BRAD COLE THE ADVOCATE Basketball participants in Tasmania have received a bonus as they wait for their sport to re-open thanks to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by the State Government earlier this week.
From Friday afternoon, clubs and teams can resume training in a modified format with up to 20 people in attendance.
The news comes as Basketball Tasmania released a revised calendar of events for the remainder of the year following a shutdown of almost three months, with all staff back on board now.
CEO Chris McCoy said the news of courts being allowed to open again came as a pleasant surprise to his organisation as they work towards competitions resuming on July 6.
“We were working around the 15th June so to have it 10 days earlier than that was certainly a pleasant surprise for us,” he said.
“While we won’t necessarily be back on the court at 3pm this Friday, it gives us a good window to work with local councils and schools on meeting their requirements as well.”
The new-look basketball calendar has seen several adjustments to programs and competitions that had commenced or were about to commence, including the inaugural Tasmanian Junior Basketball League.
McCoy said it was a difficult task to fit nine months of activities into a six-month window.
“We were planning to run a 10-week junior representative series with three weeks of finals, but presently we have nine weeks with one week of finals,” he said.
“We still had two more rounds of the tri-series to come but reduced that to one, and we’ve had to push our state championships into the October school holidays to make it fit.
“We’ll play during the weekdays of that period and hope that with time, people will be organise two days of holidays if they are a coach to attend the championships.
“It hasn’t been without difficulty, but we’re really happy we’ve been able to release a draft version of our calendar, and while it’s still a work in progress, it allows us to have that light at the end of the tunnel to resume.
“We had a catch-up on Tuesday night with the North-West presidents and they are all really excited to be able to run some domestic activity, to plan towards the junior representative season and the under 22 season which is coming up, as well as the State League season if they plan on participating. “
Currently the State League roster is set down for three weekends in October and November before a gala weekend of finals in Launceston from November 28-29.
McCoy said that could change depending on interest levels shown.
“The last few years have seen a round in Hobart, a round on the Coast and then gala weekend in Launceston,” he said.
“We’re still yet to consult further with the associations on that but we’ll be asking whether they want that format to resume, whether they want an extra round in there at a central venue or if they want a home and away series, which we’d be quite open to that as well.”