- The Basketball Federation of India, with the support of IMG Reliance, will kick off the Indian School & Indian College Basketball leagues in the capital city on September 26th
- Spread over a span of three months, these pan India City level leagues will take place in over 20 cities followed by a culmination tournament – the National Championships
- 13,000 young basketball players from over 1100 institution teams across the country will participate in this ground breaking grassroots basketball initiative
New Delhi, September 25, 2014: Basketball Federation of India (BFI) in collaboration with IMG Reliance today launched the Indian School Basketball League (ISBL) and Indian College Basketball League (ICBL). These leagues will form the foundation of one of the nation’s most robust school and college based grassroots sports program.
The structured, pan-India leagues will allow players and coaches to develop their skills through continued performance over the dedicated three month season. Successful execution of this initiative will play a key role in transforming the sporting and basketball culture in the country, from the grassroots to the professional level.
Furthermore, the ICBL and ISBL are positioned to serve as a feeder system into India’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams. The format of the leagues emphasizes continuous participation and improvement and provides an excellent platform for players, coaches and officials to develop the critical basketball skills required to compete and excel at the highest levels.
The ultimate conclusion for both the leagues will be the National Championship, which will be held at the Thyagraj Stadium in December 2014.
Chief Guest for the launch ceremony Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister of State-Independent Charge for Sports & Youth Affairs, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship for the Republic of India from BJP, Lakhimpur Constituency Assam, India, appreciated the efforts of Basketball Federation of India and IMG Reliance and wished them good luck in this endeavor.
Speaking on the occasion Basketball Federation of India CEO, Mrs. Roopam Harish Sharma said “Sport anywhere cannot be developed without nurturing the grassroots. We firmly believe that a strong grassroots endeavor like this will not only cultivate a strong talent pool for Basketball it will popularize the sport amongst the youth in an unparalleled way. These leagues confirm BFI’s commitment to raise the profile of the sport in the country and help India excel to even higher heights on the world stage”
Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Ashu Jindal, Chief Operating Officer, IMG Reliance, said, “The Indian School Indian School Basketball League and Indian College Basketball League are groundbreaking additions to India’s sporting landscape. It is only through ambitious grassroots development programs, such as these that the sporting culture in India will truly transform. These leagues and our continued partnership with the BFI confirm IMG Reliance’s commitment to growing the sport of basketball in the country”
The school league is divided into Premier and Challenger Leagues; the Premier League will be played in ten cities, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ludhiana,
Indore, Cochin and Jaipur among both girls and boys. The winners of each city edition will then travel to Delhi to play the National finals. On the other hand, Challenger League will be played in Premier League cities and 10 other tier two cities.
The College League too is similarly classified into Premier League and Challenger League. The ICBL Premier League will be played across Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Indore, Trivandrum and Jaipur. In the Challenger League of College edition, an addition of nine tier two cities will be made to the existing Premier League hosting cities.
The format in both School and College leagues allow the Challengers to move upto Premier League at the city levels through a relegation and promotion system. The bottom two placed teams of the Premier League will play against the top two teams of the Challengers League.
The ninth placed team of Premier League facing Runner-Up of Challengers League and the 10th of Premier League taking on the Winner of Challengers League. Winners will qualify for the Premier League for the following year and losers relegated to Challengers.
As part of its commitment to supporting the growth of basketball at the grassroots, the BFI will award the winning school and college at the national level with a refurbished basketball court, in addition to cash awards, certificates and trophies for standout performers.
The three months of exciting action starting September 2014 will be the beginning of a new revolution in basketball. It’s about time that India plays ball.
* will compete in Delhi venue
About the Basketball Federation of India
The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honor of Arjuna Award. More information at www.indiabasketball.org
About IMG Reliance
IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd., is an equal joint venture between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest and most recognized private sector company, and IMG Worldwide (IMG), the world’s leading sports marketing and management company. The joint venture company will develop market and manage sports and entertainment in India. Its current assets include India’s premier fashion event, Lakmé Fashion Week and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event, the Aircel Chennai Open. IMG Reliance has entered agreements with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) to create a new professional basketball league and manage all aspects of the commercial rights to the game in India and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), to improve, popularize and promote the game of football throughout India, from the grassroots to the professional level. IMG Reliance has also created a scholarship program to identify and train talented young Indians from sports including – basketball, soccer and tennis at IMG’s world-class sports training facilities at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.