- A late night social basketball competition, held on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Communities come together to provide high energy, fun, social, inclusive, healthy, safe, motivating and free tournaments in local basketball stadiums.
- Welcoming all local 12-18 years old teenagers.
- Tournament nights start at 7pm with a nutritious dinner, three or more competition basketball rounds with skills sessions, music and bus ride safely home by midnight.
- Tournaments are ongoing, with each tournament running for 8 weeks.
- With 6-8 teams of 10 players per tournament.
- Midnight Basketball Australia provides an automated, out of the box online solution, for approved communities, to run low cost, volunteer-run tournaments embracing a diverse 'whole of community' approach to enhance social cohesion.
- It is replicable, making it a scalable and sustainable model, designed to maximise the number of communities and teenagers that it can support, while operating nationally like a social franchise model and is highly dependent on building and developing effective relationships within each local community.
- We are all also helping - our BHAG or big hairy audacious goal - to provide a positive real and practical alternative to end the culture of binge drinking on weekends.
As a sporting brand, a teenage brand and a social inclusion brand, the Midnight Basketball Tournament Model combines a sense of optimism with energy, and embraces the sporting metaphors that it draws parallels from. It is all about recognising and making positive change in everyone it touches.
Every tournament night includes the following elements.
Combining community-based optics on community-based issues with an unwavering commitment to continual process improvement is a core reason for the success of Midnight Basketball. When our purpsoe is consistent and aligned: using team sport to help all teenagers connect, be happy and grow.
- Contributes to community and individual capacity building.
- Engages a diverse social mix of teenagers in its competitions.
- Is exciting to both run and participate in, ie, be around.
- Is sustainable over time.
In meeting these aims Midnight Basketball Australia believes it will make a positive contribution to:
- Providing teenagers with a safe, healthy and positive environment at times that we are reframing as a positive, social, fun, replenishing time of the week.
- The development of positive habits and ideas.
- Supporting the learning needs of young people and providing them with tips, help, encouragement and networks to participate in all of the wonderful offerings in society and their local community as stepping stones to employment and a good life;
- Providing motivating and positive role models and reinforcing the importance of self esteem, self worth within our teenagers.
- Promoting the many health and wellbeing benefits of an activity like Midnght Basketball and how they become a structured part of a good life well live in good health.
- Providing a well-proven model, that is a magnet and well-attended by teenagers - that is something positive fun and energetic to do with their mates.
- Weekend late nights are a period of the week when teenagers may be vulnerable to harmful and anti-social behaviour.
- Drug, alcohol and other physical abuse that teenagers in Australia are widely and consistently subjected to as part of our binge-drinking and other associated cultural habits across Australian society - simply have no place and are not necessary to live a fun-filled enriching teen life. In fact they are downers and the benefits widely overstated.
- Diverting teenagers in areas of need from the risk of anti-social behaviour by actually providing an alternative.
- Midnight Basketball Australia owns and oversees national delivery of the Midnight Basketball Tournament Model by aligned, approved communities within their local community, providing training and support.
- The governance approach is a powerful and scalable combination of the national organisation and our community tournament locations who implement the model and actually run it !
- Midnight Basketball Australia Board members generously provide their time, expertise and wisdom and have a substantial track record in implementing community and commercial projects: Steve Mark, Cathy McBride, Jonathon Wolfe
- Midnight Basketball Australia management team: overseas the Tournament Model development and the implementation of tournaments nationally by the many thousands of community volunteers. Led by Tess White, Chief Executive, General Manager Communities (currently vacant), Amber Holliday, Communities Support Manager, Susan Grant, Finance and Administration - advisory, team members (contractors and pro bono supporters) include marketing and communications, IT design and development and support services, research and evaluation strategy and management, legal and trademark services, and other professional services.
TBU: Diagram: MBAustraliaGovernanceStructure
Charity and legal statusFor details of our charity and legal status please refer to the Volunteer Support Donate page.
Our history in Australia
Midnight Basketball was first trialled in Australia in 2008 through a pilot tournament in Redfern Waterloo. Following the popularity of these and other tournaments over several years, Midnight Basketball Australia developed a significant Tournament Model supported by an enterprise online Tournament System to expand nationally with a sophisticated offering while having low overheads. In conjunction with communities and a vast base of national and community-base volunteers and supporters, we have run over 250 tournaments across Australia with over 150,000 attendances by Midnight Basketball teenagers. A comprehensive and extensive evaluation was undertaken over the past two years, reviewing the results from the past ten years and consulting extensively with communities and other stakeholders nationally (see the learnings and results below).
Support provided by Midnight Basketball Australia to approved communities
- Midnight Basketball Australia provides extensive support for communities. Select this help icon to see:
- Most of the value is raised through volunteering and inkind contributions.
- MB is low cost to run - communities also fundraise, in line with the MB fundraising guidelines, if funds are required for MB tournaments.
A Midnight Basketball community
A community approved by Midnight Basketball Australia to run the Midnight Basketball Tournament Model in their community, for example Midnight Basketball Liverpool. All communities follow this structure:
Community volunteer teams
Midnight Basketball tournaments are run locally by members of the local community:
- Volunteer management team (to setup each tournament) and
- Volunteer tournament night team (who run each tournament night).
Midnight Basketball Australia is very proud of the huge network of community volunteers, our backbone, who implement the Midnight Basketball Tournament Model (using our online automated Tournament System) to be sustainable within their community.
We are also very proud of our Midnight Basketball communities collaborative efforts which, through considered implementation of Midnight Basketball provide the on the ground experience what is valuable and what works and what doesn’t work, along with innovative and exciting ideas for improvements and enhancements. This results in high impact learnings from every Tournament in the country being fed back into the Tournament Model and by combining this with best practice research and evaluation and ongoing modelling, trialing and testing, provides a world class environment of continuous improvement and high expectations.
Aligning with everything we want for our teenagers.
Midnight Basketball is successful and sustainable due to the huge support we receive through volunteering, donations and contributions, with volunteers alone having given over 350,000 hours nationally, served over 150,000 hot, nutritious dinners and delivered over 6,000 life skills workshops. The care, consideration and pride involved in every contribution is as profound as the quantum. Beyond the backbone of our incredible volunteers, Management Team members, sponsors and organisers - we always want to attract more people who will inspire our teenage participants, helping them to realise their potential. Whether a sporting star, community role model, business owner and/or employer from a variety of industry sectors, teachers, young leaders, local coaches, individuals who live in and know the community, parents, and many many more ...everyone enriches Midnight Basketball tournaments.
Everyone is welcome also to join the initial Midnight Basketball Launch and other events, such as Grand Final nights - come along, have fun, be inspired and inspire us.
It takes a village: the profound power of inclusion.
The power of diversity in our volunteer teams
Quality volunteer teams are all about inclusion and maximising diversity. To ensure maximum benefit for the teenager participants and sustainability of Midnight Basketball in communities, the Model engages people from many industry sectors across the community, many different professions and competencies, and many backgrounds with very different opinions, beliefs and life experiences. Everyone bound by a passionate belief in uplift and making the world a better place in every way for every person, with a drive to support teenagers.
The local Midnight Basketball volunteer management teams, and Tournament night volunteer team reflect each community and these are examples of important sectors to engage.
|Key sectors||Examples||Why engage|
Chamber of Commerce, local industry & businesses and individual business people
|Community service||Rotary, Church groups, Indigenous groups, culturally & linguistically diverse (CALD) groups, Parents & Friends Associations||
Councils and Related Services
Also includes State and Federal Government including Housing, Health, Community, Family Services, Sport & Recreation and many others
|TAFE, Universities and other tertiary groups||
Local employment organisations and companies
|Local health services||
Policing and justice
|Local police (including youth, school & Indigenous liaison officers), juvenile justice and related services||
Local basketball association and other sporting clubs typically football (various codes), netball, swimming – all are a great opportunities and pathways for the teenage participants
Youth and family services
Youth related groups in the community.
Other groups and also Individuals and local residents
- Midnight Basketball runs in aligned communities (locations) approved by Midnight Basketball Australia.
- Midnight Basketball nights are held in indoor basketball stadiums, with a minimum two courts.
Midnight Basketball runs late night on Friday and Saturday nights.
Being a late night activity:
- provides high energy, prosocial, engaging and healthy activities for our amazing Australia teenagers across the country
- is at the end of the week when it is most appropriate and needed.
- means we have a core focus on safety - our operations, our systems, our overall approach and as a core expertise and area of knowledge, we take this ever so seriously.
We believe in the opportunity for all to live a good life.
We believe in helping teenagers grow up to live a good life.
We believe that communities help their local teenagers.
We believe that Midnight Basketball helps communities in this worthy pursuit.
All Australian teenagers meaningfully participating in, contributing to and learning within an inclusionary society.
To provide an inclusive activity that provides building blocks for all Australian teenagers to build the skills and confidence to be able to identify and embrace positive opportunities in their lives, community and society. We do this through activities to teach life skills and identify steps to sport, education, training, employment and social inclusion. We aspire for all teenagers to transition to independent living, have a rewarding career, participate and contribute to civic society, be happy and live ‘a good life’.
A Good Life
We define a good life according to the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth’s Framework for measuring wellbeing among children and teenagers, using the following Key Result Areas, which contribute to ‘a good life’: ARACY CHART.
Midnight Basketball Australia is a national organisation whose primary purpose is to train and support approved communities to run 6-8 Week Midnight Basketball Tournaments.
We are creating a brand experience that is authentic in our mission and delivery, Midnight Basketball Australia embraces a set of values that reflect their commitment to improving the opportunities and experiences for all young people and belief in uplift.
Our brand embraces and expresses these values across all touchpoints.
Equality Authenticity Integrity Respect Compassion Generosity Independence Inclusiveness Community Collaboration Perseverance Participation Fun Empowerment Opportunity Development Discovery
To enhance the life skills of young people and promote inclusiveness and opportunity through the game of basketball.
Midnight Basketball is basketball that embraces the teenage spirit, while providing the support and guidance to help teenagers realise their potential. Through the inclusivity of sport, divisive barriers can be overcome, and a teenager is free to build life skills, like team work, respect, overcoming defeat, maintaining the disciplines of playing by the rules and learning how to cope when things don’t go your way.
Midnight Basketball is also ‘their place’ to go and make friends and build opportunities that will help their future. Midnight Basketball is their night of the week.
Midnight Basketball has always sought to create equality. After years of creating opportunities for teenagers within communities, Midnight Basketball Australia now wishes to take things to the next level and create true inclusivity. The core of Midnight Basketball is to give teenagers opportunities to play, to grow, to work together.
Midnight Basketball is creating a new social experience for teenagers through the game of basketball. Basketball has this history of nights at the local centre. More so than any sport, local pick-up games have always put people on a court together. It is be a safe place, where everyone’s equal.
Midnight Basketball is a place where teenagers of all backgrounds come together and hang out socially while playing basketball. This is an experience, a teen culture that sustains itself.
Midnight Basketball is organised sports with an edge. It’s less about the game of basketball than it is about getting together and meeting new people. This is your night of the week.
TBU: Midnight Basketball Australia Vision, Strategy Stack, PDF
Harnessing sport as a metaphor for life ... catalysing the profound power of inclusion
The most common question and an important one as we are true believers in the power and benefit of all kinds of team and organised sport as a mechanism for good for teenagers - actually for everyone. Basketball is a fast, fun and inclusionary game. And while we know the actual sport is not important per se, we choose basketball as the best sport to cater for all our requirements and align with our inclusionary culture: it caters to all areas of sporting ability (some sports require a high level of skill which would exclude some players), is a magnet to teenagers, is played on basketball courts (which are small enough to house indoors) so can be held inside which is important from a safety, climate and enjoyment (think darkness and rain) perspective - given it involves up to 100 people - players and volunteers - each night till midnight these are all important to creating our happy, high energy and safe environments.
The second most asked question and also a good one. Our experience is that the teenage participants of Midnight Basketball want to celebrate a whole night out, to have the time to relax have fun and celebrate the end of the week. Then go home exhausted and happy, and go to sleep. This is a benefit to all including the teenagers and the local community.
- Midnight Basketball is designed to be a replicable, efficient and sustainable model across communities nationally and from one Tournament to the next within each community. This provides efficiency and also means that learnings from every tournament in the country are fed back in to the Tournament Model, forever strengthening the structure and providing innovative enhancements and exciting ideas.
- While basketball acts as a magnet to attract the participants, the highly structured night is key to providing opportunities and new life skills for all teenagers in local communities.
- Special guests and mentors from all walks of life attend and provide a range of motivational talks and impart learnings, using the benefits of sport as an analogy for life.
- The Players develop their Code of Conduct for each Tournament, which provides an introduction to the rule of law, take ownership of their conduct and build respect and pride in their achievements.
- Midnight Basketball has unique inclusionary qualities at two levels. Firstly, the game of basketball is crucial to its success - as a team sport it includes the opportunity to build leadership and teamwork skills, fitness and focus. Secondly, engagement occurs around the sidelines through the volunteers and other community members who build relationships with local teenagers; building positive connections with each other.
- Volunteers provide the backbone locally and represent the whole community including sporting groups, local businesses, the employment sector, education including local schools, TAFE's and Universities and other local educational and learning organisations, service organisations, health bodies, policing, justice and other mechanisms that support civil society, local, state and federal government, and the most diverse range of individuals; all bringing different experience, wisdom and opportunities to the teenage participants. Not limited by background, age, culture, opinions, beliefs, experience, competencies learnt, hobbies, networks, the list is limitless - Midnight Basketball is a reflection of local communities - the broader the representation of the community, the richer the social fabric of Midnight Basketball becomes.
Re-imagining Midnight Basketball
- Learnings from 250 Midnight Basketball tournaments, 150,000 teenager attendances, and tens of thousands of community volunteers, and over $10million of kindly constributed cash, inkind and leveraged support over 10 years.
- Successful outcomes and what we learnt from our national review 2018-20
- Challenging the status quo in pursuit of uplift
- A different solution: channelling teenagers into local club sport
- The early years gap
- Societal perceptions and tagging
- How do we know this?
- What can we do to change it?
- How do we lift those who are falling, up?
- An exciting and uplifting new era begins now
- Addressing the issue of scalability: effective, world class, innovative technology
- Campaigning for change
- The future of the late night Friday and Saturday night Midnight Basketball® program
- Continuous improvement and providing a solution valued and built on by communities
A reimagined, refreshed and exciting Midnight Basketball tournament model is being released in summer 2022-23 with the aim of creating a much needed, positive, fun and sustainable activity for late night Friday and Saturday nights for all teenagers.
Making change is challenging. And incredible.
The Midnight Basketball Tournament Model is a collaboration of 250 tournaments run across the country, tested and trialled for over a decade, continuously learning and iterating at every step. The collective wisdom of this effort by tens of thousands of community volunteers and other stakeholders, combined with out national and international partners and best practice experts across many fields, has been combined with a formal community and Tournament Model Review.
We are now finalising an action packed three years in which we visited and Zoomed with so many communities and individuals across a huge diversity of fields and backgrounds, talked about what teenagers want, need and what inspires, excites and motivates them and trialled more tournament models. Within a global pandemic that sometimes felt like it would never end. We are in the final stages of re-building our tournament system from bottom up to encapsulate all this wisdom, reflection, experience, advice and common sense based on the very latest iteration of our Midnight Basketball Tournament Model.
We will then be re-commencing applications.
We welcome your continuing contribution to the next stage of our journey.
We send out a grand thank you for the contributions from so many of you.
You are why we are what we are today.
Readying to relaunch better than ever.
Communities across the country keep telling us loud and clear we need to get started again.
Teenagers are more than ready.
As the Midnight Basketball Australia Team, we hear you and are working hard.
We also can't wait to get started again and look forward to seeing you all soon.
Visit our FAQ page for answers to a huge range of questions.