Basketball Australia has announced a condensed men’s National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL) with regular season matches set to be held in four cities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
After the 2020 campaign was cancelled due to the global health crisis, Basketball Australia has agreed to adopt a "cluster" format to ensure fixtures are completed as preparation for the rearranged Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
With the season scheduled to start on May 28, 30 games are set to take place over four weekends in Wollongong, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
Darwin is then due to stage the entire Finals Series from July 16 to 18.
The Spinners, featuring members of the Australian under-23 squad, are set to compete in the tournament along with Queensland Spinning Bullets, Perth Wheelcats, Sydney Metro Blue Hornets, and reigning champions Wollongong Rollerhawks.
The 2019 edition included seven teams with the Rollerhawks claiming a third successive title.
The fixture for the 2021 National Wheelchair Basketball League has been released, with the season to tip off the weekend of 28 – 30 May.— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) May 7, 2021
Read the full announcement and view fixture👉 https://t.co/YUy8GQaJbO#WeAreBasketball pic.twitter.com/FqRAHTYkCF
It is hoped the new five-team NWBL season will serve as important preparation for the delayed Paralympics, scheduled to take place from August 24 to September 5, as well as other major wheelchair basketball events planned for this year.
"Basketball Australia is delighted to be able to confirm that the National Wheelchair Basketball League for men is going ahead in a condensed, cluster format in 2021," said Leigh Gooding, general manager for game development and wheelchair programmes at Basketball Australia.
"After the league was cancelled last year due to border restrictions and the lockdown in Victoria, everyone is eager and raring to go this year.
"With the Paralympics fast approaching, this year’s league is vital to the Rollers’ preparations and will see athletes pushing for selection in the final team for Tokyo.
"The Australian Under-23 squad, the Spinners will also be one of the teams in this year’s league, which will provide additional competition for the country’s emerging athletes and all competing in the competition.
"We are very much looking forward to the commencement of the 2021 National Wheelchair Basketball League later this month."