The Largest Junior Basketball Tournament in the World

Tuesday 2 February, 2016

header_2016 With Australia Day done and dusted, the World's Largest Junior Basketball Tournament: The Eltham Dandenong Junior Basketball Tournament has wrapped up after a massive weekend of Basketball.  The tournament attracts teams from across Australia, with every state and territory represented by teams or individuals. The tournament which is in its 42 year continues to show extraordinary growth, with 1,307 teams and 12,500 players in 2016!  This is in addition to 1,250 Head Coaches, approximately 600 Assistant Coaches and another 1,307 Team Managers.  Every level of competition is catered for, from the elite teams playing in the Victorian Championship competition (or equivalent) to the local community level and school teams  (eg. Shore School from northern Sydney).  The tournament also includes an All Abilities competition.  The only basketball tournament to run All Abilities alongside the mainstream games. 2 A brief history:
  • 1974: was the first ever Eltham Tournament which included only under 12's, 14's and 16's boys competitions. 
  • 1975: the tournamnt had 31 teams and expanded to include an under 17's competition (approximately 270 players).
  • 1995: the Dandenong Basketball Club approached Eltham to run the tournament together.
  • 1998: the tournament reached 610 teams.
  • 2011: 1000 teams was reached for the first time.
For more history visit the Eltham Tournament website. 1   There are 38 stadiums in use for this tournament with 149 courts being utilised.  Venues for this massive event stretch as far as "Whitten Oval in Footscray to Keilor and Broadmeadows, to Cranbourne, to Craigieburn in the north and Kilsyth in the east and everywhere in between" (Greg Jeffers, Eltham Wildcats CEO). With so many games comes the need for an abundance of referees.  Approximately 400 referees will have officiated matches across the weekend.  Behind the scenes has been a group rostering referees, taking into account preferences, other commitments and fixture changes. An event of this scale could not be possible without the outstanding contributions and commitment from over 250 staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to ensure the tournament runs efficiently throughout the weekend in what can only be considered a logistical nightmare. We wish all players, coaches, officials, parents and volunteers the very best for the weekend, and look forward to seeing what the Eltham-Dandenong tournament can produce in 2017! 3

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