Effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 22, 2021, Ontario Basketball will enact the following proof of vaccination policy for participants in ALL Ontario Basketball activities:

•            Require each person aged 12 years and older at the point of entry of a facility for the purpose of (a) actively participating in OBA-sanction programming, (b) coaching, officiating, or volunteering at an Ontario Basketball program or event, or (c) spectating at an Ontario Basketball program or event to provide identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

•            Medical exemptions and other limited exemptions to mandatory vaccination will be considered and handled under the OBA Vaccination Policy and under guidance given by the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The policy update is at the specific request of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. Basketball is deemed high risk for COVID-19 transmission due to close contact, forceful exhalation, prolonged exposure, crowded indoor spaces and removal of masks and face coverings during physical activity.  Protecting the health and well-being of our basketball community remains Ontario Basketball’s number one priority as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a temporary pandemic measure enacted to protect all parties involved.

Since the youth sport exemption was announced by the province on September 14, it has become apparent that many facilities, municipalities, and clubs across Ontario have chosen to go above and beyond and request proof of vaccination for all sport participants aged 12+ entering indoor recreation facilities. Ontario Basketball has chosen to align with these facilities and municipalities on policy for the sake of unification and utmost protection for participating members. Please note that some facilities and public health units will require proof of vaccination sooner than November 22 and OBA’s policy would not supersede their policy.

As per the Ontario Human Rights Commission, choosing not to be vaccinated because of personal belief or preference is not a ground for accommodation from a vaccination policy under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Ontario Basketball would also like to remind member clubs and frequently used facilities that a business or organization shall not retain any information provided by a patron if the information is provided pursuant to a requirement under section 2.1 of Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 364/20 under the ROA.

All other public health and workplace safety measures in O. Reg. 364/20 remain in effect for Ontario Basketball’s 2021-22 season, including but not limited to capacity limits, patron screening, masking, physical distancing, and collection of patrons contact information where required.

Claude Nembhard

Helpful Links:
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination – Government of Ontario
Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act
Ontario Human Rights Commission – Policy statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates