Size 5 Basketball to enhance Under-12 skill development

A focus on better shooting and handling skills for Victorian junior basketball players has led Basketball Victoria to introduce Size 5 Basketballs for our Under-12 competitions.

Following months of in-depth research and a recommendation paper from our High-Performance Head Coaches, Basketball Victoria is pleased to introduce Size 5 Basketballs to our Under-12 operated competitions and programs starting from September 2021.

This change is in the players’ best interest as the smaller ball helps improve shooting skills at an earlier age. The Size 5 Ball will allow Under-12 players to develop correct techniques with an appropriately sized ball before transitioning to larger basketballs in older age groups.

In-game performances, training sessions, external case studies and a number of interviews formed the basis of a recommendation paper, which was approved by our Board in July.

Following the 2021 Metro Jamboree, held at Dandenong Basketball Stadium, the #TalkingSplit crew – featuring our High Performance Head Coaches – did a special episode recently on the positives of the Size 5 Basketball and how it contributed to better ball-handling, shooting and skills acquisition. Head to our website to listen to the reasoning behind the Size 5 Basketball.

The Size 5 Basketball will be introduced to the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) for the 2021/2022 season as well as Junior Country Basketball League (CBL), Country Championships, Metropolitan and Country Jamborees as well as Skills Days and other High Performance related programs from January 2022.

Players will continue to use a Size 6 Basketball (under-14 boys/under-14 girls and older) as well as the Size 7 Basketball (under-16 boys and older) in Basketball Victoria competitions.

The Size 5 Basketball was trialled to great success at this year’s Under-12 Metro Jamboree. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

“We want to enable Victorian players to develop exceptional shooting skills so they can take their talents to the highest level across Australia and the world,” General Manager – High Performance and Pathway Grant Wallace said. “A Size 5 Basketball for under-12 competitions will enable players to hone their technique and become better shooters throughout the rest of their time in basketball. We also believe the policy will enhance enjoyment of the game and in turn allow for better player retention.

“Adopting the Size 5 Basketball will improve our sport across the board and make Victorians even better at higher levels of competition throughout their careers.

“I’d like to congratulate Basketball Victoria’s High Performance coaches – Zoe Carr, Ash Arnott, Jenni Screen and Nathan Cooper-Brown – for completing this ground-breaking paper and helping propel Victorian basketball to even greater heights.”

The recommendation paper cites several case studies overseas that show a positive correlation in both performance and enjoyment with appropriately sized equipment including the International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching (2019).

Click here to read the summary document of the Basketball Victoria Under-12 Size 5 Ball Recommendation Paper.

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