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The PPBA Executive are currently working on a plan for the 2020-21 season and what it may look like. As stated by the OBA, competetive basketball will not start until 2021 at the earliest. 

Information will be announced by August 20, with Registration opening shortly thereafter. The current model may be broken up into 2 seasons. Sept-Dec (Training Only) and Jan-April (Team Competetion) Subject to Change!!!

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By  - July 31, 2020

The Pelham Panthers basketball program is back on the floor but the new normal is anything but.

Training sessions started this week and basketball players arriving at the Pelham community centre were met at the main doors by Town of Pelham staffers asking questions, checking to see if people were on lists and taking everyone’s temperatures. If the temperature was above 37.8 C, the arrival was asked to go cool off in the shade for five minutes and the temperature was checked again. Players were told to follow the arrows inside the facility.

Pelham basketball had to submit players rosters to the town 24 hours prior to the scheduled workout and players were told to arrive 15 minutes prior to the practice session.

Once basketball players entered the facility, Panthers president Brian Bleich directed the players to individual seating areas two metres apart. Each player has his/her own seat, two metres apart where they got ready and placed their bags and shoes under the chair. There are two seating areas set up to allow the disinfecting of all the chairs at the end of each session.

Pelham basketball is allowed to train 12 athletes at a time but most of the groups consists of 10 players. One player is allowed per basket and they must bring their own ball and water.

There are 150 travel basketball players, ranging in age from under-10 to under-18,  taking part in training sessions that run Monday to Thursday from 4:30 to  8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Each player receives 28 one-hour sessions.

Coach Mike Hurley handled all five one-hour training sessions on Monday and Tuesday.

“I am a little rusty and a little tired but there’s lots of adrenaline because I am so excited,” he said. “Every kid who comes in has a massive smile and everyone is excited to be back in the gym. I am getting a lot of good feedback from kids and their parents, and emails later thanking me.

“It’s a little bit of physical activity and they are not with each other but they are with each other.”

Hurley, a self-confessed basketball lifer, has missed his time on the floor.

“It was so odd for everybody to get shut down so abruptly,” he said. “I can’t remember a time in my life when I have been away from basketball for two weeks, let alone three-plus months.”

Hurley felt bad for all his travel players, who lost all or parts of their 2019-20 seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The older boys travel teams missed out on everything and the other travel teams missed out on a lot,” he said. “We are glad to get them back.”

Hurley’s under-16 boys team was among the most disappointed. It was ranked No.1 in the province when its season was cancelled.

“A team like that had aspirations of winning a gold medal and that is mind blowing,” he said. “We have good (top-ranked) girls team from Niagara in the past but not so much for the boys.”

Pelham’s house league players were able to finish their seasons as it ended the weekend before the March Break started.

“We are waiting for the stage where you can do passing and more team stuff,” Hurley said. “Right now, we are doing individual skill development; ball handling, finishing and shooting. In these five weeks, they are going to get a lot of shots up.”

Kaydence Hales, who is going into Grade 8 in the fall and played this past season on Pelham’s under-13 team, was back in the gym for the first time Wednesday.

“It was disappointing to have the season stop, but it had to be done,” said Kaydence, who has been playing basketball since she was in Grade 1 and started travel hoops at the under-10 level.

She was glad to be back.

“It is exciting to see everybody but the social distancing and everything is sucky.”

Bleich is preparing plans for the fall which he will submit to the Town of Pelham and Niagara Region’s health department. Those plans will involve having players partner up and train two to a basket. Once partners are chosen, they will stay the same for the entire training period, and no body contact will be allowed. Up to 16 players will be allowed in the gym at one time for one-hour sessions. The 12-week sessions, will run twice a week and will be for all age levels, starting at under-10.

OBA Announces Postponement of Competitive Season until January 2021

Due to the ongoing pandemic and associated health measures, Ontario Basketball (OBA) will be postponing the start of the competitive schedule until January 2021.

A decision of this magnitude was not made lightly. The health and safety of our members are of utmost importance and a competitive start date prior to January 2021 appears to pose too many risks in relation to the contraction and spread of COVID-19.

For the Ontario Basketball League (OBL) this means the season would tip off two months later than the usual start in November. For the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) this will result in a delay of three months from the typical October tip-off.

This postponement comes with a full assessment of the current sports landscape in Ontario as it relates to safety protocols amid the pandemic, and endeavors to anticipate future progress in the same way OBA responded with Phase 3 of Return to Play protocols in late July.

The health and safety of our members and basketball community is of the utmost importance, and at this time it appears that starting the competitive schedule for OBA earlier than January 2021 could result in an increased risk for the spread and contraction of COVID-19.

In the interim, teams are encouraged to invite back returning players wherever possible in lieu of the regular tryout hosting process. For many reasons including facility availability, the OBA recognizes that tryouts may not be advisable at this time. Should a club wish to conduct tryouts under the current restrictions all basketball activity must be non-contact.

OBA’s five phases for Return to Play calls the start of the competitive season Phase 5 and will represent a full return to play, but not simply a return to basketball as we know it. Even when we enter Phase 5 all basketball activity will still require many health and safety protocols to ensure the protection of all participants.

There remains great uncertainty with government regulations and public health requirements going forward, and, if it is deemed safe to begin a competitive schedule prior to January 2021 the OBA will be prepared to run some modified competitions at that time in collaboration with member clubs.

We look forward to seeing you on the courts again soon and appreciate the ongoing support.


-Serving over 500 families from our region.

-Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter programs.

We continue to grow and excel every year!  

-Home to an amazing, skill development based, fun and engaging house league program.

-Successful boys and girls club teams:  grades 3 through grade 12.

-JUEL Prep and JUEL Elite High School Girls Teams

-Host to our famous Wheelchair Basketball program.

Thanks for being a part of our Panthers family.  We love watching our children grow as individuals, teammates and community members.

Go Panthers Go!


House League Program (Grades JK to 8)

- October to March

Travel Team Programs (Grades 3 to 12)

-September to May 

Spring League (House League players grades 1 to 8)

-April to June

Summer Training Program (Travel team players grades 4 to 12)

-May to August

Summer Development Program (grades 1-4)

-Various dates throughout the spring / summer TBA

Stay tuned for all of our special events and additional programming offered throughout the year!

PPBA2 @Pelham Panthers PPBA2

Male recipient: Mike Hurley, Pelham Panthers U14 Girls & U15 Boys


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Athletic Development, an important part of training!

Please visit our athletic development page for tips and exercises provided by our friends at No Limit Performance. Strength and Conditioning is crucial in the development of any athlete! For more info please visit

Brian  Bleich

Brian Bleich

PPBA President

Pelham Panthers

The mandate of Panther Basketball is to provide a positive / supportive environment for our youth to learn the fundamental skills of the game.

Our goal is to develop athletes on and off the court in a fun learning environment. Our team of dedicated coaches work with children of any skill level from house league to select! 


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These fine organizations make what we do possible. Please show your support to these amazing sponsors and thank them for their commitment to our organization. Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click here to learn more about our sponsorship opportunities

Sponsored by Remax Welland Realty - Bill Berkhout

Remax Welland Realty - Bill Berkhout

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For all your realty needs, Remax Welland is a SLAM DUNK!!

150 Prince Charles Dr S, Welland, ON L3C 7B3

Phone: +1 877-735-9876

Sponsored by Boggio Pharmacy - Fonthill

Boggio Pharmacy - Fonthill

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For all your sports injury needs, Boggio Fonthill Pharmacy will get you back on the court! 

155 Hwy 20 W Fonthill, ON

L0S 1E0

Tel: 905.892.4994

Fax: 905.892.4924

Sponsored by Seaway Mall

Seaway Mall

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A new look or new kicks, the Seaway mall has what you need to be on top of your game! 

800 Niagara Street


L3C 5Z4

Sponsored by Country Corner Market

Country Corner Market

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From sausage, to steak, pop by for all your team BBQ needs!

686 Quaker Rd,

Welland, ON

L3C 3H4

Sponsored by Star Tile Centre Ltd

Star Tile Centre Ltd

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Whether it's the court or your home, we have your flooring needs covered!

155 Highway 20 East

Fonthill, Ontario


L0S 1E0


Sponsored by The Job Gym - Welland

The Job Gym - Welland

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The Job Gym helps you work on more than just your game!

225 East Main Street
Welland, Ontario, L3B 3W7 
Phone: (905) 732-7655
Fax: (905) 732-2912

Sponsored by Lifetime Vision Centre

Lifetime Vision Centre

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Court vision starts here!

1405 Pelham Street
P.O Box 1419
Fonthill, Ontario L0S 1E0

Sponsored by Fonthill Dentistry

Fonthill Dentistry

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Celebrate a win, with a winning smile!

1440 Pelham St. 

 Fonthill, Ontario

 L0S 1E0

Sponsored by U Need a Pita

U Need a Pita

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U Need a Pita (Welland)

Official Player of the Game Sponsor! 

U Need a Pita has provided player of the game Pita Vouchers to each of our select teams! 

30 Rice Road 

Welland, Ontario

(289) 820-4782