Gold Rush players in limbo over future of league

Otago Gold Rush players will know by next Thursday if they will take the court again this year.

October 21 is the deadline for a decision as to whether the women’s NBL will restart.

November 5 is the latest start date for games.

The season has been on hold since New Zealand went into Alert Level 4 in August.

At that point the league had held its opening weekend, at which the Gold Rush played two games.

Attempts to restart the league have been hampered by the ongoing lockdown in Auckland, where two of the teams are based.

"At this level of competition you can't just put the players on a plane and back out on court in the blink of an eye," NBL general manager Justin Nelson said.

"They need to re-condition and prepare, and at the very least we want all players
being able to train together as a team for a minimum of two weeks.

"We know some teams are already back training according to guidelines, but in Auckland and the Waikato right now the players are limited to individual workouts.

"While this level of preparation helps, it doesn’t fully condition the players for
games and we won’t risk players getting injured," Nelson said.

"If things don’t clear up by October 21 and we can’t get back on court by November 5, we will need to count the costs and unfortunately look to next year.

"That’s the reality of the environment we find ourselves in right now."

Meanwhile, Nelson said there was a little more leeway with the 3x3 tournament.

That had been postponed to December, but it could be held in the new year if it could not go ahead before Christmas.

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