New Rules introduced to the NBA Competition in North America

The NBA is the world’s premiere Basketball Competition. So when the NBA changes its rules it’s time to sit up and take notice. Nellakir are the leading supplier of elite competition style Timber Sports Flooring. Using the ASF Horner / Australasian Sports Flooring renowned and trademarked range of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. Nellakir provide championship surfaces to FIFA standards throughout Victoria and Tasmania. So take a look at these changes – It would be reasonable to expect that the new rules will flow through to Australian competition.

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NBA changes shot clock, clear path foul, and hostile act rules. Here’s what it means

The Board of Governors unanimously agreed to these rule changes. Here’s what you need to know.

The NBA Board of Governors approved three rule changes that will take effect beginning with the 2018-19 season, the league announced in a statement. The changes, though minor, will impact different areas of every game this year.

Here is a breakdown of each change we’ll see this season:
Shot clock resets to 14 seconds

According to the NBA, the shot clock will reset to 14 seconds — not 24 seconds — in three scenarios:

After an offensive rebound of a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim
After a loose ball foul is called on the defensive team immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim
After the offensive team gets possession of the ball after it goes out of bounds immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim.

This rule change was made in an effort to speed the game up. It has been implemented in FIBA competition since 2014, in the WNBA since 2016, and in the G-League since the 2016-17 season.

But according to data from Nylon Calculus, most NBA possessions following an offensive rebound last season resulted in a shot attempt zero to five seconds later. This will though prevent teams that benefit from grabbing offensive rebounds late in close games from dribbling the clock out before hoisting up a shot.

A simpler clear path foul definition

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This one’s a little trickier, so let’s try to break it down as simple as possible. There are now a list of requirements for a referee to be able to whistle a clear path foul during a transition scoring opportunity:

  • The ball is ahead of the tip of the circle in the backcourt
  • No defender is ahead of the offensive player with the transition scoring opportunity
  • The player with the transition scoring opportunity is in control of the ball
  • The foul deprives his team of an opportunity to score.

The list of prerequisites needed to call a clear path foul now makes it less of a judgment call and more of a call reinforced by a set of laws. The NBA’s league office posted a video on Twitter that shows examples of how the rule changed from last year:

If a defender is making a play on the ball and bumps the offensive player in a transition scoring opportunity, or if the defender fouls a player in the act of shooting, it is no longer considered a clear path foul.

In addition, if any defender is ahead of the player with a transition scoring opportunity, a clear path foul cannot be called. In past seasons, referees made judgment calls to determine if the defender ahead of the play was in position to influence a transition scoring opportunity.

Expanded definition of “hostile act”

The definition of a hostile act has also been broadened for instant replay purposes. The expanded definition will allow referees to review plays to “determine the appropriate penalty for players or coaches if they are involved in hostile encounters with each other, referees or fans.”

No further explanation was given, but if things get messy during a game, officials will be taking their time to determine the proper course of action.

These rule changes won’t prove to be anything drastic, but it’s a collective step by the NBA toward honing an already impeccable product.

Source: sbnation.com

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions. Expert Construction and programmed Maintenance. Call now on 9467 6126.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

 

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Nellakir – Victoria’s leading supplier of Timber Sports Flooring

Nellakir, Victoria’s leading supplier of indoor sprung timber sports flooring, continue to develop new playing courts and stadium sports flooring.

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Here we reflect on some of the floors built by Nellakir and maintained over the years to ensure premium competitive surfaces.

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Included images are shots from the State Netball Centre in Parkville, the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna, and the very popular Waverley Netball Centre. Soon to be added to our Gallery are shots of the new Bendigo Stadium’s courts recently opened as part of the facility’s $22M redevelopment in 2018. The Eagle Stadium at Werribee Fitness Centre as well as the Keilor Stadium were also both constructed by Nellakir.

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Nellakir offer expert construction of sprung timber sports flooring (FIBA approved) utilising the Australian Sports Flooring ASF Horner timber sports flooring systems exclusively. Nellakir are the leading constructors of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

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Nellakir offer a full and complete maintenance package which now includes the new Enhanced Floor Cleaner – with the enhanced cleaner and a two meter cleaning bar making court cleaning a breeze.

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Annual maintenance programs including re-surfacing as required, annual linemarking, re-coating after 12 months on all Sprung Timber Sports Flooring and when required, re-sanding of timber sports flooring.

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Nellakir provide regular Stadium Seating inspections on a 12 month basis. Fees and costings for any proposed works are forwarded to centre managements. Such works should be prioritised with Public Liability and risk management being a major consideration in any public sporting arena.

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Nellakir recommend a complete re-sanding of sprung timber sports flooring every 7-12 years.

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For expert advice and a timely response please call Nellakir now on 9467 6126 to arrange a free consultation and quotation. Or leave your details on our website and one of our team will get back to you with your requirements.

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Nellakir Sports Floors – The Sports Flooring of Champions.

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Nellakir use Australasian Sports Flooring Horner Systems – exclusively – with Pacific Seating retractable seating.

Nellakir use Australasian Sports Floors sprung timber sports floors exclusively. Australasian Sports Flooring systems are the only FIBA approved systems available in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific). ASF Horner Hardwood Flooring has been setting the industry standard since 1891. International events such as the Sydney Olympic Games 2000, the Los Angeles Championships of Basketball, World University Games, Pan American Games, Goodwill Games, European Championships and since 1983 every NCAA Final Four game and NBA All-Stars games are all played on the ASF Horner flooring systems.

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Nellakir use Forestry Certified Flooring ensuring a fully Sustainable Flooring System. Nellakir utilises ASF Horner flooring, ASF Horner exclusively use selected plantation timbers as opposed to Native Forest coups. To ensure ongoing sustainability, Court managers and organisations can adopt the ’S’ maintenance program upon completion. Nellakir use ASF Horner timbers with full Forestry Certification. The certification means a complete history of the hardwood flooring surface can be supplied to the client. Forestry Certification certificates validate that all environmental and government regulations with regard to Forestry production have been adopted and adhered to.

Nellakir also provides the Pacific Seating range of Stadium Seating – “The next Generation in Retractable Seating Systems” – The Glide Series.

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The Glide system is quieter to operate, stronger in its design and more user friendly for facility staff. Glide provides individual seating for each patron (no platform seating) – space for every person. The VR1 system provides Disabled patrons with a simple solution as standard specification.

 

seating007d colour chartThe Glide Series is superb in Competition Court situations. For multipurpose facilities and gymnasiums the SBS Seat is the recommended option. Comfortable, generous seat spaces, ergonomically contoured for spectator comfort. A standard range of bright, warm colours is available – or you can choose a combination of colours to suit your purposes from the SBS seat colour range.

The Cook Seat is the most popular seating option in the Pacific Seating range. This seat provides numerous different applications. An economical nose mounting seat with a folding back or as a riser mounted seat with a tip up base. Options provide you the client with the best seating arrangement for your purposes. Variable seat spaces and heights are available.

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For further information both on ASF Horner Sprung Timber Sports Flooring systems and on the accompanying Pacific Seating purpose built retractable seating, please call 03 9467 6126 to book an appointment for a free consultation. Or leave your details here and our support staff will contact you to assist you with your enquiry.

Nellakir – for Expert Construction and Programmed Maintenance of all Sports Flooring.

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Nellakir – the Sports Flooring for Champions.

Nellakir complete several large projects – and the latest Defence Tips

Nellakir have now completed the new replacement Sports Flooring for Rowville Community Centre’s Basketball Courts, and it’s agreed by all it’s come up a real treat. This week the South Melbourne Multi Storey Primary School Basketball Court in Ferrars St South Melbourne also reaches completion. And if you love Basketball, here’s the final excerpt on Tips for Defence. Play Ball!

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Understand Your Opponent

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26. Are They a Great Outside Shooter?

The number one factor that determines how you should play against your opponent on defense is whether they can shoot the basketball from the outside at a high percentage.

If you’re guarding a poor shooter, then you can assist your teammates with more help off the basketball and you know that when playing on-ball defense you can take an extra step back to defend the drive without fear that they’ll make the shot.

If you’re guarding a great shooter, you won’t be able to help as much and you must be more mindful of your rotations on defense.

Instead, you should close the space between you and the defender and force them to dribble inside and take a lower percentage shot.

This is why smart basketball coaches put great off-ball defenders on poor shooters.

27. Where/How Do They Score Most of Their Points?

Whether they’re a great outside shooter or not, most players will have certain areas of the floor or certain ways that they score the majority of their points.

To be a great basketball defender, you must work out where and how your opponent does most of their scoring.

Do they get most of their points running off screens and getting midrange shots?

Do they score most of their points driving to the rim and finishing with their right hand?

Do they have a deadly midrange pull-up game?

Are they a low-post specialist?

These are questions you must figure out the answer to for every offensive player that you play against.

28. Do They Prefer Dribbling With Their Right or Left Hand?

Figuring out whether to influence your opponent’s dribbling to the right or left is one of the most important and easiest things you can do to improve your defense.

How you’ll implement this knowledge during the game might vary due to team defensive rules, but understanding their preference is crucial.

More often than not, the player you’re competing against will prefer to drive to their right hand.

To force them to their opposite hand, position yourself so that you’re slightly overplaying their preferred side and then establish a higher lead foot on this side too.

From this stance, the only way they can drive on their preferred side is to dribble through your chest and receive an offensive foul or to retreat dribble around you which will provide enough time to establish position again.

If they were to drive on their opposite hand, you’re still in position so that you can contain them and cut off the driving lane.

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29. What Are Their Weaknesses?

As well as figuring out their strengths, it’s important to know what an opponent’s weaknesses are.

This knowledge will assist you to put them in uncomfortable situations by forcing them into performing what they’re not good at.

This will require watching tape of your opponent, watching them play live, or simply working it out as the game progresses.

Every single player on the planet has weaknesses. It’s your job to find out what they are and exploit them.

30. How Do They Respond to Pressure?

One of the most surprising differences between great offensive players is their ability to handle pressure being put on them.

I’ve seen many players who regularly average 25 points per game but when you put a high amount of pressure on them, their point totals automatically take a significant drop.

These are often the player who can’t mentally handle pressure from great defense. They get frustrated, start yelling at their teammates, and throw up shots from all over the court trying to reach their regular scoring numbers.

Conversely, there are many great offensive players who stay calm and will have the same impact as usual regardless of the defensive pressure.

For that reason, it’s important to know which category your opponent falls under and then use that knowledge to improve your defense against them.

31. Do They Crash the Offensive Glass?

There are many players who do a fantastic job of sprinting in for offensive rebounds and then either scoring or passing out to a teammate for an open shot.

Shots after offensive rebounds always seem to be great shots.

As a defender, you must be aware whether the player that you’re guarding has a tendency to sprint in for offensive rebounds or to run back on defense after each shot.

If they are a great offensive rebounder, you must ensure to make contact with them after every shot and put a high importance on keeping them off the glass.

Understand the Opposition’s Offense

32. What Offense Are They Running?

One of the first questions that smart defenders will ask themselves when determining how to defend their opponent is “What offense does the opposition run?”

Once you figure this out, the next step is to determine the best way to defend against it.

Here are a few of the question you should think about…

How do they initiate the offense?

What’s the regular passing sequence of their offense?

Where do they take most of their shots from?

For example: If an opponent’s offense always starts with a pass from the top to one of the players on the wing, you then know that if you completely deny this pass then you’ve effectively taken them out of their offense.

33. What Are Their Most Common Set Plays

Often you’ll come across teams that don’t have an offense at all and will rely solely on set plays to score the basketball.

Since most youth and high school teams only have 2 – 3 set plays that they run a majority of the time, it can be relatively simple to figure out the name of the set play and what their actions are.

Just like the previous tip, your goal is to figure out what the opposition are trying to do and then take those options away from them.

The best time to do this is before the game. Watch video of the opposition’s offense or to watch them in-person and focus on figuring out what they do offensively.

If you don’t have that opportunity, with focus you can figure it out throughout the game as you’re competing against them.

On-Ball Basketball Defense Tips

34. Put Constant Pressure on the Basketball

While the main goal is containment, we don’t want players to do this by standing 2 meters off their opponent and giving them wide open shots.

Players must learn how to contain their player while also putting constant pressure on them when they have the basketball.

The purpose of putting pressure on the basketball is to make the offensive player uncomfortable which will often lead to deflections and turnovers.

When a player is uncomfortable from on-ball pressure, they don’t want to dribble the basketball, they’re scared that one of their passes will get deflected, and they don’t even think about shooting.

As long as your teammates are playing great help defense, you shouldn’t hesitate to apply on-ball pressure because if the offensive player does happen to beat you off the dribble, your teammates are ready to rotate and stop the basketball.

“My philosophy of defense is to keep the pressure on an opponent until you get to his emotions” – John Wooden

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35. Stay Lower Than Your Opponent at All Times

When you’re playing on-ball defense, you should always be lower than your opponent.

If you’re roughly the same height, your eye level should be at approximately their shoulder level.

Being lower gives you better balance and allows you to react quickly once the offensive player makes their move.

As always, the quicker you can react, the better.

36. Don’t Lunge for the Basketball

This tip goes back to the importance of balance that I talked about in the first section of this article on basketball defense.

When you lunge for the basketball, you’re often putting yourself off-balance and out of correct defensive position.

If the basketball comes within your reach, by all means, attempt to tip it and secure the steal, but never lunge out of position unless you’re over 75% sure you’re going to steal the basketball.

Always remember that containing your opponent is your number one priority when playing on-ball defense.

37. Stay an Arm’s Length Distance From Your Opponent

One of the most common questions I get asked by players is how close they should be to their opponent when playing defense.

On average, a player should be approximately one arm’s length away from their opponent. This means that if you stick your hand out straight, you should just be able to touch the offensive player with your fingertips.

As players improve to higher and more skilled levels of basketball, the distance will start to vary depending on the tendencies and abilities of the player they’re guarding against. But for the youth and high school level, this is often the most appropriate distance.

Being an arm’s length apart is the perfect length because it’s close enough that the defender can get a hand on the basketball for a steal and also prevent the shot, but far enough away that if the player attempts to drive there’s enough to react and adjust defensive position.

38. Watch Your Opponent’s Chest or Waist

This tactic will make an immediate impact on your defensive ability.

When players are still learning the game, the natural tendency is to look at the basketball or the eyes when playing on-ball defense.

The problem with doing this, however, is that it’s easy for the offensive player to fake with their eyes or the basketball and get the defense off-balance.

So, what should players be looking at while playing on-ball defense?

The mid-section of their opponent. This being anywhere from their chest to their waist.

Unlike the other parts of their body, it’s incredibly difficult for the offensive player to fake with their mid-section which is why that’s where I recommend players focus on.

39. Always Keep Your Hands Active

While you’re playing on-ball defense, you should be tracing the basketball with one of your hands at all times.

Doing so will allow you to deflect the basketball if the offensive player makes a quick pass inside and also simply discourages passes as your opponent knows you may get a hand to it.

Your other hand should be below the basketball looking to tap the basketball out of their hands or to poke it loose if the decide to dribble.

By leaving your hands down at your sides (which a lot of players do), you’re not achieving anything defensively.

Keep your hands active.

40. Swipe Up at the Basketball

Most players have formed a bad habit of swatting down on the basketball when attempting to reach in for a steal.

The problem with doing this is that the referee will often call the defender for a foul. It looks aggressive and there will often be contact made with the arm.

The better way to steal while playing on-ball defense is to swipe up at the basketball. This means keeping one of your hand’s lower than the basketball with your palm facing up.

Since the defender should be playing lower than the offensive player, this is a far more successful method and will result in fewer foul calls.

41. Contest Shots by Blocking the Shooter’s Vision

A cardinal on-ball defensive sin is jumping up and swatting at the basketball attempting to block an opposition player’s shot.

Although this can sometimes work, there are two main reasons why this isn’t always a terrific idea…

1. You might foul the shooter

It’s incredibly difficult to block an outside shot without fouling. The shooting motion of most players will often bring their arms directly into yours on the shot resulting in a foul.

2. They might fake the shot

If you jump on a shot fake, it’s game over. They’re going to have an open drive to the rim and if they don’t score themselves, they’ll often be able to pass to an open player for the shot or layup.

Instead, the best option you have when defending an outside shooter is to get your hand up to their face and take away their vision of the rim.

A missed shot is just as good as a blocked shot. Often better since most blocks are out of bounds or straight back to the opposition team.

This tactic allows you to stay on the ground and react quickly to whatever happens next.

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42. Always Jump to the Basketball After a Pass

One of the primary rules of defense is to never allow your opponent to cut ball-side of you after making a pass.

This most commonly occurs on a pass-and-cut when the opposition is swinging the basketball around the perimeter.

After making the pass, they will immediately look to cut ball-side for the for the give-and-go pass leading to an open layup.

Great defenders never allow this to happen.

Any time you’re guarding a player and they pass to a teammate, you must immediately jump towards the basketball on the flight of the pass.

This removes your opponent’s opportunity to cut ball-side and forces them to cut behind which is a much more difficult pass to make and puts you in prime position to intercept the pass if it’s attempted.

Even if they choose not to cut, you’re immediately denying the return pass to the player you’re guarding.

Off-Ball Basketball Defense Tips

43. One-Pass Away – Deny or Help?

One of the most important principles of your team’s defensive system you must understand is whether to deny when one-pass away or whether to be in help position.

This is the main difference between the two most popular defensive systems: The man-to-man defense (deny) and the Pack Line defense (help).

If you’re denying the pass, you should always have one arm and one foot in the passing lane, your chest should be facing your opponent, and you should see the basketball by looking over your ball-side shoulder.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the defensive system may not have a universal rule on this. The rule may change depending on where the basketball is on the court.

For example, some coaches prefer to allow the initial pass to the wing and then deny after that pass has been made.

Others might allow passes to the corner by playing in help position but deny any reversal pass back to the top of the key.

Make sure you understand your team’s defensive strategy when defending one-pass away from the basketball.

44. Learn How to Close Out Correctly

Close outs are one of the most difficult skills to master on defense.

In fact, there any many offenses and set plays designed specifically to create defensive closeouts as that’s often where a lot of defenses break down.

There’s no avoiding them. If your team is in help position (which they should be), then there will be close outs no matter what.

So how do you perform them effectively?

The key to closing out is to sprint approximately two-thirds of the way to the defender and then use short, choppy steps to finish the close out.

As a player gets close, they should be low with their weight back to absorb the drive and also have one hand up to deter or contest the shot.

45. Never Help Off Ball-Side Corner

The corner three-point shot is arguably the most efficient shot in the game of basketball. You should never leave this shot open.

A player will most commonly make this mistake when an opponent drives to the rim from the wing and they’re defending a player in the corner one-pass away.

Instead of staying on their opponent, this corner defender will drop down to help stop the drive to the rim leaving their player open for the simple pass and wide open jump shot.

Every player must understand that help comes from the middle. That’s why you must always have a defender on the split-line.

Help never comes from ball-side corner.

They can quickly plug and recover to their player, but they should never completely commit to helping on the baseline wing drive and leave open their opponent in the corner.

46. Always See Your Opponent and the Basketball

Whenever you’re on defense and you’re not defending the basketball or one-pass away, you should be in a ‘defensive triangle’.

The defensive triangle (or ball-you-man) refers to positioning yourself between the basketball and your opponent so that you can see both with your peripheral vision.

You should have one hand pointing towards the basketball, one hand pointing towards your opponent, and your vision should be in-between the two.

If a direct chest pass was made between the player with the basketball and your opponent, the help defender should be able to intercept it.

A defender should be as close to the basketball as possible but still close enough to their player that if a skip pass to them was made, the defender would have time to close out and establish defensive position without allowing an open shot.

The reason for this is that the closer a help defender is to the basketball, the quicker they can be to play help defense.

47. Constantly Adjust Your Positioning

A great basketball defender never stands still while they’re on defense. They’re constantly adjusting their positioning the entire possession.

Whenever the basketball or your opponent moves, you should be moving as well to make sure you’re always in the best defensive position.

This requires players to understand the defense to know where they should be, stay in a defensive stance to react quickly, and use the defensive triangle to keep vision of the player they’re guarding and the basketball.

If you’re not constantly adjusting your position, it won’t be long before you get caught out and your opponent gets a quick backdoor layup or a wide open jump shot.

Even if being caught out of position doesn’t lead to a direct score by your opponent, it will lead to a breakdown in the defense and the need for your teammates to rotate and help. This puts them out of position and usually leads to an high-quality shot from one of the opponents.

Your teammates need to trust that you’ll be in the correct position to help them just as they need to be in the correct position to help you.

Don’t let each other down with lazy defense.

Conclusion

Becoming a great basketball defender is one of the most important areas a player can focus on.

Since few players put a focus on defense, doing so is one of the best opportunities a player has of separating themselves from the crowd and advancing from a mediocre player to a great player.

If you implement the above tips into your game, very quickly you’ll see the impact that they can have on your game.

Source: basketballforcoaches.com

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Sports Flooring at its best – Nellakir for Construction and Maintenance

Holidays for some but not for Nellakir. as Victoria’s leading supplier of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring, not only are we busy with new constructions, but also with annual maintenance and court refurbishments.

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Nellakir have been confirmed as the new court construction team at Caroline Springs Leisure Centre. Two new state of the art multipurpose courts with sprung timber sports flooring will be constructed to competition specifications. The Courts will host Basketball, Netball and Futsal competitions, providing a real boon to the local area. See the full story here

As well new courts are also to be constructed at the Catholic Regional College Melton (multipurpose) and the Phoenix Sports Complex in Ballarat.

Over the break Nellakir will be refurbishing a number of Sprung Timber Sports Floored multipurpose sports courts.

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These include:

  • The Mill Park Basketball Stadium
  • The Whittlesea Stadium
  • The Hamilton Leisure Centre
  • St Albans Secondary College
  • Kurnai College Morwell
  • St Francis Xavier College in Berwick

…as well as the Heritage Listed North Melbourne Town Hall’s timber flooring. All are to be resanded after being worked back to bare timber.

It’s not too late to book cyclical maintenance for the holiday period. Nellakir will be operational throughout December and January, taking only the major public holidays off.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here and one of our friendly staff members will get back to you to discuss your needs and arrange a quotation.

Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year – from the team at Nellakir.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

New Stadiums a must for Women’s Sports in Victoria

Over the last 50 years in Victoria, women’s sporting facilities have not received the same funding as have those for men’s sports such as Cricket and Football. The current Government, through its Private/Public Partnership project have to some extent addressed this with construction of modern competition Basketball/Netball courts incorporated in both New School construction and school refurbishment projects. Utilising competition grade timber sports flooring, Nellakir has constructed many of these courts over recent times. The courts are then used by the schools and the broader local community for recreational use.

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In itself the PPP program doesn’t guarantee access for all local competitions. Many Netball teams and competitions struggle to gain access to the premium facilities, based on the shortage of such facilities and the overwhelming demand for their usage by various groups.

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Two such instances had an impact on this weeks news. The demolition of the Chadstone Bowling Club to make way for a new Sports Stadium that will cater for the Stonnington area over the next decade, providing a new facility for the existing population that is at present grossly underserviced facility wise. The case has received wide publicity. Stonnington Council estimates there will be at least 30,000 new arrivals in this area in the next decade. It pointed to the fact that currently for those wishing to play Netball, Basketball, Volleyball or other minor sports requiring Timber Sports Flooring in a designated stadium there is only one court for every 5190 residents who wish to play such sports. The ratio for more traditional, generally male dominated sports such as Cricket and Football is 724 residents per pitch or oval. Bowls or Tennis players rated 255 residents per court.

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In Northcote the situation is demonstrably similar in terms of demographics and assets dedicated to those who choose to play the stadium based sports of Netball, Basketball, Volleyball or similar. There is a particular failing identified in the Darebin area, but by no means is it restricted to Darebin. Facilities for women and girls sports are manifestly inadequate across the board.

Blood on the courts in Northcote netball stoush

Anyone pining for a taste of Northcote’s lost reputation as a tough part of town should skip High Street’s bourgeois bars and boutiques and head for the junior netball courts.

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Carly Kluge, president of the Parkside Netball Club, with players.  Photo: Eddie Jim

“When you are really trying hard and go for a ball and miss you’ve got a lot of blood on elbows and knees going on; we’re constantly restocking first aid kits,” Parkside Netball Club president Carly Kluge​ said.

The club of 150 members trains on a lumpy car park that fills with puddles after it rains, or on outdoor courts at two neighbourhood primary schools, because it can’t get access to an indoor court.

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Participation rates for netball in Darebin are much lower than average. Photo: Rob Gunstone

According to a 2014 council report there are just 13 netball courts in the city of Darebin, which has a population of almost 150,000.

The dearth of good netball courts is a problem that stretches right across the Northcote electorate, Darebin council says, unlike the male-dominated sports of cricket and football, which have numerous available fields on which to play.

With the political spotlight on Northcote, which faces a byelection on November 18, the council – four of whose nine councillors are Greens – has sought to pressure the Andrews government to build better facilities.

It wants the Labor government to help it build a $32 million indoor sports stadium, big enough for 5000 members, at the John Cain Memorial Park in Thornbury.

Darebin has committed $6.5 million of its own funds to the proposal and wants the Andrews government to invest $25 million.

The council has also proposed naming the stadium after Fiona Richardson, the Labor MP for Northcote and Minister for Women, whose death from cancer in August has forced the byelection.

The government has so far focused its campaign for Northcote on housing affordability and renters’ rights, in an electorate where median house prices have grown to well above $1 million.

The Greens have tried to wedge Labor on the continued logging of native forests.

The council’s whistle-blowing on the lack of sporting facilities for girls seeks to bring the campaign back to local issues.

“For more than a century the majority of public money has been invested in facilities that cater to men,” Darebin mayor Kim Le Cerf said.

The lack of good local facilities meant women and girls were forced to change in their cars, then play on substandard outdoor courts, Cr Le Cerf said.

“In 2017, why are we still letting girls down so badly?”

Minister for Sport John Eren​ said the government had already spent almost $2.5 million on building and upgrading netball courts in Darebin and did not rule out council’s proposed stadium.

“We’re already working closely with council on this proposal and are considering their application,” Mr Eren said.

A 2014 report by Netball Victoria found participation rates in Darebin were less than a third of the state average: just 0.70 per cent of people in the municipality play organised netball, compared with 2.3 per cent statewide.

Julie Zucco​, president of the Darebin Netball Association, argued this was not for lack of interest.

Competition with other sports such as volleyball and basketball for scarce court space was so intense that the association had cut back the number of nights it has competitive matches from four to two a week, Ms Zucco said.

“New courts, new facilities would mean a huge impact for us,” she said.

“It would mean a lot more children would be able to get in and play sport where they may be missing out at this present stage.”

source: theage.com.au

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Defending great scorers

Regardless at whatever level basketball is played it always seems as though there is someone on the opposing team who is their prime “go to” player, the leading scorer, the “clutch” performer. Players and coaches spend endless time searching for the way in which they might subdue the opposition star and thus pave the way for victory.

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© Sport the library/Chris Elfes/NBL Basketball-NBL/Sydney Kings 1990 Ian Davies 2001-0004-0627-109

One of the problems for the tacticians is the fact that quite often the talents of the star scorer and the team methods will vary significantly.

Eddie Palubinskas, one of Australia’s greatest ever scorers usually needed little help from his team-mates and could score equally effectively from close, or long range from the basket. Ian Davies was equally independent, but did most of his scoring from long range. Andrew Gaze has been the most prolific but, although he has great skill in creating his own scoring opportunities, depends more on team structure when racking up big numbers. Oscar Schmidt, the highest scorer ever in Olympic Games, also needed little help from his Brazilian team-mates and when the defence got tougher he just moved further away from the basket.

Perhaps, surprisingly, Australia had one of the best records of success over Brazil during the Oscar Schmidt era. This was mainly due to the emphasis that Australia placed on defending Schmidt. The theory being, if Schmidt is contained then there would not be enough score power from the rest of the team. No doubt other teams had similar intentions, but failed more often because of the spread of talent in the Brazilian line-up and the “conventional” way in which they would defend Schmidt. Oscar would just play further from the basket, receive the ball and blaze away from incredible range and still connect on a high percentage. Meanwhile his team-mates would reap the benefit of extra attention on Oscar and Brazil would be one of the highest scoring teams in international competition.

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The Boomers solution to the problem of dealing with a great shooter was to oppose him with a player committed to the task and prepared to use unconventional methods. Mel Dalgleish and Larry Sengstock each had their own way of dealing with the problem. Mel was more physical and Larry was more “cerebral”, but both had a mission to prevent the great scorer from receiving the ball no matter where he was on the court. Other players on the Boomers squad, understanding the prime objective, concentrated on pressuring the ball handlers making any potential pass to Oscar very difficult. Quite often the offence broke down into a series of one on one plays with lower percentage shots, which, on most occasions, worked to the advantage of the Boomers.

The strategy of “starving” great shooters of the ball becomes more difficult when team structure is geared to help the shooter get free and team defence, as compared to individual defence, is vital. The Melbourne Tigers “Shuffle” offence is a typical example. The offence is designed to set up certain players in certain situations and unless the defence does something special players will get free in their preferred positions and it just becomes a matter of whether they can convert the opportunities. Andrew Gaze has been the main force for the Tigers for many years and has experienced just about every different tactic imaginable, but has still managed to average over 30 points per game.

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LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls (L) eyes the basket as he is guarded by Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers during their 01 February game in Los Angeles, CA. Jordan will appear in his 12th NBA All-Star game 08 February while Bryant will make his first All-Star appearance. The Lakers won the game 112-87. AFP PHOTO/Vince BUCCI (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images)

Sometimes defenders choose to “concede” the points of a high scorer and concentrate harder on shutting down the others. An extra effort on players who may usually be the second leading scorer can prove successful. This usually means drawing the extra defensive help from another player who can be an acceptable risk. These tactics work best when teams have rigidly structured and predictable offences, thus allowing well prepared team defences to over play certain elements. The high scorer may still get his “quota” but without a balanced contribution from the others the team will fail.

When describing how to defend great scorers, John Wooden (UCLA) said, “High scorers usually like to get a good start in the game and if they don’t their anxiety can increase and lead to errors. Therefore it is often a good tactic to impose more pressure in the early stages of a game on the “shooter” and see if he has the patience to work through the pressure.” The great Larry Bird, while playing with Boston, was quite often subjected to this kind of pressure and in these circumstances would describe himself as a “decoy”.
It didn’t bother him to be subjected to extra pressure as he would welcome the attention and create more opportunities for his team-mates. His coach also acknowledged that you have to be a very good player to be a good decoy.

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Throughout history there have been very few great shooters who could be described as “complete”, i.e. equally effective close the basket or on the perimeter, able to put the ball to the floor on hard drives, or receive on the perimeter and go straight up for the long range jumpers. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and “Magic” Johnson are a few who could be mentioned. It was rare for them to be contained, no matter what tactics the defenders might use, they would still get their points and still be match winners.

There are others who have built reputations for being among the best, like Kareem Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Rick Barry, Shaquille O’Neil. All were, or are great scorers, but by comparison could almost be described as one dimensional. Kareem had his “sky hook” and during a time when the rules prevented zone defences, his hook shot became virtually indefensible. If the dunk had been barred Wilt Chamberlain would have struggled to earn half the number of points. Similarly “Shaq” has trouble scoring from anything except point blank range.

The mission for defending great scorers like those just mentioned is to force them to do something other than there preferred high percentage play. Of course achieving this is usually much easier said than done. Denying Kareem, or Shaq the ball close to the basket requires huge physical presence and team pressure on the passers. Denying Rick Barry his smooth perimeter jump shot required a similar team effort to that which was necessary for Oscar Schmidt. Teams in our NBL have been trying to stop Ricky Grace from driving left ever since he arrived in Australia a decade ago, but few have succeeded. Ricky goes to his right just enough to keep his opponent honest and unless there is a team defence approach the high scoring guard continues not only to score well himself but create high percentage opportunities for team mates.

The task of the defence to restrict great shooters has always, and probably will remain, very difficult. Players must recognise the special ways in which great shooters create their opportunities and then try to force them to their least preferred options. For players who have the benefit of well structured offences to help them get open the task for the defence is even greater. It requires determined individual pressure and skill and more importantly a coordinated team effort.

Source: betterbasketball.com.au

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