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BFI Press Release/New Delhi, 24th Oct 2013: BFI in collaboration with the IMG Reliance and State Basketball Associations will be organizing the 2013-2014 BFI-IMG Reliance School League in eight cities across India to help develop and promote an organized structure of basketball in schools. The School League will takes place over a period of two months i.e. between October to December, 2013. The school winners from all the states will participate in the National Champions Cup to be held in April/May, 2014 in New Delhi.

The 2013-14 edition of the BFI-IMG Reliance School League will include 2 new cities – Indore and Hyderabad – from last year’s returning 6 cities.  The eight host cities are:
1. Delhi- New Delhi
2. Maharashtra- Mumbai
3. Madhya Pradesh – Indore
4. Punjab – Ludhiana
5. Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad
6. West Bengal – Kolkata
7. Karnataka – Bangalore
8. Tamil Nadu – Chennai

The leagues will comprise of 20 teams per city (10 boys & 10 girls). A total of 1,920 kids and 160 teams will be participating across the country. Each team will play a total of 8 games over a period of 2 months and a total of 640 games will be played during the group stage, which will be followed with a knockout tournament to crown a City Champion.  Games will be held at rotating locations in different schools & colleges to provide any institution the opportunity to host the league.

One of the main goals of the School League is to start the first pan-India League, as opposed to the current system of competition – tournaments.  In a league, there is an emphasis on continuous and regular participation, resulting in practices focused on building individual and team skills.  The length and space between games allows coaches and players to look back on the game, identify weaknesses and focus on making adjustments on the next game, building smarter and more skilled basketball players and coaches.

As part of the 2013-14 School League, BFI and IMG Reliance have put aside money for each participating School for minor refurbishments of their home courts.  These refurbishments include new nets, rims, paintings, basketballs, etc.  With the help of the State Basketball Association, BFI and IMG Reliance hopes this initiative will incentivize schools to invest in basketball.

Speaking on the occasion, Roopam Harish Sharma CEO Basketball Federation of India said, “The Basketball Federation of India partnership with IMG-Reliance is working towards improving Basketball from the grass root level in the country. I would like to thank the participating State Basketball Associations for their effort and co-operation in hosting the 2013-14 BFI IMG-Reliance School league which will showcase competitive games by young talented players. The School League will provide a medium for the players to compete regularly and an incentive for them to develop their game.”

Gopalakrishnan R
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