2018 – 2019 TRAVEL INFORMATION LETTER
Questions regarding the EPBBA Travel program may be directed to Mike Shepard, EPBBA Travel Director, at
. Information will also be posted at www.epbba.org.
EPBBA registration will be held online. Players must register with the EPBBA and pay the base registration fee for their grade by the end of registration period on Thursday, September 20 @ 7:00 pm. Refunds for all EPBBA registrants, both In-House and Travel, must be requested prior to the close of registration on September 20. The base registration fee will not be refunded for players not selected for a Travel team. The base registration fee covers registration for the In-House season and it is expected that players not selected for a Travel team will participate in this program. Registrations will not be accepted on the first day of Travel tryouts and players not registered and with satisfactory payment with the EPBBA will not be allowed to participate in the Travel tryouts.
The Travel program is designed to give boys with more advanced basketball skills the opportunity to play against stronger competition. Tryouts are open to boys that live in Eden Prairie or attend school in Eden Prairie. Travel teams compete in 10 tournaments that have been selected in advance by the EPBBA. Tournaments are held on weekends and games are played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Travel coaches may schedule two additional tournaments at the team’s expense during the season. This ensures that all participants in the program will participate in an approximately the same number of tournaments and also allows for all participants and their families to have scheduled “weekends off” during the season.
The EPBBA sponsors up to four travel teams in 4th grade with up to 34 players selected for 4th grade and 8 players each on Team (1) & Team (2) and then 9 players each on Team (3) & Team (4). Teams (1) will play an “A” scheduled, Team (2) will play a mixed “A” and “B” schedule and Teams (3) & (4) will play a mixed “B” and “C” schedule. The final number of teams will be based on number of boys trying out and aligned against the
The EPBBA sponsors up to five travel teams in grades 5 to 8 with up to 43 players selected in each grade. Players are first selected for Team (1), then Team (2), Team (3), Team (4) and Team (5). Team (1) will play an “A” schedule, Team (2) will play a mixed “A” and “B” schedule, Team (3) will play a “B” schedule, Team (4) will play a mixed “B” and “C” schedule and Team (5) will play a “C” schedule throughout the season. Teams (1) & (2) will have 8 players. Teams (3), (4) and (5) will have 9 players.
EPBBA conducts an interview process to determine available coaches for each team. Players are placed on teams before coaches are assigned. Every effort will be made to have coaches selected prior to the posting of the team selections. It is possible that at the conclusion of the tryouts a team may not have a coach. In that event, the parents of the players selected will be contacted seeking a volunteer to coach the team. In the event no parent volunteers to coach, the EPBBA will attempt to hire a paid coach. The cost of the paid coach will be the responsibility of the participants on that team.
Exhibiting good sportsmanship and the development of players and their basketball skills are our primary points of emphasis. The playing time policy of the EPBBA is that each player will play at least half the game of every game the player participates. Coaches are not required to play each player equally and coaches do have the right to bench player for disciplinary reasons.
CLICK HERE for the Head Travel Coach Application
All boys who are interested in playing Travel basketball are encouraged to participate in the tryouts. The tryouts will be conducted and the teams will be selected by the EPBBA. Participating as evaluators in the tryouts will be the EPBBA Travel Director, EPBBA Board members, Travel team coaches and Eden Prairie High School Basketball Varsity Staff. All evaluation sessions will include evaluators independent of the Travel program and independent of the specific grade being evaluated. Travel team coaches for their specific grade may be asked to participate as evaluators in the third and final tryout session. The tryouts consist of three sessions. All players will attend the first and second sessions. Following the second session, all cuts will be made and up to 34 players will be selected for grade 4 and up to 43 players will be selected for grades 5 - 8. In the unlikely event a player asked to return for the third evaluation session does not show up, the EPBBA, at its sole discretion, may elect to place a player cut after the second evaluation session on a travel team. At the conclusion of the final evaluation session teams will be formed. The players selected to return for the third evaluation session and the rosters for the Travel teams will be posted by last name at the tryout site and at the EPBBA website. The approximate time that the results will be posted will be announced at the conclusion of the second and third tryout sessions.
It is important that parents and players understand that the evaluators are looking for the players that will make up the best basketball teams and not just the tallest players, the fastest players, or the players that have the best shots. A successful and winning basketball team includes players that can rebound, play defense, pass the ball, shoot the ball and are willing to play within a team framework with a positive attitude. Parents should encourage their sons to attempt to demonstrate all of their basketball skills during the tryouts. Players demonstrating abilities in all facets of the game and that demonstrate the ability and willingness to play as a member of a team, and not as an individual, will be more highly-rated in the evaluations than players concerned only with making as many shots as possible. Evaluations from prior year’s Travel coaches will also be taken into account in the selection of players.
Tryout Dates And Times:
Tryouts consist of three separate sessions. A player must attend all three sessions to be selected for a Travel team. Vacations, family commitments, or other sports activities are not reasons that will allow a player to miss a tryout session. Uncontrollable or unforeseeable family emergencies preventing attendance will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the Travel Director and the EPBBA Officers. These situations may also be handled under the injury and illness rules detailed below at the discretion of the EPBBA.
Tryouts will take place on Saturday, September 22, Sunday, September 23 and Sunday, September 30 at the EP High School Gym (EPHS). Players should report to EPHS at their designated check-in time. The specific tryout schedule for each grade is as follows:
Saturday, September 22: 8:45-9:00 check-in; 9:00-10:15 tryouts
Sunday, September 23: 9:30-9:45 check-in; 9:45-10:45 tryouts
Sunday, September 30: 8:30-9:00 check-in; 9:00-9:45 tryouts
Saturday, September 22: 10:30-10:45 check-in; 10:45 -12:00 tryouts
Sunday, September 23: 11:00-11:15 check-in; 11:15-12:15 tryouts
Sunday, September 30: 10:00-10:30 check-in; 10:30-11:15 tryouts
Saturday, September 22: 12:15-12:30 check-in; 12:30-1:30 tryouts
Sunday, September 23: 12:30-12:45 check-in; 12:45-1:45 tryouts
Sunday, September 30: 11:30-12:00 check-in; 12:00-12:45 tryouts
Saturday, September 22: 1:45-2:00 check-in; 2:00-3:00 tryouts
Sunday, September 23: 2:00-2:15 check-in; 2:15-3:15 tryouts
Sunday, September 30: 1:00-1:30 check-in; 1:30-2:15 tryouts
Saturday, September 22: 3:15-3:30 check-in; 3:30-4:30 tryouts
Sunday, September 23: 3:30-3:45 check-in; 3:45-4:45 tryouts
Sunday, September 30: 2:30-3:00 check-in; 3:00-3:45 tryouts
Parents are not allowed in the gym during tryouts unless they are participating in the evaluation process. There are no exceptions to this rule.
A mandatory parent information meeting will take place on the first day of tryouts for each grade starting at the tryout time for the respective grade in the Activity Center Classroom. This meeting is for parents only and will take place on Saturday, September 22 at the following times:
4th Grade – 9:00 am 7th Grade – 2:00 pm
5th Grade – 10:45 am 8th Grade – 3:30 pm
6th Grade – 12:30 pm
If a player is unable to participate due to injury or illness, the parent of the player must contact the Travel Director prior to the tryout session. At that time the EPBBA rules governing placing injured or ill players on a Travel team will be reviewed with the parent. Players that are injured or ill at the time of tryouts may still be placed on a Travel team at the time of the initial team selection. The primary factors involved in making this determination include:
- Anticipated recovery time: If a player is not expected to be able to participate in basketball until after December 14th, they will not be placed on a team at the time of the initial team selection but may utilize a mid-season evaluation when they are physically able to play. If a player is not expected to recover until after January 30, they will not be placed on a team and will not be able to utilize a mid-season evaluation.
- A player’s past participation in the EPBBA: A player’s former coaches will be consulted to obtain an evaluation of the player and the level of his play. This may involve discussions with both Travel and In-House coaches.
The EPBBA in its sole discretion will determine if players are allowed, or required, to participate in a mid-season evaluation. Mid-season evaluations consist of a player participating in practices with the team at the level they desire to try out for. The Travel Director, EPBBA Officers and the coaches from the specific grade level will watch the player participate in a practice or series of practices and if the player is determined to be better than 50% of the players on the team, he will be placed upon that team for the balance of the season. The player will pay the full Travel fee regardless of the length of the season remaining. A player may try out for a team at one level and if not placed at that level, may be placed on a team or try out for a team at another level. Players participating in mid-season evaluations may also be placed on teams to replace players originally selected, but injured subsequent to tryouts. Players missing tryouts for reasons other than injury, illness or unforeseeable family emergency may not utilize the mid-season evaluation process for placement on a Travel team. Unless a player is bedridden as a result of injury or illness, they must still attend the tryout session even if they are unable to participate. The EPBBA reserves the right to require confirmation from the player’s doctor as to the extent of his injury or illness and the anticipated recovery time.
If a family has twins and both are trying out for a travel team the parents will need to decide how they want to handle their boys with one of the following options:
- Allow each boy to make the team that is appropriate based on their evaluation.
- If the desire is for the boys to be on the same team the players will be assigned to the lower of the two teams. A player will not be moved up a team to allow the boys to be on the same team.
The decision of the parents needs to be communicated to the Travel Director prior to the third day of the evaluations. If no decision is communicated the boys will be placed on the appropriate team based on their evaluation.
Travel Team Fees:
Fees for participation on Travel teams include the basic EPBBA registration fee and an additional Travel fee of $300. The basic EPBBA registration fee is paid during September registration. The Travel fee is collected at the last session of the tryouts from all players selected to participate in the last session. The Travel fee must be paid on that date. Included in the travel fee, each player will receive a team jersey and shorts. Parents and players should be aware that there are additional costs for participation in the Travel program that are the responsibility of the participants. These costs include admission fees for the tournaments, expenses of traveling to and from the tournaments and overnight lodging and food costs at the Rochester tournament. The estimated additional costs could total approximately $550 - $650. Warm ups, shooting shirts, caps, duffle bags or any other sports apparel are additional costs at your own expense. These costs are not included in the fees paid to the EPBBA.
Parents of the Travel team participants are required to work at the EPBBA Travel Basketball Tournament on November 30 - December 2. In addition to the Travel fee of $300, players selected for the last day of tryouts will bring a second check in the amount of $100. This check will serve as a deposit requiring the parents to work their designated shifts at the EPBBA Travel Basketball Tournament. If the parents decline to help at the EP Tournament, the $100 will be used to reimburse the EPBBA for the hiring of tournament workers. Deposit checks from players whose parents work their assigned shifts will be destroyed.
Travel Financial Aid:
To achieve our goal of allowing boys with more advanced basketball skills the opportunity to play against stronger competition the EPBBA Board of Directors has developed a Financial Aid program. This ensures that any boy regardless of financial situation has the ability to play travel basketball.
The EPBBA Travel Basketball Financial Program details are the following:
- The Eden Prairie Boys Basketball Association will offer a scholarship program to cover the full cost of the current $300 travel fee and the base fee of $125 or $140 (depending on the grade) if the player is a recipient of a free or reduced school lunch.
- As part of the registration process the parent will be asked if the player will be trying out for travel and if they are in need of financial aid.
- In order to qualify for the scholarship the parent will be required to complete the EPBBA Travel Financial Aid Request Form. This form will contain the following information:
- Players Name and grade
- Parents Name, Address, Phone # and email
- Signature of Parent acknowledging free or reduced lunch criteria is met.
- Name and signature of school counselor, staff, case worker or other official verifying free or reduced lunch criteria is met.
- The EPBBA Travel Financial Aid Request Form and $100 check to be used as deposit requiring parents to work their designated shifts at the EPBBA Travel Basketball Tournament needs to be provided to the Travel Director on or before the third day of the travel tryouts.
- If the parents decline to help at the EP Tournament, the $100 will be used to reimburse the EPBBA for the hiring of tournament workers. Deposit checks from players whose parents work their assigned shifts will be destroyed.
Travel Practice and Tournaments:
It is expected that participation on a Travel team will be the player’s primary extra-curricular activity during the Travel season. We will LIMIT our teams to three (3) events a week, which is typically two (2) practices and one (1) tournament or three (3) practices. Practices will start in mid-October and the season concludes with the State Tournament in mid-March. Participation in other activities should not conflict with the Travel tournament and practice schedule. Parents will be given a tournament schedule at, or before, the first practice of each team. It is expected that family vacations will not conflict with the team’s tournament schedule. EPBBA will not schedule tournaments or practice over Thanksgiving weekend, during the Christmas/New Year’s break, or over the President’s Day weekend.
Participating in Travel basketball is a privilege requiring a significant time commitment from the player and his family. If participants are unable to make that commitment, they should not participate in the Travel program. In past years the number of players that desire to play Travel basketball has exceeded the number of available roster spots. The EPBBA believes that players that are willing to make a commitment to the Travel program should have a priority in participating over players that are not willing to make the required commitment.
Thank you for reviewing this information and for considering participation in the Travel program. We’re proud of the basketball experience we offer the participants in this program and look forward to another enjoyable basketball season.
Eden Prairie Boys Basketball Association