Hill Country Hoops Factory, a youth basketball league, announced changes to the 2020-21 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The league will follow the protocols set up by Marble Falls Independent School District, which means wearing face coverings while on campus and maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet. Players will not have to wear face masks while on the court playing or practicing. The league will only use three gyms at Marble Falls High School, 2101 Mustang Drive. In previous seasons, the league also played at Marble Falls Middle School.
“That will limit the number of facilities used to disinfect everything and control the traffic,” said John Berkman, president of Hill Country Hoops Factory.
Registration is underway online for this year’s season. The fee is $75 for third through sixth grades and $50 for first- and second-graders.
Youths from across the Highland Lakes participate in the league, including kids from Burnet, Marble Falls, Johnson City, Kingsland, Llano, and Marble Falls. Last year, Berkman said, about 350 kids played in the league.
“And our goal is to promote basketball within the Hill Country,” Berkman added.
Tryouts on Dec. 2 are at 2 p.m. for girls in grades 3-6 and 4:30 p.m. for boys in grades 3-6. Games will be played Jan. 16, Jan. 23, and Feb. 6 with an end-of-season tournament scheduled for Feb. 13.
Children in first and second grades will have Rookie Camps on Jan. 9 and Jan. 30, where they will play 3-on-3 contests to develop basketball skills.
All tryouts, practices, and games will take place at Marble Falls High School.
Other COVID-19-related changes include:
- Fans must wear face coverings.
- No parents will be allowed to stay inside the gyms for practices unless there is a compelling reason.
- During games, spectators will need to bring their own chairs with rubber bottoms on the legs, or sit or stand, as no bleachers will be extended for use.
- Player tryouts will be staggered throughout the day on Nov. 22. Each child will be assigned a time to show up on campus.
- Only one door will be unlocked for people to enter and exit each facility.
- Once a game has ended, families will be shuttled out immediately and the facility will be empty before allowing the next group to enter.
While Berkman doesn’t anticipate having to tell parents only one of them can attend their child’s game, organizers are asking that fans who don’t have a relative playing or coaching in the game to not attend.