- National Teams
Following some activity on twitter on Wednesday night, it became obvious that the issue of stats and results, or lack of, from England Basketball this season, has become a big problem amongst players, coaches and supporters alike.
I put the question to the disappointed basketball community of what we could do to try and improve the situation and albeit, whether I had to take on the role of monitoring stats up and down the divisions myself in order to enhance the level of EBL Coverage.
The response, unfortunately, was mostly negative and a lot of issues were thrown my way as to why I shouldn’t bother and why it wouldn’t work.
On Friday I caught up with Liam Wordsworth, recently appointed Results Officer at England Basketball to discuss the topic and he had a lot of interesting insight to give into how the situation is currently being handled at EB.
The findings were as follows:
From the commencement of the 2014/15 EBL season, the implementation and successful use of FIBA Live Stats will be mandatory for all clubs participating in EBL Division 1 and 2 Men and Division 1 Women.
Full support will be provided to the clubs by England Basketball through running Statistics workshops with the aim of every club gaining a certificate showing their capability to use the programme efficiently before the start of the coming season.
The hope is that once implemented at D1+D2 level… Live stats will become easier to expand into D3 and the Premier Junior leagues!
This will enable England Basketball to effectively use the sportingpulse.com website.
The aim is that the ‘Fixtures and Results’ section on the England Basketball website will contain a box score for each game or at least a link to where you can access the box score.
There will be a change of role at England Basketball with Liam taking on responsibility of the stats to add on to his current role, which was previously done by volunteers.
Teams that do not fulfil the mandatory regulations of providing England Basketball with score sheets and Box scores should expect to be fined. These fines will be implemented and actually need to be payed, unlike in previous seasons.
All this is aimed at improving the standard of the EBL and the governing body understand the need, particularly for those players for whom basketball is a job, to have up to date stats of their performances throughout the season.
A proposed shake up of the EBL league structure is at the planning stage with the hope of creating a more Semi-Pro/Pro atmosphere around EBL Division 1 and 2, with Division 3 set to become a ‘Development League’.
The aim of the development league is to improve the opportunity for the development and performance of young English talent.
England Basketball want this country’s top players playing in this country’s top two divisions.
When asked if this meant putting a stop to some players playing in the lower leagues, Liam responded by saying:
“We want the top young talent to have the opportunity to thrive in the EBL and at the moment some of the top Junior programmes in this country are stuck languishing in the lower divisions with no room for promotion due to teams in their division being full of experience ex-professional athletes.
“We feel these players should be playing at a higher level.
“The aim is for D3 to become developmental based and if this means putting limits on certain players playing in the league then that may be something we would consider.”
Liam appears intent on improving the current situation at England Basketball regarding clubs not sticking to regulation and is set on allowing league coverage to thrive through the new changes.
Many thanks to Liam for agreeing to speak to me.