THERE'S still plenty to play out at the Bendigo Junior Classic, but attention has already turned to organising and improving next year's event, according to Bendigo Basketball Association (BBA) president Martin Spottiswood.
The annual tournament is one of the biggest sporting events in Bendigo, attracting 10,000 people alone to the region this year.
But the complexities of COVID-19 have made this installment of the Classic arguably the hardest ever to organise and stage.
But Spottiswood said the BBA, volunteers, officials and teams had as one risen to the challenge to make the tournament a satisfying and prosperous one.
"It has run very successfully and smoothly," he said.
"There's been a lot of work involved, which has put us under the pump, and added to that is all the COVID protocols we've had to abide by.
"Allowing people just to come in and out of the front door is a way of the past, so we have to have COVID marshalls at the front door at all times.
"And everything else that runs this side of the door (inside) - game scheduling and livestreaming all the games - that takes a lot of time.
"It's a mighty effort and it's a 12-month effort.
"But I'm looking at a whiteboard now (Sunday afternoon) and we already have 2023 written up on it and we're putting things on there for improvement next year or reminders for next year."
This year's Classic has attracted 271 teams across 23 divisions, with matches spread across eight venues across the city.
Grand finalists in all divisions will not be determined until the completion of Monday's 'crossover' matches, but encouragingly for the host association, the Braves have several teams in strong contention for championship honours.
They include the under-12 and under 16 boys championship teams, both undefeated through their first four games, the under-16 boys, under-18 boys division two and under-16 girls.
Spottiswood praised the support of Bendigo businesses, who like many across Australia were doing it tough, but had responded 'magnificently' to meet the demands of the influx of thousands of visitors.
"There were some concerns from some clubs who rang when the news was announced around Victoria that there were shortages," he said.
"We rang our businesses to make sure they would be operating and they said they would and they could accommodate the number of visitors we were expecting.
"In turn, some rang us back to make sure we were still running the tournament.
"From all reports, Bendigo is shining."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.