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Little Dipper League
K-1st Grades

Half-Court

3-on-3

Keep Score? No

Double dribble allowed? Yes

Travelling allowed? No

Stealing allowed? No

Big Dipper League
2nd-3rd Grades

Half-Court

3-on-3

Keep Score? Yes

Double dribble allowed? No

Travelling allowed? No

Stealing allowed? No

Rising Star League
4th-5th Grades

Full-Court

3-on-3

Keep Score? Yes

Stealing allowed? Yes

All normal fouls apply

This league is different. It is not for everyone. Here’s who should consider signing their child up for this league:

  • Parents who want their child to play in a competitive yet encouraging environment

  • Parents who prioritize the fundamentals of basketball more than their child's win/loss record

  • Parents who want their child to develop skills and knowledge that will help them beyond basketball

In short, we look beyond basketball to help children develop into the player and person that God wants them to be. We are unapologetically followers of Jesus Christ, and we believe that every person is equally valuable to God. This belief is the driving force behind this program.

 

Age Divisions

Children in Kindergarten-5th Grades are eligible to play. See chart at the bottom of this page for a summary of the rules for each league.

  • Little Dipper League (Kindergarten and 1st Grade) - Keeping score for children at this age often causes more harm than good. These children are not emotionally mature enough to process being defeated by an opponent. So in the Little Dipper League, we have a referee who keeps the time and ensures fair play, but the scoreboard is turned off and the focus is on children learning the game of basketball.

  • Big Dipper League (2nd and 3rd Grades) - We begin keeping score in the Big Dipper League. By this age, children need to learn what it feels like to win or lose, and to be good sports in either outcome. While we do keep score in this division, the emphasis is on sportsmanship.

  • Rising Star League (4th and 5th Grades) - We continue to keep score and emphasize good sportsmanship in the Rising Star League, but we also expand to full court and allow for more advanced rules and competition.

3-on-3

“Better one handful with tranquility than two hands full with toil.” Ecclesiastes 4:6

We play 3-on-3 basketball for several reasons. The following points are adapted from an article by Joe Haefner, founder of Breatkthrough Basketball and trainer of several NBA draft picks who also played at NCAA Division 1 programs like Michigan State and Duke.*

  1. Players touch the ball more often. In 5-on-5, two or three players can hog the ball the whole game. But in 3-on-3, it doesn’t matter if your child is the point guard or the post player, everyone will touch the ball more often.

  2. Players have more room to move. Most young children don’t have the strength or skill to maneuver well on a court with 9 other kids running around and adults screaming at them. 3-on-3 gives plenty of room for players to practice their skills in a less chaotic environment.

  3. Players learn the game better! When there are only six players on the court, players are more inclined to run picks and screens without a coach even telling them to do so, because there are fewer options out there. After a while, they start to figure things out for themselves which is exactly what you want the players to do. With fewer players on the court, it gives them a split second longer to recognize a situation.

  4. It facilitates the fundamentals. You have to learn to add and subtract before you can learn calculus. Instead of spending time on breaking full-court pressure, breaking half-court pressure, playing against a 1-3-1, playing against 3-2, playing against a 2-3, playing against a triangle-and-2, playing against a box-and-1, you can focus on the FUNDAMENTALS (dribbling, passing, and shooting). Youth coaches can waste so much precious time working on things that kids aren’t ready for.

  5. 3-on-3 is on the rise. It is now an official Olympic sport and has the full support of USA Basketball and Jr. NBA.

 

Co-ed

“God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

Our teams are co-ed for several reasons:

  1. Before puberty, boys have no distinct advantage over girls in terms of athletic ability. In fact, girls may be more athletically advanced than boys until middle and high school. Boys and girls share the same classrooms at school because both genders possess equal cognitive ability to learn. The only reason men and women compete on different athletic fields and courts is because men eventually gain an athletic advantage that would make competition unfair for women (generally speaking, of course).

  2. It can promote equality. Why not teach children that boys and girls can get along and work together to achieve a common goal? If we want women to be equally-valued members of our adult society, why not reinforce that value in our children through sports? This is not to say that there is no distinction between men and women. Even our kids can recognize the differences between boys and girls, men and women. But putting boys and girls on the same youth sports teams can provide a great social environment and foster cooperation between boys and girls.

  3. It increases access. Instead of needing 168 players to form a league full of boys teams and girls teams, we can play ball with fewer kids, which increases a child’s access to sports in smaller communities like ours.

 

Do We Keep Score?

“In a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize. Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

Although this verse is about living a life that is pleasing to God, its principle is rooted in the fact that competition makes us better. So, we do keep score in the two oldest divisions (Big Dipper and Rising Star). In the Little Dipper League (K-1st Grades), we do not keep score because children at this age are not emotionally mature enough to process the emotions that come with winning and losing. We will teach all players and coaches to display humility in victory and graciousness in defeat, knowing that our ultimate goal is to run a race that is pleasing to God.

 

We Compete with Integrity

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:5

We abide by the rules of the game in letter and spirit. Coaches may NEVER command, encourage, or allow cheating of any kind. Coaches and players must also accept and respect the decisions and judgments of the officials, knowing that all of us make mistakes from time to time and there are worse things in life than losing a youth basketball game because of a bad call
 

What days are games and practices?

We make every effort to avoid Wednesday evenings and weekends, freeing up valuable time for families. We will never play games on Sundays. In the event of inclement weather make up games or other unforeseen circumstances, we may have to utilize an occasional Wednesday evening or Saturday.

What does my child need to play?

Your child needs basketball shoes and plain athletic shorts. We will provide jerseys and fun!

How much does it cost?

Registration is $95/player. Early bird registration (before Oct 1) is just $75/player!

when is the deadline to register?

November 13, 2022 is the last day to register.

2023-2024 Calendar

Nov 13 - Registration deadline

Nov 14 - Player Evaluations and Parent's Meeting

Nov 17 - Rosters announced

Week of Nov 20 - No activities due to Thanksgiving Holiday

Week of Nov 27 - Team Practices

Week of Dec 4 - Team Practices

Week of Dec 11 - Christmas Tip-Off Exhibition Games

Week of Dec 18 - No activities due to Christmas Holiday

Week of Dec 25 - No activities due to New Year Holiday

Week of Jan 2 - Games

Week of Jan 8 - Games

Week of Jan 16 - Games

Week of Jan 22 - Games

Week of Jan 29 - Games

Week of Feb 5 - February Frenzy Championship Tournament

*https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/blog/index.php/could-3-on-3-basketball-be-the-best-for-youth-players/

2023-2024 Youth Basketball
2023-2024 Youth Basketball
Nov 14, 2023, 6:30 PM – Feb 08, 2024, 9:00 PM
Ellijay,
208 Victory Cir, Ellijay, GA 30540, USA
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