Press Conference for HBL's 20th Anniversary
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has sponsored the High School Basketball League (HBL) for 20 years, after investing over NT$250 million. Each year, HBL tournaments have attracted many high school students. This year marks HBL's 20th anniversary. The Department of Physical Education, MOE has modeled Taiwan's interschool sports leagues after the U.S. NCAA Basketball system and studied U.S. and Japanese student sports league systems. The aim is that through promotion of the HBL, the level of athletics will be raised and students will be encouraged to watch sports events and form the habit of taking part in sports activities.
On behalf of MOE, Department Director Jian Ming-zhong awarded prizes to schools that participated in HBL events for 20 consecutive years and their principals at a press conference for HBL's 20th anniversary held on December 5. He also accepted HBL memorabilia presented by School Sport Federation and championship pennants brought back by last year's champions in the boys' and girls' categories. Jian noted that basketball is a favorite sport among students. Youngsters have cherished and supported HBL events for many years. Many national basketball champions are former HBL players. Jian thanked the teachers, students and coaches who supported HBL in the past 20 years and said MOE would continue to sponsor the events.
Basketball has been chosen as the first sport for promotion of interschool leagues because according to studies, most schools have basketball courts and more students play basketball than those engaging in other athletic activities. In 1987, the first Collegiate Basketball League tournament was held. In 1988, the first HBL tournament was held. From now on, promotion of volleyball, baseball, softball and football leagues has become one of MOE's key tasks.
In the past 20 years, the establishment of interschool sport leagues and league tournaments has not only allowed numerous individuals to be trained as outstanding athletes but also has enabled many to engage in sports activities. In the meantime, more students are starting to engage in athletic activities.