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Association Guidelines

2018 St. Louis Park Girls' Traveling Basketball Association Guidelines

Mission Statement: 

The St. Louis Park Girls Basketball Association (SLPGBA) is dedicated to providing an opportunity for girls to enhance their individual and team basketball skills through participation in a competitive, performance-based team.  SLPGBA serves the youth, parents/legal guardians, and coaches within the attendance area served by St. Louis Park High School.

 

Major objectives of SLPGBA include:

  • Developing players, stressing sound fundamental basketball skills.

  • Developing, promoting and encouraging participants to demonstrate the desired attributes of good sportsmanship, mutual respect, team spirit, school/community spirit, and good citizenship.

  • Developing coaches with emphasis on basketball fundamentals, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and communication skills.

  • Increasing the level of participation at all levels (players, team, parents, coaches).

  • Establishing an environment that promotes individual and team goal-setting with identification, positive reinforcement, and encouragement of the efforts and sacrifices required to attain them.

  • Providing an equal opportunity for participation at all levels (players, coaches, etc.) consistent with society's standards for diversification (gender, race, culture, etc.)

  • Providing an opportunity for all participants to achieve a sense of accomplishment, build self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills.

  • Establishing standards for personal, team, and community excellence.

  • Enhancing communications for all levels of participants (players, parents, coaches, and community).  St. Louis Park Girls Basketball Club (SLPGBA) is governed by an elected board of directors subject to the association's established by-laws and constitution.

  • Community participation and volunteerism are critical for the association to fulfill its mission and stated objectives.

General Program Expectations: 

The following are some general guidelines SLPGBA will be following in our traveling program.  While we plan to follow these guidelines as though they are rules, every attempt to do what is best for St. Louis Park basketball will be made where situations arise that are not outlined below.  

Philosophy: 

Basketball is a game and games should always be fun.  We are committed to developing our players, teams, and program yet we will not lose sight of the fact that enjoying ourselves is essential.

Accepting roles and making individual sacrifices is important.  It should be clearly understood that each player’s skill level, athletic ability, and attitude will determine the type of role she may play.  

All players will contribute to the team’s success and will be treated with respect.  In order for our teams to reach their potential, we must have players that are willing to work together.  Friendships that develop from this experience will endure long after the season ends.

Registration Information:

  • Registration - The board shall determine and post on the SLP website (www.stlouisparkbasketball.com) registration deadlines.

  • Cost - The board will determine the cost of participation prior to each year’s registration and shall post the cost on the SLP website.  Financial aid to help defray the fees is available to families on a case-by-case basis upon review of the scholarship application. The parent seeking the aid should contact the SLPGBA President.  All inquiries and aid provided will be kept confidential.

  • Tryout Fee - A preliminary tryout fee will be required at the time of registration. The balance of any required participation fees will be due at time of tryout.

  • Refunds - If a player is not selected for a traveling team, registration fees will be refunded minus the tryout fee.

    • For those players that get assigned to a team, payment and volunteer deposits are non-refundable starting two weeks after team assignment

Coaches Selections:

Coaches will be selected from those that interview during the open coaches’ interview period.  This period is typically between June and September each calendar year.

A coach’s selection committee (appointed by the President) will interview all coaching candidates.  The selection committee will be made up of the Board Vice President, and, as necessary, additional SLPGBA Board members and/or additional members appointed by the Board.

Coaching candidates will submit an application upon request and agree to a background check if chosen to coach. Criteria for selection include the application, the background check, and the interview. Coaches will be selected based on experience, knowledge of the game, past involvement and positive attitude.

  • Volunteer coaches for 4th and 5th grade will be un-paid positions.  Volunteer checks will not be required from parents who take on a role as a head or assistant coach.  Head coach volunteers will also have their participation fee waived for a single child.

  • Head coaches for 6th through 8th grade will be paid positions. Parent head coaches for 6th through 8th grade will be paid positions provided the board’s coaching selection committee accepts them as the best candidate.  Volunteer checks will not be required for paid head coaches or non-paid head coaches. Head coach parents will also have their participation fee waived for a single child.

  • Salaries for head coaches will be evaluated annually to ensure the board is being competitive with other programs.

  • The board reserves the right to additionally compensate a coach after three years of service provided his or her performance has been consistently superior.

  • An assistant coach, if selected by the head coach, must be identified and approved by the Board after a background check.

  • Assistant coaches are not paid.  We encourage parents with basketball knowledge to volunteer to be assistant coaches to aid in the development of our players by providing more individual attention than a single coach can provide.  Volunteer checks will be returned to parents who agree to be an assistant and show up regularly for practices.

The board will attempt to appoint a Coaching Coordinator each year for the purpose of mentoring and evaluating coaches throughout the season.  If a Coaching Coordinator is not appointed, the Board Vice President will oversee coaches.

Tryouts:

There is a standardized system to pick traveling teams.  Two separate dates are provided to give players increased opportunity for skill-set display, and to allow for multiple evaluator exposure. All participants are to attend both tryout sessions. Approved exceptions (illness/injury) will ONLY be granted if notification is made to the Board President PRIOR to the scheduled tryout date(s).  For those who are unable to attend either tryout, exceptional situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis given the timing, circumstances, evaluations by coaches from prior seasons, and number of players trying out at certain grade levels.

St. Louis Park Girls’ Traveling Basketball Association (SLPGTBA) will conduct tryouts using more than one independent evaluator appointed by the Board for each grade level. The Board will make every effort to select Tryout Evaluators that have unbiased relationships with participants. Tryout Evaluators will not have children participating at any grade level in the tryouts. Participants will be assigned an arbitrary number which will be used to identify them throughout the tryout and team formation processes. Tryout participants will be evaluated on a series of drills and scrimmages over the course of the two separate tryout dates.  Parents and guardians of participants are not allowed in the gym where and when tryouts are taking place.

Team Formation:

Player selection and team formation will be determined by a Team Formation Committee. This committee will be composed of voting and non-voting representatives. Voting representatives may include, but are not limited to Tryout Evaluators, Coaches and or other suitable individuals as determined by the Board. Voting members will not have children participating at any grade level in the tryouts. Two non-voting members will be present to answer questions and oversee the process, but will not have say in the player selection for team formation. The two non-voting members will be the SLPGTBA Board President and Vice President. If the President or Vice President is unavailable, a replacement Board member will be appointed by the Board.

The Team Formation Committee will use the Tryout Evaluator scores, combined with position considerations to create teams.  The arbitrary number assigned to tryout participants will be used to identify players for selection. The Team Formation Committee will use the SLPGTBA guidelines to form teams at specific grade levels based on the number of participants that have tried out at each grade level. The Team Formation Committee will also provide a competition level recommendation, A,B or C, for each team. In circumstances that do not fit exactly within SLPGTBA guidelines, such as combining selected players from multiple grade levels to form multiple teams, the Team Formation Committee will consult the board for direction. Final decisions regarding teams formed outside of the SLPGTBA guidelines will be made by a Board vote.

If it is found that there are tryout participants with near-equal to equal tryout scores vying for limited remaining team positions, team Coaches may be consulted for more player information. Only then will player names be released by the SLPGTBA Board for selection consideration. Coaches will also have final input on the competition level at which their team is to play, A,B or C. This input may be provided after Coaches have had the opportunity to have several team practices.

Traveling basketball is a competitive activity. While the SLPGTBA makes every effort to include as many girls as possible in team formation, there ultimately will be tryout participants that do not get selected during team formation. All parents, guardians, and tryout participants should be informed and prepared to deal with the final results of team formation. Team rosters will be posted on the www.stlouisparkbasketball.com web site no later than 7 days after completion of the tryouts.  

Guidelines for 4th and 5th Grade Teams

  • Unless otherwise determined by the SLPGTBA Board, teams will have no fewer than 8 players and no more than 11.  However, the ideal number of players on a team is 10, and teams will be formed with the goal of 10-person teams.

  • On 4th grade teams, selection of 4th grade participants will have priority over 3rd grade participants.

 

Guidelines for 6th through 8th Grade Teams

  • Unless otherwise determined by the SLPGBA executive committee, teams will have no fewer than 8 players and no more than 10.  

  • To have enough players to form a team, there must be at least 8 players that meet the minimal proficiency needed to play traveling basketball.  Minimal proficiency is determined by the Tryout Evaluator scores.

Guidelines for players wishing to Play-up from their current grade level:

  • The player must meet or exceed the tryout scores of the fourth highest scoring participant at the requested grade level. This means that the player will be in the top three players on the team, and an unquestionable game-time starter.

  • Playing-up will not be allowed if the player(s) are needed to meet the minimum 8 players per team formation size restrictions at their current grade level.

  • Playing-up will not be allowed if it results in the exclusion of a competently evaluated player, as determined by the Team Formation Committee, due to the maximum allowable team size of 11 players.

Team Expectations: 

4th and 5th Grade Traveling: Emphasis is more on individual fundamentals and skill development as opposed to team concepts.  Coaches are expected to devote most of their 90 minute practices to developing the basic individual fundamentals.  A smaller portion of time should be spent on developing the team fundamental skills. Winning games at this level is great, but we would rather sacrifice a win to build a strong base of fundamental skills.

6th through 8th Grade Traveling: Emphasis is more on team basketball development than on individual skill development.  Coaches can focus more on team basketball concepts and less on individual skill development (but not to be abandoned totally).  This is where players learn the different roles they can play within a team to be successful. Expectations at this level are that the player will invest their off-season into getting better at the individual skills and coaches can coach to win games.

Injury Risk, Reporting and Clearance

Basketball is contact sport and therefore there is an inherent risk of injury.  The coaching staff will provide the proper equipment, facilities, and supervision to provide a safe environment

Any time an athlete misses practice or game time due to illness or injury, the coach is required to have a written return to practice/game from the parent or a verbal OK from the parent with the team parent as a witness to the consent.

Athletes must notify the coach of any medical condition(s) that may affect an athlete’s ability to perform.

Player Attendance Policy:

Players are expected to attend all practices and tournament games unless their Head Coach has excused them.  Players are also expected to be at all practices and games at the time the Head Coach has indicated.  Whether or not an absence is excused is at the discretion of the Head Coach for that squad. We want the player to be dedicated to their team and their teammates.  We understand that there can be instances where a player has to miss a practice or a game.  We also want the player to be responsible and notify their coaches of an upcoming situation in a timely manner so the coach can make the necessary adjustments.

  • Coaches are to be notified in advance of any absences.

  • Attendance at practices is mandatory.

  • Attendance at all games is mandatory.

  • All players will be disciplined in the same manner, regardless of who the student is and whether the student is a starter or reserve.

Unexcused absences can include:

  • Coach not notified in a timely manner.

  • Absences not approved in advance by the coach.

  • Absences due to conflicts with other sports or non-school/church related activities.

  • Not arriving to practices or games when indicated by the Head Coach

Excused absences can include:

  • Absence due to injury or illness of player.

  • Absences due to serious illness or death of family member.

  • Absences due to scheduled school or church activities.

  • Absences due to special school assignments.

Players should NOT be punished for EXCUSED absences at team practices, games, and team functions, unless the EXCUSED absences become excessive.  Excessive excused absence determination will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Board.

Consequences of unexcused absences:

Missing 1 game or practice – Verbal warning from the coach.

Missing 2 games or practices – Player does not play in the next game, but is required to attend the game.

Missing 3 or more games or practices – Coach is to notify the Board President or Coaching Coordinator.  The Board will take appropriate steps to rectify the situation.

If a player is removed, there will be no refund of any fees.  

Playing Time Guidelines

The head coach shall have the freedom to run his team while keeping within the program guidelines. Coaches are expected to develop all the players on the team. Coaches shall work to give each player fair playing time over the course of the year to develop each player's full potential and in accordance with the Association's playing time guidelines:

4th and 5th grades: Coaches shall work to give all players equal playing time, on average, understanding that coaches will be given reasonable discretion to make game-specific playing decisions in the best interest of the team.  

6th through 8th grade: Average Minimum of 7 Minutes per game.

Note: A player's playing time can be affected by unauthorized absences from practices and/or games, injuries, illness, attitude, effort and unwillingness to do as the coach has instructed (And if there is a persistent problem, please attempt to communicate the situation to both player and parents and keep your grade level's "board representative" appraised).

NOTE TO PARENTS: Since the beginning of traveling sports, this has been one of the biggest points of contention. All parents must recognize that strict adherence to the minimum playing time guidelines during a game or over the course of a season cannot be guaranteed due to player absences, the playerʼs physical condition, player substitution patterns, player foul situation, player injuries and other factors that the team, players and coaches encounter.

The guidelines shown above are not intended to have parents using stopwatches to verify playing time. SLPGBA, however, has emphasized to the coaches the importance of our playing time guidelines, how these guidelines support our programs mission and goals and our expectation that coaches adhere to the playing time guidelines to the best of their ability.

In order to give our players the best chance to succeed in game situations, coaches may be required to put certain players on the floor during certain times relative to the opponent’s lineup, size matchups, etc. In order for our teams to be competitive, some flexibility about playing time must be left to the coach’s discretion.  This being said, SLPGBA still mandates that all children be given a fair opportunity to play.

 

Parent / Guardian Responsibilities & Code of Conduct


 

St. Louis Park Parent Role:

 

Help your player understand the importance of improving their individual basketball skills, the importance of team, and working hard. Celebrate their successes with them.


 

St. Louis Park Parent Responsibilities:

 

  • Emphasize to my child that good athletes strive to also be good students.

  • Make sure your child gets to practices and games on time. If she is going to miss a practice or game, notify your Coach or Team Parent as soon as possible.

  • Work with your child on their individual basketball skills whenever possible.

  • Let your coach know if your child has an injury, a health issue, a school issue or anything else that may impact his or her ability to participate in practice and/or games. All such discussions will be handled with sensitivity and will remain confidential.

  • Be an informed and involved parent / guardian. Find out what’s going on in the Association by reading the

meeting minutes each month (found on the website --- www.stlouisparkbasketball.com).

  • Attend Association meetings if you are able.

  • Proper uniform care

    • The uniform must be washed inside out at a cold setting and hung out to dry.   DO NOT PUT UNIFORM IN DRYER!!!

    • The uniform is only to be worn for official games – not to practice.

    • If uniform is damaged or lost, the association will use the manditory uniform deposit check to pay for its replacement.  

 

Volunteer Requirements:

Each SLPGTBA player is required to provide 20 hours of volunteer time. Volunteer time can be completed by the player, player’s family members or player’s friends.

Volunteers must be at least 15 years of age.

Opportunities and registration for volunteer time will be posted throughout the year on an online site like Sign-up Genius. Volunteer time will be tracked through the registration site. If a player or player’s family fails to meet the required volunteer hours, only a prorated portion of the volunteer deposit check will be returned at the end of the season.

Volunteering opportunities include:

  • Team coach (3rd and 4th Grade)

  • Assistant Team coach

  • Serving as a board member

  • Working at SLPGTBA hosted Basketball Tournaments

    • Admissions

    • Concessions

    • Time keeping

    • Court Monitoring

  • Working at High School basketball game concessions

 

Payment and volunteer deposits are non-refundable starting two weeks after team assignment

 

St. Louis Park Parent Code of Conduct:

 

  • Set a good example for your child by encouraging her and other players on the team.

  • Control your emotions and actions during games. Do not say disrespectful or negative words to your child or her teammates, the coaches, referees or opposing players and parents.

    • Remember that it is the coach’s job to discuss game situations (or bad calls!) with the referees

  • Do not coach your child from the sideline during games.  Offer encouragement but leave the coaching to the coach. Too many voices talking to a player will only confuse them.

  • Emphasize that winning is a product of working hard and not as important as playing your hardest, showing good sportsmanship, and being a supportive teammate.

  • Be respectful of the coaches and their decisions. If there are conflicts with the coach, attempt to discuss the situation using these guidelines:

    • Wait 24-hours. Right before, during or immediately after the game is not a good time. Discussing a delicate or frustrating situation in front of others is usually not a good idea. Choose a time and a place where others cannot overhear your conversation (especially your child, unless they need to be a part of the conversation).

    • Consider discussing the situation with your Team Parent prior to approaching the coach.

    • If the issue includes another player or family on your team, consider approaching the other party directly instead of through the coach.

  • Thank your coaches and Team Parent!

 

Conflict Resolution:

Issues concerning players - Player issues are to be directed to the head coach of a squad.  They are to be resolved at a non-game situation (i.e. before or after practice if coach approves, separate scheduled meeting, etc). Players are encouraged to speak with the coach themselves, then, if necessary, the parents should contact the coach. If resolution cannot be attained in this manner, then a Board member may be contacted.  A meeting with all necessary parties may be called if deemed necessary.

Issues concerning parents – Parents, don’t forget that coaches are volunteers.  Please respect the coach for their decisions.  A coach’s decision is not questionable.   Please don’t coach your child from the sideline during the game.  If you have an issue, speak to the coach at an appropriate time.  If resolution cannot be attained in this manner, then a Board member may be contacted.  A meeting with all necessary parties may be called if deemed necessary.

Issues concerning coaches – Coaching issues should first be handled by the parents and the coaches on their own.  They are to be resolved at a non-game situation (i.e. before or after practice if coach approves, separate scheduled meeting, etc).   If resolution cannot be attained in this manner, then a Board member may be contacted.  A meeting with all necessary parties may be called if deemed necessary.

The SLPGBA Board will monitor the aforementioned guidelines and parents are encouraged to report any noncompliance of these guidelines to the President. It is recommended that the President, or President assignee, be present at any parent/coach meeting in which issues of how the team is being managed will be discussed. Coaches and parents are facilitators in making this a productive and enjoyable experience.

While we tried to cover all the instances that may occur during the season, we realize that it is tough to outline what should happen for every situation.  Therefore, if anything is not covered by these guidelines, the Board of Directors will use their judgment to do what is best for SLPGBA Basketball.