The Chairman’s and CEOs of Basketball Australia, Basketball Victoria, Basketball SA and the Mt Gambier Pioneers met on Monday 03 December to discuss the future of the Mt Gambier Pioneers Basketball Club.   Following the announcement by Basketball Australia that the SEABL Competition would not continue in the future, the Pioneers applied to join the new Victorian Elite Basketball League however their application was rejected by Basketball Victoria.  The Club subsequently applied to join the Big V League, which was also rejected by Basketball Victoria.   
 
At the meeting, the on the 3rd of December, the Club requested that the decision by Basketball Victoria be reviewed, however no concessions were made by Basketball Victoria to allow Mt Gambier’s request to field both men and women’s teams in either the Elite or Big V competitions.  One of the non-eligibility determinations included the requirement for Basketball Victoria to make constitutional change to allow a South Australian team to enter the Big V competition.
 
After lengthy discussions and with the final appeal by Mt Gambier Pioneers being rejected by Basketball Victoria, the Mt Gambier Pioneers decided to for the first time in their history, to explore the option of joining the South Australian Premier League competition in an effort to ensure the club was able to continue to play competitive basketball.  
 
Over the past week, the 10 Premier League Clubs, with the support of Basketball SA, have considered the Pioneers Basketball Clubs application to join the 2019 Premier League Competition.
   
This required concessions by all parties, and recognition that given the short lead in time, that Mt Gambier may not fulfil some of BSAs Premier League by-law requirements and would require the participating Premier League Clubs to support amendments to the current BSA by-laws, with a number of further considerations that will need to be agreed to.
 
On 21 December, the 10 Premier League Clubs resolved to accept the Mt Gambier Pioneers into the 2019 Premier League competition under a one-year agreement.  The Pioneers will continue to apply for a position in the Victorian Elite League throughout the course of the season with the aim to enter the Victorian Elite League in 2020. 
 
Basketball SA Chairman, Mark Lampshire said “Congratulations to the Basketball SA CEO, the Basketball Adelaide Executive, Mt Gambier Pioneers Board and the Presidents from the 10 Premier League Clubs for their collaborative bi partisan approach in this matter”.  
 
“The majority approval from the Premier League Clubs to embrace Mt Gambier Pioneers application to join the Premier League in 2019 has the full support of the Basketball SA Commission.  This is a terrific demonstration of all stakeholders within South Australian basketball making decisions that have the best interest of basketball at heart. 
 
Basketball SA, in collaboration with Basketball Adelaide on behalf of the 10 Premier League Clubs thank everyone involved in the complex negotiations that have taken place over the past week.  We welcome both Men and Women’s teams representing Mt Gambier Pioneers into the 2019 Premier League Competition”.

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