For each gender-grade group in Grades 4 through 8, we aim to assemble at least one team. Two is the norm. This means we typically place approximately twenty teams and more than 200 players in the MetroWest league.
No. "Rec basketball, which is run by the Sharon Recreation Department, offers games and practices to players in Grades 3 through 12, entirely within the town of Sharon. Rec ball also has an ‘equal playing time’ mandate. The Sharon Travel Basketball Association's games are played against other towns in the MetroWest league, and our program does not have a mandate around equal playing time. However, Rec and STBA do attempt to work together to avoid as many scheduling conflicts as possible, and STBA notifies Rec of which travel teams Rec players are on so Rec can attempt to form balanced teams. We encourage players to participate in both programs if possible.
Mid- to late-September. We must hold tryouts well in advance of the actual season so we can assemble rosters, enter them into the MetroWest league, recruit and assign coaches, order uniforms, and plan a preseason tournament.
A typical tryout for a given group involves two sessions over two nights, for a total of three hours, at Mass Premier Courts in Foxboro. Coaches from the previous season usually run the tryouts (speaking directly with players, directing drills, calling fouls) while evaluators take notes and give the coaches feedback on what else they would like to see on the court. By the end of the tryout, the evaluators for that group have ranked/grouped the players by overall ability. If the group has 20 or more players, the program will most likely form 2 teams. Evaluators tend to be current or former STBA board members, experienced local coaches, or other adults who have backgrounds in basketball and a connection to Sharon. An evaluator is assigned to a given group only if he or she does not have a child in that group (or in the same grade) and otherwise does not have connections to the players in the group or to any of the players’ parents.
Sharon Travel Basketball is a competitive program, and there is no guarantee that a player trying out will be offered a place on a roster.
Within days. The STBA board meets immediately after tryouts are finished to review evaluators’ choices, determine the scope of our program for the coming season, and finalize rosters. Rosters are announced via email within a few days of that meeting. Soon thereafter, players are invited to register for the actual season. It is our hope that rostered players who opt to not participate in the season will make this decision known to STBA as soon as possible, whether that’s before or shortly after rosters have been announced.
The travel basketball team your child plays on in any given season is not predictive of future placement or success in this or any other basketball program. Some players tend to be on the A team every year, others tend to be on the B, while others move back and forth. Some players have been on A, B, and C teams over the course of three seasons in this program before moving on to play for Sharon High School basketball teams. Things change, and our rosters can and do change accordingly.
Preseason practices start in early November, and our program hosts a preseason tournament toward the end of that month. The MetroWest travel basketball season begins in earnest with the first weekend of December and involves 11 or 12 regular-season games (almost always on Sundays) followed by playoffs over a few weeks in early March. All told, it’s a four-month season. Some coaches and teams try to schedule additional games and/or will play in optional holiday tournaments, but this is done in coordination with families, and players are not expected or required to attend those optional tournaments. The only two tournaments that are compulsory for our program are the preseason “Eagle” tournament and the MetroWest playoffs. Expect two practices per week, usually on weeknights, at Dana Barros Basketball Club in Stoughton and/or Mass Premier Courts in Foxboro. We cannot provide more-specific information about practice or game schedules until shortly before the preseason starts, when coaches have been identified, gym rentals are sorted out, and the league has built a schedule for some 1000+ teams in eastern Massachusetts. Likewise, we cannot promise to accommodate players who have very busy schedules, including commitments to other sports programs. Our expectation: Players are going to attend at least 75% of the team’s activities, including practices and games. We typically do not hold practices during the school vacation weeks in December and February. Due to where national holidays fall on the calendar in '22-'23, the league will NOT schedule any games on the Sundays of the December school vacation week, and it'll be an 11-game schedule this winter rather than 12. However, the league might schedule games for both Sundays of the February break in order to get 11 games in.
The season fee is approximately $400. This covers practice time, games (league fee, referee fees), playoffs, the preseason tournament, and equipment. There is a small fee for participation in tryouts. If needed, new uniforms cost about $95. We do not require new uniforms every year. In fact, we strongly encourage families to purchase uniforms that players can grow into and use for multiple seasons. Uniforms from the past four seasons can be reused if they still fit. Additional, optional tournaments cost about $10-20 per player for 2-5 games. Again, participation in these extra tournaments is optional, not required. (Note: Some movement of players from B teams to A teams is allowed for the optional tournaments, at the coach's discretion.)
Most STBA coaches are parents of players on the teams. New coaching candidates must apply to the STBA and be vetted by our coaches committee. All coaches must pass an annual CORI check. Other parents can help out by manning the scorer’s table (scoreboard and scorebook) at home games, or serving as team admins.
Aside from receiving an STBA coach’s shirt, no, the parent coaches are not compensated at all. We may hire other “professional”, non-parent coaches to conduct skills-centric practice sessions, and these coaches are compensated.
Each player should have a basketball, a water bottle, appropriate footwear, and appropriate clothing for practice. Grade 4 girls use a 27.5” ball. Boys in Grades 4-6 and girls in Grades 5 and up use a 28.5” ball. Boys in Grades 7-8 use a 29.5” ball. Our program provides balls for league games.
Our only program is in the winter, starting with tryouts in the fall and ending with playoffs in early March. There are other basketball programs in the Sharon area for AAU ball, skills clinics, camps, private training sessions, basketball fitness, and more. Coaches and members of the STBA board can help point players to some of these programs, and some coaches might actively keep momentum going from one season to the next by organizing some scrimmages, but these are not formal, STBA-endorsed activities.
The Sharon Travel Basketball Association's Covid protocols for the season will be detailed in the "COVID protocols" page.