Basketball in Australia is played both indoors and outdoor. Basketball remains one of the more popular played sport in Australia today, it has a larger participation base than Cricket, Australian Rules Football, Rugby League and Rugby Union.
A place in Australia named Victoria is the where basketball experiences the largest participation boom and is the largest participation sport in that state.
History of Basketball in Australia
In 1905, the first recorded game in Australia was played at YMCA facilities in Melbourne confirming the role of YMCA as the principle force in spreading the game internationally. During that same year, basketball flourished in YMCA’s in NSW and Victoria.
The Victorian Basketball Association was established in 1931. Exactly eight years after the formation of the Victorian Basketball Association, the forerunner of the Australian Basketball Federation, the Amateur Basketball Union of Australia was formed.
The formation of the Amateur Basketball Union of Australia
Following the second world war, basketball grew more popular worldwide. Victoria was the first state to establish an association in 1927.
The association consisted of different members such as the Y.M.C.A, the Church of England and many more. In 1936, the South Australia was the next one to form an association.
In 1939, the the National Federation of Basketball was formed which later became known as the Amateur Basketball Union of Australia which is the current governing body for basketball in Australia. Although it was formed in 1936, it did not become fully effective until 1946, when the first Australian Championships were held.
The Rest is History
In 1948, Australia became the fifty second affiliated member of the International Basketball Federation or the FIBA. The National Basketball League was was formed in 1979 and the NBL saw basketball embark on a weekly played National competition, which the many sceptics said couldn’t and wouldn’t work.
However, since the inception in the National Basketball League has propelled basketball from its slow but steady growth of 50s, 60s and 70s into one of Australia’s top four sports. During the 1980’s there was a rapid increase in the popularity of basketball in Australia. Just after two years from the formation of the National Basketball League, the Women’s National Basketball League was formed.
However, in the 1990’s basketball’s popularity went into a very sharp decline specially in the major cities of Australia. The decline of basketball’s popularity was due to the rising popularity of football in Australia. As the barrier to entry to the national competition lowered, basketball found a niche in smaller towns and cities.
Australians continue to support international basketball, particularly Olympic basketball and paralympic wheelchair basketball. After 2001, the AFL began to reverse the trend and target basketball talent, luring several promising young players including Dean Brogan and Kurt Tippett.
A number of well publicised injuries occurred with backyard basketball hoops also resulting in stricter council regulations in many cities.
In 2007, the sport went into crisis, with several of the major clubs defaulting and political finger pointing tore the sport apart before in 2009 threatening to send the sport into complete chaos.