What's the difference between GBA's "travel" and "rec" programs? Which one should I register for?
The 'travel' program requires boys & girls in grades 5-8 to try out for a limited number of available roster spots. This program is a substantially greater time commitment for families, as there are, on average, 4 activities each week. Days, times and locations for practices will vary due to gym availability. About 150 kids play in the travel program.
The 'rec' program is GBA's most popular program, and there are about 1,500 boys & girls in grades 3-12 involved. There are no tryouts (but most leagues require assessment sessions in order to properly place kids in an effort to make all teams competitive across their league).
Your child is welcome to register for either program. Registration for the 'travel' program opens in mid-summer, before we open registration for the 'rec' program in September. Typically, players who desire a more intense experience and are willing to tryout knowing they may or may not be offered a roster spot will register for travel. If you child does not make a travel team, they will have plenty of time to register for the ‘rec’ program.
What can my child expect from the tryout?
The tryout process evaluates individual and team basketball skills. Players can expect to be evaluated on shooting, ball handling, rebounding, passing, defense, teamwork, sportsmanship etc. Players will scrimmage as well. Tryouts involve two sessions and players MUST attend both sessions to be considered. Some players may be advised at the end of the first session that they are not candidates for selection, and other players will be invited to attend the 2nd session.
Candidates' fitness level should be adequate to allow them to fully participate in all drills and scrimmages.
What is GBA Travel looking for in a player?
Basketball ability is a significant consideration. However, other significant factors could be the player's size, hustle, speed, tenacity, instincts, etc. In other words, it is entirely possible that a player with less developed basketball skills than another could be selected if the evaluators project that the player's potential warrants their selection. We strongly encourage all boys and girls to not assume they won't be selected, particularly due to underdeveloped basketball skills. Our goal is to develop those skills in players that have the potential.
How far do teams "Travel"?
The average drive to a road game is 20 minutes. Some rides can be as long as 45 minutes, some can be 10 minutes. No out of state games
What is the weekly time commitment?
2 practices per week. Because of uneven gym allocations to us, we do not offer a set day of week schedule (e.g., every Tues/Thurs)...this can make family scheduling of activities challenging. More often than not, teams play a game on both Saturday and Sunday.
Who does the evaluating?
Experienced GBA Travel administrators and their helpers.
Can my child try out for a team older than his/her grade?
No, there is no "playing up" contemplated in the team selection process, regardless of the skill level of the younger player. It is possible that an insufficient number of qualified candidates tryout for a team, and GBA may consider an exception to this rule. There may be other extenuating circumstances. Such exceptions require the approval of the GBA Executive Board.
My child is involved in another activity during basketball season (snowboarding, soccer, hockey, music, etc.), and we'd like him/her to be able to split time among activities during the season. Is this OK?
This is not OK for Travel basketball. GBA serves approximately 1,500 players on a rec and travel basis, and those players who want to play basketball, but not to the exclusion of other activities, are encouraged to participate in our Rec program. A player can participate in multiple activities, including Travel basketball, but the commitment must be made up front that when the activities conflict, basketball is primary. This commitment can be a challenge for kids playing premier soccer, etc., so careful consideration should be given to attempting to do both activities. Attendance policy allows for a few 'free' misses during the season.
Can a player participate in both Travel and Rec programs of GBA?
No. The rationale for prohibiting Travel players from participating Rec is that they could have a too-prominent role in the Rec games, taking away from the non-Travel players. We realize that it would be fun for the kids to play with and against classmates, but unfortunately it's not available.
When does the Travel season begin and end?
Tryouts generally occur in the 2nd half of September or early October. Practices begin no earlier than October 15. Basketball practices held in October or early November do respect the priority of fall sports, so don't worry about finishing the soccer or football, etc., season. The season ends early March.
What is the make op of the teams in each grade? Is there an A vs B team?
See the chart below, the make-up of the teams varies by gender and grade:
skills evenly split
1 team/grade +
1 team combined with 6th grade
A team /
1 team/grade +
1 team combined with 5th grade
A team /
1 team/grade +
1 team combined with 8th grade
1 team/grade +
1 team combined with 7th grade
Players will migrate between the teams throughout their travel ‘career’.
When will my child find out if they made a team?
Usually, within a few days after the 2nd evaluation night, all families who tried out will receive an email with a roster of players who were selected for travel. In some grades, which travel team the player made will be determined at a later date.
What if, after being selected, my child decides they do NOT want to play travel?
Bottom line, a player should not tryout unless they are 100% certain they will promptly accept a travel invitation, no matter what. Anything else is bad form.
Are there playing time rules?
Yes. Every player who attends practice and is generally in good standing on his team will play a minimum of 8 minutes per game, which equates to 25% of the 32 minute game. While most of the towns we compete with do not have such a requirement in their Travel program, we do. Coaches strive to exceed the minimum where possible, but the player has to earn the time.
I'm interested in coaching, how do I submit my application?
All prospective coaches, including those who coached in a prior season of the Travel program, should complete Coach Registration on this website. The prospective coaches' son/daughter must be a bona fide candidate for player selection. Compatibility with the principles of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a must for all coaching candidates.
Are families discouraged from going away during December and February vacations?
No. Coaches will have no issue with a player being unavailable during one of the school vacations. Being gone for both vacations could cause a hardship to the team...players and parents should discuss with his/her coach.
What size basketball is used in the various grades and leagues?
Boys in grades 6-8 use the regulation size ball (approximately 29.5 inch)
Boys in 5th grade use the women's 28.5 inch ball.
All Girls use the women's size ball (28.5 inch).
Are you hoping your child will have a positive experience with basketball this year? Are you hoping your child will learn enduring life lessons from basketball? Are you hoping your child will perform as well as possible?
The Glastonbury Basketball Association is doing more than hoping. We have made a commitment that has earned us Positive Coaching Alliance’s Seal of Commitment. We require all GBA Head Coaches to participate in a 90 minute online course call "The Double Goal Coach" or to attend a PCA Seminar. (To learn more go to www.positivecoach.org)
Positive Coaching Alliance awards this mark of distinction only to organizations whose policies demonstrate a commitment to a culture of Positive Coaching. Therefore, The GBA recently committed our organization to require that all of our coaches be certified as PCA Double-Goal CoachesTM, who strive both to win AND to teach athletes enduring life lessons.
Eventually, all of our coaches will complete a comprehensive course in Positive Coaching principles to earn or renew their certification. This policy recognizes that certified Double-Goal Coaches are paramount to transforming the culture of youth sports and help ensure a quality experience for all youth athletes.
We are proud to have earned this important recognition of our commitment to excellence. By earning the Positive Coaching Alliance Seal of Commitment for 2010, we feel more confident than ever that our athletes—your children—will have a positive, fun, and rewarding experience.
Looking forward to seeing you at the competitions!
Thank you for volunteering to coach in the GBA this season. Your time and dedication is extremely valuable to the program. Without your effort, the GBA travel and recreation programs do not exist. ....Again THANK YOU!!!!
As most of you know, the GBA has made a commitment to the Positive Coaches Alliance and it is our ongoing goal to provide a positive basketball experience to all participants. That goal can't be achieved without your help. We require all of our coaches to take the Double Goal Coach online training seminar(s).
Coaches should also know that we are working with the GBA officials this fall and we are running a PCA Officials seminar to help align our program. We believe the kids will benefit when we have coaches, officials and parents working together toward a common set of goals.
We also would like to encourage coaches and parents to use the PCA website as it provides tools and communications tips for coaches. Here are a couple opportunities that I highly recommend you check out:
If you have not taken any PCA courses, please take the online course DGC_1 (Double-Goal Coach: Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons). The voucher code has been emailed, or you can contact your league commissioner.
If you previously (prior years) have taken the first course, please take the online course DGC_2 (Double-Goal Coach: Culture, Practices and Games). The voucher code can be obtained by emailing your league commissioner.