ALL tournaments planned for this year by the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) have been blown off until 2021.President of CBC, Glyne Clarke, said that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has mandated that all championships this year including those hosted by the CBC be suspended.Clarke explained that going forward they would monitor closely what is happening around the world because even though they are planning to have those tournaments played sometime next year, there were no guarantees that the host countries would be ready.“We will be monitoring to see how the world is recovering and it is subject to the governmental restrictions this will have on countries. Even though we may restart, some countries might not be in a position to start as well.“We are actually in the process of sending out some communication to the member countries, not only to check on their state of readiness but in terms of being able to play and what the government restrictions are.“In terms of financing, as you know many of the Caribbean countries depend heavily on assistance from the government in their competitions. So it is how well they are able to recover and to get the funding both governmental and corporate to help the teams to compete,” he said.During a recent meeting, Clarke noted that the CBC management had decided to use this time to do some online training, particularly for the coaches.“We have already started from the Americas doing some virtual programs like Zoom and so on with coaching at different levels. But what we are going to be doing too at the Caribbean level is working on developing our mini-league coaches and the mini-league programs, and also doing some training for the referees and table officials.“We are capitalising on the downtime to make sure people get the training and in many areas now people are more receptive now to doing training online than before. This also saves some cost as well,” he said.Clarke who is also chairman for the FIBA Americas Competitions Commission noted that among the events called off this year were the women’s championship which is a qualifier for the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup, the Under-15, 17 and18 Central Baskets for junior boys and girls. Then there is the FIBA 2023 Caribbean qualifier.Every year CBC, a sub-sub-zone of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), has a packed schedule. Clarke explained that each year there were different qualifying championships within the zone.According to the CBC president, one of the challenges they are usually faced with was hosting junior and senior championships in the same year. He also said it was dependent on the country’s ability to participate.“We’ve had lots of challenges especially in the junior category. The last junior championship we had was an under-18 in Guyana back in 2016. So the challenge is when you have a junior championship like an under-16, 18 in the same year as a senior championship.“That’s the challenge we are having, we have lots of countries who are interested in competing in the senior championship, the Women’s Caribbean Cup and the men’s pre-qualifiers. The challenge is getting teams to play both. We find that in many cases when it comes to senior championships that a lot of countries opt to play in the senior championship and leave out the junior championship. So it is always a challenge when we have to host two championships in a year,” he said.To avoid such a challenge, Clarke explained that when CBC sends out its bid to host, they ask countries to host both males and females.“When we give people the opportunity they choose to host the men. The men are more competitive, they draw bigger crowds and are better able to manage the championship because they would get the receipts from the men’s championship.We found that over the years in the women’s championship, the spectatorship is not as big as the men’s,” he said. (Reprinted from Barbados Today).