THE International Basketball Federation on Tuesday published recommendations on returning to basketball in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendations, which were published in the English, French and Spanish languages, are titled “Return to Basketball – Restart Guidelines for National Federations”.
A basketball-specific “Risk Assessment Tool” has also been produced in collaboration with the World Health Organisation.
FIBA is the world governing body for basketball and is an independent association formed by 213 national basketball federations throughout the world.
The body, which is based in Mies in Switzerland, is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee.
FIBA’s guidelines are primarily for national federations seeking direction and advice on the restart of basketball activities and competitions.
Vast majority of basketball activities and competitions around the world had 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. The risk assessment tool is a live document and will be updated regularly,” FIBA said.
It however reminded the federations that the publication is not intended to replace the guidance and restrictions of governments and public health authorities.
FIBA Medical Commission Chairman, Peter Harcourt after his consultation with the FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group (MAG), and also both the FIBA Medical and Players Commissions.
Harcourt, who is from Australia, holds numerous positions within other sports organisations, as well as with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Commonwealth Games Federation Medical Commission.
“In these challenging times, on behalf of FIBA’s Medical Commission, I 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.
I can assure 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,” he said.
It was also mandated 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, and the Senior Advisor to the WHO Executive Director.
It also has a University of Melbourne Professor of Medicine who specialises in immunology and vaccine research, and, as an observer, the IOC Medical Director.