Frequently asked questions around CBL participation in the Covid-19 era

Many coaches remain unsure about what coaching safely within the COVID-19 era currently means and what is or isn’t allowed.  We’ve grouped together the most commonly asked questions from all of the coaches from our clubs and programs to provide some guidance on what you should and shouldn’t be doing, in line with Basketball England’s RTP guidance.

If your question isn’t answered below, please review the extensive information for coaches and clubs around COVID-19 on the Basketball England website, or get in touch so we can help answer your query: CONTACT US


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing worldwide pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARSCOV-2).

This virus appears to be highly infectious and at present, we do not have an effective treatment for it. Most people (80%) who are infected have mild symptoms and some do not have any symptoms at all. Because this is a new virus, there is much we do not know about it. However, like other viral infections, we know that many individuals who are infected, are infectious for up to two days (48hours) before they have symptoms. This means it is easy to spread this disease before you are aware you have it.

While the majority of those who become symptomatic can be managed at home, 15-20% who contract the virus become unwell and may require hospitalisation. A small number (5%) require intensive care, some of whom require breathing support through ventilation. These patients are more likely to be male, older (over 60) and have underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, raised blood pressure, chronic lung disease or diabetes.

There is growing evidence individuals from Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities appear to have higher rates of serious illness from COVID-19 (up to 1.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to white people). Given that a large proportion of the basketball family (58%) come from these communities, the guidance should be seen as especially important for these individuals.

The exact mortality rate associated with COVID-19 infection is unknown, but it may be as high as 1- 2% overall and is higher in vulnerable groups. COVID-19 will likely remain a potentially deadly virus until an effective vaccine is created, but vaccination is unlikely to be available for several months to years. Younger healthy people appear to be less likely to develop severe symptoms based on current knowledge. However, anyone can spread the disease, infecting those they love, their friends, colleagues, and teammates. Governments and health authorities around the world have instigated social distancing requirements, restrictions on public gatherings, quarantine measures, and limited travel to and from other countries to slow the spread of the disease and to enable health care systems to cope with the potentially increased demands associated with managing the disease. The basketball community has a responsibility to support these efforts.

We are still learning more about the coronavirus, and so symptoms may evolve as time goes by.  However, the NHS describes common symptoms of COVID-19 to include:

  • High temperature over 37.8˚C
  • New and persistent cough
  • Loss of taste or sense of smell

In addition, other symptoms can include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  • Tiredness

Though these are common symptoms of other illnesses, there may be signs an individual has been infected by COVID-19, and it is vital that you do not infect teammates, colleagues, your friends, and family, or the general public.

If you suspect you have contracted COVID-19 and are displaying consistent symptoms, it is important you get tested via your local NHS test provider.

  • Washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wear a mask to prevent the spread of water droplets from your mouth when talking, coughing, sneezing, etc.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth wherever possible.
  • Practicing social distancing when not on the court. 
  • Wearing a mask when not on the court in public areas.
  • Clean and disinfect your ball after playing with it to keep it clean.
  • Practice good hygiene at all times.  

In response to this unprecedented COVID-19 period the sport finds itself in, Basketball England has designed a Return To Play – Roadmap (RTP) to help all within the game negotiate returning to basketball in the safest way possible.

The RTP document aims to help basketball players, coaches, support staff and administrators to live safely during this crisis; and when restrictions are reduced, to guide a safe return to activity in a compliant and safe manner.

The RTP is based on 5 key principles as below:

  • The health and safety of members
  • The guidance is to be applied alongside additional rules provided by venue operators
  • The guidance aligns to Government rules and is flexible to allow for changes to be applied quickly as they become possible
  • The guidance is based on clubs, organisations and individuals complying with the requirements
  • All clubs and league providers must have a COVID-19 Officer in place to liaise with Basketball England

The guidance document has been created based on the current research available and following discussions with Sport and Exercise Medicine staff, and their counterparts outside of basketball. Advice from UK Government and FIBA has helped to shape these guidelines.

Please note the current RTP document reflects the information and research gathered when it is circulated. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the responses of the public health community and UK Government remains fluid; data and recommendations will change, so this document will be updated to reflect this process.

To view the RTP Guidance document in full, please visit: Basketball England RTP

The Return To Play roadmap is split into 5 levels of response which guide what we can and can’t do at each level, relative government advice and direction from Basketball England.

The 5 levels are as follows:


  • No public gatherings
  • 2m social distancing
  • No travel allowed
  • Play only permitted at home or in your own garden
  • No training
  • No competitions


  • Public gatherings of up to 2 people from different households
  • 2m social distancing
  • Limited travel times
  • You may play on outdoor basketball courts only
  • You can play/train alone
  • You can play/train with other members from your household
  • You can play/train with one other person from a different household
  • No games at this level


  • Public gatherings of up to 6 people
  • 2m social distancing
  • No carpooling on travel
  • You can use outdoor courts
  • Indoor courts can only be used by ‘elite’ players only (as defined by the governing body)
  • Drills and skills sessions only
  • Non contact drills only
  • No games or competitions at this level


  • Public gatherings increased
  • 1m social distancing
  • Limited carpooling allowed on travel
  • Outdoor and indoor courts are allowed for use
  • Drills, skills and team based training allowed
  • Maximum of 30 per court, including coaches and any staff on indoor sessions
  • Competitions are allowed but behind closed doors – no live spectators


  • Public gatherings increased
  • Social distancing removed
  • Limited carpooling for travel
  • Outdoor and indoor courts are allowed for use
  • Drills, skills and team based training allowed
  • 30 person limit removed from training and competitions
  • Competitions are allowed with limited spectators


  • Full training and competitions framework reinstated
  • All restrictions removed



Basketball England, the governing body for basketball across the whole country, have created the RTP guidance document in response to the government’s restrictions on social interaction.  The levels within the RTP are outlined to help clubs, coaches, players, officials and all members of the basketball community safely navigate through the pandemic, operating within the rules set out by the government. 

All players, coaches and officials must complete the  CBL COVID-19 SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE prior to any active involvement with any CBL competitions and also update our COVID-19 PARTICIPANT STATUS UPDATE form, should their circumstances change.

The screening document is a self-declaration from all parents that identifies COVID-19 risk and also serves as parental consent for your players to play and partcipate in your session.  It is essential that you check your registers pre-session, to ensure every single participant is listed on the register sent to you and you only allow those listed on your register to play.

Every player involved in the CBL must have parental consent.  Every parent of all players competing in the CBL this season must complete the declaration on behalf of their child.  *PLEASE NOTE: Coaches cannot complete the declaration on behalf of the participating child.  It must be completed by the parent or guardian of the named player*

Your key responsibility is to ensure you check every player at all of your practise sessions and games is on your register with an up-to-date declaration signed by a parent, and do not permit players who are not registered, to play, in any circumstance.

In addition, you are required to check the temperature of every player prior to them entering the sports hall, in a COVID-safe manner, using a digital thermometer, to ensure they do not have a high temperature.


All coaches are required to wear masks at all times while at CBL events during the pandemic.

Masks are worn to stop any aerosol spread (water droplets from your mouth during talking, coughing, sneezing etc).

Yes.  You must disinfect the balls to be used with antibacterial wipes (or similar) before every practice and game ideally at 20 minute intervals throughout practice, where possible.

You must also repeat the process at the end of practice.

The CBL will be disinfecting all game balls before competition and between each quarter of every game.

Disinfecting the ball is a good way to reduce the risk of spreading the infection during active play.

  • Before entry and exit of any building.
  • During stoppages in play (we recommend every 20 minutes when training and between each quarter during games).
  • After going to the toilet.

No. Non-essential contact is not allowed, in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

We recommend you implement alternative, non-contact gestures to serve the same purpose as a high-five or hand shake.

No. Non-essential contact is not allowed, in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

We recommend you implement alternative, non-contact gestures to serve the same purpose as a high-five or hand shake.

No.  Changing room facilities are not to be used during the COVID-19 restrictive era in the CBL.

Teams are required to arrive at each game already dressed in playing kit (underneath tracksuit or suitable clothing that can be quickly and easily removed courtside).

Similarly, after games, teams are to put tracksuits back on over playing kit and get changed and shower/bathe once they arrive back home.

In order to help with some of the issues around this, the league have relaxed the rules this season on players wearing under-garments to both playing vests and shorts.  Players are allowed to wear compression tops and ‘tights’, or t-shirts, underneath their playing uniforms this season.

Players are permitted to use the toilet, if necessary, but only one at a time and must ensure they wash their hands thoroughly.


The CBL is limited to a maximum of 30 people in total in the sports hall at any one time.  As such, it is not possible to allow parents inside the sports hall to watch the games this season.

To accommodate for this, the league is live-streaming all games this season, which parents are encouraged to take advantage of.

*Coaches are reminded that all parents must give permission for their child to be filmed in CBL game competitions for the purpose of these streams and in general action photography.  It is a prerequisite for all participants within the CBL this season*

For parents who take issue with these restrictions, coaches are advised to remind them politely that in order for the session to go ahead, you have a strict limitation on the number of people you can allow in the sports hall as part of your team, for the health and safety of all of the players and coaches.


In line with our Terms & Conditions, teams who have paid registration fee’s for any season that has to be postponed or cancelled as result of government advice that games should be temporarily suspended for health or other reasons, no refunds will be given.  However a credit will be issued to the registered team(s), which is to be redeemed at the rescheduled date of the intended season or deferred to the following season.

If the team is unable to attend the rescheduled date(s), the credit will roll-over to the next available season and continue to be valid for a maximum of 24 months after the date of credit receipt or until such time as the credit has been redeemed.  At the end of 24 months, any unused credit will cease to be valid.