March 11, 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on sport is becoming increasingly worrisome and continues to have an expanding impact internationally. Basketball Manitoba have been closely monitoring all available information related to the continued spread of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 (coronavirus). The health and safety of our players, officials, employees, volunteers, fans, partners, and everyone associated with basketball in Manitoba and Canada and upcoming events continue to be our priority.

After reviewing the relevant positions from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada’s chief public health officer, and the Government of Canada, there are no planned schedule changes and absent from other information or advice from local health authorities for a particular event in Canada, there does not appear at this time to be significant enough risk to justify postponing or cancelling.

Although there have been a number of sporting events and conference cancellations, they are occurring mainly with those at the international level (e.g. IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships, Arctic Winter Games) that involve international visitors. The risk factor domestically here in Canada remains low.


At this time, events such as the Junior High Basketball Championships, Basketball Manitoba Awards, Manitoba Basketball Club Championships, Manitoba Provincial Team, Manitoba 3x3 Basketball Championships and the Manitoba Games will proceed as scheduled. If these changes, the information will be posted on the Basketball Manitoba website and communicated to participants as soon as possible.

At this time, Basketball Manitoba is advising that all levels of basketball in Manitoba refrain from handshakes among teams, coaches and officials at the start or end of all basketball games until the threat of the Coronavirus has subsided globally.


The MHSAA is monitoring developments from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living. While both acknowledge that there is a public health concern, both agencies state that the risk for individuals is low. The MHSAA will proceed with its upcoming scheduled events including Hockey and Basketball Provincials as planned. However, given how quickly things can change, the MHSAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the circumstances require.


Currently, the health risk for Canadians due to the COVID-19 virus is quite low but is being observed and reassessed regularly. If there is a change in status or new recommendations, we will provide updates on a timely basis.

Given the dynamic nature of this situation, we are establishing additional protocols to promote the health and safety of all participants and fans at upcoming events, and we will regularly review our procedures in light of revised recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In addition to establishing additional protocols, we encourage all athletes, coaches, officials, support staff, volunteers, spectators and everyone participating in any basketball events and competitions in the upcoming weeks and months, to be vigilant with their health and safety. To support this and to continue protecting all individuals and teams should no longer be shaking hands at the conclusion of each game.

Below are additional recommendations that should be considered at all times during basketball programming:

  • Refrain from handshakes among teams, coaches and officials at the start or end of all games at all levels.
  • Wash hands often (before and after games and practices) with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing over 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Make soap and/or hand sanitizer available in all facilities.
  • Avoid contact with sick people, including avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Athletes, coaches, and officials showing signs of illness should refrain from participation in basketball activities until symptoms subside.  This includes staying away from games and practices including sitting on the team bench as a supporter.  
  • Gloves should be worn by staff handling towels or laundry in the team environment.
  • Towels should not be shared on the team bench. Players should not share clothing, bar soap or other personal items.
  • We recommends the following protocol as it relates to the use of water bottles:
    • Good team hygiene includes ensuring all players and staff have their own water bottles to prevent the transmission of viruses and bacteria.
    • Bottles should be labelled and washed after each practice or game.
    • The best style of water bottle to use is a squeeze type that has a valve at the spout to prevent players from touching the bottle to their mouths.  
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands as noted above).
  • Advise players to try and not touch their own mouths or nose when in a basketball environment.
  • Monitor illness and injury in all teams. Parents are urged to keep their children away from the basketball environment (games, practices and team activities) if they are showing any signs of illness.
  • Team members should be encouraged to self-report to their coaching staff if they feel ill.
In addition, basketball event hosts/organizers should:
  • Provide hand sanitizer and wipes on team benches and at the scorer’s table during all games.
  • Wipe all basketballs between games.
  • Solicit feedback from coaches at the Coach and Manager Meeting on additional feasible measures.
Good hygienic practices will help to maintain a healthy team atmosphere and ultimately assist in
keeping all participants healthy throughout the season.

The Public Health Agency of Canada currently assesses the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada and for Canadian travellers. The public health risk is continually assessed as new information becomes available. Updates on COVID-19 can be found at:

Manitoba Heath / Health Links

Public Health Agency of Canada

World Health Organization (WHO) International Travel & Health Updates

Further updates by the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee are available every 48 hours. See the document ‘Advisory on COVID-19’ for more info.

These updates are important in aiding sport leaders in assessing the risks associated with travelling for events, training and competitions.

Basketball Manitoba will continue to monitor this evolving situation and its impact on sport travel and will aim to share any further risk mitigation measures for COVID-19.  This page will be updated if and when details change.
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