IYAA Basketball program operated in Independence Misouri

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How Are Teams Put Together?
by posted 11/23/2015


This time of year we get lots of phone calls from parents asking something along the lines of "why is my kid on that team".   I just got off the phone actually with a parent asking that question and she thought it might be good to put together a summary of how we assemble teams.  First let me explain there is no guarantee that your child will get to play for their school although we try very hard to accomplish that and there are a couple of things you can do to help.

 

Team assembly starts at 1st grade in our program.  At one time, School Coordinators (we wish we had more of these volunteers) encourage 1st graders to play basketball for their teams.  They help put together teams, find coaches for those teams and cheer for those teams.  A School Coordinator's job pretty much wraps up when the season starts (except for the cheering) so they are only involved for a few weeks.  Through the years, the number of active School Coordinators has diminished significantly.

 

Today we have one person who acts as the "Elementary Schools Coordinator."  He puts together teams for almost all the elementary schools.  He keeps to the following guidelines (in the order listed) as he assigns kids to teams.

 

  1. If a player was on a team last year and wants to stay on that team we do our best to accomplish that.
    1. If the coach from last year is not returning this year we will first attempt to find a replacement coach.
    2. If a replacement coach can't be found we will attempt to keep kids together in groups from the team as we spread them out among other teams in the league.  This way we hope there is a friendly face in the new team.
    3. If we have to split kids up we try to place them on a team close to their school although this is not always possible.
  2. If a player was on a team last year and does not want to stay on that team we will respect those wishes.
    1. The player will be moved to another team that is in need of a player.
    2. We will attempt to keep the child at their own school but usually this is not possible.
  3. If a player is new to the league we will attempt to put them in a team in their own school
    1. If there are not enough players to form a team we will try to move the players in groups and put them on other teams in the league.
  4. If possible we like to keep the number of players on a team below 10.  This gives every player the best chance to contribute.

 

So that is a glance at how we organize teams.  Now let me answer some questions we get asked.

 

  • Can my player play on a particular team or for a particular coach?
    • No, we don't allow assembled teams in our program.  The only way to be sure that a player is on a particular team is to be the coach of that team.  
  • Did you move that player to that team because the parent asked?
    • No we never did that on purpose.  If a player ended up on a team it is not because we want a particular team to do well or not.  Frankly, none of us involved in organizing teams have a player in the program anymore so as the saying goes "we don't have a dog in the hunt".
  • That team is so much better than our team, are they a competitive team that just came into the program?
    • IYAA does not allow assembled teams to enter our program because we feel that would change the program too much.  With that said let me explain, however that many of our coaches will continue to play year round with their team and the team gets MUCH better what that type of involvement.
  • I really want my child to play for their school.  How can I help?
    • Volunteer to become a School Coordinator.  
      • We want every child to play for their elementary school but the only way that happens is parents get involved a little to make sure there are enough players and a coach.
      • School Coordinators don't have to know anything about basketball, they just have to be fair and interested in helping kids play.
    • Volunteer to coach.  
      • A coach always gets to have their kid on the team.
      • Every year we have about a dozen teams (over a hundred kids) without a coach.  You can make a big difference if you volunteer.
      • Don't worry about not knowing how to coach.  Every one of our coaches goes through a coaching clinic with the highschool coaches here in Independence.

 

 

In summary, although there is no guarantee that your player will play for their school there are things you can do to help that be more likely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IYAA Frequently Asked Questions
by posted 09/11/2014


If this is the first time you have a player in our program let us start by saying welcome!  Your youngster is getting ready to start a great experience.  During your players time with IYAA they will learn valuable skills on the court and off.  They join the ranks of thousands of alumni dating back over two decades.  We get a number of questions from new parents and so we put them together in this simple FAQ.  Please read through this before calling or emailing because often the answer is right here.

Q:  Will my child play against kids their own age?

A:  In elementary school yes, but when they move to middle school we group the kids all together.  

Q:  When will games and practices be?

A:  Games are on Saturdays.  Practices are much harder to determine because the coach of each team gets to choose the times.  Please see the answer below about coaches.

Q:  When will practices and games start?

A:  Games will start in January.  Practices will usually start the first or second week of December.  You will get a call from your coach near that time to talk to you about the practice schedule.

Q:  Where will the games and practices be held?

A:  Games are played at the Independence Schools middle school campus usually.  Practices are held usually at the players elementary school.

Q:  What are the costs?

A:  Our fee is $100.  This includes the regular season (eight games if we get no weather), mid season tournament, post season tournament, practices and a reversible uniform shirt.  

Q:  Are there any scholarships?

A:  We do have a limited number of scholarships.  You can learn more by clicking here.  

 

Q:  Why are the uniform shirt sizes only adult sizes?

A:  Some years ago we tried using children sizes and found a huge number of returns because the child outgrew them or the size was guessed wrong.  So now we only utilize adult sizes.

 

Q:  I have registered my player, when will I hear from my coach?

A:  We close registration late in early November and then assemble teams at that time.  Usually by the first week in December you will be getting a call or email from your coach.  At that time the coach will talk to you about practice times and locations.

 

Q:  My player is trying out for the middle school team at his school.  What should I do?

A:  Many players will tryout for the program at the middle school and my be cut after the IYAA registration is closed.  We highly recommend you register your child now and if he/she makes the middle school team we will refund your registration fee.  Do not wait till after they are cut and ask to register then because registration will be closed.

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