Covid Restrictions around Irish youth basketball matches lifted in goverment u-turn

Covid Restrictions around Irish youth basketball matches lifted in goverment u-turn

RESTRICTIONS AROUND youth basketball matches have been lifted after the government moved to amend the rules which meant Under-18 players were unable to play indoors.

Basketball Ireland welcomed yestedays announcement from the Irish government that games and competitions for U18 and below will be permitted.

It was stated by Sport Ireland that unless all players, coaches and officials involved either possessed a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate or had proof of a full recovery from the illness then games would not go ahead.

This did apply to National League or international games - but had a bigger impact on juvenile fixtures.

Children under 12 are not are not, as yet, eligible for vaccinations like the rest of the adult population. It meant, as per guidelines, many underage games couldn't take place, as it was not permitted to ask a minor their vaccine status.

Basketball Ireland chairman, Paul McDevitt said:

“We’re obviously delighted that the government has listened to what those in indoor sport have been saying and common sense has prevailed to allow our underage players continue playing. Our underage players are crucial to our sport, they’re our future, and they’ve been starved of basketball for so long. This announcement comes as a huge relief for everyone in basketball.”

Basketball Ireland has received the full guidelines from Sport Ireland and we shall be communicating with all the stakeholders in our game. The new guidelines mean the “pod of six” system can be adjusted to allow for U18 games and competitions, however the “pod of six” remains in place for all other basketball scenarios, such as training. The Sport Ireland updated guidelines will be in place until approximately February 2022.

Charles Higgins, chair of Basketball Ireland’s ‘Return to Play’ committee added:

“We have analysed the guidelines from Sport Ireland. They have said the continued use of the pod system for the majority of basketball activity, bar games and competitions, is to minimise risk and to help facilitate contact tracing. The basketball community has shown true commitment in administering all the Covid-19 protocols that have been put in place so far and I’d like to thank them for that.”