SYB Registration will open November 5 at 6:00 pm and close November 19, 2020.
We really appreciate everyone’s support over the years, but this season will be challenging for all of us. According to Massachusetts guidelines, basketball is considered a “high risk” sport that will require implementation of additional protocols to support the safe return to play. This season may require all of us to adapt and be willing to quickly change our course of action over the season as necessary.
We are asking those interested in participating in SYB this season to be flexible and open to change. While we have a plan for the upcoming season, there is still some uncertainty as we await guidelines to be updated for the winter season. In the end, our goal for the upcoming season is to give the kids a chance to improve their skills and most importantly just have fun playing basketball.
Outside of safety, a major issue that we are facing is gym space – public and private schools in the area cannot commit to renting space to outside programs at this time because of safety protocols and many are using the gym space as classrooms or cafeterias. In recent years, we usually have over 200 hours of gym/court time to use for practices and games per week. For this year, we are fortunate to have secured 50 hours per week at the Fieldhouse– unlike other towns who have shut down for the season because they cannot obtain access to gyms. Obviously, this reduction in gym time presents a challenge to running our program for boys and girls in all grades (K-8). Unfortunately, due to the lack of gym space, we need to significantly reduce the number of registrations for the upcoming season so it is important to sign up early. Registration will be first come first serve. If registration is full, please add your name to the waitlist.
As of right now, parents and/or guardians are not allowed in the facility for practices or games. We realize the challenges for families with this, but the Fieldhouse is a very tight space even with these restrictions. As a parent or guardian, you need to be open and willing to accept any changes to give the kids an opportunity to play this winter. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Please note that there will be modifications to how the game is played this season which has yet to be determined. There is a state agency overseeing this and relying on the MIAA task force and High School Coaches Association to make the decisions around these rule changes. We will follow the rules that will be established. Regardless, SYB will require all players and coaches to wear a mask during practices and games. We are looking into what additional steps can be taken regarding additional PPE and safeguards that can help make the season safe for our players and coaches.
In order for your child to participate in SYB this winter, families must sign a COVID liability waiver, wear masks at all times, have random temperature checks, be comfortable with risks associated with playing a high risk sport, and be willing to accept any changes to rules, format, or guidelines. We are in the process of writing a formal COVID plan that will provide further details.
With these challenges in mind, we wanted to give you an idea of the upcoming season and the details that we know so far.
With our regrets, we will not be able to offer the K-2 program. We are deeply saddened by this. This has been our fastest growing program that helps provide kids the skills and building blocks that they will need as they get older. It has been a great program and the kids love it. However, we run the program at Loring where we can lower the hoops so that the kids shoot on the appropriate height rim giving them the opportunity to learn proper shooting mechanics and have success making shots. Without access to the schools, we are unable to run the program. Our goal is to continue this program and offer it next year. While we do not anticipate a change this season, if the schools allow outside access to the gyms, we will reevaluate.
In-town Boys + Girls (3rd – 8th)
Our priority for the upcoming season will be offering an in-town program for grades 3-8. Our season will start on January 4, 2021, and we are planning on playing six regular season games plus two guaranteed playoff games. We will play through winter break in February. Please note that this is subject to change if Massachusetts or the town of Sudbury changes the guidelines. If there are more restrictions placed on youth sports, we will first offer a back-up plan of skills and drills for enrolled kids unless there is a complete lockdown again.
- As of now, the kids will have an opportunity to have one practice and one game per week at the Fieldhouse. Teams will have one practice or game (Mon-Fri) with the earliest start time at 5pm and have an additional practice or game on Saturday or Sunday anywhere between 8AM and 7PM. Given the lack of gym space, we cannot accommodate any requests to play a certain day of the week or time as we have done in recent years.
- We will split up the teams based on the registration numbers per grade. There are a few possibilities that we are looking at for the season. As in years past, we anticipate grouping together kids in the following grade format: 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th and there is a possibility of one or two divisions in each grouping. Again, this is not guaranteed and subject to change. We will do our best to make this a great experience given the circumstances.
- Unfortunately, due to the lack of gym space, we will have to significantly reduce the number of kids participating in SYB for the upcoming season. We are reducing our registrations by approximately 35% based on the previous year’s participation. At this time, we will be implementing a cap on registrations per grade.
- Because we are restricting the number of kids who can participate this year, we are asking families to provide a higher level of commitment for the 2021 in-town season. We are suggesting that players should attend at least 75% of the practices/games during the season.
- Players must be a resident of Sudbury to participate in the intown league.
- We have received a lot of great support from our parent and high school coach volunteers over the years and we really appreciate all their hard work and commitment. However, this year we will be limiting the number of coaches to two per team this year.
- The cost to register is $350 per player. This is a significant increase compared to previous years. Please note that we are a nonprofit, volunteer organization that wants to give Sudbury kids an opportunity to play basketball. The challenge is court fees are significantly higher at the Fieldhouse – nearly two times the cost of the schools. Plus, we must reduce the number of kids on a court for a practice from 20 to 10. This has a significant impact on the cost and the price increase is unavoidable to ensure we can cover the increased operating expenses.
- If the season is cancelled by the state/town authorities or by SYB:
- prior to the start of the season in January 2021, we will give a refund or a credit for the cost of the season less $50. The $50 covers nonrefundable operating expenses and the cost of a shooter shirt.
- after the season starts, we will give a prorated amount based on the number of events held.
At this point, due to the rising Covid numbers and the uncertainty surrounding travel basketball, we will not be offering travel basketball. All players who register for the '20-'21 season will register for intown basketball. If things change and we are able to have 7th and 8th grade travel basketball teams, players who have already registered for intown will have a chance to tryout and then play both intown and travel.
We realize people may have questions about the upcoming season. We are asking that all questions be anonymously posted on a google form found here by October 23rd. We will publish the questions with answers on our website to help provide more information about the upcoming season.
We are doing our best under these difficult circumstances, and we truly value your support, patience, and understanding as we all navigate this together.
COVID - FAQs
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. If you have any additional questions about the upcoming season, please email us.
What time will the online registration go live on Nov 5 and if a link to register will be sent out?
Registration will start at 6PM. An email containing the link will be sent out at 6:00pm and you can also access the registration page by going to the website and clicking on the "Register Online" tab found on the left side of the home page.
Will a refund be issued if a player decides not to play prior to the start of the season OR if the season gets cut short?
Prior to the start of the season in January 2021, we will give a refund or a credit for the cost of the season less $50. The $50 covers nonrefundable operating expenses and the cost of a shooter shirt and mask which the player would still receive. If the state, county, or local officials require SYB to shut down, we will offer a prorated refund depending on where we are in the season
Will there be evaluations in town?
No. With the restrictions on the number of kids allowed on the court and lack of gym space, we will not have evaluations. We will rely on coaches’ evaluations from the previous season. We will try our best to split teams up to give competitive balance ensuring a great experience for all skill levels.
What will the 3rd and 4th grade kids be doing? Drills only? Drills and games (subject to guidelines)?
Given the current situation, our plan is they would have a one game or team practice on a weekday night and one practice or game on Saturday or Sunday. There would be 6 regular season games plus two guaranteed playoff games.
If the state changes the current guidelines, we will shift to skills and drills and no games. Our hope is to offer games.
This goes for 5th through 8th, too.
Are you offering any scholarships? Will you offer support for low income families?
Yes. Learn more here.
Will each team’s practices and games always be on same days and times, once scheduled, or different schedule every week?
When signing up, please anticipate that a team’s schedule will vary week to week. Teams will have one weekday and one weekend event.
Monday – Friday: teams will play anywhere between 5PM and 8PM
Saturday + Sunday: team will play anywhere between 8AM and 8PM
Keep in mind our goal would be to create a consistent schedule, but this is something that we cannot guarantee. With the limited court time and uncertainty around registration numbers, we need to be flexible and cannot commit to this at this time.
Will Lincoln and Wayland be allowed to put their own entries into the In-Town league, assuming all the players on those teams live in the respective towns?
No. Unfortunately, the in-town league will be only Sudbury residents. We will not travel or play against neighboring towns.
What safety precautions will be taken for players and coaches? Will they have to wear masks for practices and games?
We will follow all guidelines set forth by Massachusetts and will be developing health and safety measures— which includes but is not limited to having all players, coaches, and refs wear masks always even during games.
Keep in mind there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 when participating in a high risk sport like basketball. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death especially for those with underlying medical conditions.
By participating in SYB, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. We will take all necessary measures to keep our coaches and players as safe as possible amid the coronavirus pandemic, but please understand that there is a shared responsibility between players, coaches, families, and SYB.
Any update on the travel program?
At this point, due to the rising COVID numbers and the uncertainty surrounding travel basketball, we will not be offering travel basketball at this time. All players who register for the '20-'21 season will register for intown basketball. If things change and we can have 7th and 8th grade travel basketball teams, players who have already registered for intown will have a chance to tryout and then play both intown and travel.
Will there be tryouts for the Travel team?
If things change and we have travel for 7th and 8th grade, we will have tryouts.
Any update on whether MA will allow games?
We are waiting on the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) for further guidance and rules.
As of now, we will be able to play some games in town against other Sudbury kids.
Is travel looking likely or unlikely? If it stays intown, will they likely be playing on a mixed team? That will not likely be worth my child’s time since my child is a stronger player and, in that case, we would do AAU.
SYB is looking to do everything possible to make this winter a great experience for everyone regardless of skill level. Without knowing the final registration number, we can not guarantee how teams will be split up. But our goal is competitive balance and ensuring the kids that play all year round as well as those just starting to play have fun, improve, and have a great time playing basketball with friends.
Keep in mind that the LS boys’ and girls’ varsity coaches are involved in the planning and helping with the upcoming SYB season and are encouraging everyone to participate in SYB even if it remains in town. They both feel that it is especially important to play with and against classmates this winter and there is plenty of opportunity to play AAU in spring, summer, and fall.