WEBBA - West of England Basketball Association
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Basketball History

Basketball was invented in the United States at what is now Springfield College, Massachusetts. At the time Springfield College was the International YMCA Training School and the game was first introduced to a class of trainee YMCA Leaders.

At the time there was a need for a gymnasium activity to offset the flagging interest in apparatus work and freestanding exercise used during the winter months. Canadian Dr. James Naismith, one of the staff at the college, in an effort to make his classes more appealing, introduced various recreational games, such as Association Football, American Football and Lacrosse but each game presented a problem in the confined space of the 65" x 45"(20m x 14m) Springfield YMCA gymnasium.

Naismith gave this problem a considerable amount of thought and decided that the solution lay in taking different factors from known games and combining them to produce a new game. The main features of the game invented by Naismith were:

a team game
a ball handling game without the use of any implement
the ball was easy to handle, round, light and difficult to conceal
a game played indoors
no tackling
to offset the no tackling, players were not permitted to run with the ball
skill required to score, therefore, the target was placed above head height
equal opportunity for each team
game that demanded skill rather than strength to succeed
game easy to learn
a game anybody could play

The first game of Basketball was played in mid-December 1891 at the YMCA gymnasium in Springfield. The goals for this game were peach baskets fixed to the balcony at each end of the gymnasium. Naismith, with a Physical Education Class of 18 members, tried out the game so first game was between two teams of nine a side.

WEBBA - West of England Basketball Association


In the 1950s the Bristol Basketball League was formed and in its early days consisted of just four or five teams. These seem to have included Schoolmasters, St Mary Redcliffe (not the Redcliffe club currently playing), and a team called Iskra, the Spark, drawn from the Polish community which developed in Bristol during and after the Second World War. Other teams joined including KBI which was set up in 1957. Further expansion saw the inclusion of teams from further afield such as Newport and RAF Locking.


As the League grew to include teams from outside Bristol, the Bristol Basketball League was transformed into the West of England Basketball Association in the early 1960s. One of its major objectives, as defined in its constitution and as recognized by the English Basketball Association, (now styled England Basketball) is


To act as the controlling body in the area defined by EB as the West of England Area.


Since then WEBBA has had the dual functions of acting as this controlling body and organizing local competitive basketball. These functions have been largely intertwined, although some disentanglement has taken place in recent years.


By the 1970s, the men's league had grown to three divisions and now normally comprises about 30 teams. A women's league has been formed with two divisions at one time, though currently there is only one. Participating teams come (or have come) from a wide area – Swindon to the East, Yeovil and Taunton to the South, Cardiff to the West and Cheltenham to the North. In addition to the leagues, WEBBA organizes cup, plate and trophy competitions and runs courses for coaches, referees and table officials at intervals.


In addition to KBI and Newport, other clubs which have played in WEBBA competitions for 30 years or more include Aces, Worle, Empees, Lockleaze (beginning as Bristol Celtics and playing as Tropic for a couple of years), Olympiad, Totterdown and Bristol University. KBI has undoubtedly been the most consistently successful club (though it has sometimes played as Yate Windows and Gardiner Haskins), having been Division 1 champions on 14 occasions and Cup winners 19 times.


In the last eight years National League basketball has come regularly to the area, starting with Bristol Bombers which migrated around various venues in Bristol before moving to Bath University and becoming Team Bath Romans. Bath lasted until the end of the 2005-6 season, never really having survived the move east. By that time, a renewed Bristol Bombers had been established in Bristol, becoming Flyers after the events of 7/7. The team moved to WISE when it opened and now plays as Bristol Academy Flyers in NL Division 1. Both the Bath and Bristol teams have included many local players who have continued to represent clubs which play in WEBBA, bringing a sharper edge to many WEBBA Division 1 games and contributing to the development of basketball in the Are. WEBBA has enjoyed cordial relations and cooperation with both of these clubs.
Previous Winners


Cup Plate Trophy Division 1 / Playoff Division 2 / Playoff Division 3 / Playoff Division 4 Fair Play Womens Div 1 Womens Cup Womens Trophy
      Bristol Uni A   Wheatsheaf          
1962-3       Bristol Uni A   Squirrels          
1963-4       RAF Locking A   Monarks          
1964-5       RAF Locking A   Venturers          
1965-6       Bristol Mormons   KBI B          
1966-7 KBI A     Wheatsheaf A   Patchway CA          
1967-8 KBI A     KBI   Manor Farm          
1968-9 Newport YMCA     Newport YMCA   Wheatsheaf B          
1969-70 Newport YMCA     RAF Locking A   Eagles          
1970-1 Locking A     RAF Locking A   Percy Boys Club          
1971-2 KBI     KBI   Wimpey          
1972-3 Bristol Uni A     Bristol Uni A   Bristol Poly A          
1973-4 KBI     KBI   Beachley Argonauts          
1974-5 Totterdown     KBI   Worle          
1975-6 KBI     KBI   Monks Park          
1976-7 KBI     KBI   Newport          
1977-8 KBI     KBI   Squirrels          
1978-9 KBI     Bristol Uni A   Bradford Youth          
1979-80 Gardner Haskins     Gardner Haskins   Aces          
1980-1 Gardner Haskins     Gardner Haskins   Wootton Bassett          
1981-2 Gardner Haskins Worle   Gardner Haskins   Eagles          
1982-3 Gardner Haskins     Gardner Haskins   Lawrence Weston          
1983-4 Cotham 29ers Worle Worle KBI Worle Yate Royals          
1984-5 Yate Windows Newport   Silvery 29ers Bath University Lawrence Weston          
1985-6 Yate Windows Empees Bath University Tropic Aces Lawrence Weston          
1986-7 Tropic A     Tropic A Newport Bedminster          
1987-8 Yate Windows Lockleaze B Frome Keynsham 29ers Warminster Redcliffe 84          
Keynsham 29ers Bristol Uni A Frome Flintstones Lockleaze A Archway Supplies A&S Police          
1989-90 Yate Windows A&S Police Worle Keynsham 29ers Redcliffe 84 Underwood          
1990-1 Lockleaze A Newport   Keynsham 29ers Empees A&S Police          
1991-2 KBI Lockleaze B   Lockleaze A Keynsham Sports Lockleaze B          
1992-3 Cheltenham Lockleaze B Newport Lockleaze A Bath University Glastonbury          
1993-4 Cheltenham Hengrove   Cheltenham
Worle Pill Davlan        
1994-5 Cheltenham     Taunton Olympiad Pill Davlan A Bradford on Avon        
1995-6 Taunton Tigers Lockleaze B Backwell Taunton Bath University Black Hawks Backwell        
1996-7 Taunton Tigers Empees Bradford on Avon Cheltenham Empees Backwell Gordano Giants        
1997-8 Cheltenham Lockleaze Breeze UWE Cheltenham Clarendon Hawks Bristol Uni C No competition        
1998-9 Cheltenham Gordano Giants Gordano Giants Cheltenham
South West Eagles
Gordano Giants No competition A&S Police      
1999-2000 Taunton Tigers Olympiad Trowbridge Hawks Stroud UWE Firsts Wells No competition Redcliffe B      
2000-1 Taunton Tigers Olympiad Aces Stroud Aces No competition No competition Worle      
2001-2 Stroud Worle Wells Wolves Stroud Taunton Academy No competition No competition Wells      
2002-3 Bath University Taunton Academy Taunton Academy Stroud Worle No competition No competition Redcliffe B      
2003-4 KBI A Wells Warriors Empees Stroud Bristol University Wells No competition Newport Knights      
2004-5 KBI A Pirates Wizards KBI A Trowbridge Hawks Worle No competition Worle      
2005-6 Ravens A Worle Worle Ravens A Filton College Aces No competition A&S Police      
2006-7 KBI A Pirates A Wizards A KBI Cavaliers Nailsea No competition A&S Police      
2007-8 Trowbridge UWE Phoenix Filton 2 KBI Newport Totterdown No competition Pirates B      
2008-9 Filton 1 Pirates B Pirates B Filton 1 Braves II Cavaliers 2 No competition CAB Storm      
2009-10 Cavaliers 1 Filton 2 Trowbridge Cavaliers 1 Pirates A Pirates B No competition Pirates B & Trowbridge B   No Competition Filton Thunder
2010-11 Cavaliers 1 Pirates B Pirates B Cavaliers 1 & Playoffs

Braves II

Pirates B Playoffs

Swindon Shock & Playoffs No competition Pirates B Firestorm Firestorm Swindon Sonics
2011-12 Cavaliers 1 Cavaliers 2 Trowbridge Lockleaze Renegades & Playoffs Swindon Shock Lockleaze Old Boys No competition Lockleaze Old Boys Swindon Sonics Swindon Sonics Firestorm
2012-13 University of Bath & Trowbridge A Thunderstorm Swindon Shock 1 University of Bath & Trowbridge A Braves II Calne No competition Swindon Shock University  Firestorm Phoenix Flames Phoenix Flames
2013-14 Swindon Shock 1 Lockleaze Old Boys Swindon Shock 1 Swindon Shock 1 Wizards Lockleaze Old Boys No competition Speedwell Phoenix Flames Mavericks Icestorm
2014-15 Swindon Shock 1 Lockleaze Old Boys Bristol Bulls Lockleaze Renegades North Somerset Comets 1 Swindon Silverbacks No competition North Somerset Comets 2 Braves Firestorm Bantams
2015-2016 Braves I No competition Weston Raiders Empees A Lockleaze Mohawks No competition No competition   Braves No Competition Braves
2016-2017 Bath University No competition  North Somerset Comets Bath University Olympus Jets Wiltshire Wolves No competition   Braves No Competition Firestorm
2017-2018 Hengrove Park  Braves I  Braves II Hengrove Park North Somerset Comets Bristol Met No Competition   Firestorm    *Invitational Firestorm

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