“A great problem to have” – Basketball New Zealand tries to meet demand as participation skyrockets

“A great problem to have” – Basketball New Zealand tries to meet demand as participation skyrockets
Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) has released their annual community basketball calendar today, covering the national championships and regional tournaments spread throughout the country. 

Due to the increase of secondary schools teams especially, BBNZ has created two new non-qualifying tournaments and additional junior divisions for schools. Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive, Iain Potter, says the rapid rise of basketball is “a great problem to have,” but it does come with growing pains.

“It’s been well reported already the basketball participation is growing faster than ever. The 2016 secondary school participation figures show basketball is the fastest growing major sport in New Zealand, with 27% growth in five years. This considerable influx in players has meant we have needed to turn some school teams away from our events by capping entries, so we are adding more regional tournaments to provide more opportunity to play next year,” says Potter.

The two new non-qualifying tournaments are the Schick Central and Southern Secondary School Cup Tournaments. These are for those schools that would like a tournament experience, but do not play at National Championship level. 

“We have seen evidence from the Northern Cup, which we created in 2016 as an event for secondary schools that didn’t want to go to the highly competitive Nationals. The first year, the event hosted 10 boys and four girls’ teams. This year the attendance numbers jumped to 19 boys’ teams and five girls’ teams,” says Potter.

These tournaments will be open and are not restricted to the area in which the school is situated, for example, teams can attend the Southern Cup if they live in Auckland. For junior tournaments, there is a Premiership-grade for the top teams, and an A-grade for the next tier of talent. Mr Potter says these divisions helps to cater for growth and gives schools an option to compete in an event that suits their playing ability.

“It just gives more opportunities to play in environments that are enjoyable. Not every tournament has to be about being the best, but more about creating an event that young people enjoy by playing at a level that suits them.

“Our challenge is finding more hosts for these events and more facilities. We have a great support network throughout New Zealand through the hardworking regional Associations and the army of volunteers that support them. These Associations put up their hands each year to host what is a big job organising volunteers, sorting facilities and ensuring the event happens. That said, we could always use more help in other areas of the game.

“A great example of that help is Aon and Schick – two socially-conscious organisations that came on board this year – Aon with the U15, U17, U19 and Schick with the senior schools tournaments. These two businesses have realised what basketball means to New Zealanders, especially the younger generation. It is becoming a sport of choice for our young people,” says Potter.

This Basketball New Zealand community sport calendar only covers Basketball New Zealand’s school and national tournaments. It does not include their Women’s Basketball Championship event, the NZ NBL, or national team events such as Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns games. 

Read the calendar here 

(Note, pages 1 to 3 are the events, pages 4 to 6 are the venues for those events): 

Additional Notes for Associations:


When the Zones and tournament’ qualification-spots of the All of Basketball Plan were implemented in 2013, it was agreed that the reallocation of spots would occur after three to four years. The BBNZ Community Advisory Group (CAG) reviewed the current allocation of qualification-spots against fulfilment of spots and placings by gender and by zone from 2013 to 2016.

During 2016 BBNZ and the CAG completed this review and Associations were consulted at the beginning of 2017. The following recommendations were approved by the BBNZ Board and will be introduced for the 2018 season:

Under 15s

• Under 15s to remain a 20 team tournament.
• Capital and Central lose one spot between them. The fourth placed Central team will play-off against the third placed Capital team for the final qualifying spot from 2018.
• Mid North gain one spot from 2018.
• This reallocation is primarily based on review of placings from 2013 to 2016 and also consideration of other factors such as population.
• It is recommended that the Central qualification process is reviewed to provide a fair opportunity for all teams from that zone to qualify; no associations should gain automatic entry.
• These changes are to be reviewed two years after implementation.

Under 17s

• Under 17s to remain a 20 team tournament.
• Capital and Central both lose one spot each from 2018.
• Northern and Mid North both gain one spot each from 2018.
• This reallocation is primarily based on review of placings from 2013 to 2016 and also consideration of other factors such as population.
• It is recommended that the Central qualification process is reviewed to provide a fair opportunity for all teams from that zone to qualify; no associations should gain automatic entry.
• These changes are to be reviewed two years after implementation.

For the Under 15 National Championships based on 20 teams per gender, the six zones will be allocated as follows:

• Northern Zone - 5 teams 
• Mid North Zone - 4 teams 
• Central Zone – 3.5 teams* 
• Capital Zone – 2.5 teams* 
• Mainland Zone - 3 teams 
• Southern Zone - 2 teams 
• *4th placed Central team will play-off against the 3rd placed Capital team for the final qualifying spot.

For the Under 17 National Championships based on 20 teams per gender, the six zones will be allocated as follows:

• Northern Zone - 6 teams 
• Mid North Zone - 4 teams 
• Central Zone - 3 teams
• Capital Zone - 2 teams
• Mainland Zone - 3 teams 
• Southern Zone - 2 teams


 

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