We want as many people to play basketball as possible. We also want them to keep playing for as long as possible.
We know that people who have a good experience of basketball are more likely to keep playing. So our take on it is if that great experience of basketball is in primary school, they will continue to play...and for longer into adulthood as we have caught them as early as we can!
So why should children at primary school age play basketball over other sports? There are loads to choose from, and what will this one give them over other?
We get really excited here at Basketball England HQ to hear that children who are playing basketball in primary schools because they are developing their skills from a young age, learning new social skills by playing in competition style set up and generally having fun in school and learning to love our sport.
It introduces the concept of teamwork really early on in life, which is fundamental through all stages of education and out into the real world. Not only that, but it teaches and develops hand/eye coordination, increases fitness levels, accuracy and strategic planning.
The roles on a team are fluid and have huge cross over meaning each player can be totally involved and not restricted into a certain position. With only five players on court, team work is fundamental, but so is individual performance.
At this age, the guidelines on how to play are a bit different to the traditional rules. The ball can be smaller; the hoop can be lower at 8ft as opposed to 10 ft in a standard hoop. Mixed gender teams are welcomed at this age; although it isn’t a non contact sport, both boys and girls are learning the sport from zero knowledge and to play in a mixed team promotes inclusivity and development of social skills.
Moving forward into the next levels of education and beyond, 77% of secondary school children study PE, and so if the children already have experience, knowledge and understanding of this sport, it will increase their enjoyment and skill ability at this crucial age of development. Increased confidence in a sport can spread throughout other areas of personal development such as success in academic studies, making friends and interacting with peers and superiors.
If you are a teacher and want resources to teach basketball in your primary school go to the resources for teachers section and download the All4Ball pack.