The Manjimup Amateur Basketball Association is gearing up to start its 2023-2024 season, with fixtures starting on October 9. Junior boys teams will play on Monday from 4.30pm to 8.30pm and the junior girl teams will play on Tuesday from 4:30pm to 8:30pm. The senior men’s teams play on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7pm to 8:30pm, while the senior women’s A-grade and B-grade teams will play from 6pm to 8pm at the Manjimup Recreation Centre. Manjimup Basketball Association president Aaron Pedlar said the competition had some upgrades, including electronic scoring and statistics, due to sponsorship from Mitre 10 and Retravision, and more teams registering. “This year, we’ve got sponsorship from Mitre 10 and Retravision, and all our scoring will be electronic courtside scoring, and anyone can go see their stats at PlayHQ and we’ve got iPads instead of the paper scoresheets,” he said. “In the men’s division, the teams are steady and they’ve remained the same, but the women’s teams have chopped and changed and we now have seven A-grade teams, instead of the three or four we had in previous years. “I’m really happy that the women have solved that issue, and moved around to give the competition a more even and fair go, with seven A-grade and seven B-grade teams, which at this stage looks pretty good.” Mr Pedlar said some of the juniors would have been playing for 12 consecutive months by the time the summer competition came around, which was new for some of them and he was excited to see how they would fare. “I’m excited to see how the juniors, especially the Timberwolves rep teams, will go as a number of kids have been playing basketball for twelve months now, since they played Term 2 and Term 3, which they’ve never done before,” he said. “Term 2, we ran the juniors skill 3-on-3 junior competition and that maxed out to 50 kids, and then we spent the last nine weeks training kids for all the representative Timberwolves teams,” About 80 Aussie Hoops kids, 270 juniors and 27 senior teams will be participating in the basketball season this spring and summer, which Mr Pedlar noted as a “growth from last year”. “I’m excited to see how the women’s competition will go with the team changes, but the men’s competition is as even as it has been for years,” he said. The number of committee members and officers helping organise the competition helped the smooth pacing of arranging teams and preparing for the upcoming season, which Mr Pedlar noted. “It’s been very smooth, since we’ve got 17 committee members and everyone does their job there, so it’s been busy but everyone’s got a role to play,” he said. “Tammy Crosby’s been very busy since she’s the association development officer, so she’s handling the rep teams, and you’ve got Ken Roberts, Rachel Butcher and Jodie Miller who are the senior co-ordinators and met with all the senior captains, and Nicole Evans is running the juniors.” He said he was also excited to see how the Timberwolves representative teams played during regional carnival season, with Manjimup hosting their regional under-18 carnival on October 29, before they compete in other towns. “I think in a regional sense, the teams going to be a lot more competitive and we have regional carnivals through October,” Mr Pedlar said. “We’re hosting the under-18s on the 29th of October, which is a massive fundraiser bonus for us, and then the teams travel to Eaton, Harvey, and around the region before playing at Country Champs in Perth during February.” Mr Pedlar also said he believed that through the coaching and training given in the past months, the teams would benefit competitively in the season. “There’s been a lot more focus on fundamentals and the kids have been starting to see the benefits of fundamentals, of footwork, passing, spacing and movement and once they get into the season, they’ll start reaping the benefits of how fundamentals pay off in gameplay,” he said.