeks with more details about some proposed policies and selection criteria for 2021.
Basketball Hawthorn staff remain working heavily reduced hours under the Government JobKeeper scheme while no sport is able to be played. Therefore, it may take longer for the administration team to respond to inquiries.
Finally, from all of us at Basketball Hawthorn and Hawthorn Junior Magic, thank you for your patience over the past several months and in the months ahead.
General Manager, Basketball Hawthorn