ABBA Handbook

Albany Boys Basketball Association (ABBA) is a volunteer, non-profit organization. ABBA board and coaches are comprised mostly of parents of ABBA players. The board, coaches, team representatives, and other members generously donate their time to provide a dynamic, productive organization.
ABBA is an organization designed to introduce the game of basketball to boys in 4th-8th grade. The ABBA 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.
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 10 teams per year, and over 100 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/B team). A minimum of seven players are required to make a team. Team sizes between 8 and 10 are preferred. Boys will generally play on teams with boys in their same grade. If more players are needed at a grade to field even one team at a grade, a boy can play up one grade higher with the permission of his parents, his coach, and the ABBA 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 view tryouts.

Teams in 5th grade will remain the same as the teams they had in 4th grade - with adjustments made if players do not return or if new players register.

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 (1), one-hour practice during the week, and one (1), 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.
ABBA 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 ABBA board and communicated to each team’s coaches.
The ABBA 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 ABBA 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 ABBA 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 & 6th Grade Tournament Budget = $1200 per team
7th & 8th Grade Tournament Budget = $1400 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.
Parents are expected to provide positive support, care, and encouragement for their child participating in youth sports by following the ABBA Code of Ethics. The full code of ethics is available here.
The actual 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. ABBA 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 ABBA 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.
The registration fee is evaluated each year by the ABBA 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 boys basketball program, and costs associated with holding our fall 3-on-3 tournament, and annual winter ABBA tournament.
ABBA is committed to supporting the high school program by making annual contributions to the program (for items such as basketballs, Dr. Dish shooting machine, or other items at the discretion of Coach Schlagel). In addition, each year we provide scholarships to selected high school basketball players that have applied for the scholarship and have demonstrated a commitment to the ABBA program, the high school program, and overall excellence in academics.
Teamsnap is a website and mobile app that streamline the coordination and communication of rosters, contact information, practices and tournaments. ABBA 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. If your team utilizes Teamsnap, you will receive an invitation to join your team on Teamsnap.
ABBA encourages all parents/guardians to get involved in ABBA 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 ABBA tournament (set up/take down, ticket-takers, concessions, etc…).
Maybe. 4th and 5th grade teams have an opportunity play at halftime of a varsity boys basketball game. This is at the discretion of your team’s coaches.

In addition, all grade levels have the opportunity to take part in Coach Schlagel’s pregame speech to varsity team and watch warmups for the bench. This is also at the discretion of your team’s coaches.

Update: August 27, 2018