MIES (Switzerland) – FIBA has published recommendations on returning to basketball, with the Return to Basketball – Restart Guidelines for National Federations, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A basketball-specific Risk Assessment Tool has also been produced in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
FIBA’s guidelines, published in English, French and Spanish, are primarily for National Federations that are seeking direction and advice on the restart of basketball activities and competitions, with the vast majority around the world having been halted in mid-March due to the pandemic. The guidelines and risk assessment tool will serve as a checklist to ensure any decisions on basketball events are based on an assessment of risks and the best chance of a successful restart. This publication is not intended to replace the guidance and restrictions of governments and public health authorities. The risk assessment tool is a live document and will be updated regularly.
The guidelines have been developed by FIBA Medical Commission Chairman, Dr. Peter Harcourt of Australia, following his consultation with the FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group (MAG), and also both the FIBA Medical and Players Commissions. Along with being Chair of FIBA’s Medical Commission, Dr. Harcourt holds numerous positions within other sports organizations as well as with WADA and the Commonwealth Games Federation Medical Commission.
Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Secretary General, said: “I wish to sincerely thank the FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, FIBA’s Commissions involved and the World Health Organization for their invaluable work, expertise and continued contribution towards protecting our national federations, players, officials and basketball event organizers. This set of guidelines will be very beneficial for the basketball community in their return to our game. We all miss our sport being played and as the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, FIBA remains committed to providing guidance for a safe environment for the ‘Return to Basketball’.”
The FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group was set up in April, with the purpose to review the latest scientific knowledge regarding COVID-19 and to advise on the return of international basketball competitions. Members of this special advisory group include the Chair and Deputy Chair of the FIBA Medical Commission, the NBA Director of Sports Medicine, the Senior Advisor to the World Health Organization’s Executive Director, a University of Melbourne Professor of Medicine specialized in immunology and vaccine research, and, as an observer, the IOC Medical Director.
Dr. Harcourt said: “In these challenging times, on behalf of FIBA’s Medical Commission, I would like to share our heartfelt support and solidarity with the basketball community across the world. I have witnessed that FIBA has been working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of national federations, players, officials and other partners. Rest assured that our Medical Commission will keep working and collaborating closely with WHO and will endeavor to assist FIBA to safeguard the basketball community from the current pandemic crisis based on the scientific knowledge.”
The documents are available to download from the FIBA COVID-19 document center here.