Return to Play FAQ

Ontario Basketball (OBA) has announced Return to Play” guidelines for Phase 4 of our multi-phased approach to safely resuming basketball activities and here we answer some of your commonly asked questions.

April 1 Update: Ontario Basketball’s Return to Play process is currently on pause as the province enters another lockdown period. No organized basketball activity should take place in Ontario during this time. All zones are now “Gray” lockdown zones as of Saturday, April 3, at 12:01 a.m per the Ontario Government and Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts.

Teams in Stage 3 regions (Green, Yellow and Orange zones) may now begin scrimmages within team practices and form cohorts of teams to resume competition with modified gameplay rules to avoid contact.

Restrictions differ by region according to public boundaries and have been given a color-coded framework. Find your zone using the Ontario Government’s PHU map or the Ontario Basketball Clubs by PHU tool.

Download Ontario Basketball: Return to Play guidelines document PDF


Why do we need modified gameplay rules?
In order to comply with the Ontario Government’s guidelines, practice or play can only take place within the facility if it has been modified to avoid contact. Removing the jump ball, having no players in the lane for free throws, and minimizing double-teaming and tie-ups are all rule adjustments implemented for player safety and public health.

Do players have to wear masks?
At all times off the court players must wear masks, including during while substituted and on the team bench, as well as in transit to the facility if traveling with teammates. By law players may temporarily remove the mask for periods of exercise or sporting activity, but Ontario Basketball recommends wearing masks any time physical distancing may be a challenge. Coaches and facility staff should wear masks for the duration of activity.

Do I have to register the players and coaches even if I am only practicing/training?
Yes. In order to participate in sanctioned OBA programming and receive insurance through Ontario Basketball teams must register through SportSavvy at this stage of Return to Play. See the registration process graphic.

Are we able to use volunteer game officials?
Coaches, volunteers, and team staff are encouraged to monitor for compliance with government guidelines and OBA rule modifications. Officials insurance through OBA is intended to cover this volunteer role. Certified OABO referees will be available at a later stage of Return to Play.

Can we play teams from outside our zone?
Ontario Basketball will not sanction competition cohort leagues that include a team from a Red or Gray zone. As long as teams come from within a Stage 3 zone (Green, Yellow, or Orange) they may compete in a cohort.

Why does OBA recommend a two-week conditioning window?
In order to ramp up activity slowly before returning to the intensity of gameplay. This helps prevent injuries after long periods of being dormant for athletes of all ages.

Is OBA planing to start OBL?
If there are enough teams interested in forming cohorts and enough regions in the Green, Yellow or Orange stage of reopening the OBA is prepared to run a modified-format league cohorting schedule called OBL: Run This Town. Teams will compete to be the best in their PHU and claim the regional title.