Lockdown: What Government's new rules mean for basketball and what happens next

The Government has stepped up restrictions across England to address an increase in Covid-19 infection rates and the new variant of the virus. 

A second lockdown will become law from Wednesday 6 January.  

Among a range of measures, schools and colleges will close and mixing between households will remain barred.  

It means basketball activity in England will be halted with the Government stating all sport is suspended - except at ‘elite’ level. 

In light of increasingly challenging conditions, Basketball England will examine the viability of the 2020/21 season currently under way for NBL Division and WNBL Division One clubs and yet to start for Junior NBL, academies and local leagues. 

Stewart Kellett, Basketball England CEO, said: 

“We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation with a combination of national lockdown and elite exemption, alongside serious concerns for the welfare of those active in the game.  

“We are aware of the differing opinions emerging relating to the continuation elite basketball, despite the Government exemption remaining in place.   

“We will be taking a short period of time to assess whether if, in light of the current circumstances, and with the increased risk from the new variant of Covid-19 to our members’ health and safety, it is right for us to press on with competition for our elite game and what the ramifications are for the sport as a whole. 

“We will also explore potential opportunities for all levels to play beyond the traditional end of the basketball season when, hopefully, the country is in a better situation.  

“The challenge in seeking certainty for the game is whether to keep putting the start of the non-elite season back in the hope of a return normality and ploughing on with elite in increasingly difficult circumstances, or to write off the season and to plan for a recovery period and rejuvenate the game for 2021-22.  

“Because of the magnitude of the situation and the serious effect on the basketball community, we will consider all the latest factors and report back to clubs and members as soon as possible.” 

What basketball activity is and isn’t allowed in lockdown:  

  • NBL1, WNBL- Competition and training can take place (RTP Level 2). Elite level is defined by Government and detailed in Appendix 5 of the BE Return To Play Guidance HERE 
  • EABL/WEABL - Indoor training in line with Level 2 of the BE Return To Play Guidance is permitted for students enrolled on the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) qualification only. 
Non-elite - Senior and Junior (U18) 
  • NBL2/3, Jnr NBL, local leagues - Nindoor activity is permitted across club and education settings.  
  • Outdoor basketball practice is permitted in line with the BE Return To Play Guidance Level 4 – alonein household groups or with one other person 

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