FIBA releases guidelines for "Return to Basketball"

Paul Kennedy Lintag on May 27, 2020 04:17 PM
FIBA releases guidelines for
FIBA published the Return to Basketball – Restart Guidelines for National Federations, partnering with the World Health Organization for a Risk Assessment Tool that focuses on basketball. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

As the world governing body for basketball, FIBA has released its own set of guidelines in order for the sport to come back after the COVID-19 pandemic.

FIBA published the Return to Basketball – Restart Guidelines for National Federations, partnering with the World Health Organization for a Risk Assessment Tool that focuses on basketball.

Australia's Dr. Peter Harcourt, the FIBA Medical Commission Chairman, developed the said guidelines.

Dr. Harcourt consulted with the FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group (MAG) and the FIBA Medical and Players Commissions before releasing the guidelines.

"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. I have witnessed that FIBA has been working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of national federations, players, officials and other partners," Dr. Harcourt said in a statement.

"Rest assured that our Medical Commission will keep working and collaborating closely with WHO and will endeavor to assist FIBA to safeguard the basketball community from the current pandemic crisis based on the scientific knowledge," he added.

Most of the major basketball leagues in the world were shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[Related: NBA says it is talking with Disney about resuming season]

Recently, the Euroleague has cancelled its season while the NBA is working on a possible comeback as its season was cut short a few weeks before the playoffs.

In Asia, Japan's B.League and the Korean Basketball League cancelled their respective seasons. Taiwan's Super Basketball League managed to finish its season but all teams played under a "basketball bubble" with no live crowd.

[Related: With neighbor leagues cancelled or still suspended, what's next for the PBA after COVID-19?]

The Chinese Basketball Association is planning a comeback, while the Philippine Basketball Association is waiting until August to decide whether to push through or cancel its current season.

After COVID-19 ravaged the world and shut down pretty much all of sports, FIBA set up its COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group in April.

The special advisory was established to review the latest scientific knowledge regarding COVID-19 and to advise on the return of international basketball competitions. Members of this special advisory group include the Chair and Deputy Chair of the FIBA Medical Commission, the NBA Director of Sports Medicine, the Senior Advisor to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Executive Director, a University of Melbourne Professor of Medicine specialized in immunology and vaccine research, and, as an observer, the IOC Medical Director.

"I wish to sincerely thank the FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, FIBA's Commissions involved and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their invaluable work, expertise and continued contribution towards protecting our national federations, players, officials and basketball event organizers," FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said.

"This set of guidelines will be very beneficial for the basketball community in their return to our game. We all miss our sport being played and as the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, FIBA remains committed to providing guidance for a safe environment for the 'Return to Basketball,'" Zagklis added.

FIBA's Return to Basketball Guidelines are directed to every country's basketball federations, in the Philippines' case that being the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

[Related: PBA teams may practice soon under new quarantine quidelines]

However, FIBA's guidelines are not to disregard each country's existing tools set up by their governments.

In the Philippines, sporting events can come back under a modified general community quarantine but will be limited to a 50-percent capacity of each venue.

 

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