Studies, like those published by the Aspen Institute, have shown over and over again that there are a myriad of benefits that flow to physically active children, including health, educational, social, psychological and financial benefits. Taking this to heart, a cross-section of leaders in our YMCA youth sports programs spent the past year researching, rethinking and redesigning our youth basketball program with the goal of ensuring all kids have the opportunity and encouragement to play the game while aligning our program to the YMCA core values of respect, responsibility, honesty and caring.

Our new progressive model ensure all leagues have age-appropriate, research-based elements incorporated into their structure, like allowing preschoolers to focus on basic skills while giving our middle schoolers the opportunity to experience positive competition.

We’ve compiled this FAQ document to help address concerns and answer questions.

  1. What are Minis, Rookies, Juniors and Legends leagues?
    Four leagues were established to give youth a graduated, clear path to follow as they age through the YMCA youth basketball programs. From our Minis who are led by YMCA staff in elementary skill building activities and scrimmages with a focus on fun, to our Legends who play games against YMCAs across the region and culminate each season in a tournament, each league has defined features based on age-appropriateness. Read more about the leagues here.
  2. Do you have standard rules for each league?
    Yes, we do. Coaches and referees are trained on the rules for each league and would be happy to share the official rules with you.
  3. What is a Skills Showcase?
    YMCA Youth Basketball offers opportunities for players of all skills levels, gives players an equal amount of playing time and never has tryouts or cuts. Our Skills Showcase is a day where participants will run through a series of basketball drills and skills to demonstrate their level of play. Staff will use what they observe in the Skills Showcase to help build teams that are balanced. Each branch will host a Skills Showcase at a date released once registration closes. If you cannot attend your branch’s Skills Showcase, please reach out to your Sports Director at the email address listed below.
  4. Can I play on my friend’s team?
    Staff will build balanced teams based on what they observe in the Skills Showcase allowing for a positive experience for all players.
  1. If I am a volunteer coach, can my daughter or son play on my team?
    Yes, coaches may request their own child play on their team.
  1. I heard YMCA leagues don’t keep score, is this true?
    Minis don’t play official games and therefore don’t keep score. Rookies also don’t keep score, as it’s not a fundamental aspect of the game for this age group. Juniors and Legends do keep score.
  1. When will practice and game schedules be released?
    Practice and game schedules will be released soon after each Branch’s Skill Showcase. Sports Directors or Coaches will reach out to each participant with this information.
  2. What if that practice day or time doesn’t work for my family?
    Reach out to your Coach or Sports Director at the email address below if you have specific concerns.
  3. Why have your fees changed? 
    With the redesign of our basketball program, we also reviewed our fees and aligned them across our different branches. Every child deserves to play! If you cannot afford the full cost of the program, financial assistance is available.
  4. Are teams co-ed?
    Minis play on co-ed teams. Rookies may play on co-ed or single-gender teams depending on program enrollment at each branch. Juniors and Legends play on single-gender teams. 
  5. Do you have additional questions? Reach out to your local branch Sports Director at the email address listed below.