Further Easing of COVID Restrictions on Basketball from 7th June
June 04, 2021
From Monday 7th June, there will be a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Basketball Ireland and the ‘Return to Play’ group welcome the new measures announced by the Government. These measures should be viewed in conjunction with national health guidelines and the ‘Return to Play’ protocols, in order to ensure a safe return to play. We remain hopeful that there will be a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions on our sport in the coming weeks, however this will be subject to Government guidelines and case numbers. It is very important that we remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to ensure that the basketball community stays safe.
See details below for the further easing of restrictions, and the safety procedures that must be observed/enacted that coincide with it.
· Outdoor (non-elite & club) matches and competitions may recommence on 7th June.
· From 7th June the numbers permitted at organised outdoor events can increase to a maximum of 100 for the majority of venues, with a maximum of 200 for outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000
· From 5th July, a maximum of 50 attendees will be permitted at the majority indoor of venues. Maximum of 100 can attend events in larger venues, with strict public health measures in place.
· From 5th July, the numbers permitted at outdoor organized events can further increase, to a maximum of 200 for the majority of venues.
Training (from 7th June)
· Scrimmage-type training can take place outdoors, with the allowance of 3v3 and 5v5 within the pod. People should not mix between 15-person pods.
· On that basis, contact training outdoors will also be permitted for those under the age of 18 in pods of a maximum of 15 people.
· All HSE, Basketball Ireland, Government and child protection guidelines are to be adhered to.
· Balls should be sanitised/washed or wiped down before and after training.
· Bibs, towels & water bottles should not be shared, and where possible, individuals should bring each of their own.
· ‘Crates’ of water (if provided) should be distributed one per-person. Do not share bottles.
· Hand sanitiser should be available courtside, with regular stoppages for application - the recommendation is every 30 minutes.
· Social distancing rules apply for non-participants.
· Basketball rules apply within the training environment, but maintenance of 2-metre distancing rule still in place for non-participants.
· Once a training session begins, we recommend wiping/sanitising basketballs every 30 minutes.
· Immediate hand washing/sanitising once the session is complete.
· The use of face masks for coaches, support staff and officials is recommended.
· Players/coaches/support staff/officials should not congregate once the training session is complete.
· Handshakes, high fives or other bodily contact is not permitted.
· Carpooling is not recommended.
· Public transport is allowed only when following Government guidelines.
· From 7th June Gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres can reopen for individual training only.
· From 5th July Indoor training and exercise activities can recommence in pods of up to 6.
· Organised Sports training/activity/exercise can do so in multiple pods once sufficient space is available and strict public health protocols are in place.
· The use of multiple pod’s is to assist with minimising the number of people in a group while acknowledging that some outdoor and indoor facilities have the capacity to cater for larger numbers of people in a safe manner and within public health guidelines. People participating in pod training can be from different households.
· The space between pods will depend on the nature, duration and intensity of the session but it should be clearly evident that the pods are independent groups not interacting with one another. At a very minimum Social Distancing of 2m between pods should be implemented.
· Depending on the frequency of activity (i.e. multiple times in a week) it may be helpful for participants to stay within the same pod.
· A coach or instructor may oversee more than one pod and should be counted in the overall numbers.
· The coach should not move freely between pods but rather oversee the activity of the pods. Social Distance.
· A coach should not work within the 2m rule in a pod, but if they do enter the pod they must be counted as one of the “Pod” and they must not leave that pod and enter another.
Defining Individual Training
Pod of One
The Expert Group recommends the adoption of the ‘pod of one’ concept. This concept can be defined as;
‘Individual, physically distanced, non-contact activity, completed in a pre-defined area, within a controlled environment and without the sharing of equipment.
The following additional risk mitigation measures are also recommended for protocol adoption. These measures aim to clearly differentiate sporting activity between levels, while also distinguishing the activity from ‘traditional exercise’ which may not be permissible:
· Staggered start/ finish times, combined with appropriate entry, exit and traffic management protocols to limit the interaction of participants at any one time.
· Prebooking of activity is essential.
· Reduction in the overall duration of the activity is advised.
· Participants should arrive ready to train and leave immediately afterwards (no changing room or shower use).
· Additional signage, hand sanitization stations and deep cleaning should be implemented.
· No equipment sharing under any circumstances.
· Activity should take place in a predefined area which is visually marked out, with additional signage for directions. The space required in this area should reflect the nature and intensity of the activity
· There should be more than 2 metres between each of the predefined areas.
· The cleaning & ventilation of facilities should be conducted in accordance with the Government’s most recent ‘Work Safely Protocol’.
In the event of one-to-one training between a participant and instructor/coach, the following additional items to those outlined above should also be implemented:
· All safety policies and procedures are to be adhered to e.g. child protection, licencing, COVID etc.
· Any demonstration of equipment or technique should ensure that a minimum of 2 metres social-distancing is maintained.
· Individual equipment should not be shared.
· In the case of fixed equipment, cleaning of such equipment must be completed
immediately after demonstration and before/after the individual participant uses it.
· There should be no hands-on adjustments or physical contact during training sessions.
Coaches and trainers are asked to refer to the HSE and HPSC guidance on wearing of face coverings.
· Indoor facilitates such as gyms, swimming pools & sports/leisure centres can reopen from 7th June for individual training.
· From 5th July, organized indoor events can recommence, permitting a maximum of 50 attendees at the majority of venues in groups of up to 6, with arrangements to ensure no mixing of groups. A maximum of 100 attendees will be permitted in larger venues, where strict 2 meter (seated) social distancing and one-way controls for entry/exit can be implemented (includes business, training, conferences, events in theatres and other Arts events)
· From 5th July, Indoor training and exercise activities can recommence in pods of up to 6.
Further Indoor activity changes will be considered at the end of July/early August for later in the year, including indoor team/group sports matches, training and exercise classes.
The Chair of the ‘Return to Play’ group, Charles Higgins, would like to thank the entire basketball community for their continued patience and vigilance in adhering to the COVID guidelines. We, as a group, have worked together to get back in the game and we now have the opportunity to stay in the game. Have fun and stay safe