The next time Stanford's men's and women's basketball teams have home games, they can look forward to playing at Maples Pavilion, their regular home court, the school announced Tuesday.
Santa Clara County this week lifted its pandemic-induced restrictions on allowing activities that feature physical contact, people gathering in close proximity, and sharing equipment. The restrictions, which were instituted Nov. 28, affected both indoor and outdoor activities.
Even with the change, no games will be played at Maples Pavilion until Feb. 5, when the Cardinal women's squad is scheduled to face Colorado.
On Wednesday, the women's team begins a three-game road trip for two games at Washington State and one more at Washington. The sixth-ranked Stanford women's team (12-2, 9-2, first place in Pac-12) played one game at Maples Pavilion before the restrictions took effect: a 108-40 win over Cal Poly on Nov. 25.
The Stanford men's team (9-5, 5-3) has yet to play a game on its home court. That squad is embarking on a four-game trek to Arizona, Arizona State, Southern California and Cal, and it doesn't have a home game scheduled until Feb. 7, a return matchup with Cal.
Both basketball teams have held their "home games" at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, Calif., about 45 miles from campus.
"We are thrilled that our student-athletes will now be able to train and compete on campus, and we will continue to follow rigorous health and safety standards," Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir said in a statement.
Other COVID-19-related protocols are in place, according to the university.
For example, athletes will be required to have polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing three times per week, live in teammate-only households and maintain practices such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing unless in competition.
When opponents come to Stanford from more than 150 miles away, they will be required to stay at their place of residence or sites they are using for athletics. Obvious exceptions would be for medical care or other emergency services.
--Field Level Media