2017-2018 Winter Travel Basketball Tryouts

evaluation-formTryouts for the upcoming 2017-18 winter season are conducted in late September and early October. Metrowest League requirements state that players must play with grade level peers and may not play down a year, regardless of age.  If you have questions regarding this, please contact a board member.

1. Prospective players register for try-outs online.

2. Online, all players will be placed on a “wait list” until after tryouts. Once teams are made, families complete registration and make payment.

3. Players attend two tryouts (unless arranged otherwise)

4. Teams are selected and players will be notified. There are two to three boys teams and two girls teams chosen for each grade, 4-8.  Cuts will be made when numbers dictate it necessary.

5. Upon making a team, players need to go back online and make payment for the season.

6. After teams are made, coaches will be named.

2017 Tryout Dates and Registration Links

When you click this link you will be asked to register with our system, sponsored by Dick’s Sports. You will create a Parent account and then add your child or children. Once this registration is complete it will then display programs that your child is eligible to register for. All programs have an age range, so you might see that your child could register for either a 6th grade program or a 7th grade program, depending on their age. Just pick the grade that is appropriate for each child. If there are any issues with the registration, please send an email to info@natickbasketball.com.

Please also consider attending the appropriate clinic for your child that will focus on teaching skills and drills that will be evaluated during the tryout process.

Register Today!

Girls

Girls 4th Grade
  • 9/28, Thursday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Community Center
  • 10/5, Thursday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Community Center
Girls 5th Grade
  • 10/1, Sunday, 3:00-4:30 pm, Community Center
  • 10/12, Thursday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Community Center
Girls 6th Grade
  • 9/28, Thursday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
  • 10/1, Sunday, 4:30-6:00 pm, High School
  • 10/3, Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School (new date and time)
  • 10/12, Thursday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School (new date and time)
Girls 7th Grade
  • 10/1, Sunday, 4:30-6:00 pm, Community Center
  • 10/10, Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
Girls 8th Grade
  • 9/26, Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
  • 10/3, Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
  • 10/1, Sunday, 4:30-6:00 pm, High School (new date and time)

Boys

Boys 4th Grade
  • 9/25, Monday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Community Center
  • 10/2, Monday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Community Center
Boys 5th Grade
  • 10/1, Sunday, 3:00-4:30 pm, High School
  • 10/13, Friday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Community Center
Boys 6th Grade
  • 9/25, Monday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
  • 10/3, Tuesday, 6:30-8:00 pm, Wilson Middle School
Boys 7th Grade
  • 9/27, Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
  • 10/4, Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
Boys 8th Grade
  • 10/2, Monday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
  • 10/11, Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, High School
Register Today!

Fees For Travel Players

  • $300 per child for 2017-18 season: covers the cost of gym rentals, referees for all Metro West League games and playoffs, insurance and equipment. Financial assistance is available, please contact president@natickbasketball.com to find out additional information. It is NTB’s belief and goal to enable all children to play regardless of their financial situation.
  • Approximately $80 per child for a uniform for the 2017-18 season if you do not already have one from the previuos season. For 4th graders, players new to the program or players who have outgrown their uniform, you will be able to order a new uniform from the Natick Outdoor Store. For any uniform questions, please contact Brian O’Keefe (at btok23@gmail.com)
  • Players may also be assessed an additional amount for tournament fees and scrimmages. Tournament participation is up to team coaches.

Our coaches and board of directors volunteer their services for free.

Tryout Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to register my child to tryout?

Yes. You must register your child prior to tryouts.

How many players will be selected for each team?

For Grades 4, 5 and 6:
A Teams will have 12 players, B Teams will have 12 players, C Teams (if numbers warrant) will have 12 players

For Grades 7 and 8:
A Teams will have 10 players, B Teams will have 12 players

Are there always two teams per grade and gender? Can there be more than two teams?

Basketball programs across the region fight a never-ending battle for gym space, and due to limited gym space we have historically limited our Travel teams to 20 in total. Four years ago NTB introduced fourth grade teams, which added four more team slots. Two years prior to that NTB increased practices from one to two per week, which required additional gym space for the existing 16 teams. The executive board works very hard with the town and private gym facilities to reserve gym space in a timely manner at a rate that can be managed within the Travel fee. If numbers and talent warrant a third team in any grade/gender, we will evaluate the opportunity and welcome the additional participation.

How many tryouts are there per grade? Will there by callbacks?

There will be two tryouts per grade. If there are 35 or fewer players at the first tryout, all players will return for the second tryout. If there are more than 35 players in a grade for the first tryout, there may be call backs for the second tryout, and a list of those moving forward will be posted online the day after the first tryout. The second tryout will give the evaluators an additional opportunity to observe and evaluate the returning players’ skills and abilities.

Do returning Travel players from the previous year have to try out?

Yes. Players in all grades are required to attend tryouts if they wish to play on one of the Natick Travel Basketball (NTB) teams.   If a child who played on a team last year does not attend tryouts, it is assumed that they have decided not to play on an NTB team this upcoming year.

What if my child is injured or cannot participate in a tryout due to a conflict?

If a player is ill, injured or otherwise cannot attend tryouts, you must contact the tryout coordinator or an NTB board member prior to the scheduled tryout. Any player not attending tryouts due to injury, illness or other conflicts will receive appropriate consideration when the travel teams are selected using all the data available to the evaluators. NTB compares our tryout schedule against the school calendar to minimize conflicts with school related activities, but cannot guarantee non-conflicts with all sports and extracurricular activities.

How are tryouts structured?

Each tryout session will last approximately 90 minutes and will focus on basketball skills, team play, court awareness and scrimmaging. Younger grade tryouts will spend more time on basketball skills, whereas older grade tryouts will spend more time on scrimmaging.

How are teams formed?

Evaluators rate players on skill-based and game play criteria during the drills and scrimmage portions of the tryouts. Part of the game play also include intangibles such as effort, IQ, and athleticism in an effort to capture a comprehensive picture of every player. Evaluators rate the players using the consistent criteria over the course of two tryouts, and at the conclusion of the tryouts, recommend teams. NTB provides direction to focus on team composition by position and size. This is done so that teams within a grade have an appropriate balance of taller players and point guards. As an example there may be cases where a taller player makes a team over a shorter, more skilled ball handler and shooter. Conversely we will not construct teams with 12 tall inside players and no point guards. It is a balancing act, with the goal to form competitive teams in each grade, gender and division.

Who oversees the tryout, evaluates players, and selects the teams?

There will be an assigned tryout coordinator, 3-5 independent evaluators, and coaches from the prior season in attendance at each of the tryouts.

  • The tryout coordinator organizes and manages the tryout process, allowing the evaluators to focus solely on the performance of the players. The coordinator does not have a vote on who makes which team. The coordinator could be the coach from the previous year.
  • Independent evaluators are responsible for evaluating and selecting the teams. These individuals participate in both nights of a particular grade’s tryout, and they do not currently coach or have a child within that age group.
  • Head coaches from the prior season are asked to attend both nights of tryouts as well, regardless of whether or not he/she plans to submit a request for the coaching position for the upcoming year. The prior year coaches have viewed the players’ abilities, have provided evaluations from the prior season, and can provide additional input to help the evaluators select the teams. Coaches do not have a vote on who makes which team.

Can parents attend and observe the tryout?

Parents are not allowed in the gym during the tryout process to keep the players relaxed and focused. We understand that parents enjoy observing the tryout, but have found it better for the players not to have sideline coaching or unintentional distractions during the tryout.

When will the players know their placement?

Team rosters will be announced via the Natick Travel Basketball website within two weeks of the final tryout session for that grade/gender.

What if my child does not make a travel team?

If your child does not make an NTB team, we encourage him/her to participate in the Intramural Basketball program run by Natick’s Parks and Department. The Intramural program is a great program to develop players’ skills and improve comfort levels on the court while improving their overall basketball abilities. In addition, NTB will offer skills and development clinics throughout the year that are available to all players.

Are there opportunities for my son or daughter to play basketball if they do not make a Natick Travel Basketball team?
Natick Parks and Recreation (Natick Rec) offers basketball programs for 3rd-8th grade boys and girls during the winter months. The programs are open to players with all abilities. If your son or daughter does not earn a spot on a NTB team, and they wish to play Natick Rec, they are NOT automatically enrolled in the Natick Rec program and are required to register via the Natick Parks and Recreation website. Natick Parks and Recreation – Town Website

Additionally, in the fall and spring there are opportunities to play Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball. There are a number of AAU programs in the surrounding area. Tryouts for fall programs typically start in September and tryouts for spring programs typically start in early January.

If my son or daughter makes a Travel Basketball team, can they still play in the Natick Rec program?

Some Travel Basketball players also participate in the Rec programs as Travel games do not conflict with those of the Rec league. The Natick Rec program is open to all Travel players in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades. For the older players, 7th and 8th grade Travel players are not allowed to play in the 7/8 Rec League due to limited gym availability for practices and games.

How and when are coaches selected?

Coaches are selected shortly after the tryouts are completed. Anyone interested in coaching (parent or non-parent) should contact a board member. Individuals new to the NTB program will be interviewed by the board shortly after the team selection. If there are multiple candidates for a coaching position, each candidate will be interviewed by the board and the board will vote on the individual deemed most appropriate for the coaching spot. If the previous year’s coach wishes to continue to coach and is unopposed, then the board will approve that coach for the upcoming season.