The Basketball Pathway is the term used to describe the opportunities to play basketball from beginner to elite, at local level through to national representation.
While there is no set convention for where to start basketball, the following programs offer a simplified means of showing the stages in basketball participation, competition and tournament. For those wanting to physically prepare for your basketball journey, here are Basketball SA's Strength Training Guidelines for Junior Athletes.
- Aussie Hoops is our introductory program for primary school aged children. This is often the first introduction to basketball and focuses on a fun skilled based experience.
- Miniball is a fun, social competition for primary school aged children and is the next step up from Aussie Hoops. Schools generally offer miniball as a sports option for children and create teams to play in their local centre. This is also often the first time parents or care givers are introduced to the sport and is a great time to begin getting involved in coaching.
- Local / Social Competitions are generally the first scored competitions experienced by players and are often played at local Recreation Centres. To get involved in Social Basketball a player would normally join an existing team at a local centre or organise a group of friends or colleagues to create a new team. The level of play in social competitions range from beginner to semi-elite. Social competitions are normally offered in U10, U12, U14, U16, U18, Senior and Mixed for both men and women.
- District and Representative Basketball is a highly organised competition consisting of coaches, team managers and players developing to higher levels. In SA the highest level Club competition is the District & Premier League Competitions run by Basketball SA There are also Club and Association tournaments providing higher level competition play.
- Talent Identification (TI) is the term used to describe the means to identify players who have the potential to play at a high level. Talent Identification can lead to players being offered positions in the Basketball SA High Performance Program (the National Intensive Training Program – NITP) or positions on State Teams.
- State Team positions are offered to the players in the state that have been identified at TI camps or high level representative competitions. South Australia has State Teams in the U16, U18, U20 and Ivor Burge (Intellectual Disability) National Championships organised by Basketball Australia.
- Players who excel in State Teams and in the NITP can be selected to go to the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Canberra, which offers Australia’s highest level of elite development.
- Players who are identified through the CoE and or performance in State Teams can be offered positions in national junior squads (World U17 and U19 Championships).
Players can then advance to the WNBL or NBL and or may be selected to represent Australia in International competitions on the Boomers (Men) or Opals (Women) teams.