with basketball being a popular sport worldwide, many locations have created their own professional basketball leagues. One of those is the NBL, or National Basketball League. This league represents New Zealand and Australia and currently gas just 8 teams. Seven of these teams are in Australia with just 1 in New Zealand. Since 1979, when the league was founded, there have been few changes made to rules and the operation of the league.
The first season of the NBL was in 1979 and ran from April to September. The season remained the same until 1998, when the new season changed to the summer, with games running from October through April. This is the current schedule for the league today. Even though the league has been around for a number of years, it does not attract much attention from the media and there is very little corporate support. To try to boost revenue and increase popularity, an Australian player, Andrew Bogut, suggested that the NBL adopt a model that would be like that of the AFL, where the same few teams play for a 10 year period.
Luckily, in 2004, the NBL had a deal with Fox Sports in Australia and there was a sponsorship deal with Phillips. In 2007, Phillips stopped the sponsorship entirely due to the NBL wanting to increase the amount of money in the deal. In 2007, the NBL announced that Hummer would be the sponsor for the upcoming season. Even with chances and a new sponsor, the NBL continued to be ignored by many. In 2013, the NBL de-merged from Basketball Australia and for the 2013-14 season, there was a huge increase in game attendance, with that season marking the highest attendance figures in the past five years of the league.
In 2015, Fox Sports sealed a deal for 5 years with the Australian broadcasting rights for every basketball game. Nine Network also secured a broadcasting spot once a week for FTA. The past few years have been great for the NBL as the league has captured much attention.
In the 20th season of the NBL, the National Basketball League Hall of Fame was instituted. This Hall of Fame pays tribute to the league, individual players as well as some contributors and referees. There are strict criteria to be eligible for an induction. The first is that players must have played more than 100 NBL games and have been retired from the league for 4 years. For coaches, they also have to be retired for 4 seasons and have coached NBL games for more than 10 seasons. Referees can also be inducted by being an outstanding contributor to the league and have been retired for four seasons or more. Finally, contributors to the NBL league can be inducted at any time.
The NBL is not eh largest league in the world, nor is it the most popular, but over the years, the league has been successful in gaining attention and increasing audience attendance. Fans of Baksetball in Australia can enjoy placing wagers at many of the licensed and regulated providers of gambling services in Australia inclduing Tab and Bet365.