RETURN TO PLAY - FAQS

As a result of the initial consultation with a selection of clubs and stakeholders, we have produced an initial list of FAQ’s for the Return To Play (RTP) guidance document.

 

We will continue to add to this list as we receive common themes of feedback to the plan, or as Government advice changes that requires clarification.

We are currently at

LEVEL 2

of the Basketball England Return to Play Road Map

 

What happens if my club doesn't follow the RTP Guidance? +
  1. First report of breach – Phone call with club to ensure they are aware of the RTP guidance  & insistence on club putting implementing risk assessment.
  2. Second report of a breach - Written warning to club. We'll also request to see their COVID-19 Risk Assessment.
  3. Third report of a breach - Withdraw of insurance cover.
What are the key elements behind the RTP? +

The RTP is based on 5 key principles as below:

  • The health and safety of members
  • The guidance is to be applied alongside additional rules provided by venue operators
  • The guidance aligns to Government rules and is flexible to allow for changes to be applied quickly as they become possible
  • The guidance is based on clubs, organisations and individuals complying with the requirements
  • All clubs and league providers must have a COVID-19 Officer in place to liaise with Basketball England
Are Basketball England’s members covered from an insurance perspective? +

Yes.

Should any club or individual make an insurance claim (or protect themselves from liabilities) during the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic, their prospects of a successful claim would be affected on evidencing that they had complied with Government and Basketball England’ RTP guidance. 

What is the difference between Level 3 and Level 2? +

We can now begin to enjoy more normal looking practices with passing with the ball, rebounding, defending and increased contact, however this will put more pressure on clubs and individuals to maintain very good hygiene requirements.

Health

Why are BAME communities more effected than others? +

Essentially, we are not 100% sure and there maybe multiple factors. As new research emerges, we’ll update our members where possible.

Once I have had COVID-19, when can I return to basketball? +

If you have had mild symptoms you should be looking to return to basketball after a graded period of 4 weeks of exercise.  For more severe episodes that have required a hospital or doctor visit, you could be looking at a period of up to 3 months. 

If you have been in hospital with COVID-19, you will hopefully get guidance on when you can return to exercise.  It is important to remember that you have had a serious illness and therefore taking your time to return to exercise is very important. 

If I live with another member of my squad, should I be doing anything differently to avoid catching COVID-19? +

Effectively, they are another member of your household.  As long as the two of you do not have any high-risk factors then it should be fine to continue as you have been albeit, being mindful of good hygiene practices. 

If one or both of you were to be infected, you would have to follow Government isolation guidelines. 

If we are asked to self isolate, how long is this for? +

If you are asked to self isolate either by the club or the NHS Test and Trace and if you live alone, you should self isolate for 7 days.

If you live with others, you will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Remember if you have symptoms you will have to isolate until those symptoms go away entirely, which maybe more than 14 days.

If my child is sent home from school with an illness, are they allowed to play basketball? +

If the child is unwell enough not to attend school they should not be attending any basketball related activity.

Screening

Why do we have to take temperatures? +

A temperature of over 37.8˚C is one of the three most common symptoms of COVID-19 and it is also one of the easiest to give us a good reading; people can't cheat with it. 

Using the infra-red non-contact thermometer is a non-invasive way to measure the temperatures of individuals. An individual can easily take their own temperature.  If the person has run or jogged to the venue there would not be a rise in temperature as much as this therefore it is assumed that a temperature as high as 37.8˚C would indicate a fever and therefore the person has to isolate. 

An in-ear thermometer is a more reliable method of taking core temperature, but they rely on the use of repeat caps and will probably need someone to administer it.  

Do we have to do the screening at the start of every session? +

Yes.

We have to know if anyone has symptoms that may infect others. Stopping those people from participating is really important when we are trying to stop the spread of the virus amongst the community.

We also need to know who attended each session in case someone later contracts COVID-19 and we need to contact trace everyone that that individual came into contact with.

Taking the temperature at the start of each session exposes the person who is taking the temperature to increased risk, how can we reduce this? +

We are advocating that individuals (or parents) should take their own temperatures with the thermometer provided by the clubs at the training site.

Once taken the thermometer will have to be wiped down but it means that a member of staff does not have to get near all the people taking part in training.

We know the infra-red thermometer can say someone has a raised temperature when they don't, will we be sending people away that are helathy? +

Yes potentially, but this would be better than spreading COVID-19 throughout the club. A way reduce this would be to follow up the initial reading with an 'in-ear' temperature.

This is the more accurate measurement, although you would have to throw away the caps after use. If that indicates a normal temperature then that individual can take part in training.

If someone either has a raised temperature or answers yes to any of the questions in the screening, what should we advise them to do? +

They should be advised to return home as they are unable to attend the training session. They should not stop and talk to anyone at the session. They, along with their household, should self isolate and call 119 or go online to organise a test for COVID-19. The testing system will advise them after that.

Why do we have to do the screening in a car park? +

The screening has to be conducted in a place away from others or where others will congregate.  The car park is most likely the best place.

My court hasn’t got much space near it, where should we conduct the screening? +

The screening must be conducted in a place away from others or where others will congregate.  The car park may be the most ideal place. 

How long do we have to keep the screening document for? +

We are recommending that the Club COVID-19 Officer keeps the screening and attendance documents safe for 21 days after the training session in order to help with contact tracing. It should be confidentially destroyed after that.

Why does the contact tracing start 48 hours before the symptoms came about? +

We now know that most people will not know they have the virus for 48 hours before the symptoms commence.  It is also most easily spread in that 48 hours so we can be infecting everyone around us before we even know about it. 

Does NHS Test and Trace really work? +

The Government believe this is the right way to reduce the risk of the virus spreading once an individual is aware of the symptoms.

By contacting and isolating all those that the infected person has come into contact with 48 hrs prior to symptoms, we should be able to reduce the risk of spread amongst the wider community.

We are also asking the basketball clubs via the COVID-19 Officer to contact anybody that was in contact with the infected individual. This is another layer of protection for all those involved.

If I have been tested and there is a negative result, can I return to basketball? +

Unfortunately even if the test result is negative you will have to continue to self isolate.

This is because you may still be incubating the virus despite testing negative. It is believed the incubation period may be up to 14 days after contact.

Who can conduct the screening? +

As long as the COVID Officer is happy that an individual can competently take the temperatures and record the answers to the screening questions, anyone will be able to conduct the screening before passing on the paperwork to the COVID Officer for filing.

Hygiene

Why do we have to disinfect the ball? +

Whilst we know that sweat is very unlikely to transmit the virus, other bodily fluid can and therefore disinfecting the ball is a good way to reduce the spread of infection.

We are all aware of those players that wipe their nose, mouth, eyes etc before taking a free throw, it is these small transmissions that may infect other players.

Remember for Level 3 everyone has to have their own ball so the risk of infection is lower, especially if everyone disinfects their balls before and after the sessions.

What can I disinfect the ball with? +

Normal disinfection wipes such as the Clinell Wipes from Fit4Sport or a disinfectant spray.

At the end of a session, a bucket with a Miton disinfectant tablet should do the trick as well. Clearly making sure there is no excess water on the court is a priority as well.

What type of face masks should be used? +

We would recommend the following as good facial coverings; Surgical masks, three-layer masks, fabric or cloth masks. 

FFP3 masks should be reserved for clinical use by the NHS and stocks preserved for this important work. As the individuals will be screened, we do not perceive there to be a need for FFP3 masks, although this relies on all clubs to screen properly. 

First Aiders should use their own clinical judgement.   

Why are coaches, support staff and table officials and statisticians being asked to wear face coverings? +

It is advisable to wear these, firstly to stop any aerosol spread (water droplets from mouth during coughing, sneezing, talking etc) and secondly as a reminder not to touch your mouth, nose, eyes. 

Why are we not asking players or referees to wear face coverings? +

There is some evidence that performing vigorous exercise whilst wearing face coverings may cause some lung damage. Although the risk is small it is still there.

However recently we have seen an increase in athletic face coverings. We cannot advocate those above others but they might be more easily used by athletes.

Will Basketball England be providing funding for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? +

At this moment in time Basketball England do not have any funding opportunities for the purchase of PPE. We are however engaged in conversations with stakeholders and partners in relation to this matter and we will update everyone accordingly.

Does each individual have to bring their own ball to practice, or can the club still provide them? +

It doesn't matter who provides the ball as long as there is good hygiene to wipe/disinfect the ball before and during use.

How often should we hand wash or sanitise? +

We recommend:

  • Before entry and exit of any building.
  • During stoppages in play (we recommend every 20 minutes when training).
  • After going to the toilet.

COVID-19 Officer

Why is every club being asked to have a COVID-19 Officer? +

In line with Government advice and following what other sports across the country are doing, we are asking that there is a designated individual that is able to be the 'Go To' Person in the club to provide guidance for all members about how to reduce the risks of COVID-19. 

They should have a good knowledge of the Basketball England RTP Roadmap and what the club must do to keep their community safe.  They should be able to pass information easily to all members when new content is released to our clubs and teams. 

What is the main role of the Club COVID-19 Officer? +
  • They must monitor the information for Basketball England regarding returning to sport and how best to keep their club members safe. 
  • They need to be able to distribute information to all members easily.
  • Be responsible for completing the risk assessments for each level when they come out. 
  • They need to be able to complete the screening forms and if required, train others to be able to take temperatures and complete the screening documentation. 
  • If a person is infected the Officer needs to be made aware so they can contact all members of the club that may have been in contact with that individual 48 hours before their symptoms arose. 
  • Responsible for informing BE of infected persons via the reporting form in the RTP guidance.

Click here to access the RTP guidance document, as a role description has been included as appendix 1

It seems like a lot to ask the individual, can they spread the tasks out amongst other members of the club? +

Yes. 

Please do ask other members of the club to help with the roles as we do understand this initially might be a large task.  Once processes are in place then it should be a fairly easy job to maintain the communications. 

Who can undertake the Club COVID-19 Officer role? +

Anyone.  It doesn't have to be a medic necessarily although a person with good access to communications at the club would be advisable.  This is because a key component of the role is effective and timely communication with team managers, coaches, players and parents.

Does the Club COVID-19 Officer need training? +

Essentially, as long as they follow the RTP Roadmap document then it should bean easy role to undertake. 

However, we will be offering a webinar solely for Club COVID-19 Officers to ask questions and help iron out any questions.  This will be announced in the coming weeks.

What does it mean when asking the Club COVID-19 Officer to conduct the contact tracing? +

We are only asking that the club contact the individuals that would have come into contact with the infected individual 48 hrs before symptoms arise.

We need to make sure the infection does not spread further than just the individual and the people they met, rather than the whole club or community.

The Government NHS Test and Trace service will be able to contact the other people that individual will have come across outside of the basketball court.

We are concerned that we are collecting sensitive data about individuals. Is it ok to keep hold of this information? +

We are asking clubs to hold both attendance records and also information about members health.

This may be the first time clubs have had to do this and we are aware that this is not normal practice for some clubs. We can assure you that the stance BE is taking is to make sure that the health and safety of all members is paramount.

The UK Government is also asking sports to monitor players and staff before they play sport so we are no different in this regard.

There a a number of processes clubs have to go through for handling this information. For advice on how to ensure you are compliant with GDPR in the handling of special category data, visit the ICO website. Further information can be found by clicking HERE.

Facilities

We can't access our outdoor court at the moment as the council have not opened it, but you say we can play outdoors. Can you not tell the council to open the court? +

We are keen to see as many people as possible to get access to basketball courts at a time when sport and exercise are so important for people's physical and mental health and we’ve encouraged court owners to give all members of the basketball community access to courts where it is safe to do so.

Unfortunately, we can’t order facility providers to open up their courts.  Each facility will have to re-open with their own procedures and policies in place that everyone will have to adhere to. 

My court hasn’t got much space near it, where should we conduct the screening? +

The screening must be conducted in a place away from others or where others will congregate.  The car park may be the most ideal place. 

Can we use the toilets and changing rooms at our venue? +

Each facility will have their own regulations but we are advising that you use the changing rooms to a minimum.

The toilets should be regularly cleaned and individuals should follow excellent hand hygiene practices.

Why can't we have spectators watching the games yet? +

All sports are unable to have spectators at the moment due to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. We are working with the Government to try to outline what the risks for watching basketball maybe but currently the government are only looking to allow spectators from the 1st October 2020.

This will be in line with all other sports at the moment. We are aware of a number of trials of spectators attending games in other sports. Further information can be found by clicking HERE.

Why can't we have spectators even if our venue is big enough? +

During Level 2, all competitive games need to have no spectators due to the increased risk of transmission between individuals. The risk of COVID-19 remains despite changes in social distancing rules.

We anticipate a return to spectators once the game moves to Level 1.

We are able to have up to 30 people per court once we get to Level 2 but the venue will not allow more than 20. Can you help? +

Each venue will have their own regulations that you will have to adhere to.

We advise making the venue aware of the Basketball England Return To Play guidance, highlighting the social distancing and hygiene guidance that you will be adhering to.

Ultimately, you will have to observe venue guidance in addition to our RTP guidance.

We've moved to Level 2 and are able to play games but our venue are no allowing us to book court time and space. Can you help? +

We are aware that some venues will have slower openings than others. This maybe worse in educational institutions.

We have provided a letter of support for clubs to take to their venues outlining some of the processes that BE have taken to mitigate the COVID-19 risks.

We strongly recommend all clubs take these letters to venues along with copies of the RTP guidance so venues are able to see what responsible clubs will be doing to reduce the risks of transmission.

To download the letter of support, click HERE.

Playing Basketball

Why are parts of the North West and Yorkshire at Level 4 of the Roadmap? +
In a review of the Government guidelines, we can confirm that some areas should remain at Level 4 as the Government are asking that you should not:
  • Meet with people outside of your household or your social bubble
  • You should not meet in outdoor public spaces in a group larger than 6 and they have to be all from your household or social bubble
  • At all times you should adhere to social distancing guidelines
  • You should not travel outside your area
  • Indoor centres have been closed unless you are able to play with just your household
With the Basketball England Level 4 guidance matches this most accurately in that we are asking:
  • You remain within your household or social bubble
  • You play outside with a maximum of 6 people
  • You adhere to all hygiene guidance
  • We strongly recommend you wear 3 layer face coverings even if training
We are aware that other sports have begun to start up and hold training sessions.  However we are taking a risk adverse approach to protecting all our members.  Should the Government guidelines be adhered to, then the easing of these lockdown measures should come soon and all sport will be able to return back to their original levels.
For Basketball England members we would hope this would be Level 2.
What is the difference between Level 3, Level 2 and Level 1? +

The levels depict how much social distancing is required.  At Level 3, we can play with up to 6 people but maintain the 2-metre social distancing rule. 

Once we move to Level 2, we predict that the Government will allow a further relaxing of the social distancing rules allowing us to train with full contact and potentially play some competitive fixtures. 

At Level 1, we hope to be able to play fixtures in front of spectators, although no one knows how many that might be at the moment.  We are expecting further guidance from the Government about what that may look like.

Does each individual have to bring their own ball to practice or can the club still provide them? +

It doesn't matter who provides the ball as long as there is good hygiene to wipe/disinfect the ball. 

Now we're at Level 2, does this mean we will be able to train as normal? +

We are asking everyone to try to reduce the risk of transmission by:

  • Continuing to train in small groups or 'bubbles' throughout the whole training session
  • Use the same balls within that group
  • Reduce contact within 2 meters by being mindful of distance during team talks, huddles, bench spacing
  • Reduce the number and duration of contact training drills
How do we set our venue up for a game now? +

At Level 2 we have to do our best to maintain maximum distance between individuals:

  • Keep contact to a minimum
  • Have benches on opposite sides of the court if possible
  • Use chairs instead of benches to enable a minimum of 1 meter distance between individuals
  • Appropriate use of bins for each bench and the officials when they are disinfecting the balls
  • Use of a table away from all benches for the disinfecting of the balls
  • Ideally, nominate a separate entry and exit for the venue with clear signage
If a club or an individual appears to not be taking the hygiene or social distancing seriously, are there any consequences? +

In a game situation, officials have the power to enforce a technical foul on a team if either an individual or the team are not abiding by the RTP guidelines.

Outside of a game, individuals can alert Basketball England if they feel that a venue or club are not adhering to the advice via support@basketballengland.co.uk and we can look into the situation on a case by case basis.

Please see Appendix 8 of the RTP to see our actions on breaches of the RTP.

Does a new Risk Assessment have to be completed for Level 2? +

Yes it is advised to complete the Level 2 Risk Assessment found in the Appendices of the RTP.

What does the guidance mean about reducing the risk of contact? +

Contact is seen as being within 1 meter of an individual for more than 3 seconds.

Using this figure, Basketball England was able to look at game footage and work out on average how many 'contacts' there are per game for both forwards and guards. We also realise that the most amount of time during a game where 'contact' can occur will be in huddles and on the bench.

For this reason we require social distancing at both these times.

Why can't we have spectators watching the games yet? +

All sports are unable to have spectators at the moment due to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. We are working with the Government to try to outline what the risks for watching basketball maybe but currently the government are only looking to allow spectators from the 1st October 2020.

This will be in line with all other sports at the moment. We are aware of a number of trials of spectators attending games in other sports. Further information can be found by clicking HERE.