The BBL final tournament presents the teams with great challenges – not only because the corona rules are sometimes much stricter than those of the soccer players. Now a short-term measure caused hectic pace.
When the basketball players of the ten participating teams arrived at their championship tournament in their quarantine hotel in Munich, an unpleasant surprise was waiting for them. After numerous tests in advance, it was not a big issue that they had to go through a corona test again and were then isolated in their hotel rooms until the (previously negative in all cases) result was available.
However, the fact that they should also wear a tracing chip, i.e. a kind of motion detector, during the entire tournament in the hotel caused some discussions.
Players don’t feel involved enough
“It was not so well received because it was not communicated early enough. There could have been a slightly larger lead,” criticized Maurice Stuckey of the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim. Already in the run-up to the event, during which the basketball players determined their masters under strict hygiene and safety precautions until June 28, many players had not felt involved enough. It was only when Bayreuth’s Bastian Doreth appeared as the athletes’ spokesman for the league that peace returned.
And now another league campaign? An electronic ankle bracelet? No, rather the topic of tracing chip only appeared on Wednesday when the league bosses met again with the hygiene officer Florian Kainzinger at the top for a final consultation with the Munich Health Department. The case was played through there, what happens if, despite all the precautions, one of the players or coaches involved in the hotel tests positive.
BBL hygiene officer: “Strength of the concept is weakness at the same time”
“It was then relatively clear that the Munich Health Authority said you have a great concept that is even safer than that in football. But the strength of the concept is also the weakness,” said Kainzinger.
Because: The health department made it clear: If there is a positive test, the 250-person “basketball family” in the hotel is treated in the same way as an ordinary family household with four people. In other words, the others are contact persons and go into quarantine. “And of course that would be the worst case scenario. If that happens, the whole tournament will be over,” said Kainzinger.
Excitement has subsided
So the league was working hard to find a solution a few days before the restart. The proposal by the health department to introduce a duty to wear a mouth and nose protection in the hotel and to follow distance rules of one and a half meters was out of the question for those responsible. “This is exactly what we didn’t want because we told the players that you can move around the hotel and have a good time,” said Kainzinger. So the only alternative was to introduce a tracing chip, which everyone involved in the hotel must have with them.
In the event of a positive case, the chip from the Munich-based software developer Kinexon can be used to track who the person who tested positive had contact with and, above all, how long this encounter lasted. The health department can then decide according to the rules of the Robert Koch Institute who, in addition to the positive test, must be isolated from the rest of the group.
The teams were informed about the new features on Thursday, and the hotel was briefed by a doctor. And in the meantime, the excitement about the topic has subsided again. “It came a bit on short notice, but that’s not a big thing. It serves our security, it shouldn’t be a punishment,” said international player Andreas Obst from ratiopharm Ulm. Especially since the data is collected anonymously. The professionals at Alba Berlin didn’t even have to get used to it very much – they already use such a chip in training for athletic analysis.