All non-elite competitions plus academy leagues cancelled for 2020/21 -

All non-elite competitions plus academy leagues cancelled for 2020/21

Basketball England have announced all non-elite competitions, along with the academy leagues are cancelled for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19.

It means the BBL, WBBL and NBL & WNBL 1 are the only competitions that will take place during the usual season window, although the governing body have said there is potential for alternative competitions and events later in the year if conditions allow.

NBL Division 2 and 3, WNBL Division 2, EABL, WEABL, ABL, Jnr NBL, local leagues are all culled for the season, whilst BUCS have also announced the cancellation of the 2020-21 university sport season.

“We have taken the difficult decision to cancel all non-elite basketball – at senior and junior levels – for the 2020/21,” Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett said.

“We have held off from this sad moment for as long as possible in the hope that some part of the traditional September-May season could be salvaged.

“But it is clear that, with the rising R-rate, a new strain of the virus, the Government’s position on non-elite sport and half our season already wiped out, that this is not practical or sensible any longer. We all want our game back, but the stress and challenges on players, volunteers, parents, officials and everyone in the game to keep planning for a return has escalated to an intolerable level.

“I would like to thank players, clubs, volunteers, parents and officials for their patience and understanding in this frustrating, worrying and uncertain time and hope this decision allows for us all to plan and prepare for a return to the courts on 2021/22 and, hopefully before then, the option of some alternative form of competition later in the year, if conditions allow. Our aim is to work with you and plan to get ahead of the disruption curve so we can recover for an enjoyable and successful season from September.”

To enable the continuation of NBL Division 1, Basketball England will enhance their return to play guidance by introducing lateral flow testing, whilst WNBL Division 1 games are on hold until the end of January – to be reviewed.

“We have taken note of the increased risk currently posed by the rate of Covid-19 and the concerns of our clubs and players at elite level and will expand the testing currently taking place to keep everyone involved as safe as possible,” Kellett added.

“Our RTP is robust and Government approved but we believe this gives an extra layer of security.”

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