The NBA informed teams Friday that all personnel under team control who work within 15 feet of players or referees during games will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the upcoming season, according to a memo obtained by ESPN.
The directive specifically includes coaches, front-office members and trainers but stops short of requiring all players to be vaccinated. Leaguewide vaccination of players is subject to negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association.
The NBA has set an Oct. 1 deadline for team personnel to be fully vaccinated and left open the possibility it could require a booster shot at a later date, according to the memo.
The mandate applies to all personnel who will work near the court, including broadcasters, scoreboard operators, photographers and security personnel. Also required are all back-of-house operations, including locker room attendants, medical staff, equipment managers, and food and beverage handlers and providers.
The NBA is believed to be the first major league to require such widespread vaccination.