The mission of the Rockford Area Athletic Association (RAAA) Basketball program is to provide the youth in our communities an opportunity to develop as basketball players within a team concept that fits their physical abilities and interest. At all levels, our goal will be to provide an environment that allows players to grow not only as basketball players but also as people. This will be accomplished through not only a focus on teaching skill development and the understanding of the game of basketball, but also through promoting hard work, dedication, and good sportsmanship in our youth.
RAAA Basketball looks at winning as a positive experience, but only when stressing a combination of basketball specific skills with a broader scope of character development. We are dedicated to helping inspire players to reach their goals in a way that focuses on team concepts and good character that will benefit them in areas other than on the basketball court.
The RAAA basketball program is for grades 4 through 8 and focuses on continuous development of basic basketball fundamentals and skill sets as well as team improvements. The program is designed to challenge the players through increased competition in weekend tournaments as the player’s skill sets improve from year to year.
Overall Program Goals
- Teach and develop individual basketball skills.
- Develop team concepts and ideals.
- Teach players, coaches, and parents to be respectful to each other, opponents, and the game of basketball.
- Emphasize characteristics like hard work, dedication, and perseverance that transfer to areas outside of basketball.
- Help players reach their full potential as basketball players.
- Create an environment where each team member feels they serve an important and meaningful role on his/her team.
- Learn to win or lose with class and good sportsmanship.
- Be competitive at every level.
Overview by Grade
Teams will compete in up to 5 weekends of MYAS Travel Lite Winter League games plus 4 weekend tournaments. Travel Lite games will be played on Saturdays and are two games per day. Weekend tournaments will include at least one tournament in Rockford and one year end MYAS State tournament. The other two weekend tournament locations and times are TBD. Depending on the number of registrations, multiple teams may be formed with the talent as evenly split as possible.
Teams will compete in up to 5 weekends of MYAS Travel Lite Winter League games plus 5 weekend tournaments. Weekend tournaments will include at least one tournament played in Rockford and one year end MYAS State tournament. The other three locations and times are TBD. Depending on the number of registrations, multiple teams may be formed. The teams will be split into two different level teams. Outside evaluators will be used to assess the players in tryouts held around late September or early October.
Teams will compete in up to 5 weekends of MYAS Travel Lite Winter League games plus 6 weekend tournaments. Weekend tournaments will include at least one tournament played in Rockford and one year end MYAS State tournament. The other four weekend locations and times are TBD. Depending on the number of registrations, multiple teams may be formed. Outside evaluators will be used to assess the players in tryouts in late September or early October
Teams will compete in 8 to 10 weekend travel tournaments. One tournament being in Rockford and one being the MYAS State tournament. The other tournament locations and dates are TBD. Teams will be limited to 10 players and selected by tryouts. If there are not enough players to field a second team at each grade level, players may be cut. Efforts will be made to find enough players to fill out a second team if the need arises in lieu of cutting players, but is not a guarantee.
General Program Information
- 4th grade players will receive a reversible jersey and shorts that they get to keep
- 5th to 8th grade players will receive a uniform that must be turned in at the end of the season. A $65 deposit check will be collected during uniform handout and returned following successful return of a non-damaged uniform after the season. NEW for 2013 – ALL 5th to 8th grade players will receive a long sleeve warm-up jersey including last name on back of jersey to keep.
- Teams will practice two times per week on average, with additional skills specific clinics taking part throughout the basketball year.
- 7th and 8th grade players will not be allowed to only play travel basketball. They must participate on the school team also.
- Parents will be required to volunteer at our RAAA basketball tournaments. ( The revenue from these tournaments is used to keep fees for the program lower.)
- In some circumstances, players may need to be moved up to fill out teams. It simply depends on registration numbers and the program has to remain flexible in that regard. It is our belief that it is critical to find ways for all of the registrants to play and will explore multiple options to do so.
Coach Selection Process
The goals of the coach should be teaching of fundamental skills of basketball to all players, encouraging team play, and focusing on continuous improvement of the individuals and the team. RAAA Basketball with offer coaching resources that all coaches will be encouraged to use. Applicants must fill out an application form (found on the website) and take part in an interview with the RAAA Basketball directors and a third party.
- Application – If you are interested in coaching in 2013, please complete the coach application – click here.
- Coach Interview – To schedule your interview time October 8, 9 or 10 – click here
Some of the criteria used in selecting a head coach will be:
- Coaching philosophies similar to goals of the program
- Parent survey results from previous years (if applicable)
- Knowledge of basketball/ experience
- Willingness to commit to running effective practices and using coaching resources available from RAAA
All head and assistant coaches after being selected will be required to do the following:
- Submit to a background check
- Pass a concussion awareness course (More Info Here)
- Attend a RAAA coaching clinic
- Conduct a parent meeting prior to the season to discuss expectations, philosophy, goals, and answer questions
If a problem should arise, RAAA Basketball requires parents and players to wait 24 hours as a “cooling off” period prior to beginning the following resolution process:
4th to 6th grade
- Discuss the problem with the head coach first away from the team. Preferably in person or on the phone, not via email. (Often times it is difficult to judge the tone of an email)
- If a parent feels the coach failed to address the concern, the problem should be brought to the attention of the RAAA Basketball Director and a meeting will be scheduled with all parties involved.
- If a parent still feels the problem wasn’t addressed, they should contact the RAAA President
The PLAYER should discuss the problem with the coach first. RAAA Basketball feels this helps young men and women begin to deal with conflict resolution and is the same policy they are asked to follow in school sports. If this doesn’t resolve the problem the steps outlined for 4th to 6th grade should then be followed.
When registration numbers deem it necessary, tryouts will be conducted to form teams for different levels of play (B vs. C etc.) Tryouts will be mandatory and will take place in late September or early October. Players will be evaluated in two areas: fundamental skills appropriate for the age they are at, and how they play in more of a game type setting (i.e. 5 on 5 or 3 on 3). All evaluators will be from outside of RAAA basketball to maintain unbiased results. Teams will be formed based strictly on evaluator’s scores with the exception of two spots reserved for a coach’s choice. Players who have registered for tryouts but cannot participate due to injury or illness will need to provide a doctor’s note describing why they can not participate. Players who miss tryouts for this reason will be placed on a team based on past playing experience or coaches choice.
RAAA Basketball DOES NOT guarantee that your child will be given equal playing time. However, it is a goal of the program to make sure that each player plays a meaningful role in each game, practice, and clinic. To encourage player development, coaches will be asked to distribute playing time differently at different age levels. For example, 4th to 6th grade teams may see playing time that is much more even then takes place in 7th and 8th grade. While playing time is most commonly thought to be linked strictly to ability, other factors such as commitment to the team, attendance, attitude, and being on time will also play a role in the coach’s decision regarding play time. This keeps us in step with our program goal #4 of instilling characteristics like hard work, dedication, and perseverance in our youth.