What is representative basketball?
Representative or championship basketball is the level above domestic where the coaching and training is more intense and involved. Representative basketball is an opportunity for juniors who have a passion for basketball to compete at a higher level than they have before. There are high expectations on players and families to be committed and involved in representative basketball. It is a great option for families who find their children are showing a strong passion for basketball, a desire to improve their skills and challenge themselves.
Teams representing different associations around Melbourne play most Friday night across Melbourne and some regional areas. Games are played on a ‘home and away’ basis. Where you play will depend on the level and the other teams in your division. It is important for families to know that whilst half of your games will be ‘home’ matches, half will be away. Whilst in the north-east we are very lucky to have a very strong basketball community and a lot of Representative programs, therefore meaning travel for away games is reduced; there is still the likelihood you will have at least one if not two games within the year at a regional venue. This could mean travel on a Friday night to a game at Geelong, Bellarine, Bendigo, Ballarat, Traralgon or Dromana or similar type distances. In the lower grades of representative basketball, you will often find the travel requirements are reduced.
What ability of players can play representative basketball?
Representative basketball has an extremely thorough grading period, resulting in many grades and levels of mixed ability, ranging from State Championship divisions (about A Grade EDJBA level and better) through to levels that would be similar to that of high level C Grade of EDJBA. All players are encouraged to trial for representative basketball, but your child should be aware that there is a trial process in being selected for teams, which does open the possibility of them missing out on selection.
When should players start playing rep?
There is no set age that players should start playing. You are aware your child’s emotional, social and physical capacities better than anyone else. If you think they are ready and have a passion for and commitment to basketball to carry them through an 11-month representative basketball season, then they are likely to be ready to play. Every child is different, but we have children trialling that are 8 years of age at the time of trials (turning 9 in the season proper), whilst others beginning at 15/16 years of age.
What are playing and training schedules like?
Championship Basketball is an 11-month commitment. Games are played on Friday nights all over Melbourne and into regional Victoria. During the season proper, you will play each team twice, once at their home court and once at yours.
Different clubs have different training requirements. It is best to ask questions of different representative programs as to their training schedules. Most clubs will require players to train on Sunday mornings, but there are other programs that hold training during the week, this is dependent on the club, coach and team. Again, in researching which program you join, you are best to ask questions around their training requirements to ensure it fits for your family.
What are the expectations of representative basketball?
Friday night games and trainings take priority over other activities taken up after selections. Attendance at all games and practices except where illness or important family obligations necessitate otherwise. Communication to the coach and Team Manager in these instances is essential. Usually representative clubs require that teams compete in a minimum of 2 tournaments per rep season. Typically, one of these tournaments will be the over the Australia Day period, competing in the Eltham-Dandenong Junior Basketball Tournament, whilst the second tournament could be one of several options including tournaments hosted by Nunawading (Queen’s Birthday Weekend), Whittlesea (late April holidays), or Southern Peninsula (3rd weekend of November). Your Head Coach and Team Manager will discuss these options with your team.
Teams often also undertake team bonding activities designed to be fun and giving the kids a chance to know each other away from the basketball court, whilst the Club itself may also have additional learning/educational opportunities which are more often than not ‘opt in’ programs.
A dedication on the part of the player to train hard, learn new skills and to fit into a team pattern. Training should be supplemented with individual practice of fundamentals during the week.
When are try-outs for representative basketball?
Try outs are usually held in October. Clubs may want you to register your intention to trial in advance, or open registration closer to their commencement. Your child may be required to trial on up to 9 separate times in the month of October. Most teams should be finalised before Melbourne Cup Weekend in November.
Higher teams (teams 1-3 etc) will be selected within the first week or two and teams will be progressively chosen from there.
What are try outs?
To gain a spot in a representative team, generally clubs hold try outs where players are competing with, at times up to 150 other kids of the same age. Try outs are an opportunity for coaches to see the players who are wishing to play representative basketball in the upcoming season. Trials can be daunting or nerve racking for new players, but also for returning players. To reduce this pressure, we will be offering rep ready clinics in September which will lead up to try outs.
Team Selections and Being ‘Cut’
Some clubs will be very clear at the outset as to how many teams the will field and will only enter 4-5 teams in an age group, meaning many players will be cut. Other clubs will try to cater to as many kids as they can resource based on the number of players available and enter up to 10 teams.
Either way, there is the possibility that your child could face the possibility of not being selected for a team. It is important to prepare your child for the possibilities that are in front of them. Most clubs will communicate with you early of your child is on the border of selection or not and will be able to assist in suggesting other clubs that might be able to take your child in. Every club’s interest is in the children and ensuring they get a game somewhere, but every club only has so many coaches, courts and resources to make them available.
Costs associated with representative basketball
The costs associated with representative basketball are typically higher than domestic because the season goes for longer. Essentially, you are with the one team across two EDJBA seasons. However, club costs differ significantly. The actual costs of playing plus the uniform will vary across clubs. You should contact a specific club if you have further questions, however at the lower end of cost is $370 with prices of some local representative programs being above $800 for registration. For some clubs this could include uniform, or tournament entry costs and other factors.
On game night there are fees. Your team pays a Team Sheet fee of between $55-$65 dependent on the venue and the level you are playing. In addition, there is a door entry fee of $3 per player and $3 per adult spectator payable upon entry.
Representative Age Groups for the 2018-19 season:
U12 Boys & Girls (Born 2010, 2009 & 2008)
U14 Boys & Girls (Born 2007 & 2006)
U16 Boys & Girls (Born 2005 & 2004)
U18 Boys & Girls (Born 2002-2003)
U21 Boys & Girls (Born 1999-2001)