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, only one parent or guardian is allowed at games and will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing requirements. We realize the challenges for families with this, but the Fieldhouse is a very tight space even with these restrictions. For practices, parents and/or guardians are not allowed in the facility for practices – no exceptions. Keep in mind that there is a chance that no family members will be allowed to watch the games if the state, town, or Fieldhouse change their stance. Also, if we find the number of people in the gym creates an unsafe environment or if we find that rules that are set in place by SYB or the Fieldhouse are violated, we may modify the rules. As a parent or guardian, you need to be open and willing to accept these 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.