WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Basketball Tournament (TBT) today released its health and safety plan for its 2020 event, which will feature 24 teams playing at a single location over 10 days this summer. The location for the tournament has not been announced.
Wichita State University said they have been in conversations with the TBT since the pandemic started, and as of today, the university said they are still in the running for the tournament.
Players and staff will be tested for COVID-19 and quarantined in the days leading up to games.
TBT’s decision to carry on with the event comes after extensive consultation with health experts, epidemiologists and TBT participants. Included among its list of advisors is Tara Kirk Sell, who works at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Thomas Hospel, who also serves as medical director for the PGA Tour.
“After reviewing all available science and data, working with experts, and receiving support from our partners, we’ve devised a plan we are confident protects the health and safety of our participants and staff to the greatest extent possible,” said TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar. “At the forefront is our single-elimination format, ability to test and quarantine the field and keep teams separate at all times. We look forward to hosting an incredible group of teams and crowning a champion this summer.”
“If there’s anything this virus has taught us is there’s no way to ensure 100 percent probability of anything, but after reviewing TBT’s plan and challenging some of their assumptions, I feel confident in the approach they are taking to minimize risk and their commitment to conducting this event responsibly,” said Dr. Sell.
The result of this collaboration is TBT’s Health & Safety Plan, which is a working plan that will continue to be updated in the weeks leading up to the tournament. At the core of the plan are five facets that make it unique:
- All participants will be tested for COVID-19 upon arriving at the location. A positive test result will lead to the removal of both the individual and their team from the event
- Teams will be kept separate at all times in quarantine and screened regularly for symptoms of COVID-19
- All participants will be tested again after the quarantine period. A positive result on this second test will lead to the removal of both the individual and their team from the event
- Teams that have tested negative will be cleared to participate in TBT. Once cleared for participation TBT will continue to screen individuals for symptoms daily
- All players will undergo an exit screening by local health officials
TBT’s application period has featured increasing demand, with over 115 teams applying thus far. The field of applicants includes several high profile alumni teams, including returning champion Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State Alumni), the AfterShocks (Wichita State Alumni), Best Virginia (West Virginia Alumni), Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse Alumni), Red Scare (Dayton Alumni), as well as teams from Purdue, Illinois, Tennessee, and Oklahoma State.
The 24-team field will be announced in June. Once again in 2020, all games will feature the Elam Ending, the end of game format made famous during the 2020 NBA All-Star Game which eliminates the game clock after a certain point and features teams playing to a Target Score.
Due to its plan to consolidate down to one location, all previous ticket purchasers across TBT’s previously determined nine regions will be refunded in full.
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