Frequently Asked Questions's very own answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about basketball in the UK and Ireland
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Frequently Asked Questions Front
- How do I try out for a professional team ?
- I just want to play….how can I find a team near me ?
- What height should a basketball ring be ?
- What are are the dimensions of a basketball court ?
- Who governs basketball in the UK?

How do I try out for a professional team ?

Playing professionally in the British Isles is firstly affected by your nationality. There are a limited amount of roster spots available for non-nationals, and non-European Union citizens additionally must meet the criteria necessary for obtaining a work permit. Each league differs in the numbers of non-permit players it allows per team.

In the BBL, the Bosman ruling is not strictly followed and there is a maximum of three spots available per team for both nationalised or national EU citizens.

BBL British League
3 non-permit + 2 assimilated / other EU + 1 naturalised UK.
ESB Irish Men's League

ESB Irish Women's League

2 non-permit + 2 other EU player 

No Permit Players

NBL Conference and Division One (M/W)

Scottish Leagues

2 non-permit players 

No Permit players

The guidelines vary between leagues in how one meets the criteria to be eligible for a work permit, but for North Americans, at least three years of time playing at NCAA/NAIA college is a must (normally four is required). If you haven't played college hoops, you will not get a work permit.

Most teams scout at summer leagues or camps in North America to recruit players. Firstly, a video and resume should be sent to the respective teams with some independent references. Many agents now have good contacts in European basketball, but most teams are happy to be approached directly. In the UK, the Basketball Players Association also plays a role in ensuring that open competition is maintained for foreign spots.

I just want to play….how can I find a team near me ?

The best route to take is to visit your local sports centre and ask around about teams who use their facilities. Even if their level / set up is not for you, someone will usually put you in the right direction. Failing that, contact your own national/regional basketball association, and they will help you get the right contacts. The phone numbers are:

0870 77 44 225
0131 317 7260
029 20 496696
Northern Ireland 
028 9038 3817

01 459 0211

What height should a basketball ring be?

The correct height for a basketball ring from the ground is 10 feet for age 12 and upwards and 8.5 feet for Under 12’s.

What are are the dimensions of a basketball court?

FIBA regulations state that a basketball court dimensions should be 28 metres in length x 15m in width.

Local federations have the authority to approve courts with dimensions which fall within the following limits: Minimum 14m length and 12m width.

Who governs basketball in the UK?

There is no single governing body for British basketball - the upper tier of professional basketball is run by the BBL league which is owned by its 11 members clubs. 

Responsibility for development and administration of the sport is taken by the four "regional" basketball associations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with each body charged with fielding separate international teams.

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