MANILA, Philippines, May 22 ------ It may take a long time before basketball-crazy Filipinos could play the country’s No. 1 past time again. This after the Philippine Sports Commission’s Philippine Sports Institute released a matrix named “Framework Tool for Reintroducing Sport in a COVID-19 Environment” that only allows everyone to play 5-on-5 basketball only with the total lifting of the quarantine. The guidelines allow “ball and skill drills in front of the home” or “an enclosed public street fronting the household” by oneself for people living in the National Capital Region or places under the now Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
Meanwhile, those under the laxer General Community Quarantine (GCQ) are allowed solo use of a public basketball or village court with “no person to person interaction or sharing of equipment.” There are actually two more levels that are more lenient: the Modified GCQ, which allows multiple person interaction but no-contact play or scrimmage, and the “new normal,” which will practically bring not just basketball but all sports back as all will be allowed to play. In the country, being in ECQ and MECQ means the place you’re living is still in high risk while GCQ and the succeeding levels mean the situation is improving.
Sports allowed in MECQ areas are badminton, running, kata events of karate, solo, non-draft cycling and open water swimming. Swimming is allowed in the GCQ areas with a maximum of eight lanes but with no interaction at shower or change rooms.
The matrix, which was done in coordination with the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force, was released to categorize levels of participation, interaction and physical environment for sports in general. All National Sports Associations were given this matrix as their tool to draft their sport specific guidelines.