Due to the ongoing pandemic and associated health measures, Ontario Basketball (OBA) will be postponing the start of the competitive schedule until January 2021.
A decision of this magnitude was not made lightly. The health and safety of our members are of utmost importance and a competitive start date prior to January 2021 appears to pose too many risks in relation to the contraction and spread of COVID-19.
For the Ontario Basketball League (OBL) this means the season would tip off two months later than the usual start in November. For the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) this will result in a delay of three months from the typical October tip-off.
This postponement comes with a full assessment of the current sports landscape in Ontario as it relates to safety protocols amid the pandemic, and endeavors to anticipate future progress in the same way OBA responded with Phase 3 of Return to Play protocols in late July.
The health and safety of our members and basketball community is of the utmost importance, and at this time it appears that starting the competitive schedule for OBA earlier than January 2021 could result in an increased risk for the spread and contraction of COVID-19.
In the interim, teams are encouraged to invite back returning players wherever possible in lieu of the regular tryout hosting process. For many reasons including facility availability, the OBA recognizes that tryouts may not be advisable at this time. Should a club wish to conduct tryouts under the current restrictions all basketball activity must be non-contact.
OBA’s five phases for Return to Play calls the start of the competitive season Phase 5 and will represent a full return to play, but not simply a return to basketball as we know it. Even when we enter Phase 5 all basketball activity will still require many health and safety protocols to ensure the protection of all participants.
There remains great uncertainty with government regulations and public health requirements going forward, and, if it is deemed safe to begin a competitive schedule prior to January 2021 the OBA will be prepared to run some modified competitions at that time in collaboration with member clubs.
We look forward to seeing you on the courts again soon and appreciate the ongoing support.