Peters Township Basketball Association: Recreational & Travel Basketball for youth Boys & Girls

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PTBBA TRAVEL PROGRAM GUIDELINES 

1.0       ORGANIZATION STUCTURE

a)    PTBBA

b)    Board

c)    Travel Program Coordinator – Boys and Girls

d)    Head Travel Coach for each grade level

e)   Selection process:  The PTBBA will recruit the most qualified coach at all levels. The PTBBA Board must approve all of the travel coaches.  The Head travel coach for each grade level for the GIRLS program will be named at the October board meeting.  The Head Travel Coach for each grade level for the BOYS program will be named at the November board meeting.  Depending on the number of applicants for these teams, it may be necessary to wait at a minimum one (1) month to finalize all head coaches.  Coaching term for the GIRLS TEAMS will last for one year from October thru September.  Coaching term for the BOYS TEAMS will last one year from November to October.  At any point during the respective time frames, the PTBBA reserves the right to make a change in the head coach if circumstances dictate a change is necessary.  There is NO requirement that the Travel Coach be a parent of a current player in the program or live in the township.

The following criteria may be used to evaluate all coaching candidates:

  • Application Information and Questions

  • Past experience (including any formal complaints filed from previous seasons)

  • Interview by PTBBA Board Member (likely the Travel Director)

f)   Travel Assistant Coach(s) – appointed by grade level travel coach and approved by PTBBA Board

 

2.0      PROGRAM GOALS

a)   To be a “feeder program” for the Peters Township High School men and women’s basketball programs

b)   To provide team instruction & development of fundamental basketball skills

c)   To teach principles of teamwork and sportsmanship

d)   To develop competitive teams through the framework of these principles

 

3.0       THE TEAMS

a)   The PTBBA will sponsor teams based on the interest and participation level that may vary year to year. The number of teams sponsored shall be determined by the Travel Coordinators with approval from the PTBBA Board.  The Travel Program will attempt to sponsor no more than 2 separate boy and girl teams at every grade level beginning with 4th grade through 8th grade.

b)   Tryout dates shall be posted and advertised through school and township periodicals. Prospective players shall fill out a tryout application to provide coaches with personal information including ability, experience, and current participation on other potentially conflicting teams such as non-PTBBA sponsored basketball leagues and/or tournaments (public & parochial school, AAU, etc.) during the projected PTBBA sponsored season.

c)  The teams shall be selected by a group of “evaluators” identified by the Travel Coordinator.  All evaluators should be independent of the age group, such as a member of the appropriate high school staff, a previous coach in the PTBBA program, current PTBBA Board members, and others with appropriate basketball knowledge.  Evaluators should not have kids in that age group.  Coaches from previous years’ travel teams may be invited to attend travel tryouts to provide information, but will not be part of the official evaluation staff.  See also Section 4(c) (relating to participation level in prior year as a factor).  The selection committee will use an evaluation form provided by the PTBBA.  Players will be ranked and placed on the A (Red) or B (White) team.

d)  Grades 5 through 8 – At these grade levels teams will be selected as follows:  Top 10 players will participate on the “Red” team.  Players 11 through 20 will participate on the “White” team.  The PTBBA can adjust the number of players per team if participation levels are less than twenty candidates at a respective grade level (i.e. teams can have less than ten players). 

      4th Grade – Players 1 through 20 will be divided evenly among the Red and White teams based on the rankings from tryouts. The PTBBA can adjust the number of players per team if participation levels are less than twenty candidates at a respective grade level (i.e. teams can have less than ten players). 

 e)  All players must play at their grade level.  No player will be allowed to play up regardless of skill level.  There will be no exceptions made for children who have played up in a higher-grade level in the past.  Such actions will not be considered precedence setting.  In a situation where there are not enough players within an age group to field a team, consideration will be given to move players to the next age group.  However every effort will be made to recruit players to field at least one team at each age level.

f)    Players MUST participate on the team that they are selected to play on for that travel season and cannot move to another team (higher or lower).  If a player chooses not to participate on the team they are selected for after tryouts, the following year the player, at the discretion of the PTBBA Board, may only have the opportunity to play on the lowest team of that grade.

g)   In the situation where a family moves into the community after the travel teams have been selected, the Travel Coordinator will establish a “special consideration tryout” for this player(s).   If the player(s) is deemed to be qualified they will be added to the roster.  In no situation will this event cause a current player to be removed from the roster.  The roster would be expanded not contracted.

h)   The PTBBA travel program has a philosophy of providing both teams with equal opportunity and will seek to play in travel leagues of comparable talent.  Since players mature and develop at different times and work habits vary, the travel team philosophy is NOT “once an A team player, always an A team player”.  Therefore, this selection process is repeated each year to recognize developmental variations in players.

 

4.0       PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES

a)   Individual Travel Players are expected to make participation on a travel team a top priority.  Missing a travel commitment, game or practice, to attend outside activities (i.e. other sports, recreational/school activities, and other basketball teams) can impact individuals playing time and/or future travel participation.

b)   Each child participating in the travel program will pay a participation fee prior to the beginning of the fall season and/or summer season.  The PTBBA will determine these fees for the winter and any other opportunities (i.e. summer league).  Travel tournament fees are addressed in section 8.c.  If a family is not current with travel fees within seven (7) days of being selected for a respective team, the PTBBA reserves the right to make adjustments to the roster and the respective player will not be allowed to participate.  Fees will be waived or reduced by the PTBBA board at the request of a family or individual in the event of extenuating circumstances.  To request a waiver, the family must submit the Financial Hardship Waiver Form to the respective Travel Coordinator.  The form is available through the Travel Coordinator.  All decisions made regarding the waiving of fees is final and applies for the entire year.

c)   During the travel season a player due to lack of attendance at practice or games may be removed from the travel team and replaced by another player who was not selected for the team.  This will be at the discretion of the travel coach with travel coordinator approval after a conversation with the player and parents about the lack of commitment to the travel team.  Documentation of practice and game attendance is required.  This clause can also apply to the travel team selection process in that a “look back” to previous year’s commitment and attendance can be a factor in team selection.

d)   Grades 5 thru 8  – Each player is guaranteed at a minimum at least one-quarter worth of playing time each game.  In the event of an occurrence where a player does not get the minimum playing time due to extenuating circumstances, the coach will make every effort to compensate with additional time in subsequent games.  This includes playoff and tournaments.  It is left to the discretion of the coach to limit playing time due to poor participation at practices.  Attendance at practices must be documented.  Poor attendance at practice is the only acceptable reason to not fulfill the playing time requirement.  It is expected all children participating in the travel program have sufficient skills to participate at the respective level (A or B) of the team they make.  Although competition increases as the age level advances, discouraging players by not following the minimum playing time guideline, even at the 8th grade level, contradicts the goal of the travel program to be a “feeder program” for the high school.  Winning matters at the high school level.  Development of players, all players, is the goal of a feeder program.

e)   At the 4th Grade level only, coaches are required to provide equal playing time to every player, for each game throughout the season, including tournaments and playoffs.  In the event of an occurrence where a player does not get the minimum playing time due to extenuating circumstances, the coach will make every effort to compensate with additional time in subsequent games.  This includes playoff and tournaments.  It is left to the discretion of the coach to limit playing time due to poor participation at practices.  Attendance at practices must be documented.  Poor attendance at practice is the only acceptable reason to not fulfill the playing time requirement. 

  • IT IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE PTBBA THAT THE FOURTH GRADE TRAVEL TEAMS BE STRUCTURED TO TEACH BASIC BASKETBALL SKILLS AND FUNDAMENTALS TO ITS PARTICIPANTS. EACH PLAYER SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY AND PARTICIPATE IN GAMES AND PRACTICES AND ACHIEVE THEIR OWN LEVEL OF INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS.

    f)  GIRLS TRAVEL TEAMS:  The Travel team for the girls will begin in September/October and runs for one full year as one travel season.  The selection process identified in Article 3.c. will be followed.

    g) BOYS TRAVEL TEAMS:  The Travel team for the boys will begin in October/November and runs for one full year as one travel season.  The selection process identified in Article 3.c. will be followed.

    h)  The PTBBA has determined that the preferred number of players to be selected to a team be set at ten (10).   If there are less than twenty (20) participants trying out at a grade level, the PTBBA can alter the number of players per team accordingly to a number less than ten (10) per team. If there are more than twenty (20) participants trying out at a grade level, the PTBBA can make adjustments to allow for more than ten (10) players per team but not to exceed twelve (12) players per team.  This decision making process would include the respective coaches for each team.

    i)   If during the season, a team is short of players for a game due to injury, absences, etc. the team must follow the rules of the respective league or tournament in terms of borrowing players from other PTBBA teams.  However, the borrowed players shall not start the game and shall only be used as a supplement to the existing team members and not as a replacement for a player of lesser ability.

 

5.0       TRAVEL COACH RESPONSIBILITIES

 

a)   All coaches must comply with the YES initiative established by the Peters Township Recreation Department and consider becoming certified as a “Double-Goal Coach” as defined by the Positive Coaching Alliance – a coach that strives to win but has a second more important goal of using sports to teach life lessons.  The “Double-Goal Coach” creates an organizational culture in which honoring the game is the norm and emphasis is placed on effort, learning and improving, and developing the courage to make mistakes and rebound from them.

  • ALL COACHES SHOULD CONDUCT THEMSELVES APPROPRIATELY DURING THE TIME THEY ARE WITH THEIR TEAM. COACHES SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE. RESTRAINT AND GOOD JUDGMENT SHOULD BE USED WHEN DISCUSSING PROBLEMS WITH REFEREES OR OPPOSING COACHES WHILE WITH YOUR TEAM.

  • A COACH SHOULD MAKE HIS/HER PTBBA TEAM A TOP PRIORITY AND NOT RESTRICT OR CANCEL PRACTICES/GAMES DUE TO CONFLICTS WITH A TEAM OUTSIDE OF THE PTBBA.

  • A COACH SHOULD STRIVE TO ENSURE THE DEVELOPMENT OF ALL PLEYERS ON THE TEAM.

  • THE USE OF PROFANITY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

  • THE USE OF ANY TOBACCO PRODUCTS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

  • ONCE THE GAME STARTS, THE REFEREE IS IN CHARGE.

  • CRITICIZING A MEMBER OF YOUR TEAM OR AN OPPOSING PLAYER, COACH OR REFEREE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

  • USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IS NOT PERMITTED AT ANY FACILITY

  • STOP WATCHES WILL NOT BE USED TO KEEP TRACK OF PLAYING TIME

  • EACH COACH WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND COACHING MEETINGS ESTABLISHED BY THE TRAVEL DIRECTOR AND TO HAVE EITHER THE HEAD TRAVEL COACH OR HIS/HER ASSISTANT ATTEND THE PTBBA MEETINGS.

EACH COACH MUST HAVE ON FILE WITH THE PETERS TOWNSHIP RECREATION DEPARTMENT THE PROPER CLEARANCES INCLUDING THE “PENNSYLVANIA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE” AND THE “PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE REQUEST FOR CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK” TO PARTICIPATE AS A PTBBA TRAVEL COACH.

 

 6.0      TRAVEL PARENT RESPONSIBILITIES

a)   To maintain equipment and uniforms in good condition.

b)   To ensure that players attend scheduled meetings, practices and games.

c)   To support the ideals of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

d)   To support the decisions and principles of the program and its coaches.

e)   To agree in principal to the PTBBA code of conduct

f)         Travel Team parents will be made aware of travel policies and procedures that will include a “Chain of Communication” procedure for any issues/concerns that may arrive during the Travel seasons. This “chain” will be modeled to the Peters Township High school communication programs between coaches, athletes, their parents and the athletic director and is included in Section 10.0 of this document.

 

7.0       TRAVEL PLAYERS REPONSIBILITIES

a)      Contribute to team goals through preparation and participation in meetings, practices and games.  Players are expected to attend all practices and games.  Attendance at practice is the major factor that negatively impacts the playing time guidelines of a minimum of ¼ a game (established in section 4.c) unless an injury occurs during the game or a player exceeds the personal foul limits.

b)      To follow the instruction and direction of the coaching staff.

c)      To abide by the policies and guidelines of the PTBBA and the athletic leagues in which the team participates.

d)      To practice teamwork and good sportsmanship.

e)      To report all injuries to the coaching staff

 

8.0       TRAVEL TOURNAMENT PLAY

a)   All tournaments in which PTBBA sponsored teams participate shall be approved by the respective Travel Coordinator.

b)   Teams are not to be combined for tournament play. Regular season teams are to stay intact for tournament play.  A team in tournament play may borrow players from another team only for the purpose of filling a shortage in the roster. However, the borrowed players shall not start the game and shall only be used as a supplement to the existing team members and not as a replacement for a player of lesser ability.

c)   Participating players for each tournament sanctioned by PTBBA will share any tournament costs beyond the league fees equally.

 

9.0      GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Failure by a coach, parent or player to adhere to the policies established by the PTBBA can lead to a PTBBA Board hearing which may lead to a warning, suspension or expulsion depending on the severity of the problem.

a)   Grievance Committee consists of three PTBBA board members

  • BOYS ANDGIRLS TRAVEL COORDINATORS

  • PTBBA PRESIDENT

    b)   Person filing grievance should contact the PTBBA President after following the communication procedures governing player, coach, and parent interaction (see “Travel Parent/coach Communication Guidelines”)

    c)   The Grievance Committee will collect information from interested parties to determine whether a hearing in front of PTBBA board is appropriate

    d)   If hearing is held the complete PTBBA board will determine the outcome of the grievance and any sanctions to be applied.

    e)   If person whom the grievance is filed against holds one of the three Grievance Committee positions, that person would be replaced on the committee in the following order of availability

  • PTBBA VICE PRESIDENT

  • PTBBA TREASURER

  • PTBBA DOCUMENT COORDINATOR/SECRETARY

 

 

 

10.0    PTBBA Travel Parent/Travel Coach Communication Guidelines

Both parenting and coaching can be extremely challenging yet highly rewarding endeavors. By establishing an understanding of each perspective, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefit to children. As parents, when your children become involved in our PTBBA Travel program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your child. This begins with clear communication from the coach of your child’s team.

Communication You Should Expect From Your Child’s Coach

1.   Philosophy of the coach.

2.  Expectations the coach has for your child as well as all the players on the squad.

3.   Locations and times of all practices and contests.

4.   Team requirements, i.e. fees, special equipment, uniform requirements, etc.

5.  Procedures to follow in the event that your child is injured during participation.

6.  Behaviors that result in the denial of your child’s participation i.e. repeatedly missing practice, disrespect to a coach, official, fellow player or opponent

Communication Coaches Expect From Parents

1.   Concerns expressed directly to the coach regarding problems child is having with role on the team, teammates, coaches or the demands/expectation of the program.

2.   Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance.

3.   Injuries/illnesses that will affect child’s participation/performance

Appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches

1.   The treatment of your child, mentally and physically.

2.  Ways to help your child improve i.e. area’s where player needs specific improvement and drills or practice techniques that can be used to create this improvement

3.   Concerns about your child’s behavior

In some cases it may be difficult to accept that your child is not playing as much as you may hope. Our PTBBA Travel Coaches are volunteers. Please remember that. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be best for all players involved. As you have seen from the list above, certain things can be and should be discussed with your child’s coach. Other things must be left to the discretion of the coach.

Issues not appropriate to discuss with coaches

1.   Team strategy

2.   Play calling

3.   Other teammates

There may be situations that require a conference between the coach and the parent. In such cases, it is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedures should be followed to help promote a resolution to the issue of concern.

If you have a concern to discuss with a coach, please adhere to the following procedures

1.   Call to set up an appointment

2.   Let the appropriate Travel coordinator know the situation/concern

3.   If the coach cannot be reached call the appropriate Travel coordinator and he will set up the meeting for you.

4.   Please do not confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.  Any parent that does not adhere to this guideline can be banned from attending future games or practices. 

THE NEXT STEP

What can a parent do if the meeting with the coach did not provide a satisfactory resolution?

1. Call and set up an appointment with the Travel Coordinator to discuss the situation.

2.  At this meeting the appropriate next step can be determined.

3. If the meeting with the Travel Coordinator does not provide a satisfactory resolution, then the parent should follow the Grievance Procedure in Section 9.0.

Since research indicates children involved in activities have a greater chance for success during adulthood, this PTBBA Travel program has been established as the first step to the experience of inter-scholastic activities.  Developmental in nature, many of the character traits required to be a successful participant are exactly those that will promote a pattern of success as your child moves thru the athletic programs offered by the Peters Township school system. Likewise you as a parent need to be as supportive as possible of both your child and his volunteer PTBBA coach as your child takes this first competitive step within the PTBBA Travel program.  We hope these guidelines make both your child’s and your experience with the Peters Township Travel Program less stressful and more enjoyable.

 

11.0     SUMMARY

These guidelines are designed to provide structure for the Travel Program sponsored by the PTBBA.  As a feeder to the high school program, the travel program in no way should discourage any child from participating in basketball.  Our problem should be too many kids, not losing kids.  These guidelines should be intended to support every child in the program – not a select few.  As an association, we should demonstrate to the children who participate in this program the qualities we expect from them during their participation.

Enthusiasm – Show Enthusiasm in every aspect of our involvement in the Travel Program

Willingness to Work – Show a Willingness to work as hard as possible to be the best coach or board member possible.

Teamwork – Work together as a Team for the best interest of all the children

PTBBA wants all of our teams to have success but winning records at the 4th through 8th grade level should not be the lone measuring stick.  When this is done correctly, our High School basketball teams will have success. And our travel team’s players will enjoy their competitive experience. These guidelines will be reviewed annually at the completion of the winter season.