The NCAA on Friday released health and safety guidelines for college basketball as the sport returns later this year for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic.
These latest guidelines, from the NCAA Sport Science Institute, are the first to concentrate specifically on college basketball. They include areas such as testing, travel and access to court and bench areas.
From the NCAA:
“The guidelines suggest testing three times per week on non-consecutive days throughout the season, including for officials, as well as the logistics of appropriately distancing Tier 1 individuals (student-athletes and essential personnel who are in regular proximity to them) from other essential personnel during games.”
NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement that the guidance “is based on the best information available in a rapidly changing COVID-19 environment.”
“It is predicated on the assumption that rapid testing capabilities will be readily available later this year,” Emmert noted. “We will constantly assess emerging information as we prepare for the start of the basketball season at the end of November.”
The NCAA previously announced that college basketball season can begin Nov. 25. Most conference tournaments and the 2020 NCAA Tournament were canceled earlier this year because of coronavirus concerns.
The guidance released Friday was the latest regarding safety measures. From the NCAA:
“This is the fourth set of resocialization guidelines from the Sport Science Institute. The initial Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport recommendations provided guidelines and practices for schools as they developed their own mitigation plans. Action Plan Considerations offered recommendations to help schools mitigate risks of COVID-19 spread as staff and student-athletes returned to campus. Developing Standards for Practice and Competition extended previous guidance and provided updated recommendations about the protection of athletes and prevention of community spread of COVID-19.”