SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The opening days of the Summit League Basketball Championships have gone according to script off the court, and it’s required a team effort.
The Summit League Basketball Championships have a different feel due to COVID-19 protocols.
“Is it the same atmosphere as we’ve had in the past 12 years, absolutely not. The fan experience is not there, but the play on the court is just as high a level as we’ve ever seen,” Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple said.
Commissioner Tom Douple says teams are splitting time between the Sanford Pentagon and Holiday Inn City Centre.
“We have about 85% of the rooms so that’s really paid off. We call it creating our own bubble and they go from the hotel and then they come here to the Pentagon for either practice, testing, or the games,” Douple said.
Once a team is done with practice they’ll enter one of four testing areas. Players, coaches, and staff will wait in these seats and one by one go through the testing entrance. Once a test is complete they’ll exit on the other side and wait in these seats until they get their results.
“The system we thought would take an hour to test, we’ve got that down to about 35 minutes. They’re using the antigen testing. We have isolation booths in case we have a positive test. We put them in a mask and a shield and immediately start contact tracing,” Douple said.
The actual test consists of a swab of each nostril, drops of the reagent are then placed in the card, insert swab, twist three times, close, and wait 15 minutes.
“Binax Abbott Card Testing for antigen and then we’d do a PCR to follow that up in case we did have a positive test,” Douple said.
About 500 tests were run on Saturday alone, and the event hasn’t had a positive result. If someone were to test positive, the quarantine area is located on court eight.
It’s the outer courts that have made the Pentagon ideal for hosting this year’s championships.
“Who would have said anything a year ago that we’d be in this situation, but being in it now this is an ideal setup for us,” Douple said.
The teams that qualify for the NCAA Tournament will continue testing for seven consecutive days before traveling to the men’s and women’s tournaments.