Conducted by the LEO CLUB of PUNE (Prime) Bharati Vidyapeeth Dist-323 D2, Fireball is the biggest Invitational inter-collegiate and inter-corporate Basketball Tournament of Maharashtra. Organised for the first time ever in the year 2000, by Leo Maneck Kotwal and Leo Sanjeev Malkani, it had the participation of an overwhelming number of 26 teams. Today they see the participation of about 40-45 colleges and 20-25 corporates every year. This year is going to witness the 17th edition of Fireball. The tournament plays host to many of the best colleges in Maharashtra like BVP(COE), IMED, MIT, AFMC, COEP and many reputed corporates like TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Vodafone, Accenture, BNY Melon, Zensar, Cognizant and many more. It takes place in the grounds of Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Katraj.
Rules and regulations provided by the Basketball Federation of India (B.F.I) are followed and only B.F.I approved referees officiate the tournament.
The event goes on for 10 days. The matchdays feature corporate level matches on weekends and college level matches on weekdays. The tournament takes place in the form of Round Robin league and Knockout. Separate matches for both the men and women categories take place.
Fireball boasts of a heavy footfall of about 5000-6000 spectators during the tournament and every year the numbers go high. And to cover it all, the newspapers play an integral role to fulfill it. The tournament features in both, the national (The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, The Telegraph) and local dailies (Pune Mirror, Saakal, Aaj ka Anand, Jaagran City plus, Lokmat).
Fireball, now going to have its 17th edition, has ceased to be recognized just a tournament of basketball. From its conceptualization to sponsorships to publicity to media to nationwide recognition, it would be appropriate to say that its more than just a tournament. Gradually, it has seeped into the lifestyle of the people of Pune, into its culture and has become an integral part of the society. It stands high to represent the city of Pune, as the place which is the home of this carnival called FIREBALL. Not only on a social level but on a personal level as well, the tournament has had its impact. It has affected the way of life for the youth of Pune. They look forward to it. The conduct of the tournament itself speaks volumes of it.
People from all over Pune come & enjoy the game of basketball. These 10 days not only show us the game of basketball but a combination of skills, co-operation, mental strength & temperament. Not only it provides a platform to the budding players to showcase their skills on-court but also provide opportunities to anyone and everyone. People don’t just come to cheer and applaud their favorite teams but also to enjoy the beautiful game of basketball. Sports always brings people together and over 16 years of this tournament has definitely brought not just some but the whole diverse society of Pune together. It’s not just a tournament, it’s a celebration.
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