Basketball returnign to outdoor venues in stage 2

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Ontario Basketball has announced the resumption of training for b-ball clubs around the Province after Queen’s Park announced it is moving into stage 2 of re-opening.

However, basketball clubs are not going to have an easy time of it since most indoor courts and gyms are still not open to the public.

That means basketball clubs will have to find outdoor venues to start their practices.

Basketball Ontario has advised its members that outdoor training may continue, providing there is no contact.Teams may get together for practices only – no games or scrimmages are permitted during Stage 2 of the opening.

There is no limit on the number of participants during training sessions as long as physical distanc-ing can be maintained.

For the most part, in-door training will be closed except for high-performance athletes, and some camps.

The organization has made some suggestions to its member clubs including encouraging coaches to gradually ease players back into activity after a long break to reduce the risk of injury.

It also asks players to bring their own basketball and water bottle and to not share any equipment while at the court.

Coaches are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to each training session.

They must also record the name and contact information for every participant and players must complete an attestation of health and declare that they have not travelled.

Many clubs have taken a financial hit due to the pandemic. Ontario Basketball announced that there is additional fund-ing available to affiliated member OBA clubs as they prepare for a return to play.

This is intended to cover expenses incurred up to December 31, 2020.

The Coaches Association of Ontario announced a Return to Coaching Community Grant, which will help coaches with return-to-play costs including purchasing PPE and individ-ual sporting equipment.

Ontario Basketball is waiting on more details for when the province goes into Step 3 of opening and will provide more direction for bas-ketball clubs when that occurs.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times

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