Basketball is among the sports that is taking COVID-19 the hardest. Deemed a “high risk” sport, basketball basically just isn’t allowed so far under pandemic rules. Wellesley Youth Basketball is readying for the sport’s return as rules allow, but in an environment where the usual school and town gyms won’t be options.
That brings us to outside courts with coverings.
The possibility of temporarily or permanently covering the basketball courts outside of the high school near the track was discussed in some depth at a Playing Fields Task Force meeting earlier this month, and has come up at other town meetings as well (School Committee and Natural Resources Commission among them). The town’s Health Department and Wetlands Committee would also have a say in such matters.
As the Wellesley Public Schools system has learned, tents are hard to come by and expensive. The types of coverings being explored for protecting basketball courts and players would likely be more elaborate and pricey, especially if you rent them (think about the covering at the RDF’s give-and-take area).
Purchasing could be an option, but we’re talking tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and questions arise about how often they’d be used down the road, where they could be stored, what permits would be required, etc. One possible benefit, beyond basketball, is that the courts could be used for other activities, both athletic and academic.
Other ideas floated have been seeking other surfaces, such as tennis courts or parking lots, that could be temporarily converted into basketball courts.
Shorter term, Wellesley Youth Basketball is looking to hold programs uncovered on an outdoor court near the high school even without coverings, and the NRC has approved that use.
If you have any other brilliant ideas for how to salvage Wellesley Youth Basketball this fall and winter, let the organization know.