The 2020 Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships and the Under 13 Regionals have been cancelled due to COVID-19 and the restrictions on gatherings under Alert Level 2. Basketball New Zealand’s major events can only run under Alert Level 1 restrictions or better.
Chief Executive Iain Potter says Basketball New Zealand had been hopeful of running the competitions but, with the nation still operating under Alert Level 2 until at least 16 September, regrettably that time is too close to the tip off dates.
“We are genuinely disappointed and feel for all the young basketball players who have been hanging out for these events. To those senior secondary school players especially, we very much wanted to host the event for you and have been holding off on this decision in the hope that it would be possible.
“The reality is parents and Associations are seeking assurance now. Participants need time to book accommodation and lock in potentially non-refundable deposits. The changing flight schedule also makes it difficult for people to book without certainty of the event being played. Right now, we would need to be confident that, by their tip off dates, Level 1 conditions would prevail across all of New Zealand. We don’t have that assurance.
“Ultimately, we also have a duty of care to ensure it is safe. Unfortunately, COVID-19 still has a presence in New Zealand.”
School Sport New Zealand were consulted and agree with the decision to cancel.
Mr Potter says some Associations have already started to consider running smaller localised events and Basketball New Zealand will be discussing further options with Associations early next week.
“If some localised events can be run safely, within the requirements of the alert levels, then that would be great.
“The clear message from the Prime Minister is that we all need to remain vigilant. Mass gatherings can be the catalyst for a large COVID-19 outbreak and we don’t want that to happen. We support the Government’s stance on safety and trying to stamp out COVID-19 in New Zealand.”
Where some form of competition takes place in local communities, Basketball New Zealand is advising basketball providers to ensure they operate within the intention of the restrictions, and to remember:
- While social gatherings of up to 100 are allowed outside of Auckland, Aucklanders are encouraged to behave as if carrying their 10-person limit and extra restrictions (as stated on the COVID-19 website).
- Outside of Auckland, tournament hosts must keep the number of participants to be within the 100-person gathering limit. (Currently Auckland gatherings are limited to 10).
Cancelled Basketball New Zealand competitions:
- The Secondary Schools National Championships. (Was scheduled 28 September to 3 October at the Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North).
- The U13 Regionals. (Was scheduled 7-10 October).
- U13 Northern Regional Championships at Eventfinda Stadium, YMCA North Shore, AUT North Shore, hosted by Harbour Basketball.
- U13 Central Regional Championships at Pettigrew Green Arena, Centennial Hall, Hastings Sports Centre, hosted by Basketball Hawke’s Bay.
- U13 Southern Regional Championships, EA Networks Centre & Basketball Mid-Canterbury Stadium, hosted by Basketball Mid Canterbury
- Aon U15 Nationals. Currently scheduled for Saturday 24 October to Monday 26 October (Labour Weekend) at Pulman Arena in Auckland. (Decision will be reviewed after the Government address expected 14 September)
- Aon U17 Nationals. Currently scheduled for Saturday 24 October to Monday 26 October (Labour Weekend) at Cowles Stadium and Bishopdale YMCA in Christchurch. (Decision will be reviewed after the Government address expected 14 September)
- Schick 3×3 Cup, ILT Stadium, Invercargill. Thursday November 12 to Saturday 14 November.
Postponed: Sal’s NBL (women’s league to be announced).