UPDATED: In light of the news announced on Friday, August 27, 2021, formally released on September 2 and taking effect on Friday, September 3 by the Province of Manitoba tied to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, several changes, most notably tied to adult vaccinations and mask-wearing, have been made tied to indoor sports in Manitoba.  Those include...

    • NEW: ADULTS IN BASKETBALL:   Effective September 3, 2021, all adults (age 18+) participating in or attending an indoor basketball facility in Manitoba will need to be able to provide proof upon request of their fully Covid-19 vaccination status to gain entrance along with government-issued identification. This includes adult players, coaches, officials, staff, volunteers and spectators. Adult coaches and officials involved with age 17 and under basketball teams are included in this requirement, however, participants age 17 and under do not need to provide such proof of being fully vaccinated at this time to gain entry to indoor sporting facilities.    
    • NEW: MASKS: Indoor sports facilities in Manitoba will be requiring the use of non-medical masks however the participant has the option to remove the mask while active on the court.  Facilities also reserve the right to request that masks remain on at all times and that user groups should communicate with the facility manager to know what is required and are asked to follow that requirement.  
    • NO CHANGE: PARTICIPANT NUMBERS: Allowance with no maximum participant number restrictions for indoor and outdoor basketball to gather for games, tournaments, practices, training and camps. Under the Canada Basketball Return Plan, this would equate to Phase 5 of their plans.  (See Order 12 below)
    • UPDATED: SPECTATORS: The number of spectators at an indoor or outdoor basketball facility remains the same as announced on August 3 must not exceed 50% of the facility's usual spectator capacity, with all spectators socially distancing from others while at the facility.  Indoor or outdoor facilities also reserve the right to admit or not admit spectators at the moment.   (See Order 13 below)
    • NO CHANGE: SOCIAL DISTANCING: Social distancing (2m) is to be maintained at all times between players, coaches and officials when not active on the court and are expected to follow all other restrictions imposed by a facility when using change rooms/washrooms.  
    • PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS: The wording of Public Health Orders 13, 14 and 27 are included below.  

Additional information can be found in the Sport Manitoba memos below.  The above changes do not affect outdoor basketball at this time including on public outdoor basketball courts.  

The new Manitoba Public Health Orders that were formally released on September 2, 2021, tied to sports specifically state... 

13(1) Subject to subsection (2), outdoor sporting and recreational facilities may open.

13(2) Except for ticketed sporting events under Order 16, the operator of an outdoor sporting or recreational facility must ensure that the number of spectators at the facility does not exceed 50% of the usual spectator capacity of the facility.

14(1) Indoor sporting and recreational facilities, including dance schools and martial arts studios, must not operate unless admission of members of the public to the facility is restricted to the following:

      (a) persons who produce proof that they are fully immunized;

      (b) persons who produce proof from the Government of Manitoba that there is a medical reason for the person not to receive a vaccine for COVID-19;

      (c) persons under 18 years of age.

14(2) For certainty, subsection (1) applies to spectators who are watching sporting or recreational activities at the facility.

14(3) Subsection (1) applies when gymnasiums and other indoor sporting facilities at a public or independent school are used for sporting activities that are not part of school sanctioned events.


27(1) A person who enters or remains in an indoor public place must wear a mask in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin without gapping.

27(2) The operator of an indoor public place must ensure that every person who is not wearing a mask while in the indoor public place is given a reminder to do so as soon as practicable.

27(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of the following:

     (a) a child who is under five years of age;

     (b) a person with a medical condition that is unrelated to COVID-19, including breathing or cognitive difficulties, or a disability, that prevents them from safely wearing a mask;

     (c) a person who is unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person;

     (d) a person who is swimming or engaged in other athletic activities;

Source: https://manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/proactive/20212022/orders-soe-09022021.pdf



  • Basketball Manitoba stresses that coaches lead a gradual return to basketball over the coming weeks and months understanding that athletes may not have been active for a long period of time with a focus on athlete health and injury prevention being stressed during all training.  More information on this topic can be found in the Canada Basketball Return Plan. (pages 5-8)
  • All equipment including basketballs and hands are to be properly sanitized before and after all training sessions.  
    • Sanitizer Notes: 
    • A liquid form of hand sanitizer with 70%+ alcohol content in a spray bottle works well-cleaning basketballs and other equipment with a clean rag and on hands at the same time.  
    • The cleaner dries fast and leaves no residue or smell on the basketball or hands and shows no damaging effects to rubber or synthetic basketball.  
    • The liquid sanitizer and empty spray bottles can be purchased at home repair and department stores including Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Lowe's, Home Hardware, Walmart and many other locations including many online retailers.     
  • It is strongly recommended that training groups and teams follow the "rule of 2" in seeing at least 2 coaches present during any games or practices.  
  • The full Basketball Manitoba Return to Play Guidelines with the above exceptions remain in place can be found HERE.  

Please note that the Basketball Manitoba Insurance Program has returned to protect all registered members under both accident and liability coverage effective April 1, 2021.  Only participants who are registered members in the 2021-22 membership year are covered under this liability coverage.  All others will participate at their own risk.  

Membership and insurance inquiries can be made to Adam Wedlake at Basketball Manitoba.  

The sport of basketball in Manitoba will remain in this state until the new health orders are updated or changed by Manitoba Public Health.  

Sport Manitoba Memos 

MEMO #1 - August 27, 2021: The Province of Manitoba is requiring masks be worn in all indoor public spaces as of tomorrow, Saturday, August 28, 2021. This applies to all areas of the Sport Manitoba facility, except for those who are actively participating in an activity, ie: playing on the courts, training in performance or the flex space, or working out in the fitness centre. 

More information will be released next week regarding the events and activities that require people to be fully immunized to participate in, and we will update you as soon as we can. 

Thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation as we adjust to these changes.

MEMO #2 - September 2, 2021

In accordance with the Province of Manitoba's public health orders, all participants over the age of 18 using the court and flex spaces in the Sport Manitoba facility will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination starting Friday, September 3.

Upon arriving at the L2 court or L3 flex entrances, participants 18+ will be asked to show their QR code or vaccine card along with a photo ID. Alternatively, you can provide proof from the Government of Manitoba that there is a medical reason you cannot receive a vaccine for COVID-19.

We will work with recurring bookings to develop a process to make your check-in more efficient for future bookings. 

Starting tomorrow, spectators will not be allowed on the courts until further notice. This will allow us some time to develop a process for safely and efficiently welcoming spectators onto the courts. 

Masks will continue to be mandatory in all public spaces within the facility, except for when participants are actively engaged in physical activity.


MEMO #3 - September 16, 2021

We recognize the many hardships that COVID-19 has created for the sport community and we appreciate your commitment to making this return to sport safe and responsible.

Our role is to encourage people to follow public health guidelines so we can avoid overwhelming the healthcare system, which could lead to further lockdowns.

There have been a number of scenarios and variations of implementations of the public health orders and our goal with this communication is to clarify our interpretation of the orders for your sport. We are still seeking clarification on some matters and will keep you informed as we receive updates. 

Vaccination Status

Anyone U18 who is participating in sport, including players, coaches, officials, can do so unvaccinated and without being accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent/guardian. 

Indoor sporting events

Anyone 18+ who is entering a sport facility and/or participating in an indoor sport event is required to provide proof of full vaccination. 

Anyone U18 who is entering an indoor facility to spectate a sport, does not need to provide proof of vaccination or be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Ticketed sporting events

Anyone 12+ who is entering a facility to spectate a ticketed sport event, where admissions are collected, is required to provide proof of full vaccination. All events that have gate admission (indoor and outdoor sport events) are subject to Order 16.

Proof of Vaccination

Valid proof of vaccination includes only either of the following combinations:

  • QR code + Government-issued identification (driver’s license, passport, or Manitoba Health Card)
  • Physical immunization card + Government-issued identification (driver’s license, passport, or Manitoba Health Card)
  • Province of Manitoba Immunization record + Government-issued identification (driver’s license, passport, or Manitoba Health Card)

You can ask for proof of vaccination as they enter your facility/event/game, but you cannot copy or store proof of vaccination.

Here is a sample of the current, acceptable immunization records participants from other provinces and territories may provide as proof of vaccination: https://manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/covidvaccine/covid19-immunization-record-samples.pdf 

Participants who have received a vaccine outside of Canada should contact Public Health to determine an appropriate course of action to obtain a valid proof of vaccination. 

Confirmation of Vaccination

In sport, individuals who coordinate programming, as well as facility owners, share the responsibility to confirm that participants/spectators 18+ years show proof of vaccination. 

Scenario: basketball team game at Sport Manitoba facility

Responsible: basketball team coach/manager, as well as facility scheduler, are responsible for confirming all 18+ participants show proof of vaccination. Sport Manitoba facility attendances will confirm 18+ spectators show proof of vaccination.

Proof of Vaccine Exemptions

We have received confirmation that no other government-issued card or document, including a doctor’s note, will qualify as proof of exemption. 

Public Health has asked us to communicate that there is an exceedingly small number of medical conditions that would exempt someone from being immunized as well as the following: 

Based on the guidance of the vaccine implementation task force’s medical advisory committee, people in one of three situations may be eligible for a temporary or permanent medical exemption to vaccination. This must be reviewed by a specialist physician and then submitted to the Vaccine Implementation Task Force. It includes people who: 

  • had a severe reaction after the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g. myocarditis, Guillain-BarrΓ© syndrome);
  • are receiving treatment that affects their ability to mount an immune response, meaning vaccination must be timed carefully with their treatment schedule (e.g. receiving immunocompromising treatment after a transplant, certain types of cancer treatments); or
  • had a severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or its components that cannot be managed by the Health Sciences Centre Allergy Clinic.

The process to submit medical exemptions will be finalized as soon as possible, along with updated clinical guidance for healthcare professionals. The province is also developing a way to ensure individuals with a valid medical exemption are able to access the same benefits as those with an immunization card. This work is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

In the interim, until this process is finalized, you should refuse access to those 18+ who cannot show proof of vaccination.


The current health orders state that all 18+ participants need to provide proof of vaccination.  Providing a negative test result is not permitted in the order as an acceptable exemption. 

Facilities with restaurants/lounges

U18 participants can participate in sport inside licensed premises without proof of vaccination. However, should they stay in the restaurant/lounge outside of participating in sport, proof of vaccination is required.

Interprovincial Travel 

14 days of self-isolation (quarantine) is required for all individuals returning to or coming to Manitoba from all jurisdictions unless the individual is exempt in the order from quarantine. Exemptions include Manitobans who can show proof of vaccination and children who are not eligible for the vaccine based on age, if all individuals they travelled with are fully immunized.

Complete details are available here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/prs/orders/index.html#travel-self-isolation 

Spectator Capacity Indoors

As proof of vaccination is required for indoor sport facilities, no spectator capacity restrictions apply.

We will continue to update you should we receive any further clarifications. 

Thank you,

Janet McMahon | President & CEO, Sport Manitoba


NOTE: If there is a discrepancy between any Basketball Manitoba statement to the actual Manitoba Public Health Orders, the public health orders will always take precedence. 

Basketball Manitoba will continue to monitor the current public health orders and make any updates or revisions as needed.  This article will be updated as further information on these impacts is known.  

More details on these changes can be found on the Province of Manitoba website.

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