It’s important that all girls in the league have the ability to participate in the game in a meaningful way with the goal of having fun, making friends, building strength, endurance, and confidence while gaining basketball skills and knowledge.
Younger children will use smaller equipment; have modified rules, change positions frequently, participate in shorter games with a focus on fun. As a player develops her skills and gains a deeper understanding of the game, then more strategy will be introduced, rules become stricter, games more competitive and practices will be longer.
All games/practices will take place at Lloyd Hall (1 Boathouse Row)
For the first few weeks of the season we will be hosting basketball “clinics” before breaking into teams. During the clinics we will be teaching the fundamentals of dribbling, passing, and shooting. We will differentiate the drills so those with more experience are still challenged and we will also incorporate fun games. Once we break into teams, girls will still work on the fundamentals, but they will also be introduced to team concepts (team defense, moving without the ball, inbound plays, etc.)
Important Note – All girls should bring a basketball (write their name on it). Basketballs for this age group should be a size 27.5 women’s basketball. We will have a few extra balls for those who forget or don’t have one, but we don’t have enough for everyone. There are some dribbling drills/games that will require each girl to have a ball. We also encourage bringing a water bottle. Although there is a water fountain – it can get backed up if everyone is trying to use it at once.
- RULE MODIFICATIONS: 7-9 year olds
The main goal for this group is to keep the kids laughing and having fun while learning the very basic skills (dribbling, passing, catching, and shooting). While games are played, they are done so to learn the structure, organization and gain experience. Competition is not the focus. There will be no official scorekeeping.
- Basket Height: 9 feet (official basketball regulation is 10 feet)
- Basketball size: 27.5 inch (official women’s basketball size is 28.5 inches)
- Game Structure: 4 v 4 cross court “scrimmages”
- Time of Play: 60 minutes total w/ 36 minutes of practice and 24 minutes of game play (running clock; no time outs)
(1) Defensive Structure – Zonal markings will be utilized. The goal is to emphasize a general defensive structure in order to avoid the “beehive” tendencies of this grade group (meaning kids are magnetically attracted to the ball). Once players understand “floor balance” through this introductory modification, they will be better prepared to play “man to man” defense in the next age group.
(2) Coaching Assistance/Referee – Coaches assist on the court during games at all times to provide rule reminders and guidance. They also act as “refs” by controlling game play. This will requires an assistant coach to remain on the bench and assist with the players sitting out.
(3) Alternating “point guards” – Coaches should make sure that each player has a chance to dribble the ball up the court (preferably rotating every offensive possession). This gives each player a chance to be center stage. This also builds general basketball confidence and dribbling skills.
(4) Half-time Free Throws – During the half-time break, each team (simultaneously) will have the opportunity to make as many baskets as they can in 60 seconds. For this age group, shots will be taken from the middle of the key. Coaches should rebound and keep 2 balls in play to maximize shot attempts. The goal of this activity is to have a fun/friendly competition and give all players a chance to make a basket uncontested.
(1) Travel/Double-Dribble: Coaches can give each individual player 2 reminders (game is stopped and rule explained). On the 3rd infraction, it will be considered a turn-over. As the season progresses (mid-season), this will be reduced to 1 reminder prior to it counting as a turnover.
(2) Defense: There is no defense above the 3 point line. Defenders are expected to run back to their assigned (zone) area.
(3) No steals off the dribble: Keeping kids from stealing the ball helps the development of both the offensive and defensive player. The offensive player is able to learn how to dribble properly. The defensive player learns how to play defense without reaching/fouling. By having a no steal policy in this age group, we are making it easier to get the whole team involved.
(4) Miscellaneous: Basketball has many rules and there are probably too many to enforce in this age group. However, it is expected for players to gradually learn and gain a better understanding of basic basketball rules throughout the course of the season. For example – the following infractions will not be enforced but should be taught: backcourt violations, 3 second lane violations, inbounding violations, fouling out.
- Each team will select one volunteer to help monitor substitution times, track jump balls possessions, and time the free throw frenzy.
- All players should have equal playing time
- Substitutions will happen (all at once) in equal interval throughout the game (i.e. every 4 minutes).
- All coaches, players and spectators are expected to show common courtesy, good behavior and respect the public and private property that the league utilizes.
Key goals for coaches
- Players should have a general understanding of basic basketball rules and terminology by the end of the season
- Players should make their most significant improvements in the areas of (1) floor balance and (2) dribbling by the end of the season
- Players should be gaining confidence and having fun throughout the season