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12/15/20 Update

No material changes based on our risk assessment, so therefore no change to our standing safety protocols.

12/9/20 Update

COVID-19 cases are increasing here in NH, and Bedford is no exception.  We’ve had a few players and coaches test positive.  Through detailed contract tracing and by using our COVID protocols, we have notified impacted teams and paused basketball activities where appropriate, and in some cases the school has asked impacted players to quarantine.  Rest assured we’ve had NO transmission between players or coaches, consistent with very low transmissions among other sports teams in southern NH.  We cannot control COVID, infections within BBL will likely happen.  The only thing we can control is reducing risk of transmission through effective safety strategies.

As an organization we implemented safety measures before the season started, and we have continued to implement measures as the season has progressed.  Using our risk assessment matrix, the number of cases and the current test positivity rate has pushed us into a HIGH RISK situation.  As such we have introduced two additional safety measures, effective immediately.

  • Reduce the close contact in practices by mandating skills and drills only, limiting the amount of time players spend in close contact with each other
  • Strong recommendation for players in grades 1-8 to wear masks on the court (mandating masks is counter to the recent BBL membership survey results and puts players with a medical condition in a difficult situation)
  • However, consistent with BHS school policy for school players, and as requirement in order to use school district facilities, all high school biddy players must wear masks at all time, including while playing.

Two additional safety measures may be employed if our ongoing risk assessment calls for it.

  • Reducing the number of teams in a gym by adjusting the practice schedule so each team practices every other week
  • Pausing the season until the local COVID situation improves

Our board is all volunteer and we are doing the best to provide a safe environment for our children in a very difficult time.  We will continue to keep you updated through communications like this.  Thank you for your continued support of our organization and youth sport.

12/1/20 Update

The board of directors met and agreed to slightly adjust our policies.

  • We discourage carpoooling to practices and games, but if carpooling must happen please have everyone in masks during the ride.
  • Parents may stay for practice but to limit the number of people in the gym we ask for parents to stay in the hall and watch through the windows or climb the stairs and watch from the second floor.

As of today the numbers in Bedford put us in the high risk category, we met as a board and continue to meet to ensure games and practices and games are as safe as possible.

We reserve the right to continually adjust our policy, thank you for your flexibility as we navigate through these difficult times.

11/30/20 Update

Numbers from the risk assessment process has been increasing so the BBL Board has approved some mitigation steps to prevent the spread of COVID.

  • No scrimmages with other teams
  • Working with Fundamental Hoops, improving the check in procedures for travel teams
  • No carpooling to practice and games

We want to reiterate that any travel outside of New England requires quarantine per state guidelines. 

In terms of mask policies, in accordance with the recent membership survey results, research and discussion, we’ve decided on the following policies.

  • Travel and Rec (NO CHANGE)
    • Coaches, players, officials and spectators are required to wear masks while in the facility. Players will be allowed to remove them only when playing, but masks must be worn on the bench.
    • Players are encouraged to wear masks while playing as they see fit and coaches have been instructed to create an environment of acceptance for these players.
  • Biddy – some Biddy teams will be playing in schools and will be required to wear masks under their policy, so we are extending that to all Biddy teams regardless of where they are playing.  Mandatory masks for all Biddy teams at all time.

Thank you for your continued support.

11/12/20 Update

Rec evaluations are important to ensure evenly drafted teams, but the evaluations also bring a potentially large number of players in close contact in an indoor space.  The BBL Board has decided to cancel evaluations this year to eliminate what we feel is an unnecessary risk.

 

To make sure we draft teams as evenly as possible, we will use data from prior evaluations, along with the collective wisdom of rec coaches.  Rec coaching assignments will be confirmed on Thursday, 11/12, then rec coaches will be invited in player assessment sessions at Manchester Baller’s Association (3 Sundial Drive, Manchester NH).

 

  • Boys 3/4: 8:30a-9a
  • Boys 5/6: 9:15a-9:45a
  • Boys 7/8: 10a-10:30a
  • Girls 3/4: 10:45a-11:15a
  • Girls 5/6: 11:30a -12p
  • Girls 7/8: 12:15p-12:45p

 

We know this is not perfect but given the current environment safety is out top priority, and we feel eliminating rec evaluations is the safest thing to do.

11/9/20 Update

Weekly risk assessment complete and with little change to the local statistics we are keeping our COVID safety posture same as last week.

11/2/20 Update

Weekly risk assessment complete and with little change to the local statistics we are keeping our COVID safety posture same as last week.

10/26/20 Update

The Bedford Basketball League (BBL) Board of Directors is committed to providing a youth basketball outlet for Bedford children during the 20/21 Winter Season, while at the same time effectively managing the risk of COVID infection to our membership.

PLAN FOR SEASON

The BBL is planning the following for a successful winter 20/21 season.

  • Gym Space
    • Manchester Ballers Association (old Hesser Gym)
    • Sports Plex in Bedford
    • Potential for school gyms later in the season
  • Travel
    • Majority of practices to be held at MBA in Manchester
    • Teams will plan in a town only league offered through Fundamental Hoops, with games played in Derry or Plaistow
  • Recreation/Biddy
    • All teams practice and play in Bedford at Sport Plex
    • No outside teams (e.g. Merrimack)

COVID Safety Protocols

Safety in the current pandemic environment is a BBL priority.  BBL is committed to following the Governor’s Safer At Home Amateur & Youth Sports Guidelines covered in the links below.

https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt381/files/inline-documents/2020-05/guidance-amateur-youth-sports.pdf

Specific guidelines for BBL practices and games:

  • Both travel and rec/biddy games will have safety monitors present to manage the flow of traffic between games and ensure masks wearing, social distancing, etc.  Safety monitors are there for a reason, any conflicts may result in disciplinary action by the BBL Board. 
  • Coaches, players, officials and spectators are required to wear masks while in the facility. Players will be allowed to remove them only when playing, but masks must be worn on the bench.
  • For both travel and rec games, only 2 coaches will be allowed on bench (1 additional coach may do clock or book from each team).
  • Gyms will have separate entrances and exits where practical, and coaches/players for incoming teams will wait until all coaches/players from previous practice/game have vacated the court.
    • A drop-off line will be established in front of Sports Plex during colder months to reduce amount of winter clothing required by rec players.
    • 10-15 minutes will be scheduled between practices/games to allow for entry and exit with no overlap.
  • Temperature checks will be taken prior to entry. Temperatures above 100.4 will not be allowed entry.  Individuals turned away cannot play or return to a facility for 14 days unless cleared by the BBL Board of Directors.  
  • Officials will use electronic or hand-held whistles during game play.
  • Officials will limit use of holding/grabbing the basketball during the game.
  • Sanitizing and cleaning of the game ball will be made during breaks in game play.
  • Players will sanitize upon entering/exiting the game during play.
  • Only teams currently playing are allowed in the facility. No teams in the next game slot are allowed in early.
  • Post-game handshakes will not be allowed.  We recommend a wave to opposing team at the conclusion of the game.
  • 1 Parent per player can attend games if they would like.  The Governor recommends dropping off and wait in your car.  The BBL Board is exploring the use of cameras for live streaming games (will only be used if all players agree to allow).
  • Spectators must remain 6ft apart when in the facility, and will be offered standing room only. 
  • If spacing within the gyms becomes an issue, we may need to limit spectators, please don’t force us into this tough decision.
  • If a player shows COVID-like symptoms during a practice or game, they will be moved to a specially designated quarantine space until parent pickup is available.  Coaches will report incident to the BBL Board through the appropriate travel, rec or biddy director.  Any restrictions after the practice or game will be handled on a case by case basis.
  • Per State guidelines, if a player or spectator travels outside of New England for the holidays or any other time, they cannot play or return to a facility, no exceptions.
  • Our partners at Fundamental Hoops will follow the same guidelines
  • The BBL Board reserves the right to adjust these guidelines as the season unfolds and the environment changes.

Weekly COVID Risk Assessment

 

 

# Cases in Bedford

 

 

<50

50-100

>100

Test Positivity Rate

0-4%

Low Risk

Medium Risk

Medium Risk

5-10%

Medium Risk

Medium Risk

High Risk 

>10%

Medium Risk

High Risk

High Risk

 

  • If the grid indicates a color changes from the prior week, the President will call a board meeting to discuss any safety posture changes.  Additional metrics may be used to paint a complete picture before making a decision, such as.
    • # Long Term Care Positive Test Positivity Rate
    • Hospitalization Rate
    • Changes in school safety posture (e.g. moving to fully remote)
    • Statistics in other NH or MA towns for our travel teams.
  • If color does not change from prior week, no meeting is required.  If color improves from prior week (e.g. yellow to green), a board meeting is still required.
  • Changes in safety posture will be made after BBL Board vote (requires majority).