Is Basketball Safe for My Child?
There are so many benefits to enrolling your child in a kids’ sports program. Playing children’s sports with other kids their age can be fun, fulfilling, and an excellent opportunity to develop positive habits. For the best possible outcome, however, it’s essential to choose safe sports for kids that won’t put them at risk of being injured.
So, is basketball one of those sports? If you’ve only ever watched basketball played by adults or professionals on TV, you may worry that the sport is too physical. The truth is, basketball is a fantastic sport for kids. Children’s basketball is played very differently than when it’s played by adults. Below, we’ll address all the concerns you’ve likely had regarding the safety of children’s basketball, including the equipment used, the level of physical contact, and much more.
Basketball Is a Limited-Contact Sport
Basketball is technically a contact sport, but many people consider it a non-contact or limited-contact sport. The reason for this is that physical contact is largely discouraged by the rules of the game. For example, you’re not allowed to make contact with a shooter as they’re letting go of the ball. You’re also not allowed to charge people while on offence. These rules, by the way, are for a standard game of basketball played by adults.
Children’s basketball naturally has stricter rules surrounding physical contact. Things like tackling and shoving aren’t permitted. Children are also less incentivised to engage in this behaviour due to the atmosphere and environment of children’s basketball, which will be expanded on below. All to say, basketball is barely considered a contact sport when played by adults. The level of physical contact is a far cry from what you’d see in a sport like rugby or football.
Children’s Basketball Is Friendly
One of the reasons why professional basketball can get so physical is that it’s not played for fun. The athletes’ love of the game is certainly one of the reasons they play, but so is fame, glory, money, and security in their career. There are no stakes like this in children’s basketball.
The emphasis of any good children’s basketball program is on fun, friendliness, and being a good sport, not competition. There is never any animosity or competitiveness encouraged between players. Kids who participate in these programs become friends or at least friendly with all their fellow players. The idea of aggressively charging into another player goes against everything a children’s basketball program stands for.
Kids Play With Others Their Own Age
There’s really only one thing that could make children’s basketball an unsafe sport. That’s children playing with other kids much older than they are. Kids’ basketball is typically played by children ages 3 to 12. As you can imagine, having a 5-year-old playing alongside a bigger and stronger 11-year-old could lead to injury.
Thankfully, this is something every children’s basketball program is well aware of. That’s why participants are divided by age into groups. At Little Boomers Basketball, we separate children into four groups, including the Preschoolers for ages 3-4, the Mini Boomers for ages 4-5, the Little Boomers for ages 6-8, and the Mighty Boomers for ages 9-12. This makes the game safer and much fairer for everyone.
The Equipment Is Different
Kids play with different equipment than adult players. Their basketballs, for example, tend to be much smaller. This is to prevent injury on the court and to accommodate their smaller hands.
Kids can also wear knee guards, protective eyewear, and a mouthguard to protect their teeth, mouth, and tongue. The height of the rim is also adjusted to suit the height and strength of the children playing, which helps prevent kids from straining themselves beyond their capabilities.
The Game Has Evolved
Basketball is a very different game than when it was first invented by James Naismith 130 years ago. The sport has undergone several safety-related changes that have made it more appropriate for children. This includes an adjustment to out-of-bounds rules to further discourage physical contact and a limit on how many players should be on the court playing at one time. These rules remain active in the sport today, making it safer for all players regardless of age.
Little Boomers Basketball Puts Safety First
Since our founding in 2018, we at Little Boomers Basketball have dedicated ourselves to introducing basketball to kids across Australia through our fun grassroots basketball programs. Our programs, run by accredited coaches, are open to children of all skill levels and abilities. With us, kids don’t just learn how to dribble, pass, and shoot. They also learn cooperation and leadership skills, along with how to win and lose graciously.
If you’re interested in joining the Boomers Family or have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. You can get in touch with our team by calling 1300 702 719, emailing [email protected], or completing our enquiry form at your next convenience. We hope to hear from you soon.