The 2021 Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships have been cancelled, following last night’s Government announcement that Alert Levels remain in place.
The Prime Minister said Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 from 11.59pm tonight (Tuesday), staying in Alert Level 3 for at least two weeks. The rest of the country will remain in Alert Level 2, with indoor gathering limits increased from 50 to 100. The Government indicated their next decision would be 4 October, which is the original tip-off date for the event.
The Secondary Schools Basketball Nationals draws a large attendance from all over the country, so it can only be held under Alert Level 1 restrictions or better, due to the gathering limits at Alert Level 2 and higher.
Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive Iain Potter says the organisers have been hopeful of running the competition, but have run out of time and needed to make a call today.
“Right now, Basketball New Zealand, the community and schools need to be confident that Level 1 conditions would prevail across New Zealand by tip off. We don’t have that assurance.
“We are genuinely disappointed for all those who have been looking forward to the Nationals. The cancellation will be upsetting for many, especially for those senior secondary-school players who have been working so hard to prepare,” says Potter.
Basketball New Zealand says the decision needed to be made today as schools, parents and Associations are seeking the decision now. They need time to book accommodation, flights, cars and potentially commit to non-refundable deposits. And some Associations and schools have told Basketball New Zealand they would like time to consider planning local events, should the national event be cancelled.
School Sport NZ were consulted and agree with the decision to cancel. The event will not be postponed as School Sport NZ will not sanction winter events being played in term four. Term four is prioritised for summer sport and exams. Plus, securing venues at a new time is unlikely.
Mr Potter says those Associations, schools and others who are planning to run small local events, should ensure they plan carefully, and operated within the Government restrictions with robust health and safety requirements.
“If local events can be run safely, within the requirements of the alert levels, then that’s great. Our message to them is to remain vigilant and only operate if you can do so within COVID-19 Alert Level requirements.
“We support the Government’s stance on safety first. We should all be helping to stamp out COVID-19 in New Zealand” says Potter.
UPDATES ON OTHER BASKETBALL NZ EVENTS
- Aon U13 Regional Championships | 13-16 October
The Northern Regional U13 Championships have been cancelled due to the ongoing restrictions in Auckland. Basketball New Zealand is still hopeful that these remaining events (Central and Southern) could go ahead. After contacting a majority of affected Associations this morning, the consensus was to withhold making a decision for one more week. Basketball NZ will reassess this event early next week. A handful of Associations have said they are not in a position to wait an extra week – should these teams withdraw, they will be refunded for the team entry fee.
- Northern Regional Championships. Eventfinda Stadium, AUT North Shore, YMCA North Shore, North Auckland. CANCELLED.
- Central Regional Championships. Pettigrew Green Arena and Hastings Sports Centre, Napier and Hastings.
- Southern Regional Championships. EA Networks Centre and Basketball Mid-Canterbury Stadium, Ashburton
- Schick 3X3 Cup, 14-16 October. ILT Stadium, Invercargill | The NBL is finalising the process of rescheduling this event with further details to come later this week on NZNBL.basketball.
- Sal’s NBL | The Sal’s NBL women’s season remains on hold with all six teams eagerly hoping for a return in late October or early November. The League is currently working with all teams on possible options and remains hopeful the competition will restart at Pulman Arena when it is safe to do so.
- Four regional High Performance U15 Camps | scheduled for Labour Weekend. These are still scheduled, although we are considering alternative locations for the Auckland camp as a Plan B. The Auckland camp will be held if the region is in Alert Level 2. Basketball New Zealand will likely make a decision on this on Monday 18 October (five days before the camp).
- 3×3.EXE Premier New Zealand Playoff | Swish Factory, North Auckland. This event has been POSTPONED to 13 November.
BASKETBALL UNDER ALERT LEVEL TWO
With the increased gathering limit announced yesterday, the guidelines for operating basketball under Alert Level 2 have been updated today and are available here.