Ontario Basketball continues to encourage everyone to practice physical distancing to limit public interactions and do our collective part in slowing the impending spread of the virus and flatten the curve.  Recommendations for protecting yourself and preventing spread of this illness also include frequent hand washing and covering both your nose and mouth when coughing.


OBA teamed with Dr. Neil Verma, a frontline emergency physician practicing since 2006 in the GTA, to answer some of the questions we’ve been getting from our basketball community.

Dr. Verma has 10+ years experience practicing Emergency Medicine. Dr. Verma has also been teaching medicine to medical students and resident physicians for most of his career as he is also Adjunct Clinical Professor of Family Medicine for McMaster University. Dr. Verma is a U10 basketball coach in the OBA and has been one of our heroes working at the frontline to protect essential workers and treat patients fighting back against COVID-19.


Q&A COVID-19 and Basketball

*current to date last updated (June 12)


Can I play basketball on my own net outside?

Yes.  If you have a basketball net it’s safe to use it with other members of your home.


Do I have to wear a mask when I play outside?

No. Being outside provides one of nature’s best defenses from getting sick… natural ventilation.


Can my neighbour comes over to shoot hoops and does he have to bring his own ball?

Shooting hoops with your neighbour is not advisable at the moment as it means there would be times when players are within a close distance to one another.  It’s important for public health that we don’t provide an opportunity for the virus to spread by maintaining physical distancing of 6+ feet apart from one another as much as possible.  That being said if nobody else was using the net and your neighbour was shooting on it with his own ball by himself that would be acceptable.


What are some ways I can share the court with my friends?

Bring your own basketball and play a few games where you’re spaced out across the court. These include classics like;

  • H-O-R-S-E
  • 21
  • Around the World


Now that outdoor courts are open how can I keep myself safe while going out to practice?

Outdoor courts are open to go and play but group gatherings cannot exceed 10 people (as of June 12) and physical distancing measures are still in place so keep your 2-metre distance. On the outdoor courts near your house when other kids show up to play could be a situation where physical distancing is a challenge and right now you are advised to wear a mask in those scenarios. So bring a mask and hand sanitizer to the court in case some other neighbours show up and always wash your hands before and after playing.


How can we play basketball but also keep a 2 metre distance?

Unfortunately at the moment we can’t really play basketball with a friend on the same court.  That doesn’t mean we still can’t play basketball with a friend.  There is a lot more to basketball than shooting.  A suggestion could be doing a challenge dribble move and share it with friends to see if they can do it as well. Now is a great time to improve your ball handles and footwork with Mega Moves on OBA’s Instagram page.


Should I wash my hands after playing basketball every time?

Yes.  The best defence against getting a virus infection is excellent hand hygiene.  Wash your hands anytime you go outside and come back inside the home.


What if I don’t have a net in my driveway or on my street?

Most people don’t have a net on their driveway.  We are all in this together.  Stay sharp and work on your ball handling skills, footwork, watch your favourite playoff game etc.


What if I feel a little bit sick, can I still go to the park and play?

If you have ANY virus infection symptoms it is recommended to call Telehealth or visit an assessment centre to get tested and stay home until you are back to feeling 100%.

Virus symptoms include the following:
Constitutional symptoms: Headache, body aches, fever
Respiratory symptoms: cough, runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste, loss of smell
GI symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain


Why is it important for kids to stay physically active?

Exercise is important for your body and mind.  Its important to move your body and keep your muscles healthy and conditioned as you grow.


Until we see you on the courts again soon – stay safe and stay active!