Return to Basketball | Alert Level 2 Guidance

Sport New Zealand has confirmed that community sports are not allowed gatherings over 10 people while in Level 2, which comes into effect today, Thursday 14 May.

During Level 2, multiple groups (bubbles) of up to 10 people can operate in larger facilities and open spaces as long as they maintain the two-metre physical distancing requirement between groups.

Essentially, for community sport, Level 2 is a ‘Prepare to Play’ 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, sanitation processes and physical distancing.

For Associations and competition organisers, there is much to do in this ‘Prepare to Play’ phase. The following information covers key guidance to help ensure a safe and compliant resumption of competition, including:

  • When community basketball might return
  • Facilities
  • Contact tracing
  • Cleaning and hygiene
  • Gatherings and spectators
  • Physical distancing
  • Player physical preparation


When community basketball might return

All forms of competition and tournament basketball remain postponed during this ‘Prepare to Play’ period from 14 May – 4 June. This time enables  Associations and clubs time to ensure all appropriate measures are in place before returning to competition.

Training is permitted during this ‘Prepare to Play’ period if strict hygiene measures, physical distancing guidelines and a maximum of 10 people per group are followed​.

Sport NZ are indicating a possible return to competition from 30 May (depending on the 25 May government review of the number of people allowed in gatherings). To allow for more time and account for the uncertainty around this date, Basketball New Zealand recommends that competitive basketball does not resume before Friday 4 June. Please note that this is subject to change based on government direction and advice.

Pending the Government decision on 25 May, it’s possible that Queen’s Birthday weekend may be used for pre-season games subject to the strict public health requirements detailed in this update. Modified game formats are recommended (more information to come).

Competition should only resume when all the required health and safety measures have been put in place and tested. Players and teams should also have had the opportunity to physically prepare for a return to play, with injury prevention training noted as a priority.


Facilities (indoor and outdoor)

Please note that the responsibility to meet health and safety and contact tracing obligations at facilities sits with the hirer/user.

  • Facilities must have a written plan for safe operation in place and those with employees must have a WorkSafe plan in place.
  • Facilities must provide water, soap and towels/drier for participants to wash and dry their hands, or hand sanitiser (containing at least 70% alcohol).
  • Check with Facilities, they may also have their own systems in place for contact tracing and spectator rules.
  • Venue entry and exit protocols need to be agreed with facility operators.

Please refer to the BBNZ Health and Safety Guidelines for more details.


Contact Tracing

The impending return to basketball requires all Associations to have their own robust and sustainable Contact Tracing system in place. The responsibility for contract tracing belongs to Associations as users (hiring a venue).

Contact tracing will apply to every individual that is at a venue at any one time (indoor and outdoor). This includes players, officials, coaches, managers, spectators, association/competition staff and venue staff. We are recommending all Associations use The Huddle as a contact tracing tool. This will ensure all your data is located in a secure and central location online, and enhances your ability to maintain an accurate database of your members. We are also recommending The Huddle because:

  • Pre-registration will ensure you know exactly who should be entering the venue, adhering to gathering thresholds.
  • Pre-registration speeds up venue entry process and the likelihood of delays and/or physical distancing issues.
  • Easily identify close contacts.
  • Limit what requires sanitisation (i.e. pens).
  • Digital record means data is collected and secure.
  • Builds and maintain a comprehensive accurate database of your members.

The BBNZ Contract Tracing Guidelines can be found here.


Cleaning and Hygiene

  • All participants and spectators must follow public health hygiene measures, including washing and drying hands before and after any activity. Hand washing facilities must be available.
  • Exercise caution with common touch points (e.g. gates or doors) and wash or sanitise your hands after touching these surfaces. Also ensure these surfaces are sanitised regularly.
  • Minimise the sharing of equipment, in particular balls.
  • Equipment including balls must be cleaned, disinfected and dried after each training or game.

Please refer to the BBNZ Health and Safety Guidelines for more details.


Gatherings and Spectators

  • The maximum number of people in one gathering is 10. Each group must maintain a minimum of two metres physical distance from other groups.
  • A gathering includes players, coaches, officials, support staff and spectators.
  • The total number of people in one venue, at any one time, must be limited to a maximum of 100 people (either indoors or outdoors).
  • The contact tracing register for all participants and spectators must be in place and able to be accessed quickly.
  • We recommend that spectators are not allowed venue entry under Level 2. If you do decide to allow entry, a limit should be put in place and agreed with your host venue. Guardians of children should be allowed, but also accounted for within the 100 person limit.


Physical Distancing

  • People may participate in team sport and physical activity, including where physical distance cannot be maintained as long as no more than a total of 10 people are involved.
  • Multiple groups of up to 10 people can operate in larger facilities and open spaces as long as they maintain the two-metre physical distancing requirement between groups.
  • Participants should maintain physical distancing of one metre or more where contact tracing measures are in place when not participating in the sport or activity.
  • People should remain at least two metres apart from people they don’t know or where there is no contract tracing in place. In facilities with contact tracing measures in place, a minimum of one metre physical distancing is recommended.


Workshops and meetings

Workshops and meetings can be held subject to the following conditions:

  • Cleaning and hygiene guidelines.
  • Contact tracing.
  • Attendees are all seated at least one metre apart.
  • The limit of no more than 100 people in a facility is maintained.


Preparing players for a return to play – injury prevention training

Following an extended period without team trainings and contact sport, a period of physical preparation and injury prevention training is critical to help ensure a safe return to play minimising the potential of injuries

Resources to help with injury prevention training and athlete strength and conditioning can be found here.

Sport New Zealand advice for all sports, including level 2 guidance, can be found on their webpage here.