Sports Flooring Maintenance and Construction. Nellakir The Professional Choice

Nellakir are the leading professionals in timber sports flooring installation and maintenance as well as the installation and maintenance of multi purpose sprung timber flooring in schools, recreational centres, community venues, churches and theatres. The Nellakir team are well recognised in both Victoria and Tasmania for the provision of premium FIBA approved indoor sports premium playing surfaces. For both basketball and netball Nellakir have constructed and installed the major competition courts with timber sports flooring at the Victorian Basketball Association Headquarters at Knox as well as the prestigious competition courts at the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre in Royal Park. Add to this a broad selection of metropolitan stadium facilities (Casey, Keilor, Werribee, Waverley and many more) as well as regional facilities at Bendigo, Myrtleford, Latrobe and other premium competition locations throughout Victoria.

For Nellakir this is a busy time of the year – School Holidays. So on top of our busy construction schedule, this is the time we carry out mandatory cyclical maintenance on Sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Schools and Community Venues. Re-coating, line marking and ensuring that your competition court has the requisite bounce and traction.

MBC_Nellakir_Knox_02a for brochure

In the past Nellakir carried out re-coats on 26 courts at different locations, during the school holiday periods,  including the following…

  • Camberwell Girls Grammar
  • Casterton Secondary School
  • William Ruthuen College
  • Brentwood Secondary College
  • Barwon Heads Primary School
  • St Francis Xavier College
  • Kismet Park Primary School
  • Highton Christian College
  • Mount Ridley P12 College
  • Yarraville West Primary School
  • Urban Camp (also repairs)
  • St Josephs College
  • Lalor East Primary School
  • Torquay College
  • Wellington Secondary College
  • Christian College Geelong
  • Northern Bay P12 College
  • Federation University Australia (also repairs)
  • Wesley College Melbourne – Glen Waverly Campus
  • Wesley College Melbourne – St Kilda Rd Campus
  • Mansfield Sporting Complex
  • Ballarat and Clarendon College (linemarking)
  • Werribee West Family Centre (resanding)
  • Errol St North Melbourne (repair)

When you contract Nellakir, you’re ensuring a professional finish, backed by real experience and understanding. For Nellakir a sprung timber floor is a living thing, an asset that must be maintained and cared for from the day it is constructed. And being the leading constructor and builder of elite sprung timber sports flooring in Victoria and Tasmania for Basketball, Netball, Volleyball and other ancillary competition courts, Nellakir know and understand what is required to keep your court or flooring in premium condition.

Nellakir can provide effective and professional repairs to all timber sports flooring. A full maintenance program is provided to the management teams of all courts constructed by Nellakir. Or if you would like to take advantage of the Nellakir professional program, don’t hesitate to call on 03 9467 6126 for a proposed plan and a free no obligation quote.

Many of the timber sports flooring courts being built by the State Government in both new and existing schools double as Community assets in the evenings and on weekends.

Nellakir are now taking bookings for the next School Holidays, scheduling re-coatings, sandings, annual line marking, removal and re-fittings, repairs or total resurfacing. Book now either by calling 03 9467 6126 or by leaving your contact details and request here and we will contact you to arrange a site visit and/or Quotation.

Move up to a totally professional approach to your Competition Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. Engage Nellakir and experience the best.

At Nellakir we create Sports Flooring for Champions. With leading edge technology from Australian Sports Floors Horner Pty Ltd, as previously mentioned, Nellakir have constructed courts at the State Basketball Centre Knox, The State Netball and Hockey Centre, Royal Park and many other well known premium competition locations.

Go with Nellakir – and you’re on a winner. For all Sprung Timber Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania. Go with the professionals.

Nellakir – For A Competitive Edge. Premium Sports Flooring. 

Back on Court! Local Competition is Happening Again – Exciting.

The last of the more onerous restrictions on indoor team sports have now been lifted enabling local competitions to resume – junior, senior and masters. Both Basketball Victoria and Netball Victoria have information for participants available on their websites.

For your assistance we re-publish the advice here for participants from the VBA website

Participants

Return to Sport Update – 25 March


We are pleased to see additional easing of COVID-19 restrictions as announced earlier this
week by the Victorian Government and the Department of Health. From 6pm on Friday 26
March the following changes occur: 
Venue Density and Patron Capacity 
Density limits in indoor venues will move from 1 person per 4sqm to 1 person per 2sqm. This
is in line with other entertainment venues, cafes, pubs and
restaurants. Additionally, the maximum number of people allowed in indoor non-
seated entertainment / sporting venues will increase from 50 per cent to 75 per cent capacity. 
For basketball venues, this means the maximum number of people within a venue including
participants and spectators where allowed, is 75% capacity per
court dependent on venue density limits. Density limits are calculated at 1 person per
2m². The table on page 3 of the Return to Sport Guidelines (V12/March 26) shows the
maximum capacity per court. 


Masks 
Masks will no longer be required in retail settings but Victorians will still need to carry one
with them at all times and wear it on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis and in
sensitive settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals. Basketball Victoria recommends –
when social distancing cannot be maintained, that all patrons aged 12 years or older, should
wear a mask in venues unless medically exempt.   
As with previous updates, masks are not required during games for players, referees and
coaches while on court.  


QR Codes 
Electronic record keeping such as QR codes must be used to allow for contact tracing to be
updated. The QR code requirement for community sport, is to have electronic record keeping
through the Services Vic application or a government API-linked digital system. Venues will
have a 28-day compliance amnesty to ensure this is the case.

QR Code Reporting

Basketball Victoria recommends the use of QR codes for all patrons to ensure sufficient
attendance records are maintained over the coming months as we return to sport.
The Victorian Government has launched a new and free QR Code Service which will help
venues and businesses to keep records of visitors. To use the service, you only need to
register the venue or business, download and print a poster containing a Victorian
Government QR Code, and display it prominently.
In addition, a PlayHQ COVID report is available for players, coaches and team managers
who participate on a given day/night and are tagged into electronic scoring if a case arises.

If required, please lodge a support ticket via https://support.playhq.com/

Basketball Victoria Participant Licence

As previously noted, the Basketball Victoria participation licence is not season or association
specific and allows individuals to play as many times as they want across the state in a 365-
day period. We are extending all active licences for individuals for the duration of the
period that basketball was/is unable to be played in Victoria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you would be aware, in addition to competition management and insurance, individual
participant fees (the Basketball Victoria Licence) cover a range of essential services and
programs which we are and will continue to deliver.
Note: A detailed explanation of the 365 Day Licence can be found here.
However, as always, we will consider requests for individual refunds to those participants
who are experiencing extreme hardship at any time (the individual must contact their club or
association who then escalates to Basketball Victoria via a Support Ticket).

Refunds

Generally speaking, BV’s licence fee is not refundable, as per our terms of registration and
we are extending the BV licences as per above. However, we can consider requests for
refunds in certain cases. We are in a unique situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and we
understand any significant economic or health related impact.
The process/conditions for individual refunds are as follows:

Individual refund requests need to come through via the club (if applicable) to the
association (as per the correct communication channel including club requests) via
http://support.playhq.com
o Senior Domestic need to request via the association who then lodges support
ticket The player needs to have played fewer than 3 games
 Player’s registration to the season in question needs to be marked as cancelled
 A valid reason needs to be provided

 BV needs confirmation in writing that the association and/or club has refunded any
fees that were paid to them before BV considers the request for refund of the BV
licence fee
 Bank details provided for an approved refund to be processed.

Venues and Facilities 

Follow all signage or instructions that direct the flow of traffic or prevent access to areas of the facility. Follow signage indicating the maximum number of people permitted in any space at a single time. Access to toilets and changerooms is permitted but may be limited. It is recommended that only participants use changerooms. It is recommended that you shower at home. Canteens and cafés may be open. 

Health and Hygiene

Always carry a face mask. If you feel unwell, do not attend. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after the session, and more frequently as required. Use approved hand sanitiser before, during and after each session. Wash your uniform after each session with warm water and detergent. Refrain from all unnecessary body contact ie. no handshakes or high fives. 

Take it easy. A sudden rise in activity may increase the risk of injury. Community netball participants should not return to netball if in the last 14 days they have been unwell or had close contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19. Community netball participants must stay informed about case locations and exposure sites. Anyone who has visited a Tier 1 exposure site during the specified time must isolate, get a COVID-19 test, and remain isolated for 14 days. Anyone who has visited a Tier 2 exposure site during the specified times is encouraged to get a COVID-19 test and isolate until they receive a negative result. Refer to Department of Health and Human Services processes upon confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case.

Under no circumstance should associations or clubs refund the Basketball Victoria
licence fee to individuals. Please refer to the BV refund process.

For netball we provide a link below to similar advice from Netball Victoria:

Return to Netball

Nellakir are the leading professionals in the installation and maintenance of timber sports flooring.

For an obligation free quotation on all maintenance and scheduled programmed cleaning call 03 9467 6126 or leave your contact details here.

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading installers of timber sports flooring.  For premium competition sports flooring solutions always contact Nellakir for the perfect result.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions. 

From the NBA, Donovan Mitchell, what a Year He’s Had!

At Nellakir the team like to acknowledge real effort and focus – and this year Donovan Mitchell is a leading contender amongst the current NBA crop of potential All NBA Players. Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading professionals in the installation and maintenance of all sports flooring, specifically FIBA approved timber sports flooring.

Read here about the rise of Donovan Mitchell:

(extract from SBNation article by Adam Bushman1)

Are “All-NBA” honors in the cards for Donovan Mitchell?

Donovan Mitchell’s tear since the All-Star break is putting him in serious contention for his first career All-NBA selection.

Donovan Mitchell celebrates a second consecutive rout of the Memphis Grizzlies, putting up 30+ in both outings. Photo by Jeff Swinger /NBAE via Getty Images.




Donovan Mitchell celebrates a second consecutive rout of the Memphis Grizzlies, putting up 30+ in both outings Photo by Jeff Swinger/NBAE via Getty Images.

BREAKING NEWS

Last weekend a severe breakout of arachnophobia took place in downtown Salt Lake City. Over a two night period, “Spida” Mitchell slung 70 points on just 40 shots to tie up the Memphis Grizzlies in consecutive losses.

From opening tip, Donovan Mitchell was aggressive and decisive. He had every shot in his arsenal dialed in. His passes countered every defensive adjustment. He even showed what he’s capable of on defense.

He ended the two game stretch with the following average stat line:

35.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 3.5 turnovers on 77.3% TS

Relieve the best moments of what some have dubbed Mitchell’s second best regular season outing on Saturday night:

Honestly, what Donovan’s play is nothing new—as long as you’ve paid attention to the Utah Jazz since the All-Star break.

SLC Dunk’s own Calvin Chappell summarized beautifully the elite play Utah is getting from their leading All-Stars since the big game.

It’s pretty clear the spida-senses are tingling.

With what is easily Mitchell’s best campaign of his career in tow for the home stretch of the season, you have to wonder if Donovan merits consideration for an All-NBA selection (a recognition far more prestigious than an All-Star appearance if you think about it).

Let’s learn from the past few seasons what standards are needed to build Mitchell’s campaign, evaluate the competition, and pinpoint any areas of focus for the final 27 games of the season.

The Campaign

All-NBA selections are conducted by a large panel of media members across the world. Unlike the All-Star selection, no direct fan, player, nor coaching input is permitted. Such a format is inherently taken more seriously and scrutinized more deeply.

However, even in sportswriter and broadcaster circles you’ll find a spectrum of traditional and progressive approaches to basketball analysis. While many will certainly cite FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR and ESPN’s RPM as a medium to measure impact, most will undoubtedly adhere to the traditional stat line, a measure of efficiency, and team performance.

Therefore, we’ll concentrate our comparison with the same data points (though adjusted to per 75 possession averages to account for playing time and team pace of play).

See the below comparison for Donovan Mitchell’s 2020-21 season to the past 18 All-NBA selected guards:

Analytical comparison between Mitchell and the past 3 year All-NBA guards Stats via Basketball Reference, Adam Bushman, SLC DUnk.

The graphic above plots the range of each statistical category. Points, for example, ranged from a minimum of 16.9 by Ben Simmons last season to a maximum of 36.2 by James Harden the same year.

25%tile, average (or 50%tile), and 75%tile were also added to give perspective of where Donovan’s stats lie compared to the data distribution. The above may look vaguely like a number line or be attempting a box and whisker plot. That’s the exact idea, except with some more intuitive design.

Back to the data.

Mitchell meets the minimum “thresholds” for every category throughout the 18 guard sample. In fact, outside of assists, he’s virtually at or above the 25%tile in every category, with points and team win % pacing above average.

Take a look below at the entire list:

Raw data for the past 18 All-NBA guard selections across per 75 possession Points, Rebounds, Assists, TS%, and Team Win % Stats via NBA.com, Adam Bushman, SLC Dunk

Not one player from the sample was above average in every category. It is important, however, to exceed average in 2-3 categories (13 selections exceed average in two categories, 7 selections in three).

Donovan Mitchell hits on two categories. Sadly, there’s no time to approach average on a third category. But there is still more to be done (more on that later).

The jist: Donovan certainly belongs in the All-NBA talk.

The Competition

While clearly deserved for consideration, Donovan Mitchell isn’t the only play vying for a coveted spot on an All-NBA team.

All-NBA is comprised of three teams, each comprised of a five-man “starting lineup”. These teams require two guards, two forwards, and a center. That leaves just six opportunities for Mitchell to best the likes of Harden, Curry, Doncic, Lillard, and the like.

Donovan Mitchell guards fellow All-Star Damian Lillard on the first game of the NBA season for both teams Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Talk about a tough task.

The current list of NBA guards who meet the 25%tile in points (25.6 per 75) and meet the 25%tile in one other category of rebounds (4.9 per 75), assists (6.8 per 75), or TS% (0.586) with a minimum of 1,000 minutes played is 10:

Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic, Stepen Curry, Zach LaVine, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, Trae Young, and Jaylen Brown.

If the criteria is relaxed to 24-4-5-0.550, add 5 more players.

If the criteria is relaxed further to 22-3-4-0.52, add 3 additional players.

Thus far, 18 players. Ben Simmons, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul were all selected last season and missed the list of 18. Add them to the list you’re at 21 players…for 6 spots.

Filtering out players whose role won’t warrant All-NBA selection (Jordan Clarkson and Norman Powell, for example) and players whose team performance excludes them from consideration (De’Aaron Fox and Collin Sexton, for example), we’re left with 15 players.

Lillard, Harden, Doncic, and Curry are clear locks, leaving 2 spots for 11 players.

Let’s exclude Westbrook and Paul. Both are having worse years than last year and have teammates with better cases (via the above methodology) for All-NBA.

9 players left and it is TRICKY!

Phoenix Suns v Utah JazzDonovan Mitchell defends Devin Booker much like he’s working to secure an All-NBA spot. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

There’s no right answer at this point. Beal and LaVine have had better seasons than Mitchell, but far worse teams. Booker, Brown, Tatum, and Young have had the same season as Mitchell with mixed team results.

Irving and Simmons have similar team results and have a good case for a better season. As it stands, they likely get those last spots.

The Home Stretch

With so many future Hall of Fame guards in their prime around the league in Harden, Lillard, Curry, and Doncic, there are so few opportunities to make an All-NBA team. Stack that up with the highest season in frequency of volume scorers, there isn’t even elbow room in line for your turn.

Donovan’s best shot at an All-NBA team hinges on an appreciation for team success. As the favorite to finish with the league’s best record, the Utah Jazz success as a team may be the only weight that can tip the scales in his favor.

He can, however, ensure that he’s competitive across the board and that means getting four categories above the 25%tile, a feat accomplished by 10 of the 18 guards in the sample.

He needs just 0.3% in True Shooting efficiency and to keep his rebounds above 4.9 per 75. Assists will be tougher given that he’s 0.9 per 75 below the necessary mark.


Donovan Mitchell’s season isn’t just All-NBA worthy, it’s been one of the best seasons of franchise history and from a player in his 4th NBA season.

What an absolute treasure we have in Utah. Paired with Rudy Gobert (a perennial lock for one of the All-NBA teams having been selected 3 out of the past 4 years), the Utah Jazz are setup for incredible seasons for years to come.

Memphis Grizzlies v Utah JazzDonovan Mitchell warms up. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Donovan is hitting his stride, but at 24 years old, he’s still got a good 3 years ahead of him before his prime, at such a time when Harden is 34, Curry is 36, and Dame is 33.

Mitchell’s time is coming, be it this year or those upcoming.

Soon the entirety of the NBA will live in fear—not just the Memphis Grizzlies.


Champion players, whether in NBA, NBL or Super Netball, all hone their skills on premium timber sports flooring. Nellakir have installed sports flooring in Victoria now for over 25 years with stadiums such as the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre, the Victorian State Basketball Stadium in Knox and a range of metropolitan and regional stadiums such as the Bendigo, Casey, Eagle (Werribee) and Keilor facilities all featuring FIBA approved  Nellakir timber sports flooring.

As well as installation, Nellakir offer a premium maintenance program for all timber sports flooring in Victoria and Tasmania. Line marking, Recoating, Resurfacing, general repairs and other annual maintenance are carried out in a timely and professional fashion by Nellakir’s expert teams of flooring technicians. When required Re-Sanding is also undertaken.

For premium care of all sprung timber sports flooring Nellakir offer programmed professional court cleaning and regular maintenance of all removable stadium seating.

Call now on 039467 6126 to book a free no-obligation consultation with one of Nellakir’s sports flooring technicians to ascertain both current court condition and to plan a cleaning and maintenance program with the leading sports flooring experts in Victoria and Tasmania. Alternatively leave your details here for a prompt reply.

NellakirChampion Sports Flooring For Current and Future 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!

future-south-melbourne-primary-school-australia-hayball-world-architectur-festival_dezeen_herob-852x479

Understand Your Opponent

shooting-tips

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.

basketball defensive skill

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

on-ball defense

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.

basketball shot defense

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.

What is Netball?

Netball is a ball sport played by two teams of seven players. Games are played on a rectangular court with raised goal rings at each end.

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The object is to score goals from within a defined area, by throwing a ball into a ring attached to a 3.05 metres (10 feet) high post.

Players are assigned specific positions, which define their roles within the team and restrict their movement to certain areas of the court. During general play, a player with the ball can hold onto it for only three seconds before shooting for a goal or passing to another player.

The winning team is the one that scores the most goals. Netball games are 60 minutes long but variations have been developed to increase the game’s pace and appeal to a wider audience.

Netball is played by more than 20 million people in more than 80 countries worldwide and is most popular in Commonwealth nations. It is predominantly played by women.

In 1995 netball became a recognised sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Netball is the most popular women’s sport in Australia with an estimated one million players nationwide.

Although traditionally identified as a sport for women, there is no reason why it can’t be played with mixed teams and more boys and men are becoming increasingly involved.

Australia’s major domestic competition is Suncorp Super Netball.

Source: Netball Australia

Safety tips for netball

  • Good preparation is important
  • Undertake training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play.
  • Always warm up, stretch and cool down. A recent netball study found that not warming up before a game increases the risk of injury by 48%.
  • Undergo fitness programs to develop aerobic fitness, strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
  • Good technique and practices will help prevent injury
  • Participate in training programs to improve body balance (using wobble boards or balance mats). Poor balance may increase the risk of injury.
  • Learn correct passing, catching and landing techniques. Incorrect landing may increase the risk of injury to the knee. Further information on landing is available in the University of Ballarat Down to Earth – A Practical Guide to Safe and Effective Landing in Netball publication, available at http://www.smartplay.com.au.
  • Coaches should undertake regular reaccreditation and education to ensure their knowledge is kept up-to-date.
  • Accredited umpires and adherence to the rules decreases the risk of contact and injury.
  • Wear the right protective equipment
  • Seek professional advice on footwear.
  • Consider preventive ankle taping or bracing to reduce injury risks.

And remember the best competition surface is always going to be sprung timber sports flooring.
With more give and more bounce, it makes for a faster safer game.

Sports Floor Maintenance and Timber Floor Construction Projects

Nellakir has started the year with a large number of programmed maintenance contracts on existing sprung timber flooring.

The most notable of these were the following projects, which all involved sanding and a full refurbishment of existing floors.

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At Hume Secondary College the Nellakir team has completed works on the foyer reception area.

And the Booroondara Sports Complex in North Balwyn has seen the refurbishment and hard sanding of the four competition Basketball/Netball Courts. Deakin University in Geelong has also been refurbished with two Basketball Courts, Squash Courts and the main stage area of the hall facility all undergoing a full timber refurbishment program, including sanding.

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Finally at Thornbury High School, the Gymnasium, Sports Courts and meeting room timber flooring have all undergone a full refurbishment.

Nellakir have also been engaged to provide sprung timber flooring on a number of major building projects that have already commenced or are about to commence.

These include:

The Bendigo Sports Stadium
– 4 Basketball Courts added
– Fairbrother builders

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The Electra Community Centre Extension, Ashwood
– Works in the studio area of the Calisthenics Hall
– Refurbishment and sanding
– Ducon Building Services
– Commencing March 2017

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St Kevins College, Tooronga
– Sports Pavillion, Eastern Pavillion
-Works on Gym, Minor Court area with markings
– Twoconstruct Builders

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MGGS
– Basketball/Netball Court (single)
– Commencing late January
– Kane Constructions

Nellakir, for the highest standard in Sprung Timber Floor Construction and Maintenance.

What Makes Sports Flooring Different?

This week we have provided an interesting article from the US version of Home and Garden. The Author Charles W. Bryant provides some interesting insights into ‘What makes Sports Flooring different?’. View the full article.

Nellakir provide a full maintenance program and will make suitable recommendations with regards to the care, maintenance and cleaning of your competition grade sprung timber flooring.

“On a cold December day in 1891, the first basketball game was played at Springfield College. The game was the brainchild of Dr. James Naismith, who was working for the YMCA training school at the time. Naismith was handed the task of making up an indoor game that snow-bound children could play. In short, the YMCA wanted to wear some rowdy kids out during the harsh New England winters. Naismith fixed two peach baskets to the wall, documented the 13 original rules, and a sport was born.”

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Photo of the world’s first Basketball team

Springfield College is credited with having the world’s first basketball court. A simple black and white photograph of that court sold at auction in 2006 for just over $19,000.

The flooring of that gym was made of maple wood planks. As it turns out, the early builders of gymnasiums were right on the money, and sports flooring today is still made from maple. The main reason maple is used is because of how hard and hearty it is. Not only are bowling alley floors made from maple, but oftentimes the pins are as well.

[NB. In Australia, Ash, Messmate and Tasmanian Oak are the preferred Timbers]

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Maple (the preferred timber in the US and Canada for Sports Flooring) is strong, stiff and resistant to scuffing and scratching. It also has good shock resistance, meaning it can take a pounding from thousands of hours of heavy use on a gym floor without suffering damage. When maple is installed in US homes, it will likely be sitting on top of a cement slab or a subfloor made of softer wood like Douglas fir or pine.

Sports flooring is completely different. The floor of a gymnasium needs to have some give and flex. While you may not realise it, every time your foot hits the floor of a basketball court, it sinks slightly and springs back. Of course you don’t want this to be noticeable, otherwise you’d feel like you were playing hoops on a trampoline. The idea is that the floor absorbs some of the shock, resulting in less wear and tear on an athlete’s body. It’s called an orthopedic surface. A restaurant kitchen floor may have a thin layer of padding on top for the same reason. If you’re on your feet all day, it can make a big difference in your fatigue level.

There are many types of subflooring for a gymnasium, but they all have the same concept in mind — to help reduce the impact on your lower back, ankles and knees. One of the most common types of subflooring systems used today for gymnasiums incorporates round rubber pads under a plywood subfloor. The pads are small rubber discs filled with air, set about 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) apart from each other over the entire area of the floor. Think of a fancy athletic shoe that uses air-cushioned soles, and you have the right idea. This padding gives the court the spring necessary to combat fatigue and injury.

what-makes-sports-flooring-different-3Sports Floor Finishing

The finishing of a sports floor is a little different than your average home hardwood, as well. Once a sports floor is sanded smooth, it gets two coats of polyurethane sealant. Glossy urethane is preferred on most courts to give it a nice shiny appearance. Once these two coats are down and cured, the game lines and graphics are painted on. The game lines are the markers for the basketball court — out-of-bounds lines, half-court lines, three-point lines and the key.

The graphics are whatever the owner of the court wants. If it’s a school, it will likely be the logo for the university or high school. If it’s a private gym like the YMCA, it will be the corporate logo. After the logos and games lines are on, it’s time for the finishing coats. This means two to three more coats of urethane. By the end of the process, the game lines and graphics are buried under the top coat and are essentially part of the floor.

Just like with your home hardwood, a sports floor needs to be sanded with a sanding screen between each coat of sealant and finishing urethane. A sanding screen doesn’t take off as much urethane as regular sandpaper — it’s more like a fine buff. After the floor is sanded with the screen it needs to be completely cleaned of dust and debris before the next coat of urethane is applied.

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Most gymnasiums are for public use and get a heavy dose of daily traffic. Manufacturers and installers of sports floors recommend that they be screened and recoated once a year to help the surface perform like it should. The process of screening and coating is the same as it is during installation. A single pass is made with a circular sander using a fine screen, and one layer of urethane is applied to the top. Think of each pass with the sander and urethane topper as a brand new top layer to your floor. The same thing applies to your home hardwood floor, although it’s not necessary to do so once per year.

A gym floor takes a couple of days to screen and recoat and it’s typically ready for basketball after about 72 hours of curing. If the gymnasium is commonly used for other nonathletic purposes it may need more than one screen and recoat per year. One example is a high school gym that’s also used for assemblies and school dances. Chairs, tables and non-sneaker shoes can wear out a gym floor much quicker than if it’s only used for sports and recreation.

what-makes-sports-flooring-different-5Cleaning a Sports Floor

Keeping a gymnasium floor clean is the most important factor in how long it will last. Dirt and dust are enemies of any hardwood. Dirt from the bottom of your shoe will act like a fine abrasive and wear away the flooring with every step you take. Ideally, a sports floor is cleaned on a daily basis. If you really want to protect and maintain your gym floor, it should be dry mopped between each activity. This will help to remove the dirt and dust. The daily cleaning should be done each evening with a wet mop. The wet mop will clean up all the fluids that can collect on a gym floor — think sweat and Gatorade.

The wet cleaning should use warm water and a floor cleaner made specifically for cleaning sports flooring. These are water-based concentrates that clean the floor without leaving behind any residue. Wet cleaning the floor will keep the surface traction nice and tight. You don’t want your star point guard slipping because of improper maintenance.

Maple and the timbers used here in Australia are ideal not only for strength and durability, but also because the grain of the wood is extremely tight. The fine fibers help to keep it from splintering and also keep dirt and dust from finding a home “between the cracks.” If the dirt is unable to firmly root in the grain, then it’s easier to clean up, giving your sports floor and longer life span.

Advantages of Sprung Timber Flooring

The preferred option for major competition basketball is sprung timber flooring. For the uninitiated this is often the question in their minds – just what is the difference between Basketball courts with timber flooring and either vinyl, concrete or asphalt courts.

Shock Absorption

The first advantage is in Shock Absorption. This is vitally important to Athletes in terms of surface impact. With timber flooring shock absorption greatly reduces injury potential and risk. This is achieved through diverting force to the floor rather than that force being absorbed through the athlete’s bones, joints and ligaments.

Bounce

The second major advantage is Ball Bounce. Compared to concrete, the wooden floor provides equal rebound measurements. However Ball Bounce is the response measured after reflecting on a wooden floor compared to concrete. The wooden flooring rates 100% compared to concrete.

Timber Flooring provides a Superior Surface

Wooden surfaces provide a uniform, level playing surface for all athletes. Wooden floors are superior to surfaces such as vinyl, concrete or asphalt, on which the athletes muscles must constantly adapt to subtle changes in the playing surfaces, causing fatigue and often resulting in increased energy use.

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Nellakir have installed high performance, sprung timber sports floors in a wide range of stadiums and sports facilities, including Keilor Stadium (pictured)

Timber Floor Maintenance

Correct maintenance of sports floors both improves the performance of the surface as well as extends its life. Sprung Timber flooring is recommended to be resurfaced at a minimum every 10 to 15 years. Layout, floor paint and line markings can be changed without too many issues as part of the maintenance program or the ultimate refurbishment of the timber flooring. Wooden sports flooring provides for ease of maintenance in any case. With regular re-sanding (every 7 to 12 years) and re-coating (every 12 months), Floor maintenance comes down to dust mopping to ensure nothing clings to the surface.

So the sprung floor absorbs shocks giving it a softer feel, reduces fatigue and risk of injury. Such a floor is in fact considered the best option for indoor sports, physical education, gymnastics and dance activity. Nellakir Sports Floors provide the highest quality timber floor installation and maintenance for all performance surfaces.

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Nellakir constructed and provide maintenance for the competition basketball courts at Eagle Stadium

Modern vs Traditional Sprung Floors

Modern sprung floors are supported by Foam backing or rubber feet, whilst older traditional floors rely on bending woven wooden batons. Sprung timber floors are sometimes referred to as ‘floating floors’. The top layer of a sprung floor is a performance surface. With sports flooring this is generally a polyurethane coating.

Next week will look at the requirements for a top quality Sprung Timber competition flooring.

The Worlds Best Performance Sports Flooring

Nellakir are the exclusive distributors for Australasian Sports Floors Horner and Horner Flooring. For Nellakir’s clients and customers this means access to the worlds best performance flooring.

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High performance Sports Flooring for competition basketball courts

ASF and Horner Flooring was selected and utilised at a range of prestigious basketball competitions conducted at the very highest levels. These have included the Olympic Games – both Sydney 2000 and the previous Los Angeles Championships of Basketball, the World university Games, the PAN American Games, the Goodwill Games, the European Championships and since 1983 every NCAA Final Four Games and NBA All Stars Games.

It is obvious that the surface provided is in fact the very best, most technologically advanced playing surface available to major competition basketball worldwide.

As Distributors for ASF/Horner, Nellakir is the only manufacturer and supplier of genuine FIBA approved Timber Sports Flooring systems.

Flooring systems are both ‘sustainable’ and carry ‘Forestry Certification’ on all flooring.

The timbers used are selected from natural resources (forests) with the appropriate growth patterns to sustain both the usage of these resources and the ongoing harvesting of selected timbers. This is called ‘long growth forestry’. Timber flooring utilising this system is labelled PRS and ST offering a range of flooring. Forestry Certified Flooring provides a complete, certified history of any hardwood surface selected and supplied to Nellakir clients.

Timber Sports Flooring Systems

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Stump Thrust timber sports flooring system at the State Netball & Hockey Centre by Nellakir Sports Floors

Nellakir offer the full ASF Horner range of sports flooring. These are branded as follows:

  • Pro King – preferred and used by many NBA, NBL and IFNA teams. This is the surface used in the Sydney Olympics and in NBA, IFNA matches now.
  • PR Systems – there are three PR cushion systems available each offering a surface that is shock absorbing and fatigue reducing.
  • ST Systems – this is the ‘Stump Thrust Floor system’. When combined with the PR™, Stump™ or Thrust-A-Cushion™ pads, the system provides the highest level of player comfort for this type of construction.

The Stump Thrust™ system has been utilised at Victoria’s State Netball and Hockey Centre, the Waverly Netball Centre, Loretto College and the Veneto Club by Nellakir.

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Nellakir installed high performance timber sports floor playing surfaces as well as retractable seating at the State Netball & Hockey Centre

Over the coming months Nellakir will provide more information and detail in these news bulletins and blogs for all prospective and current users on different floor types, the benefits and maintenance required . but rest assured that in selecting Nellakir to construct and maintain your competition courts with sprung timber sports flooring, you are engaging the industry’s leading craftsmen who will provide you, your competition and your participants with the very best surface available – for the life of that surface when expertly maintained.