The hosting States for the pandemic delayed 2020 National Basketball Championships have been confirmed:
- Rajasthan will be hosting the 71st National Basketball Championship – Men and Women
- Madhya Pradesh will be hosting the 71st Junior National Basketball Championship – Boys and Girls
- Punjab will be hosting the 37th National Basketball Championship – Youth Boys and Girls
- Himachal Pradesh will be hosting the 47th National Basketball Championship – Sub Junior Boys and Girls
- Andhra Pradesh will be hosting the 35th Federation Cup National Basketball Championship
The above allotments were confirmed at the Basketball Federation of India (BFI)’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Bengaluru on Friday, 5th February.
The exact dates and venues are still to be announced.
NEW FORMAT FOR SENIOR AND JUNIOR NATIONALS
It is important to note that the Senior and Junior (U18) National Championships are expected to be held in the new competition format, with regional Zonal rounds to be held first followed by the National Round.
According to the new format, regional ‘zonal’ rounds will now be held first followed by a National Championship featuring the top 16 teams each in Men and Women.
The ‘Zones’ will be as follows:
- North Zone: Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh
- South Zone: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
- East Zone: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha
- West Zone: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Goa, Maharashtra
- North East Zone: Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Assam. Note: Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh are still to be formally affiliated to the BFI
TOP 16 TEAMS TO PLAY IN NATIONAL ROUND
Teams from within each Zone will face each other in a round-robin format, and the top three teams will qualify for the National Round. Besides these teams, nationally recruiting teams like Railways (men & women) and Services (only men), as well as the hosts, will directly qualify to the National Round. (In case the host team has already qualified among the top three teams from its zone, the fourth-placed team from that Zone will be invited to participate.)
To ensure that there are 16 teams each in senior men, only the top team from North East (NE) Zone will progress to the National Rounds, while three teams each will progress from the other zones. In case of senior women, two teams from NE Zone will progress to the national stage. The rationale for this has been explained as being the NE region’s relatively weaker competitive strength compared to teams from other Zones.
The single-team restriction from NE will done away with at the younger age group National Championships, across the U14 (mini), U16 (youth) and U18 (junior) levels. Here 3 teams from each of the five Zones + a host team/fourth-placed team will qualify.
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