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Jr NBA Mumbai: "Sudden" Rule Change leads to school protest
Rajhans Vidyalaya reportedly lodged an official protest against a rule that imposed a 3 point penalty against teams that featured only 3 players, instead of the maximum number of 4.
The Reliance Foundation Jr NBA 3x3 Mumbai leg concluded earlier this month, but not without a wrinkle.
While Vibgyor School won in both the boys’ U14 and girls’ U12 categories, Gokuldham and Don Bosco triumphed in the U14 girls and U12 boys sections respectively.
But it was in the U14 girls category that Rajhans Vidyalaya lodged an official protest/complaint.
The complaint registered by Rajhans Principal Ms Kala Gangadharan, a copy of which Ekalavyas has access to, alleges an “unfair rule implementation midway” that adversely affected the undermanned Rajhans Vidyalaya U14 girls team.
Due to a “last minute emergency” one player from the Rajhans team had to drop out, following which the school participated with just three players.
The complaint alleged that the competition rules stated a “maximum of 4 players per team” without mentioning any minimum number. However, despite this, on the second day of the tournament during Rajhans’ league match, with Rajhans leading 2-0, the game was paused and the following announcement was allegedly made:
“whichever team didn’t have the 4th player - such teams will be allowed to play but would be penalized 3 points in the league matches (i.e. 3 points grace to the opponent team.”
Following this rule change, Rajhans was unable to progress to the semifinals.
The complaint goes on to state that even though the school coach immediately raised objections, the team decided to keep playing “in the spirit of the game.” However, following this episode, the girls were left feeling “mentally and emotionally disturbed”.
Considering that the winners have already been announced, it is unclear if/how any remedial action can be taken at this stage. From the NBA’s standpoint, no doubt the intent behind the rule was to ensure maximum registration and participation of children in the pan-India Jr NBA program. That said, if the allegations in the complaint bear out, then it will be in everybody’s best interest to ensure that future editions are concluded smoothly.