Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Andrew Taggart


This thesis was designed to acquire comprehensible awareness of specific drop-out cases from basketball, specifically adolescent boys between the ages of twelve and fifteen, at Cockburn Basketball Stadium and hence abate the incidence of adolescent drop-out. My intention was to uncover what happened to these adolescents and what led them to decide to stop playing basketball. I also wished to ascertain what meaning these adolescents ascribed to the events that occurred whilst playing which led them to decide to stop playing. The Cockburn Basketball Association had 190-plus junior teams in semester 1, 1996 and only 86 junior teams in semester I, 1999. The fundamental basis for the research is that human beings are meaning-making machines and their perceptions are shaped by their past experiences. The importance of physical activity, specifically to adolescents, is reviewed followed by surveying the different influences surrounding adolescents and sport participation. The influences on adolescent sport participation that are surveyed are significant others, parents, peers, coaches, self-perception, competitiveness of sport, umpiring, socioeconomic status, media, and other activities. The procedure employed for gathering data was the "Three-Interview Series," described in Seidman (1991), on one pilot study and five other adolescent boys. This comprised of investigating into the life history of the adolescent in the first interview; procuring details of the experiences in the second interview; and a reflection, by the participants, on the meaning of the experiences in the third interview. A line-by-line analysis was perfom1ed on all interviews conducted to generate categories commencing with lower-order categories then creating higher-order categories. It was found that there was no single reason that represents the decision to quit basketball at Cockburn Basketball Stadium by the six adolescent boys in the study. Each boy had his own reasons for beginning basketball and for dropping out of basketball from the Cockburn Basketball Association. Significant others played an instrumental part in the decision to quit basketball for some of the participants of the study. One participant was negatively influenced by the parents of teammates. Another participant cited the coaches as a major reason for his decision to quit. Some of the participants of the study mentioned teammates as having influenced their decision to quit basketball in different ways. One participant cited a loss of passion for the game after having played a heavy concentration of basketball for six years. It is interesting to note that this participant craved success and loved to win and over the years his Western Australian Basketball League (WABL) team, the one team he took seriously, experienced less success. Some of the participants had found another activity, which they found more enjoyable, to substitute for basketball. One participant said that receiving a "scabby uniform," compared to the uniform he had in the previous season and compared to the uniforms his teammates had, as a contributing factor for his decision to quit basketball at Cockburn. Recommendations are given for Western Australian Basketball to focus attention on the players and their enjoyment of the game and for further research into drop-out the sport.