THE State Basketball League (SBL) has announced all games in the 2017 season will be played under the 40 minute game format in-line with FIBA.
Games will consist of 10 minute quarters as opposed to 12 minute quarters under the previous 48 minute format.
The revised format will bring the SBL back in step with the rest of the world (outside the NBA), and aligning with all State Leagues across Australia as well as the NBL, which moved to the 40 minute format in 2009.
SBL general manager Adam Bowler said a key factor in the SBL Commission’s decision to reduce game times was to ensure games finished at appropriate times on Friday and Saturday nights for families.
“We want to build the family atmosphere during game nights. It is about making a night out at the basketball an event the whole family will enjoy,” he said.
Mr Bowler identified a number of additional factors the SBL Commission weighed up before making the decision, with reducing average winning margins across the league another key objective.
“We expect the shortened game times to provide an even more exciting spectacle for the fans with less opportunity for a blow-out to occur,” he said.
Players will need to be more disciplined and rotations will be key for coaches as players will have one less foul to give per game as under the revised game format the foul limit will be five.
The SBL regular season spans 20 weeks, so player fatigue is expected to be reduced, particularly during double-header weekends.
With a key focus on increasing the quality of the Development League (D-League) competition and the reduced foul count, players will still see plenty of opportunities to develop through the SBL program.
On average in 2016 about 4.5 players per game did not receive any court time in the 48 minute format, and the SBL Commission said an expanded and revitalised D-league was the key competition area to promote development.
“We are really excited about the new D-league format for 2017. South West and Goldfields have both committed to field teams in the competition next season and Geraldton looks set to follow suit,” Mr Bowler said.
Round one of the 2017 SBL season will begin on March 17.