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Formation of the EDJBA


Canada and the Northern U.S. States are cold, especially in winter, when only the most determined people would participate in outdoor sports. In 1891, Canadian Dr James Naismith invented “basketball” to meet the needs of the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Within 10 years, the game had spread throughout the world through church groups and schools. In 1932, the International Basketball Federation, FIBA, was formed.

In Australia, state associations were firstly formed in Victoria in 1927 by an association of the YMCA, Church of England, Presbyterian and military members. South Australia and New South Wales followed in the next decade, and then the rest of the states after World War II.

In 1939, the Amateur Basketball Union of Australia was formed, which became effective after the Australian Championships in 1946. It became the 52nd member of FIBA in 1948. The Australian NBL was formed in 1979.


The EDJBA history is outlined in the March 1977 issue of Basketball Globe, published by the EDJBA:

In 1947, the Presbyterian Boys Association commenced a basketball competition in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. In 1949, a parallel competition was formed in the eastern suburbs, which culminated in the premiership teams from each competition playing off to determine the Champion of Champions. Until 1962, all games were played by just under 15 boys.

In 1963, the Presbyterian Men’s Basketball Association (PMBA) took over the running of the Junior Winter competition. At the end of the first season, a Summer competition was started between interested Clubs, who formed themselves into the Melbourne East Basketball Association (MEBA).

In 1969, most of the northern suburbs Clubs had transferred to the newly built Coburg stadium, and the PMBA and MEBA found they were mostly catering to eastern suburbs Clubs, especially with the opening of Nunawading and Bulleen stadiums in the early 1970’s. The competition had grown from 31 teams entered in 1963 to 200 team by then.

Both organisations were also involved in other activities, such as senior men and representative basketball competitions, and so agreed to the formation of the Eastern Districts Junior Basketball Association in 1973.

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