The NBA Requires Referees to Be Vaccinated For COVID-19 Next Season

The NBA has reached an agreement with the National Basketball Referees Association that all referees must be fully vaccinated, unless they have a religious or medical exemption, when working NBA games during the 2021-22 season. The referees are also in agreement to take booster shots if recommended. Any referee who does not abide by said agreement that does not qualify for exemptions will be ineligible to work games.

The agreement between the NBA and referees was done one day after the League mandated that the teams with anyone within close proximity (approximately 15 feet) of players and referees will also have to be vaccinated. The mandate covers coaches, support staff traveling with teams, locker room attendants and those working at official scorer’s tables in NBA arenas.

This mandate adds to the enhanced safety measures for referees since NBA play resumed after the shutdown, which includes having small cloth bags over their whistles and changes in the travel schedules.