Our approach is to have one team per grade with no cuts or limitations on the number of players. However, when we do have a significant number of children in a grade and we are able to support that team with an additional experienced coach, we will create a second team for that grade. Creating two teams for a single grade is one of the most challenging aspects for our basketball program. As a result, we approach it on a case-by-case basis and factor in the number of players, their collective abilities, coach availability and parent feedback as we try to figure out what is in the best interest of the children in that particular grade. Our goal is to both create a positive experience and aid the basketball skill development for all players. When necessary, coaches from another grade’s team will provide an independent evaluation to help split the teams.
We follow a grade-based approach to help our children obtain a positive experience in basketball and team athletics while also preparing them for high school sports.
Our focus and game playing time expectations by grade are:
5th Grade: fundamentals, sportsmanship, fair play, teamwork, values and providing as much playing time as possible for all players (throughout the course of the season, not each individual game), regardless of skill level.
6th Grade: fundamentals, sportsmanship and teamwork. We become more competitive and playing time will be unequal, but we strive to get as many players into a game as possible.
7th Grade: fundamentals and sportsmanship. Competitiveness continues to increase, but even though we want to get as many players into a game as possible, some players may not play in a particular game.
8th Grade: sportsmanship and competitiveness are stressed as we prepare players for the high school level. As a result, playing time will not be equal and some players may not play in highly competitive games.