Clubs in England, Scotland and Wales could be asked to vote their governing body out of existence if a radical agreement is reached to form a single UK-wide organisation to run the sport.

A meeting in Manchester of the British Basketball Federation – which encompasses Basketball Scotland and its counterparts in England and Wales – has agreed to consider the option in a bid to secure a place for Great Britain’s teams at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Representatives from the trio will examine a variety of alternative proposals in order to form a proposal which will go before FIBA’s Central Board next March.

The policy document, seen by MVP, sets out the various potentials paths forward, as well as the pros and cons of each.


Carry on as now, with the three Home Nations retaining their individual membership of FIBA while uniting within the British Basketball Federation.

Will England no longer officially exist?


The current formula for funding and governance remains.

The sport attracts UK Sport funding – as well as from Sport England, Wales and Scotland.

The current ‘Talent ID and Performance Pathways’ are unchanged. Avoids confusion with the basketball community and the media.

Great Britain to compete in FIBA/FIBA Europe competitions.


FIBA told MVP in the summer that the current special exception which allows a GB team to compete at senior and Under-20 levels will not continue post-2012.


The creation of a new single Britain-wide governing body, replacing the home nations.


GB able to compete annually in FIBA/FIBA Europe Competitions at all levels.

It may be possible for England, Scotland, and Wales to continue as independent NGBs with unchanged domestic responsibilities but this is being checked with the English, Scottish, and Welsh Sports Councils.

It may be possible for England, Scotland, and Wales to continue to play separately at all age group levels in official European competitions but this would require special dispensation from FIBA Europe.


Possible reduction in funding to basketball from Home Country Sports Councils and from other agencies such as Scottish Government Cash back Scheme and Scottish Sport Aid Foundation.

England, Scotland, and Wales lose their individual votes at FIBA Europe General Assembly and FIBA World Congress.

It may not be possible for England, Scotland, and Wales to continue to play separately at all age group levels in official European competitions without special dispensation from FIBA Europe.

Appointment of Technical Officials from the UK to FIBA or FIBA Europe competitions may be reduced.

Potential problems in Scotland and Wales if the Scottish/Welsh ‘Association’ does not have international recognition.


Using hockey’s model of an informal agreement between Great Britain Hockey and the Home Nation Associations.


Would leading British players show up for friendlies? (wooller.com)


May attract UK Sport high performance funding.

Could enable three Home Countries to compete at European and/or World level, with GB competing at pre-Olympic and Olympic level only.


May not attract UK Sport funding.

Official FIBA or FIBA European competitions are all linked to Olympic qualification anyway to varying degrees.

Requirement to arrange seasonal GB internationals to satisfy UK Sport’s funding agreement in non-Olympic seasons.

Scottish and Welsh players unlikely to get appropriate level of international competition outside of GB programmes.

Top players may not commit to a GB programme of only internatiinal friendlies three years out of four.

The change from Home Country to GB team programmes and the changes in personnel could seriously compromise the competitiveness of GB teams.


The pre 2005 model – only three Home Nations operating. Great Britain teams – plus BBF and British Performance Basketball – cease to exist.


England able to enter senior and Under-20 FIBA Europe competitions.

Scotland and Wales able to enter Under-20 FIBA Europe competitions.


No GB teams.

No UK Sport funding.

Very limited funding from domestic Sports Councils to support international programmes from Home Country Associations.

None of the four options are perfect. None can be executed without sacrifice. None will be simply waved through without opposition with each of the existing national governing bodies required to ratify any game-changing plans.

The three are also presently jointly examining the successful model of the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association as well as sharing information with the soon-to-be established British rugby union organisation which will determine how Team GB will be selected and prepared ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

Time, as everyone knows, is pressing on.

“We have until the end of the year to discuss it,” said BBF chairman Bill McInnes.

“By then, we’ll have exhausted every option but between the three boards and British Basketball, we have a few preferred options.”

What do you think is the  best way forward? Let us know below.

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