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COVID-19 FAQ'S FOR PLAYERS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AROUND BASKETBALL PARTICIPATION IN THE COVID-19 ERA FOR PLAYERS

Many players remain unsure about what playing safely within the COVID-19 era currently means and what is or isn't allowed.  We've grouped together the most commonly asked questions from all of the players from our clubs and programs to provide some guidance on what you should expect at a LSB session and what is expected of you as a player in any of our sessions.

If your question isn't answered below, please get in touch so we can help answer your query: CONTACT US

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing worldwide pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARSCOV-2).

This virus appears to be highly infectious and at present, we do not have an effective treatment for it. Most people (80%) who are infected have mild symptoms and some do not have any symptoms at all. Because this is a new virus, there is much we do not know about it. However, like other viral infections, we know that many individuals who are infected, are infectious for up to two days (48hours) before they have symptoms. This means it is easy to spread this disease before you are aware you have it.

While the majority of those who become symptomatic can be managed at home, 15-20% who contract the virus become unwell and may require hospitalisation. A small number (5%) require intensive care, some of whom require breathing support through ventilation. These patients are more likely to be male, older (over 60) and have underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, raised blood pressure, chronic lung disease or diabetes.

There is growing evidence individuals from Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities appear to have higher rates of serious illness from COVID-19 (up to 1.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to white people). Given that a large proportion of the basketball family (58%) come from these communities, the guidance should be seen as especially important for these individuals.

The exact mortality rate associated with COVID-19 infection is unknown, but it may be as high as 1- 2% overall and is higher in vulnerable groups. COVID-19 will likely remain a potentially deadly virus until an effective vaccine is created, but vaccination is unlikely to be available for several months to years. Younger healthy people appear to be less likely to develop severe symptoms based on current knowledge. However, anyone can spread the disease, infecting those they love, their friends, colleagues, and teammates. Governments and health authorities around the world have instigated social distancing requirements, restrictions on public gatherings, quarantine measures and limited travel to and from other countries to slow the spread of the disease and to enable health care systems to cope with the potential increased demands associated with managing the disease. The basketball community has a responsibility to support these efforts.

We are still learning more about the corona virus, and so symptoms may evolve as time goes by.  However the NHS describes common symptoms of COVID-19 to include:

  • High temperature over 37.8˚C
  • New and persistent cough
  • Loss of taste or sense of smell

In addition, other symptoms can include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  • Tiredness

Though these are common symptoms of other illnesses, there may be signs an individual has been infected by COVID-19, and it is vital that you do not infect teammates, colleagues, your friends and family or the general public.

If you suspect you have contracted COVID-19 and are displaying consistent symptoms, it is important you get tested via your local NHS test provider and update your status on the LSB COVID-19 PARTICIPANT UPDATED STATUS form.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by:

  • Washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth wherever possible.
  • Practising social distancing when not on court. 
  • Wearing a mask when not on court in public areas.
  • Clean and disinfect your ball after playing with it to keep it clean.
  • Practice good hygiene at all times.

The LSB stands for the London School of Basketball. We are a basketball development organisation who focus on growing and improving basketball across London.

We specialise in basketball coaching, coach education, club development,  competitions and event management - so we can both reach and teach the next generation of players across the city and provide them with the support and pathways they need in order to succeed.

We provide basketball programs ourselves, but also work in partnership with a number of stakeholders to help develop the game and positively impact communities all across the capital.

Founding partners of the the LSB include: NIKE, Greater London Authority, Sport England and Basketball England, amongst others.

The LSB is an independently run organisation, committed to the sustainable growth and development of basketball across London.

Basketball England are the governing body for basketball across England.  

The governing body are responsible, through Government endorsement, for aspects of running and developing the sport of basketball in a safe and secure manner for the general public all across the country.

In response to this unprecedented COVID-19 period the sport finds itself in, Basketball England has designed a Return To Play - Roadmap (RTP) to help all within the game negotiate returning to basketball in the safest way possible.

The RTP document aims to help basketball players, coaches, support staff and administrators to live safely during this crisis; and when restrictions are reduced, to guide a safe return to activity in a compliant and safe manner.

The RTP is based on 5 key principles as below:

  • The health and safety of members
  • The guidance is to be applied alongside additional rules provided by venue operators
  • The guidance aligns to Government rules and is flexible to allow for changes to be applied quickly as they become possible
  • The guidance is based on clubs, organisations and individuals complying with the requirements
  • All clubs and league providers must have a COVID-19 Officer in place to liaise with Basketball England

The guidance document has been created based on the current research available and following discussions with Sport and Exercise Medicine staff, and their counterparts outside of basketball. Advice from UK Government and FIBA has helped to shape these guidelines.

Please note the current RTP document reflects the information and research gathered when it is circulated. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the responses of the public health community and UK Government remains fluid; data and recommendations will change, so this document will be updated to reflect this process.

To view the RTP Guidance document in full, please visit: Basketball England RTP

The Return To Play roadmap is split into 5 tiers (levels) of response which guide what we can and can't do at each level, relative government advice and direction from Basketball England.

The 5 levels are as follows:

LEVEL 5

  • No public gatherings
  • 2m social distancing
  • No travel allowed
  • Play only permitted at home or in your own garden
  • No training
  • No competitions

LEVEL 4

  • Public gatherings of up to 2 people from different households
  • 2m social distancing
  • Limited travel times
  • You may play on outdoor basketball courts only
  • You can play/train alone
  • You can play/train with other members from your household
  • You can play/train with one other person from a different household
  • No games at this level

LEVEL 3

  • Public gatherings of up to 6 people
  • 2m social distancing
  • No carpooling on travel
  • You can use outdoor courts
  • Indoor courts can only be used by 'elite' players only (as defined by the governing body)
  • Drills and skills sessions only
  • Non contact drills only
  • No games or competitions at this level

LEVEL 2

  • Public gatherings increased
  • 1m social distancing
  • Limited carpooling allowed on travel
  • Outdoor and indoor courts are allowed for use
  • Drills, skills and team based training allowed
  • Maximum of 30 per court, including coaches and any staff on indoor sessions
  • Competitions are allowed but behind closed doors - no live spectators

LEVEL 1

  • Public gatherings increased
  • Social distancing removed
  • Limited carpooling for travel
  • Outdoor and indoor courts are allowed for use
  • Drills, skills and team based training allowed
  • 30 person limit removed from training and competitions
  • Competitions are allowed with limited spectators

LEVEL 0

  • Full training and competitions framework reinstated
  • All restrictions removed

 

Basketball is currenly at LEVEL 2 of the RTP Road Map

At Level 2, the following guidance and rules are applied:

  • For training: Maximum of 30 people per court including players, coaches, support staff and officials.  Two adults to be present at all practices involving under 18s.
  • No spectators are permitted at this stage.
  • All players must complete our LSB COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire and have their temperature taken outside the venue prior to be permitted entry.
  • Full compliance with hygiene considerations including hand sanitiser on entry, regular disinfecting of heavily used areas.
  • Coaches, team managers, medical staff must wear face masks.
  • Practice in small groups or ‘bubbles’ in training whenever possible, with groups working together throughout the session to reduce risk of transmission.
  • Contact training should be limited to 20-minute intervals with clear breaks to clean down equipment.
  • Social distancing rules apply if not on the court in a playing capacity. During game play, players must be socially distanced on benches/chairs when not in a playing capacity and time-outs must be conducted on the court ensuring players are adequately spaced.
  • To lower the frequency of bodily contact, players/teams must have no handshakes, celebrations/high fives.
  • Shouting is not permitted in the sports hall due to the increased risk of aerosol transmission.
  • No congregating once training, or game has ended.

All sporting activities carry some level of risk, as with all other areas of active society.  However, it's important to note that basketball has been authorised to continue with coaching and competive games for all participants under 18 in groups of up to 25, providing the activities are following Basketball England's Return To Play guidelines for safe management of those activities.

As a leading provider of basketball programs across the region, the LSB have worked with and implemented all of the RTP COVID-19 saftey measures across all of our sessions, which are summarised in our LSB COVID-19  RULES & GUIDELINES overview, which all parents and players should read prior to any participation in our sessions.

All participants (players, coaches and staff) are required to complete a COVID-19 SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE prior to any active involvement with any of our programs and also update our COVID-19 PARTICIPANT STATUS UPDATE form, should their circumstances change.

In addition, we have a detailed information section on our website for players, parents and coaches so you can be aware of the latest developments with regards to basketball's status with COVID-19 and also the measures we are taking to ensure all of our sessions are managed and run in the safest possible way.  Please take a moment to review all of the information on our LSB COVID-19 INFORMATION CENTRE

In light of the latest COVID-19 health and safety guidelines issued by the governing body of basketball,  all participants are required to come to the sessions already dressed in suitable sportswear, underneath a tracksuit or clothing that can be easily taken off on the side of the court.

There will be no changing facilities at any Hoopstars sessions during the COVID-19 restricted era in line with the rules placed on all facilities.

Participants should wear suitable trainers (ideally, basketball shoes with proper support), sports socks and either shorts or tracksuit bottoms and either a t-shirt (or basketball vest), or suitable tracksuit top if preferred.

Parents should also ensure your child brings a bottle of water as Hoopstars sessions are full of activity and feature 2-3 water breaks per session.  No sharing of water bottles is permitted and there will be no use allowed of any public water fountains, in line with COVID-19 compliance.

All participants are also asked to bring your own basketball for the skills sessions, again, in line with COVID-19 compliance. 

Where possible, please bring your own sanitiser, however additional sanitiser will be available at all sessions.

No. There is a limit of 30 people maximum per court (inclusive of all players, officials and coaches) so additional friends or family inside the sports hall is not permitted at this time.

No. You should go straight home and not talk to anyone at the session.  You should then self-isolate and call 119 or go and organise a teast for COVID-19.  The NHS will advise you on your next steps after that.

Whilst we know that sweat is very unlikely to transmit the virus, other bodily fluid can and therefore disinfecting the ball is a good way to reduce the spread of infection.

We are all aware of those players that wipe their nose, mouth, eyes etc before taking a free throw, it is these small transmissions that may infect other players.

We recommend:

  • Before entry and exit of any building.
  • During stoppages in play (we recommend every 20 minutes when training).
  • After going to the toilet.

MORE FROM THE LSB COVID-19 INFORMATION CENTRE

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