Basketball New Zealand has committed to seeing a secondary schools national event this year.
The event will be held in Palmerston North at the beginning of school holidays, 29 September to 3 October, just after schools have completed their third-term events.
The major change will be the qualification process, which will be different from the norm. The ‘Premierships’ qualification tournaments have already been cancelled this year due to COVID-19 and to allow local basketball activities to run unimpeded. Instead, qualification for this 2020 event will be through regional or local competitions.
Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive, Iain Potter, says this was the best available solution, and allows schools to play and qualify without causing disruption to their local activities.
“COVID-19 created uncertainty as to whether the Nationals could be staged this year. We thought it might be possible to host an adapted event and worked closely with New Zealand School Sport around this qualification approach. It will be better for schools, parents and players – it means less time-pressure, less cost, and less interference for local sporting and academic activities. The bulk of feedback has been positive for this approach, with a strong desire for an event to happen.
“Attending a national event is a big deal for schools and the kids who get to play. The basketball community really gets in behind it and we are grateful an event can still proceed. This year might be different, but it will be a celebration of secondary schools basketball.”
For the new qualification process and registration due dates, read the latest update here.