Master Sports Basketball League Frequently Asked Questions
1. “My child is new to basketball and has little to no experience with the game. Are the leagues a good way for them to get them involved in basketball?
- The Master Sports basketball leagues are recreational and are intended for players ranging in skill from very beginner all the way through advanced. Teams will be created with a mix of skill levels via the assessment and draft process. Beginner players are welcome to play in the leagues at any time. Master Sports also offers Basketball Skill Builder seasonal classes to develop the fundamentals of the game if anyone prefers to start in a non-competitive format.
2. “Which division should I register my son or daughter for?”
- Registration is based on school grade level, not age. Typically, divisions are split up into two-grade groups, like 3rd-4th grade and 5th-6th grade divisions. Players should be registered for the school grade/division they are currently in. During the Summer season, registration is based off the current or most recent school grade level, not the future grade level. So, a player in 4th grade in the spring will still be in the 3rd-4th grade division for summer and will enter 5th-6th grade in the fall season.
3. “Can I register my child for a division above or below the division they are eligible for?”
- Players can “play up” from their intended division, but in no circumstances will they be allowed to “play down”. For example, a 4th grader may register for the 5th-6th grade division, but a 3rd grader may not register for the 1st-2nd grade division. In any case of a player playing up, the expectation is that they will be able to keep up, compete, and most importantly have fun playing in the higher division with older and likely more skilled players. Once skills assessments have taken place, a player may not change divisions for any reason.
4. “My daughter wants to play, but there are no girls divisions this season. Can I sign her up for the boys division instead?”
- All-girls divisions are typically only offered for certain grade levels in the winter and summer seasons. We typically do not get enough girls in the off seasons (fall and spring) to offer all-girls divisions at those times. However, girls may be registered in the boys divisions at any time either when no girls options are available, or when girls divisions are offered but playing in the boys division would be preferred.
5. “Which divisions keep score?”
- The kindergarten coed and 1st-2nd grade coed divisions do not keep score. For all divisions 3rd grade and up, score will be kept, and those divisions will have post-season playoff games and a championship game.
6. “My child has participated in the leagues in previous seasons. Will he need to attend the skills assessments for this new season?”
- Skills assessments are mandatory for all players in every season. The assessments are the most important tool in helping create fair and balanced teams within each division, so all players must attend. Each season will have new coaches that will need to watch all players in attendance at assessments in order to take notes on them in preparation for the division’s draft.
7. “Is there a chance my child will not be selected to a team depending on how they perform at the skills assessments?”
- All players that are registered online prior to the skills assessments will be guaranteed a spot in the league, regardless of skill level. If you are signed up online, your child will be selected to a team no matter what.
8. “I went online to sign up and it now shows the division as “waitlist”. What are the chances my child will be able to join, and when will I know or be contacted about waitlist status?”
- It is very common for leagues to fill up and for registration to switch to waitlist only. It is impossible to know if your child will be added to a team from the waitlist since it may require players to drop out, more players joining, etc. We will not contact waitlisted players to let them know a spot is not available. You will only be contacted via email if a spot does become available for your child. If that happens, you will receive a registration link that expires 24 hours from the time it is sent allowing you to complete registration and then be added to a team.
9. “Who are the coaches of the teams for the recreational leagues?”
- Most coaches for recreational basketball teams are volunteer parents of children that are participating in the league. Community-based volunteers also participate when not enough parent volunteer coaches are identified. Community volunteers could be someone that used to play in the leagues when they were younger, retirees looking to give back to the community, or high school students working to complete community service requirements for high school graduation. Parents always have priority to coach their children over community volunteers.
10. “Can anyone sign up to coach?”
- Of course! Parents, older siblings, grandparents, etc. are all invited to coach in the recreational leagues. All adult volunteers are required to complete a LiveScan fingerprint and background check prior to organized team activities to ensure the safety of all league participants and families. High school community volunteers must secure letters of recommendation from current or recent schoolteachers or coaches to demonstrate their ability to coach an entire season.
11. “I want my son to be on the same team as his best friend. How do I make that request to guarantee they play on the same team?”
- For recreational leagues, our main priority in using the skills assessments/coach draft process is to make the teams as balanced as possible within each division so that games are more competitive and more fun in general. Unfortunately for that reason, we cannot accept any friend teammate requests. The only way to increase the odds or even guarantee that two players are drafted to the same team would be to have one parent coach or multiple parents co-coach a team. “Property players” are the children of volunteer coaches and are guaranteed to be placed on the coach’s team in an appropriate draft round.
12. “How many parents can coach together and make sure our kids are on the same team?”
- We allow one head coach and one assistant coach per team prior to the assessment and draft process. The only caveat is that the skill levels of property players must be fair in comparison to the overall level of the division. For example, if the parents of the best two players in a division want to coach together, we would have to disallow that coaching pair due to the competitive imbalance it would cause during games.
13. “We have registered and attended the skills assessments. What are the next steps and when can I expect to hear from my child’s coach?”
- After assessments are completed, an in-person draft will take place with a Master Sports league representative and the volunteer coaches in each division. This will happen shortly after the assessment date and players and non-volunteer parents do not need to attend. Once the drafts are completed, rosters will be created and sent out to the coaches of the individual teams. The primary form of communication for the leagues is email, so please be sure to double check that your primary email address on file for your MasterSports.com family account is your preferred address. Coaches will be given a deadline to contact their team, and Master Sports will also email the league participants letting everyone know when they should hear from their coach. Typically, it will be one to two weeks after the original assessment date but may be longer based on any other circumstances that may be involved.
14. “What day of the week are practices and games played?”
- In general, practice days and times are determined by the coaches of the individual teams. Practices are most often held on weekdays in the afternoons/evenings and are once a week for one hour. Game days vary by division, location, season etc., but the traditional game days and times for any division/season will be listed on the registration page for that division on the MasterSports.com website.
15. “My child’s coach picked a practice day and time that conflicts with our other weekly activities. Can we be switched to a different team with a practice day and time that works with our schedule?”
- Unfortunately, players cannot be moved to different teams due to practice schedule conflicts. The assessments and draft process are used to create balanced teams and adjusting rosters for any reason after the fact can take away from the balance that is achieved.
16. “What are my options if our practice day and time does not work for our family?”
- The scheduling of practices is can be a tricky obstacle at times, but there are options. First, parents should check with the coach to see if any other days/times would work for the coach and the whole team. Second, they can ask if the coach would consider holding a second optional weekly practice for any families that cannot attend the primary practice. Third, if a player cannot attend any practices, they can see about having the team meet early on game days to do a “walk-through” practice before the games. If you anticipate the possibility of having practice conflicts due to limited availability, it is highly suggested that you volunteer to coach the team if interested and available. That way, you can pick the practice day and time that works best for you.
17. “Where are the game schedules and how can I access them?”
- Game schedules are typically published and released about one to two weeks prior to the first games of the season. You will receive an email once they are available to view online. From the MasterSports.com website, you can access the game schedules by selecting the league and division that your child is registered for, and then clicking on the “Game Schedules” tab from that page. We also have the Master Sports App as the preferred method for viewing game schedules from a phone, tablet, or other mobile device. From the App Store or Google Play Store, search for “Master Sports” and download. You can log in using the same credentials as your family account on the website and follow the same steps to view the online game schedules.
18. “Are team jerseys/uniforms provided?”
- Yes, all players will receive a reversible jersey set that included both a jersey top and shorts. Players will keep their jerseys at the end of the season and will not need to return them.
19. “Are trophies or post-season awards provided by the league?”
- Some trophies and/or awards are provided by the league, but not necessarily for all players. In divisions where score is kept and playoffs are held, all players on teams that reach the championship game will receive a 1st or 2nd place trophy, depending on the outcome of that game. Players on teams that do not reach the finals will not receive any participation awards. For all Kindergarten and 1st-2nd Grade divisions (excluding Carlsbad leagues), all players will receive a participation trophy.
20. “We want to practice at home to get my child ready for the season. What size ball should we purchase and what height is the hoop set at for our division?”
- A full list of rules is available through the MasterSports.com website. You can access that by going to the division your child is registered for and selecting the “Rules” tab towards the top of the page. In the rules, the “Rules Quick Reference Guide” will tell you which ball size and basket height will be used for your child’s division.
21. “Circumstances have changed, and my child can no longer participate this season. Is it possible to receive a refund for the registration fees?”
- All refund requests must be made no later than one week PRIOR to the date of the skills assessments. All refund requests must be sent to Service@MasterSports.com and will incur a $20 processing fee. Refunds or credits will not be issued after one week prior to the skills assessments time has passed.