The NBA has taken a step towards resuming the 2019-20 season with some clubs permitted to open up training facilities to players as restrictions are eased in the United States.
As the USA surpassed one million COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the news came to light that some states were moving to lift stay-at-home orders which have been in place to slow the spread of coronavirus.
In an official NBA statement, the league said that from May 8 some clubs in permitted areas would be able to allow players to train and receive treatment at approved club headquarters.
“The potential rules changes would allow teams to make their practice facilities available for use by the team’s players for workouts or treatment on a voluntary, individual basis if the team’s facility is in a city that is no longer subject to a government restriction,” the league said in a statement.
However, any potential competitive resumption remains some way off, with the NBA having been suspended since March 11 when Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive to coronavirus.
The opening of club facilities also come with a range of restrictions, with the NBA sending clubs two memos on Monday outlining the lengthy safety and health requirements of resuming training.
Among them was the stipulation that only four athletes are allowed at the same facility at one time, while people must be 12 feet apart at all times.
Other initiatives are that each team must have a facility hygiene officer. Teams must also use the ‘one player, one basket’ rule whereby two players cannot shoot at the same basket.
The long list of limitations exemplifies the challenges ahead for the NBA and clubs as it seeks to conclude the 2019-20 season, which was into the final phase prior to play-offs before the suspension.