Your kids don't have to be budding Michael Jordans to enjoy shooting hoops. Basketball is an indoor sport in which teams of 5 players compete to throw a ball with their hands through a hoop at each end of a court.
Players can only take up to three steps without bouncing the ball on the ground. Each basketball game is divided into quarters lasting 12 minutes and the team with the highest score at the end is the winner. Basketball was invented in 1891 by a Canadian and the first recorded Australian game was in 1905. Basketball is a highly popular sport around the world, particularly in the US.
It's a fun activity for kids of all ages!
A video of Basketball for Kids
Information on Basketball for Kids in Australia
Is Basketball for your kid(s)?
"Streeball" (or "street basketball") is another variation of basketball that has been developed in the US in the 90's. Usually played outdoors on public courts, its rules vary greatly depending on the number of participants (from as few as two players), who can "call their own foul", as there are usually no referee on the court. If players decide to play on the same half court, both teams need to score on the same hoop, but need to get the ball out of the surface after intercepting the ball from the other team.
It can be a great kids' activities with a number of basketball clubs throughout Australia offering the opportunity for children to learn and compete in tournaments and leagues up to a professional level. Some of the advantages of playing basketball for your children include:
- Improves physical strength, especially endurance
- Teaches team skills as your kid will have to work with a team and communicate
- Learning strategy skills
- Social bondingDevelops hand-eye coordination
- Builds cardiovascular fitness
- Enhances thrust capacity
- Improves precision and control skills
As basketball is fairly high intensity it suits children with a lot of energy to burn. Height is an asset but not essential, especially at this age.
Get your kid(s) started!
Most basketball clubs start children at age 6 but younger children can participate with family in the backyard or your parking area. Many parks and public areas have basketball hoops, to play streetball with friends or you can purchase one for use at home and enjoy a one to one game father vs kid!
If you want to help your kids learn the art of shot precision, you may even be able to buy a small plastic hoop you can hang on a wall at your home with a small foam rubber ball to prevent your child from breaking things. The best art is that they're easy to find in toy stores.
For parents in search of formal tuition for their children, Aussie Hoops is the main programme for primary school-aged kids. Classes are run in schools or you can check in the ActiveActivities Directory to find venues in your area. The national professional league is Basketball Australia, which offers coaching programmes for all ages and holds a number of tournaments throughout the year.
If you are looking to get your child started, they will need:
- A hoop
- A ball
- Loose, comfortable clothing
- Good quality sports shoes
- Knee pads and mouth guards (optional, but help prevent injuries)
Basketball is played all year round and sign up times are usually around February/March or September/October, before the start of the summer and winter seasons. Contact your local basketball club for costs and details.
Many people choose to buy a hoop or take a ball to a public basketball ground and play streetball on a more informal level with friends and family.
- Ensure your children's shoes have sufficient ankle support
- If your child wears glasses or contacts you may want to consider protective plastic eyewear
- Make sure any public area you play on is free of broken glass and other potential hazards
- Always warm up before playing
- Ensure kids are supervised by a responsible adult
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There are 2 professional basketball leagues in Australia, the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL). The two main Australian teams are the Boomers and the Opals who compete internationally in a number of tournaments worldwide.