A rapidly emerging world sport labelled "the hottest ticket in town'' has been given the all clear to be established on a park in Tauranga.
The council yesterday agreed to a request for land on which to play 3x3 basketball, a modified version of the full-court game involving teams of three players on a half-sized court.
The Tauranga City Basketball Association wants to establish outdoor competition-grade 3x3 basketball.
It would build the facilities before handing them over to the council to maintain.
Possible sites to build the 3x3 courts include the former skating park at Memorial Park, Waitaha Reserve at Welcome Bay, Matua Park, Anzac Park in Gate Pa and Gordon Spratt Reserve at Papamoa.
Council parks co-ordinator Josh Trafford said outdoor 3x3 competition was a popular form of basketball that catered for the younger demographic that generally abstained from organised sport.
Mr Trafford said the council had six outdoor basketball areas but none was suitable for competition-grade 3x3 basketball, which required a minimum of 15m by 12m.
Basketball association spokesman Mark Rogers said that with more than 250 million players worldwide and the most-played recreational sport in the world, 3x3 was a key driver for the growth of basketball.
Labelled as "the hottest ticket in town'' at the Youth Olympics of 2010, it has been listed as a demonstration sport at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Mr Rogers said the association's two 3x3 tournaments held at the Phoenix Carpark at Mount Maunganui attracted more than 160 participants.
Promoting 3x3 basketball fits an initiative in which the council has partnered with Sport New Zealand, Sport Bay of Plenty and others on a youth participation programme called Pathway 16/20 _ reflecting the ages of 16 to 20.
Mr Trafford said planning was also under way to build a full-sized outdoor basketball court at Arataki Park.