BANGOR – As part of the Maine Principals’ Association’s updated return-to-play protocols, basketball will see several changes on the court and in the schedule.
The return to play dates have been set for over a week, but questions still remained as to what the season would look like moving forward.
“This is our family during the winter time. It’s been kind of gut wrenching up to this point wondering what’s going to happen,” said Brad Libby, boys basketball head coach for Bangor. “It’s definitely going to be different, but my hope is from a coaching standpoint and players standpoint that the approach is the same.”
General COVID-19 policies will go across all sports, but for basketball in particular, the most significant change comes with scheduling.
“Nobody comes and plays to lose, so we’re going to be coming in everyday, giving it our all, and trying to win as many games as we can,” said Andrew Swez, senior for Bangor.
Teams will play a maximum of 12 games in a regionalized format, and come February, there will be no state tournament and no cutting of nets to end the year.
“We talk in past seasons with our players about never taking anything for granted during a season, and that really resonates now with the kids. We may have taken some of that stuff for granted in the past…now they just want to be able to get on the court,” Libby said.
Once on the court, one change is no jump balls. Instead, a coin toss will be used to determine possession at the start of the game and overtime. Players will be required to wear masks during competition, but for Bangor and many others, the priority is to simply take the court.
“Honestly, I haven’t even seen the Bangor gym this whole school year, so just to see the gym will be a delight honestly…I’m looking forward to it,” Swez said.