With COVID-19 restrictions putting a halt on all intramurals since last March, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base sports officials have come up with a plan to try to get leagues back up and running.
Basketball coaches had a virtual meeting earlier this month on how to move forward and whether play is even possible under the present operating environment. A decision was reached to resume play with a 3-on-3 basketball season in mid-February.
John McInturf, the base intramural sports director, said having a 3-on-3 format will limit the number of players on the floor, reduce contact and allow for proper physical-distancing measures to be taken off court.
It’s been nearly a year since any intramural sports have been played on base, and it has been a little disheartening for Airmen and staff, said Kevin Ball, Fitness and Sports manager for 88th Force Support Squadron Services.
“A challenge related to not being able to engage with intramural sports is the toll taken on staff. The Fitness and Sports staff as a whole place a high intrinsic value on the interaction with our community,” Ball said. “We deeply miss seeing many of our patrons and the friendships that we’ve developed. Despite the challenges, we look for the opportunities of what can be done.”
Starting Feb. 16, games will be held at Jarvis Fitness Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 and 6 p.m. The eight-team league will be coed. Each roster is limited to five players.
Both courts on either side of the curtain will be used. The games are set at 20 minutes or the first team to reach 25 points.
The regular season is scheduled to run through April. League officials will stage a postseason tournament, with plans to be determined on how many teams qualify.
No spectators, family or friends will be allowed to attend any games due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols.
During this time of uncertainty, McInturf encourages Airmen to stay fit and ready for potential upcoming seasons in other sports.
“Use the gyms, stay in shape and stay active,” he said. “That way, when it comes time for sports to start again, you’re ready.”
As of now, there are only plans for the 3-on-3 basketball season. During a normal year of intramural sports, Wright-Patterson AFB also offers volleyball, softball and flag football.
Ball said he understands how important it is to get sports back up and running in a safe manner.
“Sports provide a healthy and fun avenue for maintaining fitness, comradery, esprit de corps, facilitate improved appropriate emotional responses in time of conflict and enable growth of interpersonal relationships,” he added. “It’s a wonderful way to improve our connectedness across the installation.”
For more information about the 3-on-3 basketball league, contact McInturf, at 937-904-9409. Rosters must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 8.
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