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NBA to require COVID vaccines for its referees

The NBA said referees will also have to agree to taking recommended booster shots.

ATLANTA — The NBA announced Saturday it will require COVID vaccinations for all of its referees working NBA games during the 2021-22 season. 

The organization said it reached an agreement with the National Basketball Referees Association, which specifies all referees must be fully vaccinated with the exception of having a religious or medical exemption. 

According to the NBA, referees will also have to agree to taking recommended booster shots.

"Any referee who does not get vaccinated and is not exempt will be ineligible to work games," the NBA said in a release. 

On Friday, 11Alive obtained a memo  from an NBA league source that stated team employees, including coaching staff and front office personnel will also be required to be fully vaccinated if they are in close proximity to the players. 

The NBA kicks off its preseason on Oct. 3 with the Hawks taking on the Brooklyn Nets the following day.

To learn more about the NBA's vaccination guidelines for its coaches and staff click here.