NBA Announces Rules to Forbid Hugs, Handshakes With Midcourt Security

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The NBA announced Wednesday that it will move team security into the midcourt area to forbid hugs and handshakes, according to a league memo.

The memo requires teams to remain on their half of the court in pregame and halftime warm-ups. It also limits physical contact exclusively to elbow or fist bumps. High-fives, hugs and handshakes, as well as extended postgame conversations, are prohibited.

This move comes as coronavirus infections continue to rise across the country. The league announced a wave of new regulations for players and staffers to lessen the possibility of on-court transmissions.

While the league has incorporated new safety measures, several players still have had physical contact with other players following the conclusion of games, which led to the NBA issuing the memo.

The league postponed its 16th regular-season game—the Memphis Grizzlies at the Portland Trail Blazers—on Wednesday due to ongoing contact tracing within the Grizzlies' team.

All but nine NBA teams—the Nets, Knicks, Raptors, Bucks, Spurs, Lakers, Clippers and Kings—had to postpone at least one game because of the virus over the first month of the season.

Eleven new NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus out of 502 tested since Jan. 13, the league announced.