The newly-formed Under Armour Fredericton Women's Basketball League opens its doors in May for a short-season. (Michael Carter Design)
The idea started last summer.
It comes to fruition in May.
The month-long Under Armour Riverview Ford Fredericton Women’s
Basketball League will open its inaugural season in May, featuring four teams in a competitive environment.
All four teams will play a six-game regular season leading into a semifinal playoff round and culminating
with a championship game later in May.
The idea started during a conversation at last summer’s Canada Basketball under-17 and under-15 girls’ championships in Fredericton.
Basketball New Brunswick summer employee and present-day University of New Brunswick Reds’ star Mikaela Dodig was working out and scrimmaging with some other coaches and former players from across the country during off nights at the national
She ended up discussing an idea with BNB president Brad Janes and an idea was born.
‘As a university player, we have the chance to scrimmage
a bit, but there is a lot more individual work during the off-season,’ said Dodig, who will enter her fourth year with the Reds in 2019-20. ‘We are all competitive, so there was a conversation about limited competition and the next thing you know,
we started making plans.’
Those plans revolved around player availability as the number one challenge.
With so many potential players scattering for
the summer, holding down jobs or committed to other endeavours, Dodig and Janes felt May would be the best month.
The FWBL will take the Victoria Day long weekend off, but will see Sunday games and outings
through the week on Tuesday at Thursday. The league will use the Richard J. Currie Center recreational gymnasiums, Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium and Bliss Carman Middle School.
It will open May 5 and end May
Teams include the Fredericton Wildcats, River City Titans, Capital Reds and Freddy Beach Ravens.
At stake is the Joyce Slipp Cup for the winners, named
in honour of Fredericton’s long-time player and coach and former Canadian Olympic team captain.
All games will be regulation 10-minute quarters with two officials.
‘Picking the best time of year for the games was a key initiative, but we also wanted to ensure if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right,’ said Janes. ‘Each team will have a protected list of about 12
to 15 players and most will have seven to 10 for the games. The idea is everyone wants to play, so all teams must have a minimum seven players per game. Team uniforms and a constitution are all a part of it to ensure competitive games and promote a solid product.’
Each team has a manager in charge of roster selections and all four teams are ready to go.
‘We had discussed hosting a registration, but there had been attempts
at that in the past and it just doesn’t work,’ said Janes. ‘All four managers have their players to reach out to and bring them into the fold. We know there will be some who see the league and want to play, but this is a trial season to what’s
out there. There are all kinds of possibilities, but we do believe the early spring season works best. We look forward to seeing how this all unfolds.’
There is also the possibility of the league being
involved in two tournaments, one in late May, the other in early June that would involve teams from Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, Quebec and Halifax.
A schedule will be released soon.