The National Youth Basketball Open (NYBO) finals take place from July 30 to Aug 2 at Suzhou New District Cultural and Sports Center. [Photo/WeChat account: snd-szgxqfb]
The National Youth Basketball Open (NYBO) finals kicked off on July 30 at the Suzhou New District Cultural and Sports Center.
The NYBO is a year-round weekend basketball game platform for children aged 4 to 18.
Approximately 1,000 young players chosen from more than 10,000 competitors from 21 Chinese cities will fight for the championship.
Players aged 4 to 14 were grouped in two-year age brackets while others aged above 14 were divided by gender.
All the teams are expected to go through group and knockout matches, with the champions for each age bracket being decided on Aug 2.
Yao Ming, retired Chinese basketball superstar and chairman of the China Basketball Association (CBA), said at the opening ceremony that the development of basketball among youths is of great importance to the development of the game in China.
Yao hoped that more youths will take a fancy to the sport.
During the four-day contest, a series of basketball-related activities will also be organized, such as the Basketball-Star training camp, a basketball festival, and a salon, in the hope of improving these children's skills in playing basketball while enjoying the fun brought by the sport.
A forum on the Mini Basketball Game Plan will also be held, where professionals are to be invited to probe into the development of basketball among teenagers from the improvement of competition system and schedule.
The Mini Basketball Game Plan was launched by CBA in 2017, which aims to attract more children into the game with a smaller court and ball, lower nets, and simpler rules.
Parents in China are increasingly bringing their children to attend such basketball games as NYBO on weekends, which adopt standard rules and are suitable for children.
Over the past 16 weekends, more than 2,000 NYBO contests were held for over 10,000 children, of whom players aged 4 to 14 accounted for more than 90 percent.