Basketball hopes for mid-July return

By Brayden May

Basketball Victoria chief executive Nick Honey is hopeful of a mid-July return for his sport.

All competitive community sport is on a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, but with the Victorian Government continuing to ease restrictions, hope of a return to action is growing.

“We will be directed by governments and medical advice like everyone will, but we think that the start of term three would be a fantastic natural break to begin community sport again,” Honey told The Age.

“We think the school holidays would be enough time for facility managers and sporting clubs to ramp up and get organised for a return to play.

“We would like to see anything from July 13 to July 20 as a resumption-of-play date.

“We really encourage the government to give us a road map. Everyone is keen for a date and if that gets changed in the future then so be it, but the uncertainty is really affecting sports, especially basketball.

“Having a date gives people hope. We are fearful that if there is no winter season that, while our hardcore players will always be there, the social players and those who play for the friendships and a hobby will drop off because it's no longer a habit in their life.”

Honey also said his organisation would argue its venues needed to be assessed differently to places such as cafes and restaurants.

Basketball Victoria has already developed its own return to play model with longer gaps between games needed to transition players in and out of venues or allow for court cleaning

Honey said later time slots for games may also be required to help with any potential competition going ahead.

Basketball Australia has suggested removing the jump-ball with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who starts with the ball.

In Victoria, the home team or the side listed first could start with the ball.