A recurring bone of contention and one that causes much angst in junior sport is how much court time players should receive.  Player and parent perceptions about court time can often differ from the reality of the time the player has been on court.  Sometimes, the issue isn’t court time but timing; the player never gets an opportunity to be in the starting 5 at the start of the game or half time or never finishes the game.


All coaches should set and communicate rules and guidelines around team expectations at the start of the season to both players and parents.

Basketball Victoria’s Coaches Code of Conduct states “give all players a reasonable amount of court time”.  Our club strongly encourages our coaches to aim to keep court time relatively even.  One of our objectives as a Club is to promote good sportsmanship, a love of the game and inclusion of all players.

Coach Mac’s Equal 5 is a good option.

Court time

  1. Be consistent in your approach to court time and application of team rules around court time and attendance.  If one of your stronger players misses training before a big game, the same rules you have applied to the rest of the team also applies to them.  No player is above the team rules.
  2. If every player is working hard on their game at training and doing what is requested, then they all deserve the opportunity to prove themselves against strong opposition and in important moments or games.  All players need to be given the chance to prove themselves.
  3. If a player is receiving less court time consistently, they need positive and constructive feedback on how they can improve and what they need to do to improve their court time e.g. regular attendance at training, arriving on time to training and games etc.  It is best to include parents in these discussions.
  4. A coach may enlist the help of a parent to help with player rotations.
  1. Be at training and make a positive contribution and work hard on the skills and structures set by your coach.
  2. Be realistic.  Not every player is of equal ability, and some seasons there will be stronger players.  No team gets through a season or reaches the finals with only five players contributing.  When you are given an opportunity, play to the best of your ability.
  3. Practice away from training.  Work with your coach to develop a plan for the skills you should concentrate on.
  4. Support the coach.  Coaching a team and all the players is challenging.  Parents should not attack or undermine the coach either directly or in the background.  If players or parents have questions, they should ask the coach politely, listen to their response and take their feedback on board.  The player then needs to be positive and proactive in implementing the feedback at training and games.
  5. “Show appreciation for volunteer coaches, officials and administrators.  Volunteers are necessary for the functioning of sporting activities.  Without them, your child could not participate.  Whilst many are parents of people involved in the sport, many are also people dedicated to the sport and its development.  Show them the respect and appreciation that they deserve.”
Before a player/parent questions a player’s playing time, consideration should be given to how much court time has been received over several games.  A player receiving a questionable amount of court time for one or two games should not cause to raise a concern.  A valid reason for this may be due to team balance, player discipline, injury or other factors.

If a player feels they have not received reasonable court time over a prolonged period they should raise this with the coach or team manager who will discuss this with the coach.

Avoid raising issues with a coach on game day.  The coach may be under immense pressure before and after a game, so this is not the ideal time to raise issues or concerns with them!  It is better to wait 24 hours and then send an email to the coach and team manager outlining your concerns so that they have time to consider them before any discussion.

If an unsatisfactory response or no improvement to the situation occurs the committee can be contacted through the relevant co-ordinator.
There is often a higher emphasis in finals to win.  Some coaches opt to give more court time to the players they believe will give the team the best opportunity to win.  If a coach is going to deviate from their normal court time rotations, with some players potentially getting less opportunity during the finals, this should be discussed with the players and / or the team before the finals series commences.  

Some coaches will continue with normal rotations during the finals working on the premise that a whole team effort got them there!  Sharon Fellows has coached from the littlies all the way to state level in netball and draws a distinction between an elite senior competition and juniors.  “At junior and intermediate level, I would go for fairly even court time – I can remember how I felt as a player when I did not get any court time in a grand final,” she said.  “With younger players the most important aspect of playing is to gain experience, winning has to be secondary.  Then, of course, you have parents to consider.”  

Our club recommends that in finals, Coach Mac’s Equal 5 is used.
Coach Mac recommends even playing time until the last 5 minutes of the game.

With 5 minutes to go, if your team is:
  • winning or losing by a significant margin, then continue with even playing time; or.
  • in a “close” game with less than 5 minutes left then play the 5 players who give the team the best chance of winning the game.
  • What is deemed as a close game will depend on the age and skill level of the team’s competing.
Coach Mac found this to be the best method to find the happy medium between:
  • Giving all players an opportunity to improve and have fun; and
  • Playing to win

Coach Mac advised that every coach who has used this method with their team has experienced very few complaints from parents.  He noted that those who do complain are usually only concerned with their child’s performance rather than the team’s performance.

“When you combine even playing time during games with great practices, you’re putting your team in a position for maximum development.  They get better during games AND they get better during practices!”

To: All Basketball Participants

Social Networking Sites

Basketball Victoria is concerned at the increasing number of complaints being made about the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites by people involved in basketball, for unacceptable content.

We have seen examples where the sites have been used to bully other basketballers, to criticise referees and to make racist or sexist remarks about other participants. This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable in basketball and will not be tolerated.

Many of the remarks are being made with the posters believing that because those remarks can only be seen by people they have accepted as friends on their pages, they will not be made public. However, fortunately, there are enough decent people around who bring this behaviour to the attention of Basketball Clubs or Associations or Basketball Victoria. This occurs even when the posts are made by friends because those people recognise the harm and distress this sort of behaviour can generate.

Under Basketball Victoria’s Tribunal By-laws and Member Protection By-laws, behaviour which is unacceptable can be brought to the Tribunal, even if it didn’t occur on the basketball court. As long as the incident is basketball related, the Tribunal can deal with it. A number of Facebook issues have already been dealt with by the Tribunal and other hearings are pending.

Basketball Victoria will have no hesitation in reporting to the Tribunal participants who misuse such sites if it relates to basketball. Please be mindful of other basketball participants and don’t place yourself at risk of finding yourself reported to the Tribunal, as has happened to several people already.

Yours sincerely

Gerry Glennen
Governance and Operations Manager



Basketball Victoria is committed to providing an enjoyable, safe and welcoming environment for its members and participants and have in place Member Protection Bylaws.

Our club is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people; we abide by the Basketball Victoria Member Protection Bylaws which outlines the screening process for people in our Club who volunteer (committee members, coaches, assistant coaches and team managers).


In accepting a volunteer role, you are agreeing to undergo screening which requires that all volunteers 18 years of age or older, meet as a minimum 2 requirements:

  1. Hold a current Working With Children Check (or evidence of exemption – teacher or police officer)
  2. Member Protection Statutory Declaration (all volunteers over 18 years of age – no exemptions)


If you are over 18 years of age and are not a teacher or police officer, you will need to apply for a WWCC which can be done here.  You must include our club as an organisation that you volunteer with, please include the following:

St Christopher’s Junior Basketball Club
PO Box 310
Essendon  VIC  3040
Telephone number – 0403164634

If you already have a WWCC, then you must ensure that our club is added as an organisation that you volunteer for within 21 days of commencing voluntary work with our club, this can be done at this link.


Teachers registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), do not need a Working with Children Check (WWCC).

The Working with Children Act 2005 changed from 1 September 2019, teachers are now required to notify the Department of Justice and Community Safety of any child-related work that is not teaching in a school or an early childhood service.  You must provide to the department, the organisation details who has engaged you for that child related work within 21 days of commencement.

You must notify the department using this link that you are volunteering with our club, the details to be provided are included above.


A committee member will need to sight a police officer’s identification to verify the exemption.



The Member Protection Statutory Declaration that must be signed and appropriately witnessed and returned.  This must be completed by all members over 18 years of age that are volunteering, teachers and police officers included.  A Member Protection Statutory Declaration is valid for 2.5 years.


Your involvement helps to build a stronger, healthier, happier and safer community, enabling many children to be active and to be part of our great club.  Please help us to ensure the safety of all children at our club by ensuring you have met the volunteer compliance requirements as outlined.

It is imperative that the actions outlined are taken to ensure volunteer compliance.  This is to ensure that we have taken the steps required to protect the safety and wellbeing of the players at our club but also to ensure that we are meeting the requirements of Basketball Victoria and our lease agreements with our training venues.

If coaches and team managers are not compliant, we may prevent teams from training until such a time as volunteer compliance is met.

Download Member Protection Declaration
  • All efforts must be made to avoid a walkover
  • If you know you will be short, contact your coordinator to seek additional players
  • If additional players cannot be sourced then notify the coordinator so that they can ensure that the walkover is notified to the appropriate people before 8pm on the Wednesday prior to the game – this reduces the penalty to the scoresheet fee
  • Unnotified walkovers are penalised 2 x scoresheet fee.


If the other team gives a walkover ensure that your players still sign the scoresheet so the game counts as a qualifying game


All players must purchase the compulsory reversible uniform top, shorts and reversible training top:

  • The uniform top and shorts must be worn on game day
  • The reversible training top must be worn to training


  • Singlet/uniform numbers will be allocated by the club, available numbers are limited to reduce the risk of a clash of numbers if a player changes team (in their age group).
  • Replacement uniforms will be issued with the players existing singlet/uniform number
  • Uniforms will need to be collected once they are available and loan tops returned
  • If you are getting a second-hand uniform, you will need to contact the club so we can determine if the uniform number will cause a clash


The fitting session will be held to determine/confirm the size required for your child to enable the
uniforms to be ordered. Please note, th uniform tops are custom ordered and cannot be changed so
it is essential that the sizing ordered is correct. The sizing varies to standard clothing sizes.

  • Our uniform tops are made to order and can take 3-4 weeks to arrive from the time ordered
  • Purchases cannot be refunded or exchanged so we advise all players ordering a new uniform to come to a uniform fitting session (the sizing varies to standard clothing sizes)
  • If you order the wrong size, you will have to pay and order another uniform top
  • You are advised to attend a session to ensure the correct size is ordered.




Our normal uniform colour is RED.
The uniform clash and priority listing has our club 4th in line for red/orange contrast group.
So, when we play the following teams, we need to wear BLUE:

  • Western Eagles
  • Overnewton
  • CS Blue Devils (CSBD’s wear orange so we switch to blue when we play them to avoid the colour clash)

When two St Christopher’s teams are playing each other, the team listed first will wear RED.


At times with player movement amongst teams, a team may be assigned players with the same playing number. The club’s policy is as follows:
1. Player moving into an established team will change number if there is a clash (and other player does not need or want to get a new uniform).
2. If 2 new players move to a new side with the same playing number then longevity at the club will determine who keeps the number and who must change.
Note: To have uniform rights, players must be financial members.


The club uniform shop is located at St Christopher’s multi-purpose hall in the storage room across the basketball court and will be open by appointment only. Please contact the Uniform Coordinator to arrange a mutually convenient time.
Our Uniform Coordinator is a volunteer with their own family, work and life. Families need to work with the uniform coordinator’s availability for fittings and collections.

If there is a situation that cannot be handled within the team then the St Christopher’s Committee is the next point of escalation. You can escalate to the club Secretary or direct to the President.

If the committee cannot resolve the complaint then the committee will escalate it to the KBAJ.

Note: The KBAJ will not deal with complaints that are made directly to them. If a complaint goes directly to the KBAJ it will be redirected back to the club, delaying resolution of the dispute.


The KBAJ now support a no zone philosophy for U14 and below but have not made it a rule. Our club strongly advocates for no zone and will encourage and support our coaches to teach man to man.  We expect our coaches to commit to teaching man to man and will supply support to any coaches who would like assistance in teaching these principles.


The KBAJ now supports a no zone philosophy which means that a zone defence in the half court shouldn’t be played in the under 14 and younger competitions.

We actively encourage coaches of u14 and below teams to observe man to man defensive principles. We can’t control what other teams or clubs chose to do but we can prioritise the development of our younger players and promote our no-zone philosophy.


Any defence played in the half court which doesn’t incorporate normal man to man defensive principles shall be considered a zone. In a zone defence, players are taught to guard an area rather than a player.

The ‘no zone’ philosophy applies only in the half court. Zone presses and trapping defences are allowed if they fall back to man to man principles inside the three-point line.

The KBAJ has NOT introduced a no zone rule so there is no penalty for playing zone but we hope that with communication and education, the zone in these younger age groups will be eradicated.

We support and will actively encourage the no zone philosophy as we believe it:
– modifies the game to accommodate the youngest players,
– encourages the teaching of correct man to man,
– prioritises the development of players for the longer term; and
– enhances the development of both offensive and defensive skills

We support the philosophy that in the younger year’s (under 10 – under 14), zone should not be used and players should be exclusively taught man to man. We will continue to advocate for this to become a rule in the KBA Junior Domestic competition.
Zone defence is banned in U14 and U12 MUVJBL games. If players want to play representative basketball they will have an easier transition if they have been taught man to man. Playing zone may get you a win but the cost to the players in your team is a lot greater. If you truly care about younger player’s development you will not revert to zone in the younger years. Prioritise development over easy wins!

Extract of email from Coach Mac:
“Youth coaches who exclusively use zone defense are setting their kids up for failure.
The defensive skills they miss out on developing (getting through screens, guarding different areas of the floor,
rotating to help, etc) are going to catch up to them when they need to start playing man-to-man defense.
It’s easy for a man-to-man defender to transition to a zone defense at the high school level or beyond.
It’s NOT easy for a zone defender to transition to a man-to-man defense.”

“I DON’T hate zone defense. Not at all.
I love watching HS, college, and pro teams use a zone defense to change the tempo of a game and to give their opponent a different look. (Remember when Dallas used a zone defense in the 2011 NBA Finals to upset LeBron, Wade, and the Heat? Brilliant) But when it comes to youth basketball…
Kids MUST learn the fundamentals of offense and defense first. My heart is 100% set on that. And playing man-to-man defense allows young players to learn and practice those fundamentals skills a lot more than a zone defense does.
Think about it…
When a youth team plays zone defense, this mostly consists of them packing 4 – 5 players in the paint and forcing the opponent to shoot long-distance shots from way outside the key (which they have very little hope of making).
There are VERY FEW youth teams who play a “good” zone defense. Which means…
There’s very little DEFENSIVE DEVELOPMENT…
Poor on-ball defense, Zero accountability, Rarely any closeouts, etc
There’s very little OFFENSIVE DEVELOPMENT…
Usually open on the perimeter, Difficult to penetrate, Forced to throw up distance shots, etc
Overall, it’s simply a terrible idea.
It would be much better for the players involved if all coaches (and leagues) would commit to playing man-toman defense 100% of the time.”

NBA, USA Basketball recommend…..
USA Basketball and NBA recommend NO ZONE for younger players. From USA Today Sports in March 2018. USA Basketball and the NBA recommended some key rules and standards “to enhance the development and playing experience for young athletes by helping them learn the fundamentals of the game and achieve greater on-court success.”
“When little boys and girls enter the sport, we want them to have success early. We think that can be achieved with some of these standards.” The recommendations are part of a joint effort by the two influential groups to “develop best practices for young players” and “to make the games better, more enjoyable and more accessible”.
“The intent here is to create an age-appropriate set of rules and standards that prioritize skill and development and health and wellness and that also allow kids to have early success in the sport,” NBA vice president of youth basketball development David Krichavsky said.

Watch a game of basketball with young, beginning players and you will usually see a “scrum” of players (both offensive and defensive) following the ball.

VJBL No-Zone Clinic
Add that VJBL run these at the start of every new rep season – late in the year and early in the new year – domestic coaches are welcome to attend




What Defense Should You Teach Youth Players (Zone, Man, Press)?? –

Zone Defense is Terrible for Youth Basketball

Three Reasons NOT to Play Zone Defense


The Keilor Basketball Association (KBA) have adopted the Basketball Victoria policy in terms of photography of games (both still and motion).

This Basketball Victoria policy sets out the conditions under which photographs and video can be taken at basketball games and venues. The policy can be found below: