No one is more excited to return to play than us here at Pro Skills Basketball, but we also understand it is vital that we do so in a slow, conscious, and safe manner.
With that in mind, and with the oversight of medical experts, we have created and are launching our Pro Skills Basketball “Return to Play Plan“, an 8-page plan that includes 4 phases tied to federal, state, and county guidelines.
Phases 2-4 don’t have specific dates tied to them and will start whenever it is deemed safe to do so, but each phase increases the amount of in-person, on-court activity while also keeping the virtual programming.
We at PSB refuse to use our kids and families as “guinea pigs” and simply flip a switch and throw our players back into tournament play. We will return to play in a safe, methodical approach prioritizing the health and safety of our kids, coaches, and families.
Below is a letter included in our Pro Skills Basketball Return to Play Plan, but we think is a worthwhile read in this announcement in order to understand our thinking and mindset.
Dear PSB Family,
We hope you all have managed to stay happy and healthy during such an uncertain and unprecedented time. The current situation has presented all of us with challenges unlike any we have dealt with before. When PSB shut down operations at the end of March, we announced that we would continue to make decisions that were healthy, safe, and socially responsible. As we begin to “reopen”, we will do so in accordance with those same three guiding principles.
In this document, you will find a phased-in approach to our plan to get things back to normal. While we, like you, are eager to return to the way things were, PSB leadership has been in regular communication with health officials, leadership from the NBA and USA Basketball, as well as state and county leaders. It is apparent to us that a return to normal will be a gradual process as opposed to the flip of a switch.
The phases in our Return to Play Plan were determined by consideration of the following:
#1 Federal, state and county health guidelines
As much as we want things to return to normal, we at PSB will not go against any guidelines released by authorities. Doing so would unnecessarily risk the health of our players, parents, and coaches as well as risk the employment of our coaches, directors, and staff.
#2 The views and opinions of all PSB stakeholders
A few weeks back, we sent out a survey asking you to give us your comfort level with a few options on returning to play. The survey results overwhelmingly showed that people are itching to get back on the court, but only in a safe environment. We took all feedback into consideration when designing the phases in this document. We will continue to listen to everyone’s opinions and do our best to make the coming decisions as a PSB Family. These are our children, parents, coaches, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. We are in this together.
#3 Our knowledge of the youth basketball landscape
Like many of you, we have seen plans coming from certain organizations to hold practices and conduct tournaments, and we are more than skeptical that the promises being thrown around right now will come to fruition. Based on 10 years of experience in youth basketball, we have our reservations that league and tournament organizers will be able to perform the complex procedures of taking temperatures, testing players, organizing fans, etc. Because running a large event is difficult enough, there have been little guidelines produced about operating tournaments safely, and with the added pressure of a global pandemic, we think it best to adopt a wait and see mentality when it comes to games and tournaments.
Moreover, the promises of tournaments to keep fans apart and referees and coaches separated mentions nothing of the social distancing policies for your children. Basketball is a contact sport where players sweat, breathe on each other, and share a basketball. Until social distancing guidelines are lifted, any basketball participation with PSB will be non-contact and skill development based.
While we know our approach does not get back to “normal” right away, we know that children will compete, have fun, and experience some sense of normalcy around the game of basketball. We can’t wait to get our players and coaches back around in each and enjoying the game of basketball!
Lastly, please keep in mind that should an approach to normal and the lifting of social distancing guidelines come sooner than expected, we will adjust our plans accordingly. We can only hope that happens, but until then, we will operate as safely as possible while still offering kids a chance to play basketball with PSB.
PSB Family, please stay safe and we hope to see you all soon!
Pro Skills Basketball
Below is a chart with the phases of our plan and what is included in each. It is important to note that each phase has a 2 week minimum but no maximum length. We will not move on to the next phase until it is not only legal, but also safe to do so.