2020-21 Basketball Rules Considerations for COVID

Updated 10-19-2020

Note: This is not an exhaustive list and there might be additional steps in each community to help prevent the spread of virus. Even when taking all precautions, there will still be risk of transmitting illnesses. Everyone should stay vigilant about the health of members of their teams. These guidelines are to be integrated with the MHSAA Fall Sports Comprehensive Guidelines, available on the MHSAA website. The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing. Please keep up with the latest from the CDC and the Mississippi Department of Health.


Return to Competition

  1. Basketball Rules Considerations
    • Pregame Protocol (2019-2020 NFHS Officials Manual, page 16, 1.8; NFHS Basketball Rule Book – 3-4-5)
      • Limit attendees to the referee and the head coach from each team with each coach standing on the center circle on each side of the division line.
      • All individuals maintain a social distance of 6 feet or greater at the center circle.
      • Suspend handshakes prior to and following the Pregame Conference.
    • Team Benches (1-13-1)
      • Social distancing should be practiced when possible. Below are some suggestions.
        • Limit the number of uniform personnel to 15 to observe social distancing of 6 feet or greater.

***The limit will be mandatory for all tournaments and playoffs.

  • Team benches should be placed apart from the stands where possible. When not possible, spectators should be separated from team benches by at least 6 feet, two rows of seats, are a physical barrier (such as plexiglass)
  • Limit contact between players when substituting.
  • Personnel not in the game should be masked at all times.
  • Officials Table (2-1-3)
    • The host should sanitize the table before the game, end of each quarter, half time and the end of the game.
    • Place officials table sufficiently away from the sideline to allow for additional space for substitutes.
    • Limit seats at the table to essential personnel which includes home team scorer and timer with a recommend distance of 6 feet or greater between individuals. Other personnel (visiting scorer, statisticians, media, etc.) may not be deemed essential personnel and consider an alternate location for them.
  • Table personnel should wear a mask at all time
  1. Pre and Post Game Ceremony
    • Suspend the pregame introduction handshakes.
    • Suspend post game protocol of shaking hands.
  2. Basketball Rules Interpretations
      • Basketball
        • Ball given to officials in the locker room, where it is sanitized as recommended by the ball manufacturer and not used for warm-ups.
        • The host school should ensure that the ball is sanitized during time-outs and between quarters.
        • Sanitizer should be provided by the host team at the table.
      • Cloth face coverings are permissible for players, even during competition.
      • Coaching staff, bench personnel, and non-competing athletes should wear face coverings at all times.
    • Rule 5-3 Officials Uniform and Equipment
      • By state association adoption, long-sleeved shirts are permissible. (5-1-3)
      • Officials should not be required to wear jackets during pre-game court/player observation.
      • Electronic whistles are permissible (supplies are limited).
        • Choose a whistle whose tone will carry inside.
        • Check the market for choices
      • Cloth face coverings are permissible.
      • Gloves are permissible.
  1. Other Considerations
  • Throw-in
    • Official may stand 6 feet or greater away from player making the throw-in and bounce the ball to that player on a front court throw-in.
  • Free Throw Administration
    • The lead official shall stand on the end line and bounce the ball to the free thrower.
  • Spectators
    • No spectators on the floor standing or sitting.

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