The Pakenham Warriors Junior representative program is an elite pathway for talented juniors in the Pakenham & District Basketball Association’s’ Junior Domestic Competition.
In 2019/20, Pakenham Warriors will have 30 teams competing in the VJBL competing throughout a number of divisions in age groups from Under 12’s through to Under 20’s.
ABOUT the VICTORIAN JUNIOR BASKETBALL LEAGUE
The VJBL is played on a Friday evening at associated venues across the state. Each week approx. 1230 teams participate in the competition which equates to about 600 games on 150 Courts. The VJBL is arguably the largest competition of its kind, offering a graduated system of junior basketball competition giving opportunities for players to reach the peak, but also to climb the foothills.
The VJBL is made up of associations who enter representative teams. In most cases, these teams are selected from a ‘domestic’ competition that is played out of that particular association.
The VJBL Competition comes under the governing body of Basketball Victoria.
The League was designed to give keen junior basketball players an opportunity to participate at a more competitive level than their local domestic competitions. The VJBL allows teams to compete against composite teams from other Associations. The competition has developed as such to incorporate Associations Victoria wide.
There are 3 tiers of competition within the VJBL:
- Victorian Junior Championship League (highest level of competition)
- Victorian Junior Leagues 1 through 4
- Regional Competition – Eastern and North West
Players are ‘grouped’ depending upon age.
Age groupings are as follows for the 2019/20 season:
- Under 12 – eligible players must not turn 12 in 2020; they are born in 2009 or later
- Under 14 – eligible players must not turn 14 in 2020, they are born in 2007, 2008
- Under 16 – eligible players must not turn 16 in 2020, they are born in 2005, 2006
- Under 18 – eligible players must not turn 18 in 2020, they are born in 2003, 2004
- Under 20 – eligible players must not turn 20 in 2020, they are born in 2001, 2002
The VJBL is one of the strongest breeding grounds for elite players graduating to the senior ranks. Most associations treat their junior representative programs as such and provide opportunities for players to advance. There are several players competing for Australia at the senior level that have come through the VJBL, Liz Cambage, Penny Taylor, Jenna O’Hea, Sam Richards, Rachel Jarry, Kathleen McLeod, David Anderson, David Barlow and Andrew Bogut.
Games within the VJBL structure are played for about 40 weeks of the year commencing approximately early-mid November and going through to late September the following year.
A great deal of dedication is required by parents who have a child (children) participating in the VJBL. There is a lot of travel required to get players to training and games as required, although in recent years the VJBL has taken steps to reduce travel where this does not impact on good grading, especially in the younger age groups.