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KBF’s intends to normalise operations in line with Fiba calendar

By Lynette Matheka
Thursday, May 7th, 2020
Nairobi Basketball Association President Ronnie Owino presents Equity Hawks’ Selina Okumu with Most Valuable Player of the year award. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) intends to have the federation activities conform to the world basketball governing body, FIBA, calender by September 2021.

On Wednesday last week,  KBF assistant Secretary General (SG) Ambrose Kisoi wrote to basketball stakeholders giving guidelines on resumption of activities, following the government’s plan to start a re-opening  strategy. 

This year’s league was scheduled to jump off in the tail end of March before Kenya recorded her first Covid-19 case on March 13 bringing all sporting activities in the country to a standstill.  

“The executive had a discussion on the issue of realignment with the FIBA calender and it was agreed that the issue will be tabled again for discussion during the coming Annual General Meeting (AGM). This idea was discussed about five years ago, as FIBA had advised us to do so, but the stakeholders rejected it then,” said outgoing SG Vitalis Gode.  

He added, “Currently,  the local calender runs from March through to December while the FIBA calender runs from July to the following year.

Previously we had the league run from April to November but we faced some challenges in management and finances but it will be good to use this break to realign with the FIBA schedule.” 

In addition to conforming to FIBA, Gode says having the local calender jump off in July, and not the proposed September,  will help institution-owned teams to budget better as the new financial year begins in the same month.

This, according to Gode, will also help teams compete in continental competitions and other FIBA events before fatigue kicks in as is the current case. 

With an exception of the newly introduced Basketball Africa League (BAL) which is set to run from March to May,  the other FIBA Africa events are scheduled in the July,  August and November windows.  

Meanwhile,  KBF intends to hold its AGM 30 days after the government’s normalisation of operations while pre-season tournaments are intended to play 45 days after normalisation. 

The league is intended to jump of after 52 days with mid-season break coming 14 weeks later.  

“This is just a tentative schedule and will be discussed at the AGM.  If teams feel that they are ready to play earlier than the stated timelines and reach an agreement, then the league will resume,” Gode said.  

On their part, Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) chair Ronnie Owino says their league will jump off three weeks after normalisation adding that there is need for consensus for any changes in the calendar.