The inaugural British All Stars Basketball event was held this weekend at the O2. The event saw the top eight teams in the British Basketball League (BBL) compete for a cash prize.
In order to fit in a number of games, some changes were made to standard basketball rules. This was somewhat confusing for fans, players, coaches and refs but resulted in fewer gaffes than anticipated. Those new to the game my have been a little confused
but probably less so than the rest of us.
There will, I’m sure, be much debate about the format of the games and the rule changes.
Over 5 hours we had 13 games in an elimination style format – two loses put you out of the competition. To be honest this made the day quite long, I think we could have moved to a ‘one loss and gone’ system without losing any of the excitement.
Each game was 12 minutes long with a rolling clock, free throws were not awarded for fouls (instead one point and possession was awarded to the other team) and each team was only allowed one 30 second time out per game.
The more controversial changes were the introduction of a 5 point line and a 2 minute power play that had to be completed within the first 10 minutes of the match. I have to say that while both added some extra excitement to the day the team that won overall didn’t use their power play in one game (due to not pressing the button in time) and were not very successful at 5 point shots. I don’t think FIBA or the NBA will be looking to bring these rule changes in anytime soon.
I admit I was sceptical of the rules, and the event, beforehand but I was completely caught up in the excitement on the day. Was it ‘real’ basketball? Not exactly but it was fun and it allowed me to see my team in action and check out the competition as many teams have made a number of roster changes this off season.
Some colleagues who had never been to a basketball game are now planning to attend a BBL game in the near future. I’m sure they weren’t the only people in a similar position in the building and so if this raises awareness of the BBL and had a positive impact on attendances I think we can count this as a success.