The second in a 3 part series introducing you to the NCAA & NBA’s collaborative effort to unify, structure and organize Youth Basketball… iHoops
Portions of this series were developed from Rick Leddy’s NABC News report on iHoops.
Kevin Weiberg, iHoops CEO, sees a two-fold mission for this initiative. The first part involves building an enhanced structure for pre-collegiate basketball by establishing some greater uniformity to the conduct of the events that surround the travel and club team area.
Did I mention there are skeptics?… Whenever you begin to use “greater uniformity’ and “travel and club team” in the same sentence, within in the “pre-collegiate” basketball world you are asking for controversy. We will revisit the entire rebuttal side of iHoops after the completion of our three-part series.
The second, a very important connection is related to providing a more balanced set of messages for people who participate in basketball – parents, coaches, and the players themselves, relative to the value of education.
“Our hope is that we can play a role in that, working with stakeholder groups, whether it’s the AAU or potentially even organizations like USA Basketball and the National High School Federation,” Weiberg said.
One of the key elements of the initiative in the website, ihoops.com. The website will be one with video, instructional materials, information about the game and how to play the game. Coaching development, training and certification will also be explored through the website. The “Big-Picture” view is for iHoops to work closely with national coaching and officiating organizations in developing more certification programs. Youth Basketball has long needed a program like Youth Soccer or Swimming. A “CAP” program that teaches the men and women working with children how to teach the game, how to act and holds them accountable to a set of standards. If nothing more comes out of this program, this in it’s self is worth it. iHoops may develop a system that would give Youth level coaches an opportunity to receive basic instruction and training on-line, take an on-line exam and receive a base level of certification.
Secondly, a focal point of iHoops is it’s mission.. iHoops hopes to build an enhanced structure and operate a system of team and event registration, primarily targeting non-scholastic youth basketball. Within that would be a system and structure for licensing teams and events. This area is where you will see the greatest amount of controversy and debate from outside groups. In the early 1990’s the NCAA faced an anti-trust lawsuit centered around the “Restricted Earnings Coach.” To restrict “free trade,” the ability of an event manager to run a large, multi-team event will put all of those entities in non-scholastic basketball up in arms. For years the cost of events, the cost of “Coaches Packets” and the sub-culture that surrounds these events has been a concern of the NCAA. Certainly the iHoops powers have worked on this with the NCAA’s legal staff. It will be interesting to see how this plays it’s self out.
In terms of the team area, iHoops will look at number of games played at each age level, the length of schedules and the number of games played in a week. As a reasonable set of standards is in place, teams would submit their schedules and demonstrate that they are in compliance and would then potentially receive their license.
Monday, the 3rd in this three-part series on iHoops.