FIBA outlines guidelines for basketball’s return

FIBA has established a set of guidelines to aid basketball governing bodies in their quest to resume matches and related events.

All FIBA competitions have been suspended since mid-March due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In an article published this week, FIBA said guidelines and a risk assessment tool will assist in making decisions about whether to hold basketball events.

“This publication is not intended to replace the guidance and restrictions of governments and public health authorities,” the article stated. “The risk assessment tool is a live document and will be updated regularly.”

The article is entitled “Return to Basketball — Restart Guidelines for National Federations.” The guidelines are available in English, French, and Spanish on the FIBA website.

The 13-page English document outlines key questions. Among them are the following:

•What are the local government and public health authority guidance and restrictions and how will they impact the smooth running of a basketball competition?

•What is the COVID-19 prevalence in the community and is it safe to restart?

•Is the community coping with the medical complications of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

•Is travel safe and permitted, both domestic and international?

FIBA guidelines for a restart

While outlining its “guidelines for a restart,” the FIBA document explained its main points with the following descriptions:

“In general, it must be recognized that a phased approach to the restart process is essential. In the initial phase individual player-training opportunities should be made available with minimal coaching support. Subsequently small groups of players … may begin (‘one player – one basket – one coach’) training. In the final phase team training may commence but, in a setting, strictly limited to essential team officials.

“Thereafter, when public authorities have granted permission for sport activities to begin, more conventional approaches to training and competition may commence…”

Developers of guidelines during pandemic

Who crafted the guidelines?

Dr. Peter Harcourt, chairman of the FIBA Medical Commission, and other FIBA officials.

“In these challenging times, on behalf of FIBA’s Medical Commission, I would like to share our heartfelt support and solidarity with the basketball community across the world,” Dr. Harcourt said.

The Australian doctor added: “Rest assured that our Medical Commission will keep working and collaborating closely with (the) WHO … to safeguard the basketball community from the current pandemic crisis based on the scientific knowledge.”

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