With the NBA 2019/2020 season expected to resume very soon, the board has made available health guidelines and protocols for everyone to follow.
As has been confirmed, the rest of the season would take place in a bubble facility at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. This is to control the presence of people in the court when the game starts. Also, the bubble would allow for adequate testing and observance of COVID-19 rules.
The guidelines were contained in a 100-page report which has been made available to players and everyone involved in the restart. The lengthy report takes note of every health concern that could be faced as the season restarts. Staging sporting events in a pandemic is not an easy feat and a lot of things have to be properly outlined.
The report breaks things down into six phases; phase 1, which started on June 12 and would run till June 22, would have players return to their home markets. This is to enable them to be around for the rest of the season and start quarantine on time, especially those who left the state or the country.
They would also begin individual training at this stage, although it is not compulsory; phase 2 (June 23-30) is when testing would begin for players and other staff expected at the bubble. All the rules in phase 1 also apply here; phase 3 (July 1-July 11) is when workout really kicks off, still for individuals.
Testing and quarantine continues. Also, it is at this phase teams are expected to depart for Orlando between July 7 and 9. Teams would have to agree to follow the protocols at Orlando. Upon arrival, players would have to self-isolate until they return two negative results; phase 4 (July 11-21) is when team training and workout would start.
Players of the same team may now be allowed to do things together. Although one may not enter another person’s hotel room as all meetups would take place outside; phase 5 (July 22-29) is when teams would be allowed to play practice games. Testing would continue as with other stages; phase 6 (July 30-end of the season) this is when games would begin proper.
Part of the report also includes guidelines players must observe on the court. Certain erstwhile practices would have to stop, some of which include, licking hands and touching objects, spitting on the court, wiping the basketball with their shirt, exchanging jerseys, and some more.
The ball would have to be washed with water mixed with detergent, properly wiped, and then disinfected before and during gameplay.
Outside the court, players are to refrain from unnecessary physical contact and to leave as much distance between each other. Players would only freshen up at their hotel room after a game, which means they would not be allowed to use the bathroom around the court.
The rules are numerous and some are a bit hard to follow, giving human nature and compulsion. But they are all in the best interest of the players and the staff to ensure that everyone is safe and that the season can be completed without a hitch.
Written by: Leon Osamor