This evening Sport New Zealand issued the following media release clarifying that community sports are not allowed gatherings over 10 people while in Level 2, which comes into effect this Thursday.

Essentially, for community sport, Level 2 is a ‘Get Ready’ phase followed by a ‘Prepare to Play’ phase.

Under the ‘Get Ready’ phase, anyone offering basketball in their communities must prepare and put robust health and safety measures in place. This includes contact tracing, limiting bubbles to 10 people and sanitation processes – precautions like hand-washing is still essential.

The ‘Prepare to Play’ phase means players and sports providers can start training in bubbles of ten people or less, but only within a controlled environment with the required health and safety measures in place.

Sport NZ indicate, all going well, that the bubble restrictions may be loosened around Queen’s Birthday Weekend, so competition could possibly resume from 30 May. We should assume this will still be under controlled measures like contact tracing and sanitation requirements.

Associations may also need more time to book facilities, communicate with teams and players, administer leagues, meet with funders and many other tasks before they can resume competition, some competitions may require a later start than 30 May.

The ‘Prepare to Play’ period also gives players time to return to training, before the heightened pressure of competitive play. Injury prevention is important and we will be posting more guidance from ACC in the coming days, along with other basketball-specific guidance that may be of use to Associations in the ‘Get Ready’ phase.

The updated Sport NZ guidance for under Level 2 can be found here.



Updated guidance on community sport at Alert Level 2

Following yesterday’s announcement on the transition to Alert Level 2, Sport NZ can confirm that the 10 person gathering limit does apply to all community sport.

“We have worked closely with major winter codes around how and when they are best able to get their seasons underway, and what has come through clearly from those discussions is the importance of having an initial phase of preparation before play can commence,” says Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin.

“We anticipate it being possible for competitions to be able to commence from around 30 May, subject to New Zealand’s continued containment of COVID-19 and the advice of the Director-General of Health.  Some sports may choose to take longer to start competitions depending on their specific circumstances.”

For many sports, this is now in a ‘get ready’ phase where they will put in place what is needed to commence safely. As training numbers can increase sports will then enter a ‘prepare to play’ phase to get athletes ready to compete.

Some sports may be able to return sooner. From Thursday sports can train and play subject to the combined number of players, coaches and/or officials not exceeding 10 and appropriate physical distancing guidelines being observed.

“Where this is possible, we are encouraging sports and teams to take time to look at how they can operate effectively within the 10 person limit and adhere to public guidelines around hygiene, contract tracing, physical distancing and gatherings,” says Peter Miskimmin.

“It’s important everyone is patient as this will help to keep New Zealanders safe. We don’t want sport to be the reason we go backwards in alert levels.”

Professional sports teams are not covered by this guidance. They are being treated in line with guidance on workplaces, and have indicated that their competitions will commence in June.

Updated Level 2 Guidelines for Physical Activity are available at sportnz.org.nz.