Well, after months of waiting, we appear to be edging closer to a return to basketball after the Premiers’ announcements on the 26th October. The Victorian Government’s updated Roadmap to Reopening has slated the 8th November as the date when Melburnian’s will take the next steps towards reopening which includes returning to indoor non-contact sport for children (<18).
As noted by Basketball Victoria in their recent update, basketball is considered a contact sport and unfortunately, we have not yet been given any clarity as to when contact indoor sports (i.e. competition) will resume. However, the easing of restrictions will allow resumption to indoor non-contact training for players under 18, from the 9th November but with restrictions to 20 people per stadium (Not court).
On Sunday 1st November, Deputy Premier James Merlino announced a $45 million investment by the State Government in children’s community sport. The first part of support is a $21 million investment by way of $200 vouchers being provided for approximately 100,000 children across Victoria. The vouchers will go towards covering the costs of sport such as membership, uniforms, and equipment. The Deputy Premier advised that the roll out of this program will likely begin early into 2021 with more information to be provided over coming weeks.
In coming to a decision regarding our return to competition many factors were considered including:
- The Roadmap does not yet provide clarity on a return date for ‘contact’ indoor sport
- The DET have not provided advice and it is likely that we won’t be able to access schools until 2021
- Starting back with training will allow the children to ease back into sport after a long absence
- On average, Clubs asked for 4-6 weeks to prepare for a new season
- Clubs and families did not want to be in a start/stop/restart situation if possible
- Administration will need 2 weeks to grade/fixture once teams are entered
- We wanted to provide families with the opportunity to go on holidays over Christmas/early January
As such, the GEBC have decided to start the Summer 20/21 season on Saturday 23rd January 2021.
Summer 20/21 Competitions
Given the uncertain nature of COVID-19 the decision has been made for the Summer 20/21 competition to remain as flexible as possible.
For GEBC across the Summer 20/21 season:
- Work is currently being completed on a cost per player per match model*
- Matches will run on a 55-minute schedule with 17-minute halves**
- Matches will continue to have 2 referees rostered onto each match
- There will be no formal grading process (so we ask teams to grade as accurately as possible)***
- Grand Finals will be played between 1st and 2nd on the ladder at the end of the rounds
- Grand Final match timing will remain the same as for the regular season
In planning for the GEBC (Saturday) Summer 20/21 season the following information is provided:
- Competition will commence on Saturday 23rd January 2021
- Games will start at 8:00am and the last game will start at 8:50pm (1 timeslot later)
- The season shall be played over 10 weeks (9 Rounds + Grand Finals
*Further information on the cost per player per match will be provided as more information comes to hand regarding the recent government announcement of the community sport voucher program.
**Due to Basketball Victoria’s requirement to have a 20-minute gap between games for cleaning etc. all games for the Summer 20/21 season will run on a 55-minute schedule with 17-minute halves. We have kept match times as long as possible while still being able to get enough teams/players on court each day. If it were to remain at 18-minute halves, we would be unable to provide competition space for upwards of 350-400 players each Saturday.
***While there is no formal grading process, if a team is too dominant or being beaten soundly each week we will look to make a change to ensure all teams are as competitive as possible and the players enjoy themselves.
If you have any questions, please contact your club committee or the Ringwood Basketball Association by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, the health and safety of our members is paramount and we continue to be guided by the Government, DHHS and Basketball Victoria and this advice/information may be subject to further change. As we move through the coming weeks and months, we will continue communicating updates with our clubs.
On behalf of the RBA and the GEBC, we thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we all navigate our way through these challenging times.
Tim Mottin (President – Ringwood Basketball Association)