The schedule for the 3×3 Quest Tour 2020 has been released with seven events spread across Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch.
As with previous tours, the Open Men’s grade also doubles as a FIBA 3×3 World Tour qualifier. The winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters in Utsunomiya, Japan in July 2020.
The tour starts 18 January in West Auckland. Then moves across the Harbour Bridge to Eventfinda Stadium (formerly North Shore Events Centre) on 1 February. Two weeks later (15 February) the Quest Tour heads to ‘The Bay’ with Harbourside Netball Centre, Blake Park, Mt Maunganui the location. Then it’s on to the Capital the following week at Odlins Plaza on the Wellington Waterfront. The Quest Tour then heads to the South Island for the last three stops beginning at The Octagon in Dunedin on 1 March, the iconic Hagley Park in Christchurch on 7 March.
There is then a three-week break before the Open Men’s Quest Final. In a departure from previous years, the eighth edition of the Quest Tour will reach its climax in Christchurch rather than Auckland. The venue will be the Sports and Recreation Centre at the Ara Institute of Canterbury on 28 March.
Team Precision Movement (TPM) are the Quest Tour defending champions and their captain, Karl Noyer, has confirmed his team will be defending their title. Whilst the team is likely to have a similar look to last year the number one ranked player in New Zealand has hinted there could be changes to the TPM roster.
“We are going through a trial process at the moment to try and find our squad of six. We have about nine players training a couple of times a week at present.”
Taranaki forward Aaron Bailey-Nowell is almost certain to be named to the team.
“Aaron has committed to another season next year which is good,” said Noyer.
Wining one of the stops on the tour guarantees a team automatic entry to the Grand Final in Christchurch in March.
Noyer is hoping his team can win one of the two opening tournaments in Auckland but knows there will be plenty of opposition.
“I’m guessing all the usual suspects will be back to try and beat us,” he said.
Those teams will likely include 2018 runners-up Team Squidies from Otago that includes Josh Aitcheson and Sam Aruwa.
Back in Auckland Noyer believes a couple of new teams could well flourish including Team Whero Films captained by Red McLeod.
“Due to the opportunities that are arising with 3×3, the game is growing as more and more players want to get onto the world stage. To get to those events you have to be playing more tournaments and building up ranking points in order to be selected. I think there will be a lot more people playing on the Quest Tour circuit this year.
Players are reminded that they need to register at – https://play.fiba3x3.com/
In addition to the Open Men’s and Open Women’s Grades, there will also be U19, U17, U15 men’s and women’s grades.
Noyer expects the number of age-group entries to grow, a reflection of the number of younger players taking up 3×3 in preference to the full 5×5 version.
“At Swish Factory we have players as young as Years Five and Six focusing on 3×3.
“Players enjoy having more space, there are no coaches which means there is less pressure on them which is a bonus and the parents love seeing the kids have fun. We will be encouraging as many of our players as possible to enter the Auckland tournaments,” says Noyer.
The 3×3 Quest Tour 2020 Schedule
|Saturday, 18 January 2020||Auckland- West||Trusts Arena, Henderson|
|Saturday, 1 February 2020||Auckland- North||Eventfinda Stadium|
|Saturday, 15 February 2020||Tauranga||Harbourside Netball Centre, Blake Park, Mt Maunganui|
|Saturday, 22 February 2020||Wellington||Odlins Plaza, Wellington Waterfront|
|Sunday, 1 March 2020||Dunedin||The Octagon|
|Saturday, 7 March 2020||Christchurch||Hagley Park Netball Courts|
|Saturday, 28 March 2020||Christchurch
(Open Men’s Quest Final Only)
A reminder that there is a new age group criteria (i.e U19 means aged 19 years and under in 2020, U17 means aged 17 years and under in 2020, U15 means aged 15 years and under in 2020).