The NCAA on Friday revealed strict guidelines in advance of the approaching 2020-21 NCAA basketball season with athletes and essential personnel separated into a “Tier 1” group that is distanced from outsiders.
According to the guidelines, the Tier 1 group will receive COVID-19 testing three times a week and not on consecutive days. That core group would consist of 15 players, coaches and essential staff up to as many as 30 people.
The recommended testing cycle is suggested to begin one week before competition begins. The start date for basketball has been set for Nov. 25, one day before Thanksgiving.
On team benches, all Tier 1 personnel need to be separated from all others not in the group. That Tier 2 group will require masks, as well as the physical distancing.
In case of a positive COVID-19 test among a Tier 1 player or coach, the entire group will be required to go into quarantine for 14 days.
“(The guidance) is predicated on the assumption that rapid testing capabilities will be readily available later this year,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We will constantly assess emerging information as we prepare for the start of the basketball season at the end of November.”
Travel requirements will be strict as well. Travel in private vehicles or chartered planes is highly recommended with other considerations listed like eating prepackaged foods and to avoid indoor dining.
Travel party sizes also are required to be restricted, but no set number for a travel party was given.
The recommendations were put together with the assistance of the Sport Science Institute and included basic risk mitigation like washing hands before putting on a mask, wearing a mask over the nose and mouth, requiring a mask to have a snug fit on the sides and to avoid masks with valves or vents.
–Field Level Media