Basketball, netball and mid-week social sports are set to relaunch next week after the ACT government eased restrictions on competitions played at indoor venues.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman announced the next phase of the coronavirus changes, with gyms to reopen in small groups and indoor sports to resume while adhering to physical distancing requirements. Outdoor sports will also be able to train in groups of 20 from Saturday.
The details will come as a welcome boost for athletes who spend winter playing indoor sports to avoid the Canberra chill. Basketball ACT re-opened competition registrations on Tuesday night and social centres, including Kaleen Indoor Sports, flagged their intentions to start seasons. Indoor cricket, however, will have to consider the sharing of equipment and how it manages players using saliva to shine the ball.
"After today's ACT government announcement, Indoor Sports centres can restart under the one person per four square metre rule from Saturday 30th May," Kaleen Indoor Sports told members on Facebook.
"As we have [three] courts this will allow the centre to resume games. We know everyone are so eager to get back to playing.
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"We will provide further information in the next day or so on restart date. This will give the centre some time to complete a COVID Safe plan for a safe return. We will also start contacting teams to check availability."
Competitions organisers and sports will have to develop their own coronavirus plans and submit them to government before being approved to reopen.
"The maximum capacity will be increased to 20 participants and indoor sports can commence under a one person per four-square metres rule," Barr said.
"Local sporting organisations are encouraged to ensure low levels of physical contact and to strictly limit the sharing of equipment."
Most Canberra outdoor sports are hoping for a mid-July competition start, and returned to organise training last week under the 10 people or fewer guidelines.
They will be allowed to increase that to 20 next week, but contact work will be limited until at least mid June.
"I think there is some further work to be done around those nuances depending on how we track and in terms of what other states and territories experience," Coleman said.
"The national position recommends full contact for community and social sport not recommencing until stage three. We could certainly consider aspects of that as part of stage 2.2 depending on where we're at."