CEBL receives green light from 4 provinces to hold 2021 season

·1 min read
Edmonton Stingers guard Xavier Moon is seen above in a game at the CEBL Summer Series. The 2021 season is officially set to start June 24 after the league received approval from all four provinces for teams to play in their home cities. (CEBL - image credit)
Edmonton Stingers guard Xavier Moon is seen above in a game at the CEBL Summer Series. The 2021 season is officially set to start June 24 after the league received approval from all four provinces for teams to play in their home cities. (CEBL - image credit)

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) has announced Thursday it will officially start its third season June 24, as the league has received approval from public health stakeholders in all four provinces it plays in.

The league's return-to-play plan has been approved by public health officials in Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The CEBL delayed the start of its season back in April, from June 5 to June 24, due to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"CEBL athletes, officials and staff are ecstatic to start our 2021 season. We are proud to demonstrate how sport can safely resume and lead the industry back to play," CEBL commissioner Mike Morreale said in a statement.

The CEBL was the first professional sports league in Canada to return to play following the start of the pandemic, holding its two-week Summer Series in a bubble format in St. Catharines, Ont., last July and August.

Morreale said the CEBL expects to be among the first Canadian leagues to welcome fans back into venues.

Although Morreale has said he feels there is more of an opportunity to host larger crowds in Alberta and Saskatchewan, that decision will ultimately be made by the provincial governments of all four provinces.

With CEBL training camps set to open on Tuesday, import players are currently in 14-day quarantines in their respective Canadian cities.

The Ottawa BlackJacks host the Niagara River Lions in the June 24 season opener. The Hamilton Honey Badgers is home to Edmonton on June 26, and Fraser Valley hosts Saskatchewan later that day to complete the opening weekend of action.

WATCH | Our Game, a documentary on the 2020 CEBL season:

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