BBL Tournament Players to Wear Chips to Track Their Movement Amid Pandemic

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 5, 2020

In this Tuesday, June 2, 2020 photo, people work on final preparations for the start of the Basketball Bundesliga in the sports arena Audi Dome in Munich.  As the second major team sport after soccer, basketball will resume playing in Germany from Saturday, June 6, 2020 despite the Corona pandemic. (Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP)
Sven Hoppe/Associated Press

Germany's Basketball Bundesliga is asking players to wear tracking chips for the duration of the 10-team tournament that is set to begin on Saturday. 

BBL commissioner Stefan Holz told ESPN's Zach Lowe and Jonathan Givony the league wants players to wear a device that will allow them to closely monitor player movement in hopes of limiting the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

Lowe and Givony noted players did not previously agree to wear a tracking device and weren't informed of the league's decision until they arrived in Munich for the tournament on Thursday, which "could lead to privacy concerns."

A memo from the league to team officials stated only doctors would only have access to the tracking data if a player tests positive for COVID-19. 

Holz did emphasize to Lowe and Givony that wearing the device is not mandatory: "It is voluntary. It is optional. It is to trace contacts. If there is one positive test within the group, the whole group could be in danger. It could be the end of the tournament."

The league has plans to conduct around 2,750 COVID-19 tests and has a plan to isolate coaches, players, game referees and other staff over the course of the three-week tournament. 

The BBL tournament will be held at the Audi Dome and will consist of 36 games, wrapping up with a two-game final on June 26 and 28.