Recreational indoor basketball is to be restricted by the UK Government – a block that could last up to six months.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed new lockdown measures to combat Covid-19 in England that will come into place over the next week.

Recreational team sports will not be permitted in groups of six adults or more, although children are exempt for now.

Basketball Scotland’s advice on indoor participation has not changed despite new protocols north of the border.

The rules do not affect elite sport although plans to allow crowds to return from October have been parked with the BBL and WBBL now set to decide whether to proceed with any season without paying spectators.

Basketball England confirmed the first divisions of the women’s and men’s NBL will be permitted to tip off under the “elite” definition but below that, a shutdown looms.

Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett said:

“It is disappointing to see restrictions placed on the game after the patience, hard work and dedication from everyone in the sport.

“Clubs have been resilient, flexible and respectful of the Government guidelines and our Return to Play guidance to work under such difficult conditions.

“The Government recognises this latest move is a blow for indoor sport. We will continue to work with them and Sport England to find an approach that maintains the safety of our members and everyone in basketball, whilst getting everyone back on the court as soon as possible.

“We will push for the further clarity in the guidance, ongoing support to help the game survive and, where possible, influence the Government to safely reduce the constraints on the non-elite senior game.

“We will provide regular updates as further information emerges.”

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