On the 12th, the Japanese local news outlet ‘Sponichianex’ reported, “The Japan Basketball Association (JBA) has decided to impose a 3-game ban on players who refuse to be selected for the Japanese men’s and women’s basketball national teams for any reason.”
The main point of the new rule is to disallow retirement from the national team. It is considered customary in any country around the world, in any sport, to accept when a specific player announces his intention to retire from the national team. Most of them are superstars who have difficulty juggling schedules with their team and the national team. Players often retire from the national team for a variety of reasons, including injuries, conditioning, and focus on their team.
However, Japan left the authority to select the national team entirely to the Basketball Association. This means that male and female athletes cannot refuse the national anthem call for any reason. If you do not comply, you will not be able to participate in your country’s league, such as the B.League or W-League, for 3 games. Players from overseas leagues are not eligible. Youth national teams such as U16, U17, and U18 were also not included.
B.League President Shinji Shimada said, “Basically, a player cannot refuse to be selected for the national team for any reason. He emphasized, “Athletes should have no concept of retirement from the national team.”
Meanwhile, the Japan Basketball Association has decided to provide business class flights to its players by default when participating in tournaments hosted by the FIBA (International Basketball Federation). Instead of imposing a sense of obligation on the national team, we plan to strive to create an environment so that the players can reduce the burden as much as possible.