In 2024, how can we ensure the long-term vitality of grassroots sports events like Village BA and others?

In 2023, grassroots sports events like Village BA and Village Chao are thriving, highlighting the “proximity” of Chinese sports. However, how can we ensure the vitality of these mass sports activities and even contribute to sports education and competitive sports, rather than being short-lived?

“We are worried about Cun Chao, is Cun BA gone? Worried, but also not worried. If someone intervenes and makes this event impure and not pure, then this competition will become history; why not worry? With the development of the Internet, it has become increasingly popular, allowing more people to discover this event. Before that, they had quietly reported for several years and had become an indispensable part of the local people.

Next, let’s talk about why people like Cun Chao and Cun BA. Because of their great atmosphere!

There is not too much commercial or policy intervention. Everyone plays basketball together without more ‘complex elements.’ This is what we hope to see in the future!

They don’t need sponsorship, advertising banners, cheerleaders, or foreign players. This is pure basketball!

In a small town with fewer than 20,000 people, 30,000 to 40,000 people can gather to watch such a game in the finals. I wonder which CBA team’s home court can do that?

Yao Ming even said, ‘It’s hard to get a ticket from the scene. I’m not sure if I can get one.’ The 24 contestants of ‘China’s Good Voice’ performed Miao songs live, and the artistic performance was a full house.

Four hours in advance to secure the best viewing positions; some folks have been having dinner inside the venue since 4 in the afternoon. When someone asked, ‘Why not eat outside?’ the folks smiled and said that they were afraid of losing their seats if they went out. Villagers came to cheer with pots, drums, and ladles; people from Zhejiang traveled a long way to Guizhou to watch the game.

This kind of grassroots game is organized and managed by the local people themselves, and the media only need to report and promote it. The upper-level leadership’s role is to remain silent, as long as there is no behavior that goes against the CPC leadership’s line, this event can continue to be held!

Three Don’ts”

Don’t interfere.

Don’t give orders.

Don’t offer suggestions.

Let the Tourism Bureau handle it, don’t let the Sports Bureau handle it.

Actually, village basketball, fundamentally, isn’t about how competitive it is.

It’s mainly because the center is Zhao Shu’s nephew next door.

The guard is Li Xiaohong’s cousin in our class, and the forward is my sister’s classmate.

Certainly, their skills are far from players like Zhang Zhenlin, Wang Zhe, Ding Yan Yuhang, or even those who can only play in the NBL.

But who cares?

What we’re watching is the feeling of our familiar faces fighting on the court.

In fact, European football started in a similar way.

It initially developed in industrial communities.

The goalkeeper is John, the old man from the maintenance department.

The full-back is little Henry, the driver’s brother.

The center is Fiona’s sister’s husband, who sells fish and chips.

These people are all around us off the field, and we might even greet each other when we meet.

You ask him how well his fish is fried, and he asks you how many minutes you fried your fries.

Now they’re wearing the uniform representing your factory, shooting on top. How can you not cheer and celebrate?

If village basketball wants to develop, it’s feasible.

You let every township have its own village basketball.

You let every county have its town basketball.

You let every city have its county basketball.

You also let every province have its city basketball.

Then, over time, Chinese basketball will surely develop.

Because countless children can participate in village basketball.

Those with talent can move up, and those without talent can improve their health.

Gradually, high-level players move up, forming a pyramid system from the bottom up.

However, the problem with this approach is that it requires a long process.

You may sow the seeds in 2023, but they may not sprout until 2033, let alone bear fruit.

So, leaders want to showcase their achievements. To put it bluntly, if it’s a 55-year-old leader,

when Chinese basketball is booming, they may not even be able to lift a basketball.

So, they can only forcefully harvest the fruits as soon as there is some success.

They turn this project into a provincial event before its foundation is stable.

Then, you have Wangjiazhuang team from Zhangjiakou city against Li Jiaying team from Chengde city,

and the venue is set in Shijiazhuang.

Local people in Shijiazhuang would probably not want to watch it, after all, the strength of village basketball is definitely not even close to NBL, let alone CBA.

And I don’t even recognize any of these people on the field. What’s the point?

And the villagers from Wangjiazhuang and Li Jiaying may not want to travel all the way to Shijiazhuang to watch such a game.

So, there are very few spectators, what can be done?

Easy, let students from schools enter to fill the seats, and it’s all good.

So, can this sport maintain its vitality in the long run?

What’s frustrating is that this outcome is highly likely.

Proof that without property management, natural growth can thrive.

Honestly, I believe that grassroots indigenous sports like “village basketball” represent the true essence of sports, which is mass participation, deriving joy, and personal growth from physical activity.

Due to the underperformance of the men’s national soccer team, there have been questions about why our great nation can’t produce a sufficiently excellent soccer team. In my view, China never lacks talented individuals, but it lacks the promotion and guidance for mass sports. Coupled with the prevalent “money-oriented” mindset today, many people tend to forget their original intentions in pursuit of profits, making it difficult to achieve higher levels of excellence.

If a person dedicates themselves to improving their skills, breaking through barriers, and achieving greatness, combined with their inherent talents, they will excel in any field. The fear lies in excessive external distractions that lead to restlessness, which can shake one’s values and result in missed opportunities.

Why are there fewer true masters nowadays? To put it simply, there are too many choices and desires, making it hard for people to focus on learning. Many prioritize quick financial gains. However, true mastery requires time, reflection, and continuous self-improvement, qualities that cannot be imitated.

Regarding promotion and guidance, I believe they are crucial. Only when more people participate in sports can we discover more latent talents. Most importantly, regular physical activity is beneficial for public health, providing a win-win situation.

In conclusion, grassroots indigenous sports undoubtedly represent a refreshing aspect of the sports world. I just hope that self-media influencers chasing after popularity can stay away from this pure land, even farther away.

Thanks for the invitation.

Here are my suggestions (open to criticism):

I personally feel that village basketball (村BA) and village super basketball (村超) are quite good, as they can promote the physical health of young people. Nowadays, the country places a considerable emphasis on sports. Schools nationwide have four physical education classes per week, and teachers in schools teach the basics of basketball and soccer to reduce the academic burden. Currently, during the junior and senior high school entrance exams, students need to take a basketball or physical education test to get into a better high school. So, village basketball and village super basketball are especially important. They not only help in physical fitness but also enrich students' academic experiences. They can inspire our fighting spirit, encouraging us to persist and avoid being weak. Village basketball and village super basketball have made Guizhou Province more prominent and have allowed many people to visit the “CBA, NBA” of Guizhou Province. This has propelled sports forward significantly. Furthermore, when organizing village basketball and village super basketball, fairness and justice are essential. Maintaining order is crucial, and any fighting incidents must be strictly prevented. We should strive for village basketball and village super basketball to reach their peak!

Below are reference images for village basketball.

Welcome to discuss further, dear netizens!

Enhance supervision, establish a filing system, and ensure that competitions are pre-registered.

Sports events like “village basketball” and “village super basketball” are attractive to us because of their “simplicity.” The success of village basketball and village super basketball relies on the local village committees and the passion of the villagers for sports, and this “simple” passion is what draws us in. In a world filled with countless temptations, the allure is overwhelming. Due to the abundance of distractions, simpler things tend to capture our attention.

The vitality of grassroots indigenous sports events lies in this “simplicity.” Without it, they would lose their distinctiveness compared to traditional basketball or soccer matches. To maintain their vitality, we need to protect this “simplicity.”

Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder why, with established leagues like the NBA, CBA, Premier League, and Chinese Super League, there are still efforts to undermine the “simplicity” of grassroots sports events. Upon reflection, it likely comes down to money. If we genuinely want to preserve the vitality of grassroots sports events, then we must safeguard their simplicity.

Government, don’t interfere blindly; capital, don’t seize opportunities for profit; and, celebrities, don’t create unnecessary hype.

Is this not simple enough?

Just let the authorities stay out of it.

Village Basketball" has become a phenomenon in communication, and I have had the privilege of witnessing and participating in this exciting process: the first round was the romantic fermentation of the “June 6th” new rice festival. The second round was the boost provided by the Guizhou Province “Beautiful Villages” Basketball League semi-finals from July 30th to August 2nd in Qiandongnan Prefecture.

The success of “Village Basketball” and similar grassroots sports events is primarily attributed to their profound cultural heritage. This demonstrates that for the revitalization of rural culture, a deep cultural foundation is indispensable. Successful sports events must be built upon a cultural foundation, deeply integrating ethnic charm to create a unique form and style.

What “Village Basketball” and similar grassroots sports events showcase is the fusion of modern football and basketball sports culture with traditional regional rural culture. They uphold the essence of excellent traditional culture while pioneering innovations in the expression and inheritance of rural culture. Miao songs sung by rural bards replace popular songs by celebrities, village girls' ethnic dances replace cheerleading routines, and local pigs and ducks serve as prizes instead of shiny medals. By maintaining tradition while innovating and integrating, these events activate rural culture in the process of innovation, giving rural culture a fresh lease of life.

I believe that redirecting online traffic away from native grassroots sports events like “Village Basketball” (村BA) can help these events maintain their long-term vitality. Online traffic can both boost and potentially harm the popularity of “Village Basketball.”

Before it was called “Village Basketball” (村BA), this competition was known as the “Beautiful Villages” Basketball League, an annual local basketball tournament held in Taipan Village, Taipan Township, Qiandongnan Prefecture, Guizhou Province. As videos of the event were shared on the internet, it gained increasing attention, making the tournament more popular. What initially attracted us to this event was its raw vitality, but excessive online attention has the potential to undermine that vitality.

I still remember “Construction Site Lunchboxes,” which was originally a heartwarming concept. However, due to its sudden popularity, more and more people joined the trend, and eventually, due to the waste and chaotic scenes, the owner had to reluctantly announce that they would no longer serve construction site lunchboxes. Online traffic is a powerful force, and if not managed properly, it can indeed destroy something and someone. Therefore, if we want “Village Basketball” to thrive, we should refrain from excessive attention.

The largest mass participation sport in China involves 120 million people.

It’s called square dancing.

Also, what does “Village Supermarket Backfeeding Professional Sports” mean?

You should really study national policies.

In October 1949, at the First National Sports Congress, the slogan “Develop sports for the health of the people, the construction of new democracy, and the national defense of the people” was proposed.

In 1952, Mao Zedong wrote, “Develop sports and enhance the physical fitness of the people,” at the Second Meeting of the All-China Sports Federation, outlining his vision for sports in the new China.

In 1983, the “Request for Further Advancing the New Situation of Sports” proposed by the National Sports Committee stated: “The overall task of sports work in the new period is to promote the all-around development of sports, to improve the overall technical level of sports, and to actively build a spiritual civilization in the service of socialism.”

In 1995, the “Sports Law of the People’s Republic of China” stipulated: “The state develops the sports cause, organizes mass sports activities, and improves the physical fitness of the entire nation. Sports work adheres to the basis of promoting national fitness activities, implements both popularization and improvement, and promotes the coordinated development of various sports.”

In 2002, the “Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Further Strengthening and Improving Sports Work in the New Period” proposed: “In the new era, the development of sports should start with meeting the growing cultural and sports needs of the people, take enhancing physical fitness and improving the overall quality of the entire nation as the fundamental goal, actively create a new situation in sports work, and make due contributions to realizing the strategic goals of China’s economic and social development in the new century and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

In 2011, the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan for the Development of Sports” stated: “In accordance with the overall deployment of the country’s ‘Twelfth Five-Year Plan’ and the task of building a sports power, further consolidate the social foundation of sports development, deepen reforms, accelerate development, improve the level and efficiency of sports development in China, improve the development structure and quality, promote the rapid and healthy development of sports, and lay a solid foundation for building a sports power.”

“village super league” and “Village BA” represent the ultimate form of China’s sports development ideology.

With “village super league” and “Village BA,” I believe we could even do away with the sports associations.

Because in their eyes, sports are never meant to enhance the people’s physical fitness, but rather a means for their corruption.

Achievements are nothing more than an elusive “Get Out of Jail Free” card for them.

Departments that have lost their faith should not exist, and do they even deserve to be called “communist”?

Maintain patience and respect.

In terms of results, grassroots events like “village super league” and “Village BA” have been successful in garnering active participation from local residents and widespread internet promotion; however, it’s still difficult to assess whether these events are truly sustainable in terms of their development.

What we can do is maintain patience and respect. On one hand, it’s best not to have overly high expectations and demands for these events just because they’ve gained widespread publicity, as most people may simply be joining in for the fun, and these are just ordinary grassroots events. On the other hand, we should respect these events and the sports themselves, avoiding various opportunistic behaviors that may arise around these events, and allowing residents to experience the joy of participating in sports.

If you really want to support them, you can have relevant leaders give speeches at the opening and closing ceremonies of the events, and sit and watch the semi-finals and finals for a while. Official media should provide accurate and positive coverage of the events. Relevant departments should ensure the quality of facilities, provide necessary support for competition equipment, offer essential training for coaches and referees, and meet the practical needs of organizing and participating in the events. Achieving these goals would already be quite commendable.

Let these events develop purely for a decade with the aim of popularizing sports and enriching lives before discussing their other roles.

Ignore, don’t inquire, don’t participate.


Then it’s all about “friendly cooperation, collaborative construction, meticulous regulation, and accountable responsibility.”

In any case, it’s just those things. Everyone understands.

In fact, the oldest competitive sports events were originally born within the most basic units of human society - villages.

In agrarian societies and even earlier in history, sports events within and between villages, which constituted the most basic and stable units of social activity, were very active.

The fundamental reason is that in those times, villages were populated and vibrant, capable of creating a certain economic surplus value due to their population.

So, whenever there was a bountiful harvest, the villages would organize events such as dragon boat races in the south or tug-of-war competitions during the northern Small Full Harvest Festival.

These competitions between villages were not merely about sports competition; they were more like celebrations of traditional festivals. However, organizing such an event required people to participate and others to contribute money and effort.

But now, the biggest problem in rural areas is that there are neither people nor money. Most of the able-bodied young laborers who could earn money have gone to work elsewhere, leaving only the elderly and children in the villages. They simply do not have the capacity or resources to organize inter-village sports events.

If village-level sports competitions are to have long-lasting vitality, the problem that needs to be addressed is how to enable young people to find employment in their hometowns. This requires revitalizing the rural economy to provide an adequate number of job opportunities for rural youth right in their own communities.

Thanks for the invitation.

I believe it’s necessary to ensure the long-term vitality of grassroots sports events like Village BA (村BA). These events bring a lot of joy to left-behind children and enthusiasts. Here are some possible strategies and measures:

  1. Establish and improve event organization and management mechanisms to ensure fairness, justice, and professionalism in the events. Develop clear competition rules and safety regulations to safeguard the participants' and spectators' safety.

  2. Encourage active participation from local communities, involving villagers, volunteers, and local businesses in the planning and organization of events. Enhance community identification and ownership of the events by hosting related activities such as training camps, seminars, and cultural festivals.

  3. Establish youth training programs and coaching development systems to ensure a continuous supply of sports talent and knowledge transfer. Encourage and support retired athletes and local sports enthusiasts to get involved in organizing and coaching the events.

  4. Promote and preserve local culture and traditional sports spirits. Combine the events with the unique local culture to enhance their distinctiveness and appeal. Document and spread the history and stories of grassroots sports events like Village BA through documentaries, books, exhibitions, and other means.

By implementing these comprehensive strategies, Village BA and similar grassroots sports events can maintain their long-term vitality and have a positive impact on communities, regions, and even globally. However, it’s essential to continue monitoring and adapting to societal changes, flexibly adjusting and innovating event models to meet the needs and expectations of different groups.

I believe that to encourage the positive growth of such sports events, two key factors are essential. Firstly, they should be extensively promoted through mainstream media. Secondly, athletes should be provided with incentives to motivate their active participation.

Speaking of this, I’m reminded of traditional theater, which once faced the risk of decline due to the reluctance of young people to learn it. However, the rise of the internet has breathed new life into it. During the pandemic, many theater professionals faced income challenges. Some took their performances to live streaming platforms, attracting audiences from all over the world, offering them an artistic experience through theatrical performances.

One recent sensation is the Yue opera “New Dragon Gate Inn,” with Chen Lijun becoming the “internet wife” in the hearts of countless netizens, drawing more attention to Yue opera.

It must be said that in today’s entertainment industry filled with mediocre-looking actors and mediocre scripts, theater has remained true to its origins. It’s like Western audiences, tired of the onslaught of bad superhero movies, find solace in seeing handsome men and beautiful women in “CEO power dramas."

In this context, theater’s bold innovations are likely to win back the hearts of young audiences. Similarly, grassroots sports events, as internet usage becomes more widespread, will introduce more people to sports, inspire them to love sports, and even participate in them. This is undoubtedly a great development for nurturing sports talents and improving the physical fitness of the nation.

Another point to consider is that people in today’s society face significant life pressures. It’s not just about having people “do it for the love of it.” Athletes need to receive adequate rewards to fuel their dedication further. Certainly, a distorted “club” model like that of the national football team is not advisable. However, athletes should be relieved of significant financial burdens, enabling them to fully commit to sports.

Imagine a scenario where passionate individuals are willing to engage, and athletes have sufficient economic incentives. Can grassroots sports events not thrive in such an environment?