Basketball England announces Return to Play roadmap

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MANCHESTER, England – Basketball England released its Return To Play roadmap on Thursday along with the announcement of guidance sessions to help the sport bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It comes as the Government starts to ease social distancing measures and has been compiled with the input of all departments at Basketball England, including the Sports Science and Medicine Team, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr Dane Vishnubala.

BE has consulted with members, clubs, stakeholders, other sports, higher education institutions, research sectors and Sport England in order to plot a phased, flexible way forward for the sport based on an agile response to the developing Government advice.

“We have produced a flexible, fluid plan for a staged return to play, even as things are continually evolving. There is COVID-19 research coming out each day and the Government plans will depend on many factors,” said Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett. “Having reviewed the current research, we will update the guidance as things change and it is possible to move to a new level, while listening to feedback from within the game along the way. Our goal is to keep our basketball community safe as they take their first steps towards playing again.”

The guidance features levels from five down to zero, which align with Government’s social distancing rules. Basketball England is currently in Level Three, with Level Zero being a full return to unrestricted basketball across England, when that is possible.

The Return To Play Guidance is built on five guiding principles, including (1) the health and safety of members, (2) is to be applied alongside additional rules provided by venue operators, (3) aligns to Government rules and is flexible to allow for changes to be as quickly as they become possible, (4) based on clubs, organisations and individuals complying with the requirements and (5) all clubs and legal providers being required to have COVID-19 Officer in place to liaise with BE.

Basketball England cancelled the remainder of the 2019-20 season back on Mar. 17 and confirmed the finalists of the Academy and National Schools Finals would be awarded as co-champions on May 23. Myerscough was due to compete in the EABL and U17 National Schools Finals in Essex.

For more information and when guidance sessions are taking place, visit the Basketball England website. and view the proposed Return To Play guidance document here.

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Allen Gunn is a graduate of the University of Salford with a Masters degree in Journalism.