The EOBA executive held a meeting on August 31st to discuss the upcoming EOBA season. The EOBA is committed to following the return to play guidelines issued by the Ontario Basketball Association as well as rules and regulations issued by public health authorities and our various cities and municipalities. A copy of the OBA guidelines can be found here: https://basketball.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/OBA-RTP-Phase-3-V1-072420.pdf. The OBA is currently in Phase 3 of its Return to play protocol. Phase 3 permits teams to practice provided they limit the number of players and ensure social distancing during practices.
Given current information the following represents the EOBA planning assumptions for the 2020-2021 season. These assumptions will be updated as the EOBA receives more information.
- EOBA sanctioned games will not start until January 2021.
- The EOBA season will run from January 2021 to the end of May 2021 for all divisions (i.e. the season will be extended for most divisions due to the late start).
- Once clubs have formed and registered their teams, the EOBA will divide the leagues (e.g. U16 Boys) into divisions of 4 to 8 teams (depending on restrictions at that time).
- Teams will be assigned to divisions based on geographic location and skill level (as indicated by the team).
- Teams will be asked to use their club assigned practice time or game time to arrange games (meaning many games will be held during the week).
- Divisions will be responsible for developing their own schedules. The EOBA will not offer a centralized scheduling service for the 2020-2021 season.
The EOBA will not be arranging any recreational basketball leagues this year (WEBL, COBL). Given the current restrictions clubs should consider running club-only recreational leagues. (The NBBA will run in-house recreational and development leagues.)
All of this assumes that clubs will be provided school gyms at some point starting in the late Fall of 2020. There is no assurance of this and it is quite probable that once EOBA clubs get gyms the amount of time will be reduced causing a further refinement of the assumptions noted above.
The EOBA also encourages clubs to limit the movement of players between clubs this year and implement the policy of not accepting transfers from area clubs unless there is agreement between the clubs ahead of time.