Return to Play - Vaccination Policy

OBA Vaccination Policy – Effective November 22, 2021

Effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, 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 for the purpose of (a) actively participating in OBA-sanctioned 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 or a valid medical exemption.

The policy update is at the specific request of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. The potential for close contact in basketball makes compliance with social distancing and other public health measures impossible in certain circumstances and reduces the effectiveness of other measures including masking. Prolonged exposure, crowded indoor spaces, and the removal of face coverings during rigorous physical activity further contribute to the enhanced likelihood of COVID-19 transmission while engaging in organized sport.

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. Vaccination provides the best and safest protection against COVID-19 transmission and reduces the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19 amongst persons involved in the OBA.

Currently, the Ontario Government’s Reopening Ontario Act does not require facility operators to require those aged 12-17 who are actively participating in organized sports to provide point of entry proof of being fully vaccinated. However, in recognition of the risks of transmission posed by organized sports, many public health units in Ontario have introduced vaccination requirements that are more stringent than the requirements outlined in the Ontario Government’s Reopening Ontario Act. For example, both the Toronto and York Health Units have issued letters of instruction requiring persons 12 and older who attend indoor areas of facilities for the purposes of actively participating in organized sports or coaching/volunteering/officiating organized sports to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or a valid medical exemption.

To protect the health and safety of all OBA participants, Ontario Basketball has made the decision to apply the requirement that all OBA participants aged 12 and older be fully vaccinated, regardless of whether their local public health unit has issued a letter of instruction or not.  Even if your local public health unit does not require proof of vaccination, your team may travel in OBA tournaments in areas where vaccination is required, either by the facility or by the local public health unit. This aligns all OBA participants to the same health and safety standard regardless of where they live in Ontario. 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.

The grace periods until November 22, 2021 gives OBA participants the time to get both COVID-19 vaccine shots, and the 14 day waiting period after the second dose.

Harassment or abuse of employees, volunteers, venue staff and volunteers, and/or club administrators regarding proof of vaccination policies will not be tolerated, as per Ontario Basketball’s Zero Tolerance Policy and Code of Conduct.

Scope

The OBA requires that any vaccine-eligible athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers (“OBA Participants”) aged 12 years old or older be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by no later than November 22, 2021 as a condition of participating in any OBA sanctioned events, including but not limited to any games, tournaments, practices or training, or any other activity involving participants and coaches that is approved by the OBA. Any OBA Participants who are not fully vaccinated and are not granted an exemption under this policy will not be permitted to engage in OBA sanctioned events after November 22, 2021.

For the purposes of this policy, fully vaccinated means that the OBA Participants have:

  • Received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a full series of a combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines, both as approved by the Government of Canada or the combination of vaccines required by the Government of Ontario under its vaccine passport mandate; and
  • Completed the requisite waiting period for achieving maximum immunity as indicated by the Government of Canada.

In addition, fully vaccinated includes any future COVID-19 booster shots which are approved by and recommended by the Government of Canada.

Proof of Vaccination

As part of the registration process with the OBA, coaches will be required to complete and submit to the OBA by November 22, 2021 an OBA attestation form that attests all OBA Participants on their team who fall within the scope of this policy are fully vaccinated as required by this policy. The information contained in the attestation form shall be viewed by the OBA solely for the purposes of confirming compliance with this policy and the OBA shall not retain a copy of the vaccination information of any OBA Participant. OBA Participants who confirm their vaccination status under the terms of this policy are deemed to have consented to the OBA’s collection and use of that information for the purposes indicated.

Attestation Form in WordAttestation Form in PDF

Please submit your completed OBA COVID-19 Attestation Form through SmartSheet.

Protection of Vaccination Status Information

The information the OBA collects from OBA Participants will be used to determine who may participate in OBA sanctioned events. The list of vaccinated OBA Participants will be retained only as long as this policy is in force. After that time, the list will be securely and permanently destroyed.

Accommodation

OBA Participants who object to receiving a vaccine on the basis of a protected ground under human rights legislation, such as disability, will be eligible for reasonable accommodation up to the point of undue hardship. An OBA Participant who seeks an exemption will be required to provide reasonable supporting documentation as may be requested by the OBA and as permitted by the Ontario Human Rights Code. OBA Participants who provide the OBA with supporting documentation under the terms of this policy are deemed to have consented to the OBA’s collection and use of that information for the purposes indicated.

Note that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has recently advised that personal preferences or singular beliefs do not amount to a creed for the purposes of the Human Rights Code, and that the duty to accommodate can be limited if it would significantly compromise the health and safety amounting to undue hardship – such as during a pandemic.

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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 modified venue capacity limits, patron screening, masking, physical distancing and collection of patron contact information where required.

If you have any further questions, please contact communications@basketball.on.ca.

 

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