The following list of frequently asked questions also serves as the AYBA handbook.

*** Due to COVID-19, all answers found on this page are subject to change without notice. ***

AYBA is an organization designed to introduce the game of basketball to boys and girls in 4th-8th grade. AYBA will provide participants with an opportunity to compete with others of the same grade. We strive to create a basketball experience that is positive, educational, competitive and as successful as possible.

AYBA was formed in 2019 through the merger of two existing associations: Albany Girls Basketball Association (AGBA) and Albany Boys Basketball Association (ABBA). AGBA was established by Jon Noreen in 1997 to give girls the opportunity to play competitive basketball. ABBA was established in 2006 by a group of parents to provide boys in 4th-8th grade with more opportunities to play the game of basketball than what was available through community education and junior high athletics. The program has grown to include at least 20 teams per year, and over 200 players per year.

Teams in grades 4 and 5 will be divided equally, not by ability level. Teams in grades 6, 7, and 8 will be divided by ability (A-team and B-team). A minimum of seven players are required to make a team. Team sizes between 8 and 10 are preferred. Players will generally play on teams with players in their same grade. If more players are needed at a grade to field even one team at a grade, a player can play up one grade higher with the permission of his parents, his coach, and the AYBA board.

Tryouts are held for 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Coaches NOT from that grade level evaluate the players and teams are divided based on those evaluations. The tryouts are closed sessions, parents that are not coaches are not allowed to watch tryouts.

Teams in 5th grade may remain the same as the teams they had in 4th grade - this will be at the discretion of the board of directors..

4th and 5th grade teams are split into two equal “B” level teams. 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teams are split into an “A” team and a “B” team. If there are more than two teams at the 6th, 7th, or 8th level, teams will be split into an “A” team, and the rest of the teams will be equally split as “B/C” level teams.

The number of practices is determined by the available gym space. A typical practice schedule is one, one-hour practice during the week, and one, one-hour practice on the weekends. Once a player is assigned to a team, that team’s coach will contact you regarding the practice schedule.

Attendance of parents at practice is at the discretion of your team’s coaches.

AYBA makes every attempt to secure as much gym space as possible with proximity to the Albany area. Practice facilities include Avon Elementary, St. Benedict’s Church (Avon), Albany Elementary, Seven Dolors Church (Albany), Albany Area High School, and the Blattner Energy Community Center (BECC). Practice locations will be assigned by the AYBA board and communicated to each team’s coaches.

The AYBA board requires that the playing time guidelines, and the coach’s plans to implement those guidelines, must be clearly communicated to participants and parents prior to the start of the basketball season. The AYBA board recommends the following guidelines for appropriate distribution of playing time for any team:

Grades 4 and 5: During the first three quarters of a game, coaches should strive for relatively equal playing time per player. In the fourth quarter of the game, the coach is free to give the playing time to the players he/she feels will give the team the best chance of winning the game.

Grades 6, 7, and 8: Playing time will be determined by ability.

There may be exceptions to these playing guidelines; however, the AYBA board suggests the affected players should be made aware of this prior to the start of the game and the action must be consistently applied throughout the season. Exceptions may include:
• Poor practice attendance by player.
• Poor effort or participation at practices or tournaments.
• State tournament games: Playing time will be determined solely by the coaching staff. Playing time will not be guaranteed.

Each team will play a minimum of five (5) tournaments per season. The actual number of tournaments will be determined by the overall cost of the tournaments as each team is allocated a budget for tournament fees. Any cost for tournament registrations that is over and above this budget will be the responsibility of the player.

4th Grade Tournament Budget = $1000 per team
5th Grade Tournament Budget = $1200 per team
6th Grade Tournament Budget = $1300 per team
7th & 8th Grade Tournament Budget = $1500 per team

The location and dates of the tournaments are at the discretion of your team’s coaches. Generally speaking, tournaments are typically within a 75-mile radius of the Albany area.

Most tournaments are one-day tournaments that do not require an overnight stay. Older grades may see tournaments that are two-day tournaments and may require an overnight stay. This is at the discretion of your team’s coaches. All costs for travel and lodging are the responsibility of the player.

Maybe. 4th and 5th grade teams have an opportunity play at halftime of a varsity basketball game. This is at the discretion of your team’s coaches. In addition, the boys and girls will have the opportunity to take part in the coach’s pregame speech to varsity team and watch warmups from the bench. This is also at the discretion of your team’s coaches.

Players are required to follow the Players Code of Good Sportsmanship.

I hereby pledge to provide positive support and encouragement to all teammates in youth sports by following the Code of Good Sportsmanship.

I will abide by the rules of the game.

Part of good sportsmanship is knowing the rules of the game and playing by them. If a player decides to play a given    

sport it is the responsibility of that player to learn not only to play, but to play according to the rules which have been established and standardized to allow competitive games to be played in an orderly fashion. The more a player knows the rules the more that player can enjoy the sport.

I will try to avoid arguments.

Part of good sportsmanship is managing your anger. Arguing with the officials, coaches or opponents is often simply a misguided effort at “letting off steam” in the heat of competition. A good sport knows that anger can get in the way of good performance. A good sport knows how to walk away from an argument and to stay focused on the game at hand.

I will share the responsibilities of the team.

Part of good sportsmanship implies that the player on a team is a team player. In other words, the player understands that their behavior reflects on the team in general. Moreover, a team player does not condone unsportsmanlike conduct from teammates and reminds players that they all share in the responsibility of promoting good sportsmanship.

I will give everyone a chance to play by the rules of the game.

Part of good sportsmanship implies that the more talented player will look for and encourage the less talented player on the team by cooperating with the coach to develop their skills and their knowledge of the game.

I will always play fair.

Part of good sportsmanship is honesty and integrity. It is very crucial that the player play fair. Winning as a result of cheating (“dirty” fouls, ineligible players, etc.) is a hollow victory and does not benefit the team or the individual.

I will follow the directions of the coach.

Part of good sportsmanship is listening to and following the directions of the coach and realizing that each player’s decisions affect the rest of the team. If a player has a disagreement with the coach the player, along with their parents discuss this agreement privately, away from the other teammates.

I will respect the efforts of the other teams.

Part of good sportsmanship is being able to accept the other teams’ abilities whether they play better or worse. Respect for the other team is critical to good sportsmanship. If an opponent out-performs a player, that player accepts it, learns from it, offers no excuses and moves on. If a player out-performs an opponent, that player enjoys the victory but does not belittle or minimize the efforts of the opponent.

I will offer positive encouragement to my teammates.

Part of good sportsmanship is a player who praises teammates when they do well and who comforts and encourages them when they make mistakes. Criticizing teammates during a game distracts them from the focus of working together and gives the advantage to the opponent who develops a sense of confidence when seeing signs of weakness or lack of unity.

I will accept the judgment calls of the game officials.

Part of good sportsmanship is knowing that people are human and mistakes happen. Arguing with the official simply wastes time and energy. The player with good sportsmanship knows that errors may be made and they may be upset about the call but the player also has learned to focus their energies back on the game and on doing the best they can for the rest of the game.

I will end the game smoothly.

Part of good sportsmanship is a player who emphasized the joy of participating, regardless of the outcome. The player knows that their efforts to the end the competition smoothly, without antagonizing the opponent, will help ensure that the games will continue in the future.

Sportsmanship is the ability to:

  • Win without gloating (don’t rub it in)
  • Lose without complaining (don’t make excuses)
  • Treat your opponent and the officials with respect

Sportsmanship Tips:

  • If you make a mistake don’t pout or make excuses. Learn from it and be ready to continue to play.
  • If a teammate makes a mistake, encourage, don’t criticize.


Updated: August 7, 2019

Parents are expected to provide positive support, care, and encouragement for their child participating in youth sports by following the AYBA Parents Code of Ethics.

I hereby pledge to provide positive support, care and encouragement for my child participating in youth sports by following this Code of Ethics.

will maintain a “Fun is #1” attitude.

I will remind myself and my child to laugh and keep a sense of humor.

will emphasize teamwork in team sports with my child, teaching them to think “we” instead of “me”.

will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for their teammates, opponents, coaches and officials at every game, practice or other youth sporting events.

will praise my child, their teammates and opponents just for participating, regardless of their athletic skills.

will place the emotional and physical well-being of my child ahead of any personal desire to win. I will do this by remaining calm when my child or their teammates make a mistake and help them learn from their mistakes ~ also, by reminding my child and their teammates not to get down on themselves when things do not go well.

will insist that my child play in a safe and healthy environment.

will not take myself too seriously when it comes to my involvement in youth sports, reminding myself that there is life beyond youth sports.

will provide support for coaches and officials working with my child to provide a positive, enjoyable experience for all.

will demand a drug, alcohol and tobacco-free sports environment for my child and agree to assist by refraining from my use before/during all youth sports events (practices and games).

will remember that the game is for children and not for adults.

will ask my child to treat other players, coaches, fans and officials with respect regardless of race, sex, creed or ability.

will promise to help my child to enjoy the youth sports experience within my personal constraints by assisting with coaching, being a respectful fan, providing transportation or whatever I am capable of doing.

will keep the coach informed on conflicts with practice and game schedules. I will pick up my child no later than five minutes after each practice/games.

will require that my child’s coach be dedicated to AYBA Coaches Code of Ethics.

We reveal our true selves through sports. And like it or not, our children are watching us…looking to us as role models of good sportsmanship. Youth sports are an avenue to teach values to our children: teamwork, hard work and practice, handling and learning from mistakes, developing confidence and winning and losing gracefully, please remind ourselves of the significant roles we play in the lives of our children, at their sporting events and at home.

Updated: August 6, 2019

Coaches are expected to provide positive support, care, and encouragement for those participating in youth sports by following the AYBA Coaches Code of Ethics.

I hereby pledge to provide positive support, care and encouragement to all players in youth sports by following the Coaches’ Code of Ethics.

I will maintain a “Fun is #1” attitude.

I will remind myself and team players to laugh and keep a sense of humor.

I will emphasize teamwork with the team, teaching them to think “we” instead of “me”.

I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for the team, opponents, coaches, and officials at every game, practice or other youth sport events.

I will praise the players and their opponents just for participating, regardless of their athletic skills.

I will place the emotional and physical well-being of the team ahead of any personal desire to win. I will do this by remaining calm when a player or their teammates make a mistake and help them to learn from their mistakes and by reminding the players not to get down on themselves when things do not go well.

I will insist that the team plays in a safe and healthy environment.

I will not take myself too seriously when it comes to my involvement in youth sports, reminding myself that there is life beyond youth sports.

I will provide support for the parents and officials working with the team players to provide a positive, enjoyable experience for all.

I will demand a drug, alcohol and tobacco-free sports environment for the team and agree to assist by refraining from their use at all youth sport events.

I will remember that the game is for children and not for adults.

I will ask the team to treat other players, coaches, fans and officials with respect regardless of race, sex, creed or ability.

I will keep the parents informed on practice and game schedules.

I will make sure each child has a ride before leaving after practice/game.

We reveal our true selves through sports. And like it or not, the players are watching us…. looking to us as role models of good sportsmanship. Youth sports are an avenue to teach values to the players: teamwork, hard work and practice, handling and learning from mistakes, developing confidence and winning and losing gracefully. Please remind ourselves of the significant role we play in the lives of the youth at their sporting events.

Updated: August 2008

The exact length of the season will depend on your team’s specific game schedule, but typically practices will start in November and your final tournament will be in March.

Uniforms are available for purchase at rambow.com. Uniforms must be purchased before October 1st. Order details and payment are handled directly between the player/parent and Rambow. AYBA no longer coordinates ordering of uniforms or clothing.

Those who register as 4th graders receive a uniform included as part of the $195 registration fee. Order details and payment is directly between the player/parent and Rambow.

After 4th grade, if you are new to AYBA or need to order a new uniform or warm up, this is at the cost of the player/parent and not included in the registration fee.

Uniform numbers will be assigned to you - you CANNOT choose your uniform number.

Uniforms should only be worn for officially sanctioned AYBA in-season practices, scrimmages, tournaments, etc...

The registration fee is evaluated each year by the AYBA board of directions. Several factors are considered when determining the fee, including but not limited to, gym rental cost for practices, tournament fees, TeamSnap subscription fee, insurance requirements and costs, support for the Albany Area High School basketball programs, and costs associated with holding our annual fall 3-on-3 tournament, and annual winter 5-on-5 tournament.

AYBA is committed to supporting the boys and girls high school basketball programs by making annual contributions to the programs (for items such as basketballs, Dr. Dish shooting machine, or other items at the discretion of Coach Schlagel and Coach Boyum). In addition, each year we provide scholarships to selected Albany High School basketball players that have applied for the scholarship and have demonstrated a commitment to the AYBA program, the high school program, and overall excellence in academics.

AYBA encourages all parents/guardians to get involved in AYBA by volunteering. There are numerous opportunities throughout the season available such as becoming a coach or assistant coach for a team, acting as a team manager, or at the AYBA 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 tournaments (set up/take down, ticket-takers, concessions, etc…). Please note that all coaches will be required to submit an application, attend the annual coaches meeting and complete a background check.

TeamSnap is a website and mobile app that streamlines the coordination and communication of rosters, contact information, practices and tournaments. AYBA covers the cost of the TeamSnap subscription. There is no additional cost for coaches, parents, or players to use TeamSnap. Coaches are encouraged to utilize TeamSnap for all team communication, but ultimately that is at the discretion of the coaches.

You will receive an invitation to join TeamSnap once the teams are assigned.

Yes.

Concussions are a serious problem in youth sports and AYBA takes them seriously. All parents, coaches, and players should understand the risks of concussions. Information about concussions can be obtained at the CDC web site – https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/index.html.

To make sure that all coaches are familiar with the latest information on concussions, all AYBA coaches are required to do annual concussion training.

For the safety of our players, all AYBA coaches and officials are required to remove from practices and games any players who are showing signs of concussions or are suspected of having a concussion.

When an AYBA player has shown symptoms of a concussion they may not return to practice or games until they no longer show signs of concussions. They also must be evaluated by a licensed physician or athletic trainer, and the medical professional must give written permission for the player to return to participation in basketball activities. The written permission must be given to the player’s coach, and the coach must pass a copy of it on to the AYBA board.

This policy is based on Minnesota law: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/121A.37.

Updated: September 5, 2019

Yes.

Child abuse is a serious problem in American society. Following of the Safe Sport Act of 2018 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/534/text), the AYBA has adopted the following policy to prevent abuse in our program and to deal with any reports of abuse.

Coaching Application

All prospective coaches will fill out an application annually with AYBA. This application will ask about:

1) Coaching experience.

2) Prior allegations against the prospective coach of child abuse.

3) At least two references.

Background checks

All prospective AYBA coaches will be required to complete a background check before coaching and annually after that.

Training

All AYBA coaches are required to watch the Positive Coaching Alliance Video on preventing abuse – https://www.kidpower.org/youth-sports/child-abuse-prevention/. Parents are also encouraged to to watch the video.

Coaches and Players

At least two adults (normally two coaches) must be present at all team practices. Coaches cannot have private practices with individual players. Coaches should not interact with an individual player via any social media platform.   

Abuse Reporting

Any coach, parent, player, or volunteer should report any cases of suspected abuse to AYBA Secretary.  TheAYBA Secretary is required to report the incident to the proper law enforcement authorities. The AYBA Secretary will inform the rest of the board about the incident.  The AYBA board may suspend the coach or volunteer, while the allegations are being investigated.  The identity of the person who reported the abuse will remain confidential.

Updated: September 5, 2019


Updated: September 2, 2020