Basketball Manitoba pleased to announce that it has received approval from Sport Manitoba to advance in its current pandemic phase status to a new “Phase 2.5” definition. Basketball Manitoba has been in Phase 2 of the Canada Basketball Return plan since July 3, 2020.

This new phase will allow for registered and approved basketball programs in Manitoba to advance in allowing their athletes and coaches to share equipment during their training sessions. This new allowance will allow teams to introduce passing, rebounding and other drills that will involve two or more players using the same basketball. This also makes allowance for the use of other shared equipment including different training equipment to be used at their basketball sessions.

As part of this change, an added emphasis on hand and equipment cleaning is required. Prior to all training sessions, all athletes and coaches must sanitize their hands properly as defined by Manitoba Health and the basketballs themselves, including the athletes own ball or a team provided one, must also be properly cleaned and sanitized.  Added time will nee to be factored into to allowing for the cleaning or equipment before and after sessions.  

Basketball Manitoba‘s experience thus far in cleaning equipment has seen success in using liquid hand sanitizer on basketballs. The sanitizer should exceed 80% alcohol to be effective as defined by Manitoba Health.  Basketball Manitoba has experimented with a number of different cleaning products and found that the liquid hand sanitizer worked the best as it is the same product that can be used on hands at the same time does not leave a sticky, slippery or odor residue on the ball which could impede use. It has also in early testing not shown any damaging affects on a rubber or synthetic basketball. Testing has not been performed on a leather basketball as that type of ball is not used regularly in Manitoba.

The change to Phase 2.5 will come into affect on Friday, September 25, 2020. Additional moves into future phases will be communicated as Basketball Manitoba, Sport Manitoba and Manitoba Health deem the current health situation to warrant such a move.

Basketball Manitoba initially received its approval to enter Phase 2 on July 3, 2020 and has seen over 30 different programs in Manitoba register to receive approval to return to some form of basketball activity. 



  • Individual strength and conditioning continue (as per Time to Train guidelines).
    • Increased intensity of fitness work with a gradual Introduction of plyometrics and change of direction.
  • Small group skills and drills development:
    • Maximum 1 hour to 1.5 hours per session. Maximum of 1 to 2 hours per session.
      • Sessions are encouraged to initially be scheduled closer to the lower end of the range to gradually build up an athlete’s basketball fitness.
    • Drills or activities could include:
      • Similar skill work as outlined in Phase 1 including, shooting, dribbling, ball handling, passing, rebounding and other skills and drills that maintain physical distancing by players at all times.
      • Skill games/competition between players at the same basket, versus other player groups at different baskets.
    • Appropriate warm-up/cool down.
  • The allowance of “shared equipment” including basketballs to allow for passing, rebounding and other shared equipment activities.  
  • With the allowance of shared equipment, all players and coaches must put an added emphasis on sanitizing their hands and the basketballs before and after the training session.  Hand and equipment sanitizers / cleaners must meet the standards of Manitoba Health.  It is recommended to use alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizer on basketballs before and after they are used by a training group.
  • Two players per basket (not sharing a ball and staying at the same basket with the same partner).
  • Non-contact training.
  • Physical distancing (2 metres / 6 feet) measures maintained.
  • Adhere to local public gathering restrictions:
    • Consistent training groups (to allow for contact tracing).
  • No competition (shooting/dribbling challenges at own baskets permitted). Players must retrieve their own basketball or use alternative methods (i.e. avoid touching with hands, use feet etc.) to return basketballs to fellow players.
  • Spectators are prohibited with the exception of those providing care to children below the age of 12.  Each facility may have their own policy on spectator / parent presence.  
  • A reminder the maximum number in this phase is restricted to two players per basket and maintaining physical distancing/adherence to local gathering restrictions.
  • For gym spaces without 6 basketball hoops, a maximum of 15 people (example: 12 players and 3 coaches) will be permitted in a standard size basketball court (~5000 sq ft) at a given time.
  • Users groups should check with the facility they are using about their total capacity per court (including if parents are permitted to stay as those numbers are counted as part of the total permitted to be in the facility at a given time).
  • If someone in the consistent training group develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should alert a designated member of the coaching staff or Safety Supervisor and consult a COVID-19 assessment centre.
  • Other participants within that consistent training group should monitor for symptoms and consult a COVID-19 assessment centre.

Manitoba Basketball organizations, leagues and clubs seeking to offer a return to programming are pointed to the return steps to receive Basketball Manitoba approval and support on page 28 of the plan.

The full plan which includes a number of other factors tied to health, participant numbers, facilities, insurance, supervision, equipment, examples of approved basketball activities and more can be viewed by clicking the below image or link...

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