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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Participant Experience Levels

Q: My child has never played basketball in a league before - what experience do they need to complete in this league?

A: Absolutely none!  We strive to teach fundamentals in a supportive, engaging manner that allows the child to grow and develop their skills at their own pace.  Additionally, we also have mandatory substitutions each game to ensure that EVERY child that wants to play gets a chance on the court with their team.  

Q: How competitive is this league?

A: While we strive to teach our participants how to be both good winners and good losers, our main focus is around fundamentals, teamwork, and having fun.  We specifically do not hold tournaments for this reason: we want the participants to walk away from the league with confidence, a love for the sport, and a love for God.  

Q: I have never coached a team before.  Do I need to have former experience before I sign up to coach with Upwards?

A: No - We encourage you to sign up for coaching or volunteering even if you've had ZERO experience before.  We will train you in both HOW to coach basketball, as well as HOW to create a fun, supportive environment to help your players grow.  We also have coaches training sessions and provide a full range of resources at your disposal so you can craft your practice sessions and game days according to your strengths and your team's skills. 

Please note:

- While we encourage fun, less-formal practice and game day environments, we will not tolerate berating or demeaning attitudes or comments from ANYONE.  Player critiques come from a place of love and an expectation that the player can improve, and we expect our coaches/volunteers to represent that belief.  Any coach that does not follow this example will be asked to leave the practice/game; if this becomes a repetitive concern, we will ask the coach/volunteer to step away from the program altogether.

- All volunteers will pass a mandatory background check BEFORE assignment to a role.

- All practices and games will be attended by a member of the Upward Board of Directors to ensure compliance to our rules, ethics, and standards.  Anyone, whether parent or volunteer, caught violating those rules/ethics/standards will be asked to leave the Upward event.

- AT NO POINT SHOULD AN ADULT (volunteer or otherwise) BE ALONE WITH A CHILD (other than their own) during any Upward event.  ANY indication to the contrary are grounds for immediate dismissal for the volunteer or ejection from the premises, if non-volunteer.

Evaluation Nights/Sessions

Q: If the evaluations are scheduled from 6-9, will we need to be there the entire time?

A: No - the evaluation sessions are schedule open house-style, meaning you can drop by any time between the start and end times.  Most evaluation sessions will take between 30-45 minutes, but can be shorter if you have preregistered online.

Q: Do we have to attend all of the evaluation nights?

A: No - multiple evaluation sessions are scheduled in order to make it easier for everyone to attend.

Q: Do we have to attend one of the evaluation nights?

A: YES - it is imperative that you attend one of the evaluation nights.  

Q: What happens at the evaluation nights?

A: There are 4 necessary steps that occur during the evaluation sessions:

1. You check in at the front (if you have registered online before the event) or you register there.  

> This confirms your participation in the season/league and holds a spot for you on a team or squad.

2.  You confirm your online payment, make a payment, or set up a payment arrangement/apply for a scholarship.

> This helps us to confirm that we have the correct financial details for your participant(s) or whether we can help to align you with resources available within our church or community.

3. The participant gets sized for their uniform.  We will have samples of the uniforms that they can try on to check the fit or determine the correct size if you were unsure.

>  This confirms that we are ordering the correct size uniforms for your participants so that we get it right the first time.

4. Participants get evaluated on their basic basketball skills by executing simple drills.

> This ensures that we evenly distributing talent to all teams.  This also helps us to determine if your child is eligible to "play up" in an older bracket if they demonstrate skills beyond their current age.

Q: Can you "fail" an evaluation and not be on a team/in the league?

A: No - the purpose of these evaluations is not to assess whether your child can play in the league, but rather to ensure that your child is put in the best situation for a fun, challenging, and engaging season.  (See above for what happens during the evaluation process.)

Pricing & Payment Plans

Q: Do you offer discounts?

A: Yes - there are 2 discounts available:

1. Active Military Enrolled Parent - this is a 100% scholarship for the entirety of the registration fee ($70).  To be eligible for this scholarship, a legal guardian of a participant has to be actively enrolled in a branch of the armed forces at the time of the registration.  Talk to us at the evaluation sessions to apply for this scholarship.

2. Multi-child Discounts - the first child would be the full $70, each subsequent child would receive a $10 discount (registration = $60 each.)  These discounts do not compound, meaning that you cannot pay $70 for child 1, $60 for child 2, $50 for child 3, etc.

Q: You say that no child will be turned away because of their inability to pay the $70 registration fee.  What do you mean by that?

A: We mean exactly what it says - finances will not stop a child from playing in our Upward basketball league or cheering in our Upward cheer season.  We have a few options if you are unable to pay the $70 at the time of registration:

1. Delayed payment: if you need a few extra days or weeks, we completely understand.  Speak with our treasurers at the finance table at registrations so we can get that sorted out and noted in our system.  Please note: in this arrangement, we need to receive the full amount BEFORE the first game in order to provide the uniform to the participant.

2. Payment Arrangement: if you can pay a small amount at the time of the registration (as low as $10 per child) and set up payments for the remainder, we can ensure that your participant has a reserved spot in the league/season.  Speak with our treasurers at the finance table at registrations so we can get that sorted out and noted in our system.  Please note: in this arrangement, we DO NOT need to receive the full amount before the first game in order to provide the uniform to the participant, but we do need to receive by the end of February to provide the end of season "Thank You" gift to the child at the end of the league/season.

3. Scholarships are available: if you are unable to pay anything or only able to pay a portion of the $70 registration fee, full and partial scholarships have been donated by private individuals from our church.  However, these are limited and will be evaluated according to need; if we find that we have more requests than available scholarships, we may need to convert some full scholarships to partial in order to share the love as much as possible.  

At the end of the day, we want as many kids as possible to play, so we will work with you however we can to make this work. 

Q: How can I make my payment?

A: You have 2 options: make the payment online via credit/debit card when you first enroll the participant or make the payment at one of the evaluation nights.  At the evaluation nights, we will accept cash, check, credit and debit cards.

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