Replacement juvenile basketball leagues are tipping off across Nova Scotia as the ongoing teachers dispute has put school seasons on hold.

The brand new Basketball Cape Breton Juvenile League is in its second weekend of play, hitting the hardcourt Saturday and Sunday on a pair of courts at Cape Breton University's Sullivan Field House.

There are 21 teams across four divisions. Basketball Cape Breton organized Divisions 1 and 2 for both high school aged boys and girls once it became clear the teacher's work-to-rule campaign would end the high school season.

"It was pretty bad that it ended,” says basketball player Connor Kelly. “We were pretty glad they opened up this league, so we could keep playing. So our basketball careers weren't totally ruined in grade 12."

The caliber of play looks in the new league looks comparable to what fans would expect in a high school basketball game.

"It gives them an opportunity to show their skill level,” says Basketball Cape Breton executive director Chris MacPhee. “A lot of these kids are trying to get to play university ball next year."

The league is important not only for those looking to impress university and college recruiters, but for students who will simply do whatever it takes to stay in the game they love.

"To be honest, it doesn't feel any different,” says basketball player Hugh Paul. “It feels good. You have good teammates, good coaches, and good staff. The league is awesome."

The teams will each play a 10 game schedule, followed by playoffs, which is what was likely what the remainder of their high school leagues would have looked like.

"We’re trying to make the best of a bad situation,” says MacPhee. “Hopefully at the end of the year, the kids have had a good time."

A similar league is also underway in the Halifax area.

MacPhee says there may be an opportunity for teams to compete in provincials.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald