66% participation increase as Kiwi kids flock to 3x3 basketball

66% participation increase as Kiwi kids flock to 3x3 basketball
The Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools 3x3 National Championships have exploded in entry numbers in just 12 months and the National Sports Organisation is once again under pressure to cater for large numbers of Kiwi kids turning to hoops.

This year’s 3x3 national event, to be held on 21-23 March at ASB Arena in Tauranga, will cater for 105 teams from 47 secondary schools. This is an increase of 66% in participation, up from 2017’s 63 teams from 31 schools.

New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council (NZSSSC) Chief Executive, Garry Carnachan says he could have guessed an increase, especially after NZSSSC most recent census showed basketball to continue its seemingly unstoppable trend of kids taking to the court. That said, he’s impressed by the big jump in participation of the 3x3 street-styled version of the game.

“It is not surprising to see such rapid growth given that 3x3 ticks all the boxes young people seem to be looking for in sport today. It is fast paced, small sided, and while still highly competitive it provides an event-based rather than season long, less-formal opportunity to pull on a school jersey with pride,” said Carnachan.

Basketball New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Iain Potter, says they have been significantly investing in 3x3 basketball, with the development of the 3x3 Quest Tour which has just completed its fifth year, the opportunity for school teams to play in tournaments, and a commitment to sending New Zealand 3x3 teams to FIBA-sanctioned international events.

“The 3x3 brand of basketball has been added to the Olympic schedule for 2020 and we want New Zealand to be there. It requires a big commitment from us to build the 3x3 game here and ensure we are meeting FIBA’s expectations to develop the game and provide opportunities for Kiwis to represent the country at the highest level.

“This year we will send at least five teams abroad to FIBA events, including the open men’s and women’s teams to the Asia Cup and Under 18 men’s and women’s sides to the age-group Asia Cup. Then the New Zealand men have also qualified for the FIBA 3x3 World Cup in June, plus there’s a chance we’ll be sending a team to the Youth Olympics.

“The final of the 3x3 Quest Tour was also played this weekend, the winning open men’s team will now be sent to a FIBA World Masters event in Japan. So we’ve paved the beginnings of a high-performance pathway for the elite 3x3 talent that will come out of tournaments like the 3x3 Secondary Schools nationals. We believe there might be some future Olympians on show next week in Tauranga,” says Mr Potter.

The Tertiary 3x3 Championships will also be held in Christchurch on 8 April. The winners will qualify to play in the World University League held in China.

The 3x3 Secondary Schools Nationals is open to the public to attend, free of charge, 21-23 March, ASB Arena Tauranga. 

Basketball New Zealand 3x3 Secondary Schools Nationals – participation 2017 and 2018

Schools Teams by Zone Teams by Grade
Zone 1: 9 23 Snr B: 20
Zone 2: 13 25 Snr G: 16
Zone 3: 5 8 Jnr B: 15
Zone 4: 4 7 Jnr G: 12
Total 31 Total: 63 Total: 63
Schools Teams by Zone Teams by Grade
Zone 1: 12 27 Snr B: 47
Zone 2: 21 51 Snr G: 18
Zone 3: 9 17 Jnr B: 27
Zone 4: 5 10 Jnr G: 13
Total: 47 Total: 105 Total: 105

Zone 1 – Northern Zone (From South Auckland through to Northland).
Zone 2 – Mid North Zone (Waikato, Bay of Plenty, down to Taupo).
Zone 3 – Central Zone (Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Gisborne region).
Zone 4 – Capital Zone (Wider Wellington region and Wairarapa).