Students participate in the Westshore Basketball Association’s free elementary academy. New this year, the association is offering a three-on-three league – the first of its kind in Greater Victoria (PHOTO BY Breakwater Photography)Students partcipate in the Westshore Basketball Association’s free elementary academy. New this year, the association is offering a three-on-three league – the first of its kind in Greater Victoria (Breakwater Photography photo)

New basketball league maximizes time kids spend on the court

Three-on-three league is the first of its kind in Greater Victoria

A new program that allows kids to practice the fundamentals of basketball and maximizes the amount of time spent on the court is coming to the West Shore.

The Westshore Basketball Association has launched a three-on-three league at Belmont Secondary school – the first of its kind in Greater Victoria. As part of the league, kids play on half the court and the game is centralized on one hoop.

“Three-on-three is great becuase there’s more opportunity for kids to get the basketball in their hands and practice those skills that they’ve been practicing all winter,” said Brad Lidstone, co-director of the association, alongside Curt Spaven.

“So basically more opportunity to play, more basketball touches and more opportunities to really practice those skills.”

The league is split into grades 4 to 5, grades 6 to 7 and grades 8 to 9 divisions, which mirrors the association’s night league program that runs in the fall and ends in March.

Teams consist of five players and games will be 10 minutes long or until one team reaches 21 points (which ever comes first), with two-minute intermissions in between games. Rules have also been modified to International Basketball Federation three-on-three rules.

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While registration for Westshore Basketball Association members opened on Wednesday, Lidstone said there’s been lots of interest in the program so far.

“Interest has been really good, they like the opportunity to play with a smaller group,” said Lidstone, noting three-on-three basketball is now an Olympic sport and is played at national and international championships as well. “The rules are modified to really maximize participation and really make it fun for the kids to play.”

Westshore Basketball’s three-on-three league runs April 15, 22 (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.), April 29, May 6, 13, 27 and June 3, 10 and 17.

Kids can join as an individual and be placed on a team, or can register as a group with friends. The cost to register is $100, and includes a $50 registration credit for fall programs. Registration opens to the public on Feb. 12.

For more information or to register visit westshorebasketball.com.

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kendra.wong@goldstream

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