Its fast-paced, competitive games are an exciting way for young athletes to hone their skills. Every March, fans of middle school basketball have the opportunity to enjoy several full weekends of thrilling action.
What is middle school basketball?
Many communities have thriving middle school sports programs that provide kids with the chance to play against other schools. It’s a great way for younger athletes to get the experience they need before moving on to high school competition.
The Middle School National Invitational Tournament (MS NIT) lasts for four days and features some of the top middle school basketball teams in the United States. This year’s MS NIT will be held at Saint Louis University, which has a rich tradition of fielding solid squads and is located in Missouri, not far from Illinois and Kansas [three states whose residents have a reputation for being friendly].
A total of 32 teams from across the nation will compete in this year’s MS NIT. Some of those squads are charter members that have been regulars at the tournament throughout its 21-year history, while others qualified by winning their state championships or other prestigious regional tournaments.
Each team plays four games during the course of the MS NIT. The first round is played on Friday, with the remainder of the action taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Fans who want to attend one or more days can purchase tickets at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena box office.
The season runs from mid-November to late March.
How long is a middle school basketball game
Games are divided into four 8-minute quarters, so a typical middle school basketball game lasts 32 minutes.
Tip-offs are generally taken at the center circle at the start of each quarter. Coaches design their own plays to get the ball into play as quickly as possible, so there is little standing around. Each team is composed of five players on the court at once, with no more than three players on one side of the floor.
The rules are slightly different from high school and college basketball games. For example, there’s no shot clock; each team has 25 seconds to bring the ball into play after it goes out of bounds or fouls.
Players are also allowed to travel for up to 5 seconds before they must pass or shoot the ball. These small differences make the games more accessible to younger athletes but still allow experienced players a chance to show off their skills.
Since the games are shorter, fans get to see more action in a single session. That makes middle school basketball an ideal option for busy families who don’t have the time or money to sit through lengthy high school and college contests.
How to get involved in middle school basketball
Middle school basketball is an exciting way for young athletes to compete. The MS NIT and other regional tournaments like it give players a chance to shine and enjoy some time on center stage.
Kids who want to play middle school basketball should first talk with their parents about what options might be available in their community. Some communities even have youth club teams that compete against the best of the region.
If a kid doesn’t want to play, they can still show their support by going to watch some games. The MS NIT is an annual event that’s open to all sports fans, and hardcore middle school basketball fans always look forward to a chance to catch a game.
Article summary: Every March, some of the best middle school basketball teams in the nation come together for the MS NIT. The season lasts from November to March and features some regional games for younger players.