The Return to Play Roadmap – a message from Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett

As Covid-19 restrictions and concerns about our health and safety continue, I wanted to share some important developments we have been planning in consultation with people in the game to begin preparing for a safe and timely return to basketball.  

With the timing of a full restart for sport still unknown, we understand clubs, and everyone involved in the game, need some indication of how we can plan for next season and be game-ready.  

Despite the current uncertainty, we want to provide the best advice possible on how the basketball community can prepare players, clubs and volunteers while mitigating against health risks and potential injury 

Basketball England is devising a ‘Return to Play Roadmap' for the sport which will align to the Government’s developing Covid-19 social distancing guidance.   

This will be done in conjunction with people in the game, other national governing bodies and Sport England.  

It will include:  

  • Guidance for all  including those with underlying health issues – on how to stay safe and healthy between now and start of the 2020/21 season  
  • Guidance to prepare players physically for the 2020/21 season 
  • Club support, including financial and funding advice  
  • Estimated timeframes for a phased restart of the game 
  • Guidance onthe safe operation of venues for practice and games  
  • Planning for the 2020/21 NBL and local league seasonwith a flexible approach to how the season may operate 

The strategy is being overseen by the Basketball England Board with specialist advice from Sport England, the NHS and our Chief Medical Officer Dane Vishnubala, to ensure the health and safety of our members and the basketball community remains at the forefront of our focus.   

We will continue to engage the membership on the way forward and share more information on the plans to return to basketball over the next few weeks and months. 

In the near future, we’ll be launching a detailed eight-week fitness programme to prepare players of all ages within our programmes, clubs and leagues for the eventual return of the sport. In addition, we’ll also have information about accepting team entries for the 2020/21 NBL season.  

In the meantime, we have issued the following guidance, which covers the updated social distancing rules that came into force on 13 May.  

We have spent the initial weeks of lockdown supporting our clubs and members and engaging with the basketball community online, working hard to make sure the organisation is on a sound footing to continue supporting the game 

Recent developments have seen players return to using outdoor courts under clear guidelines. Now we are preparing for the next phase, and as the Government guidance develops, we can make initial plans to gear up for the full restart of the game