Programs Update – 2nd June 2021

Yesterday we saw Basketball Victoria’s announcements relating to their competitions. Most notably this relates directly to the VJBL (Junior Championship), their school programs and competitions, but also the NBL1 and Youth (U23) competitions. This was quickly followed with confirmation by the EDJBA that this Saturday would also be cancelled.

From an Eltham Wildcats perspective, here is where things currently sit, so you are clear:

Saturday Junior Domestic (EDJBA):

This Saturday cancelled. There will be no games on the Saturday of the Queen’s Birthday weekend. We will return to trainings as soon as we are allowed to do so. We could be delayed by approval for access in school venues, but in general, our relationships are strong and covid policies are well versed and proven to work. We prepared the season financially and advertised it to participants with a Covid safety net, in that people were paying for 12 games despite it being a season of 15 matches. We did so, with the thinking this current situation was a possibility. At this stage, no refunds or credits will be provided based on this. Should the season continue to be cancelled, then this changes and we’ll credit money forward etc.

Friday Junior Championship (VJBL):

This Friday night cancelled. Nothing has been confirmed for Friday 11th June as yet. The National Junior Classic scheduled for the Queen’s Birthday Weekend has been postponed until September due to it attracting interstate teams. As soon as training can return, we will make that happen. We are yet to invoice for the second half (term 2 and 3) of the Championship season and this will be held until we know the state of the season. The VJBL has spoken to us and as you’ll see in the piece below, it refers to voting. I can confirm for you that our club voted in favour of still splitting the VC competitions as per a normal season for the benefit of competitive games for all in the backend of the season. We didn’t win the vote as per the information provided below, but respect the thoughts of other clubs.

Information direct from the VJBL Office:

As per the announcement today, we will be crediting all games from the 4th June, with a 2-2 draw, whilst those teams who were scheduled to have a bye will still receive their 3 points and this will be updated tomorrow to reflect this. 

After reviewing the survey results for the VC competition, we have decided that the VC teams will remain in their current pool for the remainder of the championship season.

Due to the above information, we have made the following changes to the VC and VJL finals series for this season.

Under 12-18 VC:               Top 4 from each pool will crossover and play for the VC-Champ title, teams finishing 5th-8th will crossover and play for VC-Reserve title. Both will be over 3 weeks of finals.

Under 12-18 VJL:              The VJL Competitions will play a top 6 finals series, over 3 weeks of finals.

Under 21 VC & VJL:          The Under 21 competitions will be a top 4 finals series, over 2 weeks of finals.                    

NBL1 and Youth (U23):

We await league communication for the most part. Some NBL1 games have already been rescheduled. Most notably our home game against Knox has been moved to June 20th. This league has additional issues with interstate teams being involved. I am thankful that the NBL1 staff are constantly communicating and asking clubs for thoughts and feedback.

For our Youth teams, the league have taken feedback from clubs and waiting for the length of the lockdown to be known, as to whether rescheduling of games, extending of the season or just calling draws are the best option. I thank the Big V competitions for engaging us in the process.

Introductory and Development Programs (Kinder Club/Cub Squad/Skills and Drills etc):

These will resume as soon as indoor sport is allowed to resume. If we can resume in some manner via outdoor programs then we will do so. The different programs have different lengths in weeks etc. Once we know the end-point of this lockdown, we can look at if and/or how we credit or do makeup sessions

Senior Midweek Competitions incl Unified Basketball and Walking Basketball:

Those who were with us in 2020, I hope have trust that we’ll manage the return as smoothly as possible. In 2020 we held free training sessions to allow a safe return and whilst at this point it won’t be required, we will be back playing as soon as possible. Jacob is working through the different possibilities especially given finals is upon us. We’re supposed to have re-opened registrations for the next season, but felt when the lockdown began, it wasn’t the right time or message for people to be seeing. We intend on having finals for this season played. Any upfront payments from teams that are outstanding, will be credited forward as we have done in the past.

Montmorency Stadium:

Work has continued through this lockdown. The first pour happened this morning on the concrete slab. The project is currently on time and within budget and build is now above ground. We should start to see some clear progress in the weeks ahead. The schedule is timed for this project to open in February 2022. As we know how these things happen, by the time we get Occupancy Certificate, March is realistic. This is an exciting beacon on the horizon for us all and will provide significant improvement to the facilities we utilise.

What else?

Our staff are currently coordinating engagement programs, which are going to focus on junior domestic and beginner programs. We’re also looking to provide education to our coaches, referees, administration team and retail team. We normally struggle for time – this represents a positive opportunity to pull people together.

Those who’ve purchase the ‘Pride’ t-shirts; these have arrived and will be ready for distribution when we re-open.

This is obviously a stressful time. For me personally, this one feels more difficult than others, maybe because we were back to normal operations. I cannot stress enough that as a player/parent/participant that you reach out to members of whom you’re connected with. Whether it is a volunteer coach who gives their time for your child, or maybe you know the Monday night team you play in is the social ‘out’ for some team mates each and every week; reach out, say hello and touch base. You might still have your social outing over an NBA or NBL playoff game!

From our Wellbeing team:

While it might feel like we don’t have control of current events, it’s important to remember that we can do many things to feel empowered and enabled. Find opportunities to share positive and hopeful stories with others, generate positive emotions by sharing memories and show acts of kindness.

Staying connected with family and friends at this time can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. For example regular phone calls and video calls. There are many other support services available if you or a loved one are feeling anxious or uncertain during this time,

Lifeline 13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or

headspace 1800 650 893 (9am – 1am, 7 days a week or

Eltham Wellbeing email

Thank you to those taking leadership roles within our community. I look forward to keeping you aware of what is taking place and hopefully will have some better news in the days ahead.


Greg Jeffers
Eltham Wildcats Basketball
Chief Executive Officer