The NBA – Will it resume as scheduled in Florida?

Just when it appeared there would be a return to something resembling normalcy in the world’s premiere basketball competition, the NBA, it appears the Covid-19 situation in Florida has arced up somewhat. Combine this with an almost certain number of positive cases amongst players now being tested and again there is some concern over this year’s series returning.

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We would stress the USA is in a very different situation to Australia with the number of positive identifications here being much lower. However, it points to the need for people to be vigilant and not squander the good work of the current lockdown in Australia. Local competitions here in both Basketball and Netball are looking to resume playing in late July.

Here’s a full report on the current NBA dilemma.

Florida’s Virus Spike Gives N.B.A. Players One More Reason to Hesitate

Concerns over dampening activism, injuries and now a drastic rise in coronavirus cases near Orlando could complicate the league’s plan to restart at Walt Disney World next month.

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[The entrance to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., this month. The N.B.A. is set to restart its season at the campus in July.]

Robert A. Iger, the executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company, introduced the phrase into the N.B.A. lexicon. Adam Silver, the league’s commissioner, passed it on to the news media.

In a virtual meeting with N.B.A. team owners on April 17, Iger counseled his audience to make “data and not the date” the focus of the league’s comeback efforts.

Some two months later, as 22 teams ramp up activities in practice facilities and prepare to begin regular coronavirus testing for players and staff members on Tuesday, fretting about the data is suddenly one of the most popular pastimes in the N.B.A. universe.

The main reason: Since Tuesday night, when the league began distributing a 113-page guide of health and safety protocols to govern its planned restart of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World next month, the rate of confirmed coronavirus cases in Orange County, Fla., has risen dramatically.

Last Tuesday through Saturday, according to state data, 17 percent of coronavirus tests in the county returned positive results. That was a significant jump from the 10-day period before that, from June 6 to 15, when the positive rate was 5 percent.

The spike is yet another source of apprehension to manage for league and union officials, who just emerged from weeks of complicated discussions to come to terms on all the health and safety restrictions for its restart beginning July 7.

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As a Wednesday deadline approaches for players to notify their teams whether they wish to withdraw from participation, for whatever reason, there are three main sources of anxiety among the players and executives in the league:

– The location of the contained campus for the restart is a fresh source of unease. The N.B.A. chose Disney World for its single-site resumption of play for many reasons — business reasons among them given Disney’s status as the league’s top media partner. But Orange County’s increase in positive tests over the past two weeks has made it an “infection hotbed,” as described by Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health.

– As Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers said last week in a video chat with fans, some players are wrestling with fears that returning to full-time basketball may divert momentum from the Black Lives Matter movement, which has surged worldwide since the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

– “In six weeks, the world may need some healing, they may need us to be on the floor,” Williams said. “But if more black kids or more black adults or any adults dealing with police brutality are getting killed and we’re still outraged, I don’t know if it’s in our best interests to suit up, because it looks like we don’t care.”

– A third prime worry that has been routinely overlooked with so much else happening is the injury risk players will face after what has been, for many, the longest layoff of their career from full-speed, five-on-five play.

– There are certainly several players who have been participating for weeks in unauthorized workouts and pickup games — a photo of LeBron James and Ben Simmons training together was posted on Instagram last week by the Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents both players — but there are likewise many players who struggled in the initial stages of the pandemic to find places to get shots up.

– Through June 29, there will be a maximum of four players allowed in team practice facilities. The next week, until teams begin arriving at Disney World on July 7, up to eight players will be allowed. Players can thus only count on roughly 20 days of full practices and scrimmages with five-on-five work in Florida before the season resumes — considerably less than the norm. A month’s worth of pickup games in team practice facilities every September typically precede the start of N.B.A. training camps.

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[Bradley Beal of the Wizards at a rally in Washington to mark Juneteenth on Friday.]

Regarding the first (and perhaps foremost) concern, Halkitis, like many in his field, has praised the scope of the N.B.A.’s plans to combat the coronavirus at the Disney campus near Orlando.

“It is very, very, very well structured,” Halkitis said of the 113-page document in a telephone interview. “My reaction is that it makes the best use of the science we have to date, knowing perfectly well that things can change tomorrow.”

The main weakness in the N.B.A.’s approach, Halkitis said, is the prospect of players or team staff members leaving the campus without authorization and exposing themselves to the coronavirus — or “workers who are not staying on the grounds” bringing it in.

“Do I 100 percent believe that people aren’t going to leave?” Halkitis said. “I mean, these are adults, right? Human behavior is really hard to control.”

Yet he also acknowledged that the worrying trajectory of the testing data, at the very least, is bound to prompt questions about whether even the N.B.A.’s strict protocols will be sufficient. The Florida Department of Health has seemed to acknowledge the shifting situation, issuing a lengthy health advisory on Saturday that included a reminder to “wear masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible,” and a recommendation that “all individuals should refrain from participation in social or recreational gatherings of more than 50 people.”

Another concerning development in the state from the weekend: Major League Baseball, while still searching for the labor agreement it needs to salvage some semblance of a 2020 season, ordered all team facilities in Florida and Arizona to shut down after players in both locations tested positive for the coronavirus.

“If the numbers were staying stable or they were going down, I’d have lots of confidence in the plan,” Halkitis said of the N.B.A.’s restart. “The numbers going up mean you have a different circumstance now, which increases the probability of transmission and makes the plan — which is excellent but not foolproof — more susceptible to infiltration by the virus.

“I keep using the flood and the dam example: A dam holds water, but if there’s a lot of pressure on the dam, like lots of infections, it’s more likely to crack. And that’s the problem here. They have to keep an eye on what’s going on.”

As players and coaches begin to reunite in earnest, with only two weeks to go before charter planes are revved up to take them straight to Disney World, one suspects that no one on the N.B.A. map will have to hear that advice twice.

Source: nytimes.com

Nellakir are the leading experts in the installation, maintenance and professional cleaning of Premium Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

Ensure your competition enjoys an absolutely premium playing surface at your Metro or Regional Stadiums, schools or community centres.

There is still time before Local Competition resumes to undertake Annual Maintenance – Resurfacing, Re-lining and minor repairs. Call now on 03 9467 6126 for a free consultation from our Technical team on a scheduled Maintenance and cleaning program or leave your details here for a prompt response. Trust Nellakir to deliver the very best in Sprung Timber Sports Flooring.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Return Dates for Local Basketball and Netball Competitions Imminent.

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It seems that most of Australia has ‘dodged a bullet’ with the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to the USA, we seem to have remained relatively unscathed. However there is still the need to maintain vigilance with the possibility of the ‘second wave’ of infections being very real. It’s easy to be complacent but remember in the USA, UK and Europe the toll has been tragic.

Both Basketball Victoria and Netball Victoria have been in discussions with the Victorian Government and the relevant State and Federal health Authorities. Both have provided press releases as to the present status on a return to local competition. For your information we repeat the for you here…

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COVID-19 Updates as of June 17, 2020

Guideline Level: WE ARE CURRENTLY AT RED-10 (Outdoor) – until June 22

Thank-you to those who attended the Return to Sport Update today. Although it is an exciting time with some clearer dates for us to return, we need to remain vigilant, patient and prepare as best we can to ensure the health and safety of our community is the highest priority while we aim to get participants back on the court.

We’ve put forward a position to SRV and DHHS that our understanding and application of the Victorian Government return to sport announcement from Sunday June 14, allows for basketball to move to “Orange-50” reactivation status. We anticipate we will be in a position to confirm this status for indoor training and competition for participants 18 years and under by the end of the week.

Please find below links to guidelines, tools, signage and checklists (in preparation for an Orange-50 status) as well as the recording from todays webinar. The Q&A from todays session is being drafted and will be available tomorrow.

Please note the documents and tools provided for the proposed Orange-50 status are to be considered for preparation purposes and not to be treated as confirmed until Basketball Victoria notifies otherwise of acceptance from SRV and DHHS.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of the whole community, we ask that everyone continues to maintain increased hygiene practices as well as adequate social distancing measures to ensure we get through this together.

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As of June 15, 2020

Return to Sport Update

Basketball Victoria welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement of the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions (announced Sunday June 14), regarding community sport.

Managing our return to basketball training and competitions in a timely, yet safe and controlled manner is critical. This will ensure the health and wellbeing of participants, as well as the viability of our associations and clubs.

To be clear, basketball is regarded as a ‘contact-sport’ for the purposes of these Victorian Government restrictions and guidelines.

We have summarised the restrictions below from the DHHS and SRV releases, however we are seeking further clarity on the number of spectators/participants allowed per area/zone, aiming for an Orange-50 stage, as per our Return to Sport Guidelines from the 22nd June.

We will provide the relevant and updated guidelines, information sheets, checklists and signage to assist the resumption of competition as soon as we have received Government confirmation.

Summary of Restrictions:

– For 18 years old and under – full contact training and competition for both indoor and outdoor is possible from June 22
– For 18 years and over – non-contact training for both indoor and outdoor is possible from June 22
– For 18 years and over – full contact training for both indoor and outdoor (forecast for) July 13
– For 18 years and over – resumption of competition both indoor and outdoor (forecast for) July 20

Note: the forecast July dates are not locked in yet, the Victorian Government will still need to confirm these dates in the coming weeks.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our community throughout the COVID-19 postponement of basketball and into the future as we ease restrictions and see our sport return to competition in upcoming weeks and months.

It is important to remain vigilant as we return to indoor basketball training and competitions – please continue to maintain increased hygiene practices as well as adequate social distancing measures, as this will aid in the ongoing health and safety of our community.

Source: http://basketballvictoria.com.au/covid-19/

And from Netball Victoria…

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15 JUNE 2020

Netball Victoria is delighted with the Victoria State Government announcement today of a road map for the return of community sport in Victoria. We have seen netballers return to training with cautious excitement, and know the delight that a return to competition will bring our community.
We are processing the detail in these announcements and seeking further clarification before we can provide further advice to our netball community. We will provide the updated Return to Community Netball guidelines as soon as we can.

27 MAY 2020

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The Victorian Government has announced further easing of restrictions which will enable groups of up to 20 – plus a coach – to participate in training at outdoor venues from Monday 1 June, 2020. All activity and training must continue to be non-contact and no competitions or match play may take place. Netball Victoria will continue to support Associations, Leagues and Clubs through this unprecedented time to ensure they adhere to the Return to Community Netball guidelines.

Netball Victoria continues to advocate on behalf of our community to the State Government for a roadmap to resume competitive netball. At this point in time, we are advocating for a recommencement of competition netball in mid-July 2020.

To enable us to effectively assess the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on your annual Netball Victoria membership, we have deferred an announcement until October 31, 2020. This will enable us to make an informed decision based on the state of play, and to further assess a range of options to manage current and future memberships. We continue to accept applications for refunds based on hardship or medical reasons, which are assessed on a weekly basis.

We are aware our netball community are doing all you can to make decisions in this uncertain environment. We encourage you to wait for the Victorian Government announcements regarding further easing of restrictions before making any definitive decisions. We expect to see a strong Return to Community Netball and look forward to continuing to work with our passionate netball community to achieve this.

Source: vic.netball.com.au

It will be fantastic for the kids to finally get back to enjoying a game, but it’s critically important that families and friends follow the directives and advice provided to ensure there is a full return to competition in the following months.

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Nellakir are the leading experts in the installation, maintenance and cleaning of premium Timber Sports Flooring. Nellakir use ASF/Horner FIBA approved Timber Sports Flooring systems exclusively.

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We wish all competitors at all levels the very best of luck in returning to full competition. As the referee says, “Play Ball!”

For all maintenance, cleaning and installation enquiries on premium Timber Sports Flooring call Nellakir no on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Trust Nellakir for a perfect premium playing surface.

Champion flooring for future and present Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

The NBA – It’s ON – Season to be completed by Mid October.

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Last week, the NBA officially announced that the season was to be completed by mid October at a hub established at Disney World in orlando Florida.

Here’s the full report…

NBA to restart season in Disney World hub as top 22 teams aim to complete season by mid-October

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The NBA is aiming to resume in less than two months at a Disney World hub

The NBA has approved a plan to restart the suspended 2019-20 season at a designated hub at Disney World in Florida, with a tentative start date of July 31.

Key points:

  • NBA franchises voted near-unanimously to restart the season at Disney World in Florida
  • The 16 teams currently in playoff positions and the six teams closest to breaking in will see out the season
  • The league is hoping to be able to start the 2020-21 season on December 1

The plan would see 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams play eight seeding games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format, with four best-of-seven series that would crown a champion no later than October 12.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalised with public health officials and medical experts,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

The league said approval from its board of governors, which came on the day originally scheduled for the start of the NBA Finals, is the first formal step among the many required to resume the season.

According to ESPN, the vote on the format was 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazers voting against the proposal.

All games, practices and housing would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is inside Disney’s Orlando resort and has multiple hotels and arenas and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March with five weeks remaining in the 82-game regular season.

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Twenty-two of the league’s 30 teams will compete to finish the season.

The 22 returning teams would be comprised of the eight teams from each of the two conferences currently in playoff positions plus the six clubs that are six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.

At the conclusion of the seeding games, the seven teams in each conference with the best combined records across regular-season games and seeding games would qualify for the playoffs.

A play-in tournament would be used to determine the final playoff seed in each conference if the team with the eighth-best combined record is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined record in the same conference.

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The NBA season was suspended in March after Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive to COVID-19.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the teams excluded from the NBA’s return-to-play plan because of their record, expressed disappointment at not being able to play more games but said they understood and accepted the decision.

“It is important that we be a good teammate not only to the NBA, but to the other 29 teams to support the efforts to complete this season and prepare for next season in a healthy and safe manner,” the Timberwolves said in a statement.

If everything goes according to plan, the NBA said the 2020-21 season would begin on December 1.

The league also said it planned to hold its 2020 NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 selections on August 25. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.

The actual NBA Draft, typically held in June, is now scheduled for October 15.

Source: abc.net.au

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Here in Victoria, make sure your team gets to play on an absolute premium surface, every game. With local competitions scheduled to commence playing by July/August now is the perfect time to undertake annual maintenance of your valuable Timber Sports Flooring. Re-coating, Re-lining and ensuring the smooth vibrant surface players enjoy is a paramount task. Call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 for a prompt response or leave your details here and one of our technicians will contact you to arrange a site visit.

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Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the installation and maintenance of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring.

Trust Nellakir, they’re simply the best.

Champion floors for present and future champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Major Upgrades to Occur in the Victorian Schools and Education Sector

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Late last month, the Victorian Government announced it would be embarking upon a $2.7B construction blitz to counteract the negative effects of Coronavirus on the State’s economy. A substantial part of the construction package will be more that $1 billion to be spent on upgrading schools and school facilities.

Nellakir has been deeply involved in the current Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme constructing and installing many multi-use indoor timber floored facilities which provide space for Basketball, Netball, Volleyball and other team sports as well as Gymnastics and a designated indoor assembly area. With this funding injection to the sector there will be no doubt many more Primary and Secondary Schools enjoying a modern upgrade of their facilities. Basketball and netball, for both boys and girls, are two of the fastest growing junior sports in Australia.

Here is the Government press release in full…

Coronavirus prompts Victoria to launch $2.7b construction blitz to stimulate state’s economic recovery

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Premier Daniel Andrews said the package would create thousands of jobs.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a $2.7 billion construction blitz, including more than $1 billion to upgrade schools, to stimulate the Victorian economy and create thousands of jobs.

Key points:

  • The package will include refurbishment of 23,000 public housing units and 168 new homes
  • $1.2 billion will be spent on new schools and school upgrades in regional and metropolitan Victoria
  • $382 million will also go towards tourism infrastructure

“The Government will invest that money to deliver hundreds of projects to secure thousands of jobs in maintenance, upgrades to public housing, through to road maintenance, upgrading train stations and a very significant boost, more than $1 billion to schools,” Mr Andrews said.

He said many of the projects in the Building Works package were new while others had already been planned but were being brought forward.

The projects were specifically chosen because they could begin quickly and stimulate the economy.

Work to refurbish 23,000 public housing units would begin immediately with the rest of the projects to get underway within three to six months, he said.

The package is expected to create 3,700 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs.

“We’re ready to go with this and it will be a great boost to carpenters, to bricklayers, to concreters, to people who do carpet laying, to plumbers across the board,” Mr Andrews said

“Small firms particularly will benefit. Hundreds and hundreds of projects supporting thousands of families.”

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The construction blitz is expected to create 3,700 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs.

The money is in addition to the State Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package announced last month.

Spending and projects in the package announced today include:

  • $500 million to upgrade 23,000 public and community housing dwellings and build 168 new homes
  • $382 million for upgrades, maintenance and new experiences at tourism destinations including 50 kilometres of mountain bike trails in the Ararat Hills and upgrades at the Gippsland Lakes
  • Other small projects such as local sports facility upgrades, work to improve waterways and coastal areas, tree planting and graffiti removal
  • Transport spending including 300km of regional track improvements, repairs at more than 15 train stations, more maintenance on trains and trams, local pier upgrades along the coast and $328 million for resurfacing and patching roads
  • More than $100 million for CFA and SES station upgrades, disability accommodation and mental health and aged care facilities across Victoria

State to get new schools, upgrades and relocatable buildings

Education Minister James Merlino said almost $1.2 billion of the funding would be spent building 10 new schools and 250 relocatable buildings and completing 57 upgrades.

Mr Merlino said the works would create capacity for 21,000 additional student places around the state and more than 1,600 local construction jobs.

He said the Greater Shepparton Secondary College project alone would deliver almost 300 local jobs for the community.

“I’m really pleased that Clifton Creek Primary school, the school that was burnt down in the summer bushfires, [will be rebuilt],” he said.

“This is the biggest school building program our state has ever seen,” he added.

“It will also deliver on all our remaining election commitments.”

Builders welcome construction funding

Michelle Brooker is the general manager of her family’s construction businesses, Brooker Builders, that is based in Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.

She said the construction industry in East Gippsland had slowed down.

“In East Gippsland we have had three years of drought, then the bushfires and now COVID-19,” she said.

“Due to a lack of work in the area a majority of our workforce is currently working outside of East Gippsland.

“Now that has never happened before.”

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Michelle Brooker hopes the Victorian Government’s construction funding can help the sector in East Gippsland.

She said the State Government funding was a “welcome opportunity” for the building sector right across the state.

But Ms Brooker wants to see the State Government consider local businesses when it awards building contracts.

” We know that we still need to prove value for money and to be competitive but we believe this is an opportunity and it would be fantastic to turn that opportunity into reality.”
Successful tenderers to source additional labour through government scheme

Mr Andrews said the Working for Victoria scheme, in which people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic are placed into industries and sectors that need more staff, would be a core component of the building tenders.

“If a business wins a tender and needs to employ additional staff over and above what they have now, they will have to come to Working for Victoria first and if we can match up people who have lost their jobs with these small and medium firms then that’s a fantastic outcome,” he said.

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Source: abc.net.au

Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction, installation, maintenance and scheduled professional cleaning of Premium Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania. Nellakir supply the ASF/Horner Sprung Timber Sports Flooring exclusively in both states. ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems are FIBA approved. The Victorian State Basketball Headquarters in Knox and the Victorian Netball Headquarters in Royal Park both feature premium playing surfaces installed by Nellakir, with a further upgrade and new courts nearing completion at Netball Victoria’s Royal Park Headquarters.

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For the very best in premium service call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 and book an obligation free consultation with one of our expert technicians. Nellakir provide full Annual Maintenance including recoating and linemarking, long term maintenance such as resurfacing and resanding, and professionally scheduled cleaning of all premium Timber Sports Flooring. If you prefer you can leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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You can trust Nellakir to deliver – every time, ensuring your premium timber playing surface is presented at the highest level of professionalism for every game.

Nellakir – Championship Timber Flooring for present and future champions.

They’re simply the best.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.