Rezball, short for "reservation ball," is the avidly followed Native American version of basketball, particularly a style of play specific to Native American teams of some areas.

Style of play

Rezball is transition-based basketball that forces tempo with aggressive play, quick scoring (or at least shooting) and assertive defense that looks to force turnovers through pressing or half-court traps. There are slight variations from program to program. Keys to a good rezball offensive play are sound fundamentals and being in very good condition. Many Native Americans adapted to basketball to bring them together with each other and is their way to overcome strife on the reservation.


The Apache, Pueblo and Navajo tribes in northeastern Arizona and northwesthern New Mexico are home to several high schools. In these areas basketball is very important. In Arizona, three of the top six largest crowds at a boys' basketball game are rezball games (regardless of school size), with one of the two games tied for the highest-ever attendance being a game between Apache and Navajo schools.

Arizona's Native American largest high school arenas are; the Mustang Arena (Monument Valley) holds 5,000, the Warrior Pavilion (Tuba City) holds 5,000, the Ganado Pavilion (Ganado) hosts 5,500, the Wildcat Den (Chinle) holds 6,000, and the Bee Holdzil Fighting Scouts Events Center (Window Rock) which holds over 6,500. These massive arenas draw large crowds from all around the reservation. The border town teams for Arizona are Winslow, Holbrook and Page—which consists mainly of Native Americans.[1] Some other examples of the intense following of basketball in this region were noted in February 2013 by a writer for, the high school arm of First, early in the month, the Wildcat Den hosted an Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) sectional tournament featuring four boys' and four girls' reservation teams. Even though neither Chinle High team participated in the sectional, more than 12,000 attended over the two-day event, with hundreds of fans arriving hours before the doors opened to get the best seats.[1] The scheduling of the AIA's state tournament later that month at the venue then known as Arena in Glendale, home to the NHL's Arizona Coyotes, also reflected rezball influence. In most states that host multiple state championship games at one site, the last game scheduled is the boys' championship game in the largest enrollment class. Here, however, the marquee slot was reserved for the girls' title game in Class 3A (the state's largest schools are in Class 5A)—a classification that has traditionally been dominated by reservation schools.[1]

New Mexico has produced many high schools that are nationally ranked by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) according to the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA)--for producing over 100 State Championships combined, from numerous high schools. New Mexico functions each year on building tradition in basketball for both boys and girls. The big gyms in New Mexico from the Native American high schools are the Bronco Arena (Kirtland Central) holds over 4,000, the Chieftain Pit (Shiprock) holds over 4,500, and the Pueblo Pavilion (Santa Fe Indian School) which holds over 4,500. Both Shiprock and Kirtland Central have a unique glass going around the court. The border town teams for New Mexico are Kirtland Central, Gallup, and Santa Fe Indian—which consists mainly of Native Americans. New Mexico is well known around the country for its power houses in girls basketball such as from Kirtland Central, Shiprock, Gallup, Santa Fe Indian, Navajo Prep and Navajo Pine. Kirtland Central's girls basketball program leads with the most state championships than any other Native American high school. Shiprock has also impacted girls basketball and being major rivals with Kirtland Central. Gallup girls basketball program has been one of the most power houses in New Mexico, playing at a fierce level among larger/competitive high schools in New Mexico. Santa Fe Indian girls program has produced some great talents in the recent years along with Navajo Prep and Navajo Pine both have risen to many achievements. The New Mexico high school state finals takes place at The Pit on the University of New Mexico campus, and has had major sell outs starting from the late 80's from games between Shiprock and Kirtland Central girls. Many Native American fans from Gallup, Shiprock, Kirtland Central, Laguna Acoma and Santa Fe Indian continue to fill The Pit every year.

While the Native American basketball phenomenon is most pronounced in the Four Corners region, it is not limited to that area. For example, when the girls' team from the reservation high school of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reached the final of the Class 3A state tournament in 2017 (which they won), about 5,000 fans traveled from the reservation to Jackson for the game.[2]

Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI)

Co-founded in 2003 by Mark West/former Phoenix Suns player, the late Scott Podleski/Arizona Rattlers and GinaMarie Scarpa/former Executive Director AC Green Youth Foundation (named for AC Green/NBA Iron Man). Every year the NABI Foundation host the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) in Arizona, an all native tournament sponsored by Nike N7, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Gila River Indian Community, Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. In its 17th year, it has become recognized as the premier all Native youth tournament in the world and made history in 2007 as the first all Native tournament sanctioned by the NCAA after NABI Foundation President & CEO GinaMarie Scarpa insisted the NCAA respect Tribal Sovereignty and exempt the tournament from abiding to their "same state rule". The tournament hosts 128+ teams from all over the U.S., Canada and New Zealand, and is instrumental in showcasing the talent of the players to college recruiters, most of whom would not travel to the remote reservation towns to recruit.

High schools


Cibecue High School, Cibecue, Arizona
Shonto Preparatory Technology High School, Shonto, Arizona
St. Michael High School, St. Michael's, Arizona
Salt River High School, Scottsdale, Arizona
Rough Rock High School, Rough Rock, Arizona
Baboquivari High School, Sells, Arizona
Red Mesa High School, Teec Nos Pos, Arizona
San Carlos High School, San Carlos, Arizona
Piñon High School, Piñon, Arizona
Valley High School, Sanders, Arizona
Greyhills Academy High School, Tuba City, Arizona
Hopi Junior/Senior High School, Keams Canyon, Arizona
Many Farms High School, Many Farms, Arizona
Alchesay High School, Whiteriver, Arizona
Ganado High School, Ganado, Arizona
Holbrook High School, Holbrook, Arizona
Winslow High School, Winslow, Arizona
Window Rock High School, Fort Defiance, Arizona
River Valley High School, Mojave Valley, Arizona
Tuba City High School, Tuba City, Arizona
Monument Valley High School, Kayenta, Arizona
Chinle High School, Chinle, Arizona
Page High School, Page, Arizona
Rock Point High School, Rock Point, Arizona

New Mexico

Laguna-Acoma High School, Laguna, New Mexico
Santa Fe Indian High School, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Magdalena High School, Magdalena, New Mexico
Tsé Yí Gai High School, Smith Lake, New Mexico
Jemez Valley High School, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
Pine Hill High School, Pinehill, New Mexico
Navajo Pine High School, Navajo, New Mexico
Navajo Prep High School. Farmington, New Mexico
Dulce High School, Dulce, New Mexico
Ramah High School, Ramah, New Mexico
Newcomb High School, Newcomb, New Mexico
Crownpoint High School, Crownpoint, New Mexico
Zuni High School, Zuni, New Mexico
Wingate High School, Fort Wingate, New Mexico
Rehoboth High School, Rehoboth, New Mexico
Tohatchi High School, Tohatchi, New Mexico
Thoreau High School, Thoreau, New Mexico
Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, New Mexico
Shiprock Northwest High School, Shiprock, New Mexico
Shiprock High School, Shiprock, New Mexico
Kirtland Central High School, Kirtland, New Mexico
Miyamura High School, Gallup, New Mexico
Gallup High School, Gallup, New Mexico
Piedra Vista High School, Farmington, New Mexico
Farmington High School, Farmington, New Mexico
Aztec High School, Aztec, New Mexico
Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque, New Mexico


Sherman Indian High School, Riverside, California
Wyoming Indian High School, Ethete, Wyoming
Whitehorse High School, Montezuma Creek, Utah
Ignacio High School, Ignancio, Colorado Monument Valley High School, Monument Valley, Utah Navajo Mountain High School, Navajo Mountain, Utah Uintah River High School, Duchesne, Utah


  1. ^ a b c Stephens, Mitch (February 20, 2013). "Beyond the X: Rez Ball fuels basketball fever in Arizona's Navajo Nation". Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  2. ^ Fader, Mirin (August 24, 2017). "With rich hoops roots, Native American twins Kyarrah and Kyannah Grant bud into stars". ESPNW. Retrieved October 20, 2017.

External links


Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately 9.4 inches (24 cm) in diameter) through the defender's hoop (a basket 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter mounted 10 feet (3.048 m) high to a backboard at each end of the court) while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling) or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots—the lay-up, the jump shot, or a dunk; on defense, they may steal the ball from a dribbler, intercept passes, or block shots; either offense or defense may collect a rebound, that is, a missed shot that bounces from rim or backboard. It is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands then resume dribbling.

The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is usually the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a slightly shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, and the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays (player positioning). Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, and one-on-one.

Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League. The FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world. Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like EuroBasket and FIBA AmeriCup.

The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships. The main North American league is the WNBA (NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship is also popular), whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women.

BeeHoldzil Fighting Scouts Events Center

The BeeHoldzil Fighting Scouts Events Center is a 6,500-seat indoor arena located in Fort Defiance, Arizona, United States. It is used primarily for basketball, and is the home of the Window Rock High School Fighting Scouts basketball and volleyball teams. It opened in January 2014 and is one of the premier rezball venues in Arizona. The three-level arena's seating is divided into a 4,000-seat main level, a 2,500-seat upper level and a 40-seat hospitality suite. The arena also contains a 50-seat press box and a center-hung video scoreboard.

The arena floor can accommodate a full-sized basketball court, three volleyball courts or up to 1,000-floor seats (maximum concert capacity is 7,200). It is the second largest venue in the Four Corners region after, and is used as an alternative to, McGee Park Coliseum in Farmington, New Mexico. In addition to sporting events and concerts, it is also used for the Ringling Bros, and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, the Harlem Globetrotters, graduations, and other events. The four concession stands at the arena are named for the Navajo Nation's Four Sacred Mountains and their associated sacred stones.


Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.

In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.

The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.

Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.

Outline of basketball

Basketball is a ball game and team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules. Since being developed by James Naismith as a non-contact game that almost anyone can play, basketball has undergone many different rule variations, eventually evolving into the NBA-style game known today. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.

Quidditch (sport)

Quidditch is a sport of two teams of seven players each mounted on broomsticks played on a hockey rink-sized pitch. It is based on a fictional game of the same name invented by author J. K. Rowling, which is featured in the Harry Potter series of novels and related media.[3] The game is also sometimes referred to as muggle quidditch to distinguish it from the fictional game, which involves magical elements such as flying broomsticks and enchanted balls. In the Harry Potter universe, a "muggle" is a person without the power to use magic.

The pitch is rectangular with rounded corners 55 meters (60 yards) by 33 meters (36 yards) with three hoops of varying heights at either end.[4] The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing.[5] The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation's governing body.

To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points.[6] To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers—dodgeballs—to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play.[7] The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.[8]A team consists of minimum seven (maximum 21) players, of which six are always on the pitch, those being the three chasers, one keeper, and two beaters. Besides the seeker who is off-pitch, the six players are required to abide by the gender rule, which states that a team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender, making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a co-ed environment but an open community to those who do not identify with the gender binary.[10] Matches or games often run about 30 to 40 minutes but tend to be subject to varying lengths of time due to the unpredictable nature of the snitch catch. If the score at the end of the match including the 30 point snitch catch is tied (such that the team that caught the snitch was 30 points behind the other), the game moves to overtime where the snitch is constrained to the pitch's dimensions and the game ends after five minutes or when the snitch is legally caught.

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