Basketball Competition Guidelines: Changes in the Game Designed for Safety of All

Stevens Point (OnFocus) – With basketball season underway, changes have been implemented in a number of facets of the game and its administration. Prior to the season, the WIAA identified winter sports guidelines and sport-specific considerations, and for basketball, these include considerations in the areas of:

  • Rules

  • Equipment

  • Competition

  • Officials

  • Coaches

The WIAA also announced last week that masking guidelines and social distancing are necessary and all member schools are required to follow the guidelines. Additionally, two timeouts were added for each game. For the 2020-21 season, each team receives a thirty second timeout in each half, and if not used, do not carry over to the next half or overtime period.

WIAA requires masking, adds two timeouts 

WIAA announces winter sports safety considerations

WIAA winter sports considerations include live streaming recommendations

Highlights in each of the areas:

  • Rules

    • only the referee and head coaches meet at center circle prior to the game
    • no handshakes pre or post game
    • limit seats at the scorer’s table
  • Equipment

    • Sanitize ball when possible during time-outs and at halftime
    • Consider requiring coaching staff and bench personnel to wear face coverings
    • Masks must be worn according to the governor’s mandate. Violation could result in a fine
    • Coaches, team personnel and meet personnel should wear masks at all times, encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines
    • Spectators should be strongly encouraged to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines
    • No shared equipment
    • Spitting, nose clearing, coughing are prohibited
  • Competition

    • Tracing sheet and verification form kept for all individuals travelling with the team
    • All spectators and personnel should follow social distancing
    • Suspend pre and post game handshakes
    • Consider suspending half time shows
    • Eliminate jump ball; visiting team begins game with throw in
    • Overtime period possession: coin toss to determine possession
  • Officials

    • Officials are NOT responsible for monitoring social distancing, hand washing, etc.
    • Electronic whistles are strongly encouraged
  • Coaches

    • Communicate expectations regarding minimizing spread of  virus
      • Reinforce need for athletes and team personnel to maintain social distance, wear masks, not attend if exposed to someone with COVID-19 or feeling ill
      • Remind players to use hand sanitizer prior to entering court and returning to sideline

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]