Return To Play: National League and other competition updates, game-day guidance

The Government Covid-19 rules introduced last week have had a significant impact on Basketball England’s Return to Play plans. 

The decision not to make non-elite adult indoor exempt from the new ‘rule of six’ social distancing restrictions has caused confusion and upset for many in the basketball community. 

BE has been working hard to press the Government for an explanation of the rationale behind their decision and to lobby for support and a safe revision of their rules around indoor sport. 

Disappointing decision

Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett said: “We thank our members, clubs, teams and volunteers for the dedicated and thorough way in which they have adopted our Return To Play guidance. 

“Since the Government’s disappointing decision we have been working hard with Sport England, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), partners and the NGBs of other indoor team sports to seek a fair, safe and consistent way forward for everyone in our game.” 

While those discussions are ongoing and with the 2020/21 season only a few weeks away, BE can confirm which national competitions can go ahead under the current Government rules and which have to be suspended.  

There are also important updates below to game-day procedure for the competitions which can go ahead.   

What Basketball England and associated competitions can take place for 2020/21 season under the Government rules? 

Elite senior basketball (defined by Government and detailed in Appendix 5 of the RTP document HERE); also education competitive basketball; junior basketball.

  • NBL Division One  Elite senior 
  • WNBL Division One  Elite senior 
  • Jnr. NBL U18 Premier Men & Women – junior; players who turn 18 during the season are classed as elite senior so can continue to play as adults
  • Jnr. NBL U18 Conference Men & Women – junior (17 and under); non-elite players who turn 18 during the season cannot play under the Government rules once they become adults  
  • All other Jnr. NBL leagues – junior 
  • EABL, WEABL, ABL, BUCS  education based; players who turn 18 during the season can continue to play as adults
  • Junior local leagues – junior 

What Basketball England competitions cannot take place for 2020/21 season under the Government rules? 

Non-elite adult basketball 

  • NBL Division 2 and 3 – suspended with BE review in November 2020 
  • WNBL Division 2 – suspended with BE review in November 2020 
  • Adult local leagues – suspended with BE review in November 2020 

Basketball England is examining potential options for alternative forms of competition for non-elite adults which comply to the ‘rule of six’ in the form of 3x3 basketball and will release further information as soon as possible. 

Game-day adjustments 

Basketball remains at Level 2 of the Basketball England’s Return to Play Guidance. 

This means spectators are barred from venues and there are restrictions to the total number of people permitted on a court for playing and training scenarios. 

In line with this, we have released further guidance for competitive games. The changes include: 

  • Game Day Considerations – outlining what is required for competitive fixtures, including limits on numbers/roles per court - to be read by players, coaches, officials and club staff HERE
  • Game Day Logistics Form – to be sent by the home team to the opposition and the officials 7 days before the fixture to outline what will happen on a game day (RTP appendix 10) HERE 
  • Risk Assessment Template for Level 2 Game Days (RTP appendix 11) HERE 
  • Junior local league guidance HERE 

Stay safe 

Take the following steps to help reduce Covid-19 transmission rates: 

  • Self-Screening before leaving the house - checking for symptoms 
  • Screening, including temperature checks, at the venue 
  • Maintenance of 2m social distancing whenever not playing  
  • Hygiene guidance adhered to 
  • If signs and symptoms are shown, then to self-isolate immediately and tell the club COVID-19 Officer 

If you are self-isolating because someone in your bubble (basketball, school, work etc) has tested positive, then you should NOT get a Covid-19 test unless you have symptoms or you have been asked to by a medical professional or your local council. Self-isolate for 14 days.  

Basketball England is asking that clubs use the ProActive Symptom Checker app, advocated by our insurers Howden’s. 

From £2 per club, the symptom checker allows all players and staff to fill out the screening questions prior to leaving the house. A green light is sent to those able to train. Clubs can monitor the responses to these questions, speeding up the screening process. (Clubs are still required to take temperatures of everyone at the venue).   

Training webinar 

BE will provide a training webinar for members. This will be recorded.   

Friday 9 October, 4-5pm - Join HERE