As we move into the ninth week without basketball, we wanted to again check in and provide an update about our sport – both from a national and statewide perspective, as well as a more specific update about when and how we might recommence playing at Basketball Hawthorn.
The easing of some social distancing restrictions this week has been reason for cautious optimism. But there is much at play behind the scenes that means the resumption of play might not be easy, nor instant.
Topline, both Basketball Australia and Basketball Victoria have commenced an extensive lobbying campaign to bring some of the acute and specific issues relating to our sport to the attention of decision makers at all levels of government. We fully support that approach.
In relation to BH, we are currently undertaking scenario planning to enable a return to play at some stage in the future. There are some assumptions that need to be made to develop and underpin these scenarios. Therefore we think it would be prudent to launch a Member Survey to try to identify the impacts, needs and issues facing our members and our Clubs as we plan our return to training and competitions. Stay tuned for that!
Finally, in relation to recent information received from Basketball Victoria, there are a few key points to highlight.
- BV has indicated that the next review date for domestic basketball competition will be Sunday 31 May.
- When play does resume, requirements for competition might be quite strict, extensive, and costly.
- The key take out is that we should NOT plan too far in advance as the goal posts keep shifting; better to plan and execute short-term solutions that can be expanded as restrictions relax
- There are still many uncertainties about the way back to basketball, but some clear indications that it will be very different to pre-Covid times, eg:
- Extra supervisors required at all venues (Biosafety Officer)
- Hand sanitiser to be provided at all venues
- Sanitized wipes for balls, iPads and benches for every game
- Refs to remain rostered to one court only (block rostering)
- 20-minute time gaps between matches
- Despite eased restrictions suggesting that outdoor training can resume subject to strict conditions, at this stage BH will not be organising any official return to activity or training. More details about the insurance impacts of this can be found here: http://basketballvictoria.com.au/covid-19/
- VJBL: BV is committed to the safe and viable resumption of the VJBL, if possible. Next update is expected on 31 May.
- Big V, NBL1 and CBL: Senior elite leagues will be evaluated once the sport has a confirmed resumption date. The delayed start may mean the need for senior elite leagues to run much later into the year than normal, we are considering all options and formats for senior elite leagues in 2020.
- 2020 National Junior Classic: Due to the uncertainty of interstate travel and the staged lifting of restrictions for a return to indoor sport, Basketball Victoria and the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) have cancelled the 2020 National Junior Classic.
BH will continue to work diligently with BV, City of Boroondara and all 27 of our venue partners to work through the challenges the post-COVID environment will present with regards to facilitating basketball in the Boroondara region once again.
We hope in our next update we will be in a position to relay more specific information relating to timeframes and permitted indoor basketball activities.
Until then, stay safe and well.