Basketball back on track for practice and games

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Ontario Basketball, the governing body of the sport in Ontario, is giving clubs the green light to get back into b-ball activity now that the province has moved into Step 3 of the re-opening phase for the province.

Step 3 of the plan will expand to indoor settings with restrictions.

Basketball as a sport, was hit hard by pandemic restrictions as it is, for the most part, and indoor sport when played at the competitive and league level.

While practices and full games may get underway, there are still restrictions on activity that must be followed by sports groups.

Ontario Basketball announced a set of protocol which must be followed during games.

Full practices and games may resume and there is no limitations on in-sport contact. Face masks must be worn at all times by coaches, spectators, and players when not participating on the court.

Coaches or administrators on site must record player information including name and contact information for every participant, and a declaration of no recent travel history.

All clubs must also have a prepared safety plan before they are permitted to play. This includes physical distancing measures, procedures for preventing and controlling crowds, and measures in place to disinfect shared equipment.

There are still restrictions regarding the number of people allowed at indoor venues so there will be a cap on the number of spectators allowed at practices or games.

The information supplied by Ontario Basketball are the recommendations based on current government regulations but may change.

Even though the sport is now being allowed to continue, basketball clubs still face the challenge of finding venues to play their sport. While some community gyms are now open, school gyms continue to remain closed to the public and many basketball clubs rely on school gyms as a venue for their sport.

Some clubs have taken to playing at outdoor venues which are good for practice sessions and training.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times

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