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  • Taranaki Airs

What is the Rapid League?

The Sky Broadband Rapid League is an innovative addition to the Sal’s NBL designed to revolutionise local player development and elevate opportunities for emerging talents and coaches. Originating in Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa during the 2023 season, Rapid League now makes its grand entrance into the Sal’s NBL for the 2024 campaign.


Rapid League games tip off one hour before the Sal’s NBL game, offering fans a double dose of basketball. With its own distinct results and standings. Rapid League operates independently within the Sal’s NBL framework. At the end of the regular season, the team on top of the Rapid League ladder will be crowned Rapid League Champions for the season.

Make no mistake, the Rapid League is a fast-paced contest, featuring four-minute quarters with game clock stops on every whistle. This format not only provides fans with an intensified basketball experience but also showcases the depth of each squad, as Sal’s NBL starting five members and import players are ineligible to compete in the preceding Rapid League showdown.

While Rapid League mirrors many of the rules of the Sal’s NBL, it introduces subtle tweaks to enhance player decision-making. Coaches relinquish the ability to call timeouts during games, placing greater emphasis on player-led initiatives. Instead, each team receives one player timeout per half, adhering to standard timeout regulations.

Players navigate the court with the understanding that they are allowed five personal fouls, and teams get a bonus on the third team foul each quarter. In the event of a tied game at the end of regulation there is a one minute overtime period, starting with a jump-ball at the centre circle. 

Airs coach Sam Mackinnon is a fan of the concept:

“The rapid league is a fantastic initiative by the league and is an excellent platform for player and coach development.  It’s always difficult to play 12 players in an NZNBL game so ensuring all rostered players play game time in either form is a fantastic solution to ensure growth with all people involved in the game.”  

The Sky Broadband Rapid League represents more than just some pre-game entertainment, it is an opportunity for players to showcase their skills in an action packed competition which is sure to be a hit with the fans.


Rapid League games will be played before every home game in 2024, with our first home game on April 13th against Whai tipping off at 3pm.


Follow the Airs on our socials to keep up to date with all things Rapid League as well as our Sals NBL team.  Basketball is going to a new level, and the Taranaki Steelformers Airs plan to take the league by storm.


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