A message from the USR Basketball Board
Greetings to USR Basketball Families,
We are pleased to provide you with information about the upcoming basketball season. Please understand that we’re dealing with a dynamic situation which requires all of us to be flexible in the coming months and appreciate your patience and commitment to our program.
As you are aware, USR Basketball typically sponsors both a Travel and Recreation Program for boys and girls teams. At this point, we have been informed by the USR Board of Ed that we will not have access to the USR School Gyms. Unfortunately, without access to local gyms, we will have to postpone our Rec Program for the foreseeable future. Any further decisions regarding the start of the Recreation Program will be relayed in early 2021
Fortunately, we will be able to run our girls and boys travel program. The following information is fluid and could change at any moment contingent on state and/or government mandates. We will do our best to communicate throughout the season but ask that all players continue to follow USR Basketball through our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, www.usrbasketball.com)
USR Travel Basketball is open to all boys and girls, grades 3-8, for the coming school year. All players must be residents of Upper Saddle River or attend a school located in Upper Saddle River.
Travel Team Selection
Tryouts are grade based with independent evaluators and coaches who score and rank players on dribbling, shooting, passing, defense, and knowledge of the game at “game speed.”
Each team will have approximately 10 players. Independent evaluators and coaches will present the top recommendations for each team and rank the players who participated in the tryouts. The team will consist of the top recommendations.
All players in the Travel Program must play with their grade level. In the case where there are a minimum of 18 qualified travel players for any grade, the Board of Directors will consider fielding two travel teams for that grade – provided that qualified coaches are approved by the Board for both teams and the integrity of the USR Travel Basketball Program is not compromised. In such cases, the "A" team will consist of the top 8-10 players and the "B" team will be the second 8-10 players. This will assure that the better players compete against better players from other teams, while the next level of players will continue to develop. The leagues we compete in subscribes to this format and division of play as well.
If a player who wishes to participate in the Travel Program is injured and cannot participate in the scheduled travel team tryouts, he/she can request a tryout with the travel team as soon as he/she is able to resume play, as documented from the player’s doctor prior to January 15th. If the player cannot return to action prior to January 15th, he/she cannot tryout for travel during that season.
If the player requests a tryout with the travel team, he/she will be invited to attend a full practice of the team and will be evaluated relative to the other team players by an independent evaluator and the coach. If the player ranks among the top players, it will be the coach's decision whether to add the player to the roster. If the player does not rank among the top players on the court, he/she will not be offered a spot on the team. Under no circumstances will another player be asked to leave the team to accommodate the new player.
For the 2020-2021 season, USR is considering a cooperation agreement with our surrounding towns (Saddle River, HoHoKus and Allendale). If USR cannot field a team of at least 8 qualified players, we will have the option to (a) bring players from a cooperating town to join a team or (b) allow those USR players to join a team from a cooperating town.
Travel Team Costs
There is no cost to tryout for a team. However, for anyone who makes a team, the annual cost to participate in the Travel Basketball Program is (does not include uniform fees):
- $350 for Grades 3-8 (for teams without a paid coach)
- $450 for Grades 3-8 (for teams with a paid coach)
In the event that the season is cancelled or shortened, the USR Board will determine the amount to be refunded. Please note that the cost of uniforms cannot be refunded.
The Sports Connect website and app will be used for sign-ups. To sign-up for tryouts each parent/guardian will need to complete the registration form and sign a Covid-19 waiver. To register for tryouts, please visit www.usrbasketball.com.
Tryout Timing: Tryouts will begin after November 15th. Only the players and the evaluators will be allowed in the gym. The tryouts will follow all state and local protocols.
Tryout Gyms: Tryouts will be held at local private gyms. Locations and exact times will be announced by November 4th, 2020
Travel League Information:
- Boys League: Will be overseen by the North Jersey Junior Basketball League (NJJBL).
- Girls League: Will be overseen by the Bergen County Town Travel Basketball League (BCTTB).
Both leagues will start January 1, 2021 and run into March (includes playoffs). We anticipate each team will play a minimum of 12 games. Games will be played at an indoor facility that has agreed to follow the Covid-19 youth sport protocols. This includes limiting entrance to the facility to: players, two (2) coaches and the referees. Unfortunately, family access to the gyms to watch games will not be possible under current guidelines. In lieu of access to the games, the leagues will provide a live stream of the games, fees may apply.
The boys will play at the PAL in Wayne on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
The girls will play at the following facilities on any day of the week:
- Hoop Heaven, Waldwick
- Christ Community Church, Waldwick
- Downtown Sports, Mahwah
- Hoop City, Wyckoff
- Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Ridgewood
- YMCA, Ridgewood
- Boys and Girls Club, Clifton
- Bethany Community Center, Washington Township
- City Sports on 4, Englewood
- High School, Midland Park
Each player will be required to complete a Covid-19 screening questionnaire prior to playing (similar to Share911). In addition, each player must wear a mask upon entry into the gym and undergo a temperature check prior to playing. Team members may not enter the facility until all players from the previous game have exited the facility. No outside balls will be allowed. Balls will be provided by the league and will be disinfected prior to use. Sanitation stations will be set up in the facility. Players can bring bottles of water provided they are clearly marked with their names.
At this time, it is difficult to predict how much practice time each team will have. If school gyms become available, we anticipate that there will be team practice sessions, if no gyms are available, teams may not have practice at all. The Board is looking into renting gym time from local private gyms for the teams and will let everyone know if this is possible. If practice sessions can occur, each team member may be asked to contribute toward the cost of the gym time.
The Board will seek to have two coaches per team. Under these circumstances, we anticipate that we will have a mixture of paid coaches and parent coaches. All coaches will be approved by the Board. The Board aims to have coaches that have prior coaching experience and can increase our children’s basketball skills and in building teamwork. Coaches may not be picked until after the teams are formed.
Please look for a separate email when registration is officially open in the coming days. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to any of the USR Basketball Board Members.