FIBA Oceania Competitions
FIBA Oceania conducts a number of events every year. Some of those events are part of the worldwide qualifications for the World Championships and the Oluympic Games, others are development competitions and others are sub-regional tournaments within specific areas of our zone.
The Oceania Youth Tournament.
Commenced in 1997 as an extension of the FIBA Oceania Development Strategy, the tournament was originally named the FIBA Oceania 22 Years and Under Tournament.
The Youth Tournament is conducted every second year. Held in Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Tonga, this tournament has attracted increasing numbers of participants. Australia and New Zealand have competed in all tournaments except the 1997 event.
At the Vanuatu tournament in 2000, Oceania All Star teams, coaches and referees were selected for the first time to represent the region at the Sydney Youth Olympic Festival. Added to the program was a series of Developmental clinics under the supervision of Basketball Australia's Patrick Hunt. These clinics proved most successful.
At the Tonga 2002 Tournament, All Star teams and staff will also be announced to represent OBC at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival to be held in 2003. Because of the growing popularity of this event, the decision was made that only 8 men's and 8 women's teams could enter the competition. The 16 teams were chosen on a strict criteria, including administrative competence, in-country development programs and previous participation records. The development clinics for players and coaches were again conducted by Patrick Hunt with the assistance of Gordie McLeod. Seminars dealing with drug awareness were incorporated into the program in Tonga.
In 2004 the Youth Tournament was reduced in age to under 20 years, and was conducted in Coffs Harbour, Australia - the home of the FIBA Oceania office. This tournament proved to most successful, with accommodation, travel and competition venues proving very popular with the 16 participating teams. Seminars dealing with sports psychology and drug awareness were added to the clinics program, while a highly successful Cultural Evening was conducted. Every federation performed a traditional dance and song in front of a most appreciative audience.
In 2006 the Youth Tournament was conducted in the Waitakere region of Auckland, New Zealand. A magnificent Waitakere playing facility showcased the improved skills of players and coaches. The player and coach clinics with Patrick Hunt, drug awareness clinics with Drug Free New Zealand and the cultural performance were all features of the New Zealand event.
FIBA Oceania conducts the qualification events for the World Championships and Olympic Games. The qualification events for the Men's and Women's World Championships double as the Oceania Championships. Most qualification events are contested between the major basketball federations in the zone, Australia and New Zealand. However, American Samoa, New Caledonia and Samoa have entered teams at various times.
The Men's qualifications for the World Championships have been held regularly since 1971 with Australia winning all qualifications except the 2002 series. New Zealand took this series, and will represent Oceania at the Men's World Championships in USA in 2003.
In the women's qualification events for the World Championships Australia has been convincing winners in all qualifications since 1974.
For junior players there are qualification events for Young Men & Women (22 Years and Under) and Junior Men & Women (20 Years and Under). These are held on a four year cycle, with the winner progressing to the World Championships as the Oceania representative. Australia has been the Oceania representative at all of these World Championships.
The Oceania Tournament.
Commenced in 1981, this open aged competition is conducted every four years. It provides an opportunity for the National teams across the Pacific to compete against both Australian and New Zealand teams. Because of the strength of the Australian program, they usually send highly experienced teams in the under 20 age division.
This competition is held in the same year as the South Pacific Mini Games, and if basketball is played in the Mini Games, there is no Oceania Tournament played in that 4 year period. Unfortunately, as Australia and New Zealand are not permitted to participate in the South Pacific Games, it means that the Island nations loose their opportunity to play against Australia and New Zealand.
South Pacific Games.
The South Pacific Games are conducted every four years, with the first being held in Fiji in 1963. They are traditionally held in the year prior to the Olympic Games. Under the Charter of the SPG's, neither Australia nor New Zealand are able to participate in this event.
Although conducted by the South Pacific Games Council, FIBA Oceania provides technical expertise and competition supervision for the Basketball program.
The SPG's are a multi sport festival, with basketball establishing itself as the most popular team sport. At the most recent Games in Guam 1999, 11 women's and 14 men's National teams competed in the basketball program.