Announcement

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2021 SKYAA Fall Basketball is on hold :-(

Posted by Lance Lighthall on May 04 2019 at 05:00PM PDT

Parents and Guardians,

As of right now the SKYAA Fall Basketball League for Girls and Boys has just been cancelled. I received an email from the district a few minutes ago (8/27/21) that superintendent Winter has canceled indoor community gym use for now.

I did all the legwork to set up the season which included reserving the gym space for fall. You may see SKYAA Community Gym Use on school calendars because of this. I have been proceeding for the last month or so like we were going to have a season but it was with mixed feelings that I did so as the virus is surging. We did hold a summer basketball camp that was successful and we learned a lot from doing that. I had come up with a number of protocols that would have helped keep our children safe during practices and games. However, with no gym space we obviously can not proceed. I hope it doesn’t sound like I am trying to throw the district under the bus here – I am not. It is a tough call for one person to make and I know Superintendent Winter has our children’s safety in mind as he made this call.

I apologize to those of you who may have been holding your children out of other outdoor leagues in anticipation of this fall league. I had every intention of having a league this fall but it just has not worked out.

Ideally, the surge that is taking place will die down in the next few weeks and we can get up and running again for a fall league. I will continue to keep you posted and updated as information becomes available to me.

Thank you,

Lance

Fall 2021 Registraion Information

 ·        Where: Registration for rec league basketball is at Marcus Whitman Junior High in the foyer

·        When: September 20, 21, & 22, 2021 from 6 to 8.

·        Cost: $90 for one player, $75 for the next sibling, and $65 for each sibling after that. For example, If you had one boy and one girl the cost would be $165. There is also a $10 discount for all first and second grade players.

 Divisions: 

·        1st/2nd graders play together on 8 foot rims with a junior size ball (27.5)

·        3rd/4th graders play together on 9 foot rims with a regulation girl’s ball (28.5)

·        5th/6th graders play together and play regulation games with a girl’s ball (28.5)

·        7th/8th/9th grade play regulation games with regulation balls for each gender.

Notes: There is nothing to do or sell – The $90 covers everything including a jersey for all participants to keep. The season lasts 7 weeks (8-11 games). All practices and most games are held in SK schools between 5:30 and 9:00. All practices and games are played Monday through Thursday. We never practice or play games on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Practices will start for all divisions and players on or about September 29. The season for each group last approximately seven weeks. Players who sign up from the Gig Harbor area will be placed on a team with other Gig Harbor players. Their practices will be held at gym closest to the Port Orchard and Gig Harbor boundaries to minimize travel. Players and spectators will have to wear masks until the state mandate is lifted :-(

1st/2nd Grade You should hear from your coach by 9/28/21 and practices will begin on 9/29/21. At that time the schedule for the first two weeks of the season will be finalized and players will have been placed on teams. Games will start Wednesday, 10/6. The season should be completed by Thursday, 11/11/21. Most teams will practice two to three times each week the first few weeks of the season. In the weeks after that you will play 2 games per week until you have played 8-11 games. You may or may not have additional practices at the discretion of your coach. First & Second graders will play their games at South Colby Elementary and Sunnyslope Elementary. Practices will be at various schools depending on what schools the district allows us to use. Practices will start at 5:30 and later depending on the location. Games will start at 5:30, 6:30, & 7:30. We will not use the 7:30 time slot if we don’t have to. Games will be played on 8 foot rims with a junior size ball (27.5). We will not keep score at these games. No refs are assigned for this level. Coaches and parents ref these games. We have tried it both ways and find that this is the most effective way for kids to learn. 

3rd/4th Grade You should hear from your coach by 9/28/21 and practices will start on 9/29. At that time the schedule for the first few weeks of the season will be finalized and players will have been placed on teams. Games will start Wednesday, 10/6. The season should be completed by 11/11/21. The third and fourth graders will practice at Manchester Elementary and two other sites still to be determined. Practices and games will start at 5:30 and later. We will play games at Manchester Elementary and Sunnyslope Elementary. Games will be played at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 and will be played on 9 foot rims with a regulation girl’s ball (28.5). Boys will also use the girls ball for their games. If we run out of gym space each team will play a couple of games on 10 foot rims at an alternate location (probably Hidden Creek). Many of their practices will be at schools that only have 10 foot rims. One ref is assigned for these games so parents and coaches do not have to ref.

5th/6th Grade and Junior High teams should hear from your coach by 9/28/21 and practices will begin on 9/29. Most teams will practice two to three times during the first two weeks of the season (4-6 total). Games will start on Wednesday, 10/6. The season should be completed by 11/11/21. In the weeks after that you will play 2 games per week until you have played 8-11 games. You will have additional practices at the discretion of your coach. They will play their games and practice at the three junior highs and few of the elementary schools. Most of the fifth and sixth grade games will be at the junior highs but when space is an issue they will play at the elementary schools. I try and keep as many teams as possible at the earlier times. Different schools let us in at different times and practice/games times are dependent on that. Practices and games will start at 6:00 and later. 5th/6th grade teams and junior high girls will use a regulation girls ball. Junior high boys will use a regulation boys ball.

Junior High Boys You should hear from your coach by 3/31/20 and practices will start on 4/6. The season should be completed by 5/21/20. At that time the schedule for the first few weeks of the season will be finalized and players will have been placed on teams. Games will start Wednesday, 4/15. In the weeks after that you will play 2 games per week until you have played 8-11 games. Every effort will be made to play all the games at the 3 junior highs. 

Info: There will be in excess of 450 participants for the seven week season. This creates some logistics and space problems at times. The large numbers make some things logistically difficult to pull off without the occasional SNAFU. Please be patient with us. Every effort is made to make balanced teams while honoring requests to play with friends.

COVID: We will be taking many steps as a precaution to limit the spread of Covid. Players and spectators will wear masks, contact tracing, separate games by having less overlap (more times between games), limit practices to one team per gym whenever possible, spread spectators apart at games etc…

Late Signups: We take late signups after the scheduled registration dates. To sign up late send an email to Lance at lmlbraves@aol.com. We will send you the forms and arrange to get them from you. There is a $10 late fee if you sign up after regular registration is over.

More Info: For questions (many answers are in the FAQ section) contact us at lmlbraves@aol.com.

FAQ’s

Frequently asked questions

What heights are the rims set at for each level and what size ball do they use?
The first and second grade division plays on 8 foot rims with a junior size ball (27.5). The Third and fourth grade divisions plays on 9 foot rims with a regulation women’s ball (28.5). The fifth through ninth grade divisions play on a 10 foot rim. The 5th/6th girls and boys play with a regulation women’s ball (28.5). The junior high boys play with a regulation men’s ball (29.5).  

Why do we play games on 9 foot rims but sometimes practice on 10 foot rims?
Gym availability is the only reason. When we have enough space you always practice on the same level of rims that you play your games on. Occasionally the third/fourth graders will play a few games on 10 foot rims instead of 9 foot rims. Again, that is only due to gym availability at gyms that have adjustable rims. 

Why do some teams practice more than others?
Each team is assigned 4-6 practices when the schedule comes out by the league coordinator. Additional practices are held at the discretion of the coach of each team. Some coaches may practice once or twice a week in addition to the scheduled games. Others choose to just play the assigned games. In my experience about 70% of coaches just choose to play the games. Coaches schedule extra practices via email/phone with the league coordinator.  

Why is this league so much cheaper than other basketball leagues?           

We are not part of a national organization and this is a league run by volunteers, not a city parks and recreation department with paid employees. Player fees go to jerseys, medals, referees, insurance, background checks, and other expenses. We charge $90 for the first player, $75 for the second player (must be a sibling), and $65 for each additional player from the same family – it has to be a sibling. We actually lose money on the second player so we vigilantly monitor this. Every player gets a jersey to keep and refs for every game at third grade and above.

Here are some sample fees charged by other organizations in the area and what you get: 

* * * SKYAA  – our league: $90 ($75 for 2nd player, $65 for the 3rd player) – includes a jersey. None of the following leagues provide a jersey unless noted.

·         South Kitsap Pee Wee’s Basketball: $120 per player;  includes a jersey;

·         Poulsbo Recreational Basketball: 2nd – 4th is $152.51 (includes a ball) with a jersey 
                                                        5th – 8th is $165 (includes a ball) with a jersey 

·         Bremerton City League: $163.37 with a jersey 

·         Peninsula Athletic Association (Gig Harbor): $180 with a jersey 

In our boys and girls leagues we average about $80 per player. The average fee above with a jersey is  $160.18!!!

Will there be price hikes in the future?           
We had a $5 price hike for the fall 2016 season. This was our first increase in over 3 years. In Fall 2018 we again increased the price $5 – the first increase in two years. The two increases were due to some insurance issues and all the other costs of running the league only go one way – up. Every effort will be made to keep the registration fee as low as possible. As you can see from the fees above we have been successful when compared to other area leagues. 

Can I request to be on another player’s team?
You can do that so long as the sole purpose of your request is to not stack a team. We like to have competitive teams and limit blowouts as much as possible. If you would like to request a certain coach or player write that at the top of the form.  

How are teams assembled?
A tremendous amount of work goes into assembling teams. We use several factors to make up teams. The factors are player/parent/coach requests, what school kids are from, how old they are, how tall they are, etc… If they have played before with us we use an evaluation from their previous coach. We try to honor as many requests as possible while maintaining a competitive balance. We try to get kids from the same school on a team while trying to give each team the same number of kids from each grade level at their level. Ideally every third/fourth grade team for example will have the same number of third graders and the same number of fourth graders. We find that kids playing together for a number of years from the same area of the city add to a better experience for the athletes involved. The most important component in assembling teams is the coaches’ evaluation if a player played with us previously. A lot of work really does go into making teams and we want every child to have a good experience. We are also aware that no matter how we assemble teams there will be teams that go undefeated and teams that go winless.

How are coaches picked?
We really don’t have to do a lot of picking. We are often times short coaches at each level and take who volunteers. There is a space in the registration form that asks each parent/guardian if they would like to coach. When we are short a coach or two at a level we start calling people to see if we can convince a person to coach. You should know that if you can’t coach your child’s team (and many people can’t because of work, child care etc…) that Phil Jackson is not waiting to do it. It is most likely someone just like you who likes to spend time with their child and budgeted the time to do so. Their knowledge of the game is probably limited and they do the best they can. 95% of our parents are happy with their coach. When we have a very unpopular coach we do not ask them to coach again. 

I recently had a lady ask me why we do not screen the coaches. When you have 35 people volunteer to coach and have 50 teams that makes it very difficult to screen “bad” coaches out. We do not have 100 people sign up for the 50 open slots.

Where do these refs come from?           
They are often times people that we recruit to do it and we pay them. When a ref has been deemed adequate we give them many games. When they are not so good we cancel their games and do not ask them back next season. If you know of any interested people who would like to ref have them email lmlbraves@aol.com to go through the process. We have found over the years that no matter what we do no one is happy with the refs. It is a very difficult job. 

When and how do I get the schedule?           
There will be a start date for the season on an informational flyer that you get at sign-ups and on this website. On that start date all the coaches have the schedule for at least the first two weeks of the seven week season. A week or so later the final schedule comes out for the rest of the season. The only changes that will take place after that are practices that your coach may elect to add and any cancellations because of school district events that we did not know about when the schedule was made.

Why is there no referee at the first and second grade level?           
This is something we monitor and get constant feedback on. The consensus is that at this early stage it is better for player development and confidence if the coaches/parents serve as the referee’s. 

Why can’t our team practice at (fill in the blank)?           
Fill in the blank is not always available to us. It may have been in the past but not this year. I have limited control over what schools we get from the school district. We request a number of gyms and then the school district balances their needs, other organizations requests with our request. Many other organizations also ask for and need gym space. It is very difficult to have students practice at their home school though every effort is made to do just that. 

Why do we sometimes have to share gym space?           
Our league because of the price and great organization has become very popular in the community. We are significantly larger than other basketball leagues in the area. That is a wonderful thing but comes with some logistical challenges. The first and second grade division almost always shares gym space because they can only practice at two gyms in the city and they fill up fast. Most all other levels might share one, maybe two practices and that is it. When coaches’ request practices later in the season they almost always get the gym to themselves. 

Why don’t we practice right after school when all the kids are right there?           
The school district does not give us access to the gyms until 5:30PM or later. It varies by school. 

Why do we play all the 1/2 & 3/4 level games at South Colby, Sunnyslope, and Manchester?         
Those levels play their games on 8 and 9 foot rims. These are the only 3 gyms in the city that we have access to that offer a lower rim.

The document 2021_Summer_Camp_Registration_Form.docx was attached to this post.