CLASSIC forms of our old-time favourite sports no longer quite fit us like they used to do.
Our appetite for consuming and playing sports has dramatically evolved. We need our favourites to keep up with the speed of our modern lives. We need them to innovate to keep our attention in a world where we have so many sports clamouring for our attention to get moving.
Country tennis in Buninyong is the latest in the region where officials are trying something new.
A new on-demand booking system does away with keys or shared pin codes. Online bookings will produce individualised codes for a session with automated lights shining in that allocated period.
It is convenience hit when you want it. There is no need to feel locked in week after week to determined competition times. There is no need to have to pay club fees, or even be part of a club.
It is a taster of an old favourite but underneath it all, tennis hopes you might want it back.
This is an initiative Tennis Australia is serving up in country associations across the nation in a bid to get more people back on courts with their racquets.
Tennis is not the only sport trying this casual burst approach.
Street basketball (three-on-three hustle) will be up for medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, largely in a bid to attract a younger fan base to the pinnacle of multi-sport festivals.
Basketball Ballarat stated its intentions late last month to make a play for the purpose-built half-courts to become part of the redeveloped Ballarat Sports and Events Centre precinct.
Such courts, accessible to the public, offer a wealth of opportunities. Basketball participation is booming, particularly in the Ballarat region, and this adds a taste and pathway to the FIBA-approved abbreviated format which also has creds in the National Basketball League ranks – even AFL Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney is interested in play.
More importantly, such courts entice more people to pick up the game and promote a sense of community.
Canberra was the first city to open purpose-built 3x3 stages for the community in June last year.
Basketball ACT chief Michael Haynes said those who tend to rock up are at-risk youth, just wanting to shoot around with friends, and university students who might have played as a junior but for cost, time and a transient lifestyle, had dropped the ball.
Netball Victoria, in partnership with VicHealth, runs a Rock Up Netball program along a similar casual concept in venues across Ballarat. The aim is to introduce young girls and women to the game in a stress-free, inclusive environment without feeling like they have to commit every week.
This is not about packing up classic sports we love, but repackaging them to better fit modern lifestyles and keep more people involved
Classic forms, like pennant tennis, are still important to communities but this is also about playing smarter. All sports must keep evolving to stay in the bigger game of participation for long-term survival.