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NCAA releases health and safety guidelines for college basketball

Latest resocialization measures focus on testing, travel, and access to the court and bench areas

The NCAA Sport Science Institute, in partnership with the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, has released the Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Basketball, its latest set of health and safety guidelines focused on COVID-19 and the first set of guidelines concentrated on basketball.

The guidelines include updates on testing, travel considerations, and access to the court and bench areas. They were presented to and supported by the NCAA Board of Governors on Friday.

“This basketball resocialization guidance is based on the best information available in a rapidly changing COVID-19 environment.” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “It is predicated on the assumption that rapid testing capabilities will be readily available later this year. We will constantly assess emerging information as we prepare for the start of the basketball season at the end of November.”

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.

“The guidelines reflect recommendations from collaboration with the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, which features representatives from across the membership,” said NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline. “We will continue to work with them and others from the Association in safeguarding student-athlete well-being.”

The NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group includes team physicians, infectious disease and public policy experts; representatives from the membership; and representatives from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, National Medical Association, Autonomy 5 Medical Advisory Group, and NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

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.

For more information on the NCAA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ncaa.org/covid-19.