Y Basketball League FAQ

August 09, 2017


Bring your child to participate in this years league."


How do I enroll? Registration is available both online at southsideymca.org and at the front desk during any operating hours. Online registrants will receive the league questionnaire within 48 business hours to complete enrollment. Easy enrollment is made easier when you are prepared with the following:

--League code: Ages 3-5 (SSSRYBALL06), Grades K-1 (SSSRYBALL05), Grades 2-3 (SSSRYBALL01),

Grades 4-5 (SSSRYBALL02), Grades 6-8 (SSSRYBALL03), High School (SSSRYBALL04)

--Emergency contact names and phone numbers

--Correct spelling of first/last name for any coach or friend requests

--A method of full payment

When is the deadline to enroll? Early bird pricing (Members $80, Non-members $125) ends August 15. Regular registration is available through August 27 at $100 for members and $150 for non-members. After August 27, registration will only be permitted if space is available. Requests will not be accepted and a $20 late fee will apply. We are unable to prorate the league.

Are any discounts available? Limited financial assistance is available to qualifying families. To learn more about the financial assistance process and ensure you come prepared with the proper documentation to apply, please visit or contact the YMCA front desk at 773.947.0700. Participants registering for Fall Y Basketball League receive a 25% discount when enrolling for Fall Y Basketball Academy Levels 1-3.

What is included in the league fee? The Y provides shirts/jerseys and an end-of-season award.

What equipment do I need to supply? Youth should wear black shorts and non-marking athletic shoes. To allow for maximum time with the ball, children are encouraged to bring their own basketball, clearly marked with the player’s first and last name. The Y is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

When will my child practice? The registration questionnaire will ask for any evenings in which you CANNOT practice. Practices typically run for 60 minutes between 6pm and 8pm. In addition, you will have the option to list one coach and one friend request. Requests are not guaranteed. All-Stars (ages 3-5) and Rookies (grades K-1) will play only on Saturdays. See “League structure” for more details.

Do you accept team registrations? Yes, provided the skill balance of the league is upheld. All participants must register prior to the regular enrollment deadline and must indicate the friend/coach you are requesting on the registration questionnaire. Teams must also have a secured coach prior to registering as a team. Since our league is based upon individual registrations, a team may have additional players added to the roster if the team does not meet the maximum number of players allotted per team.

What is the refund policy? Refund requests must be submitted by Tuesday, September 5. Refunds received by this date will be honored, less a 25% administrative fee. Refunds requested after September 5 will only be granted for medical reasons supported by a doctor’s note.


League structure:

Ages 3-5 (All-Stars): In this level, youth will learn the basics of basketball in a unique way. Children will practice drills and routines similar to those of Harlem Globe Trotters. At the All-Starts level, children will practice on Saturday mornings with opportunities to perform in half-time shows for older youth divisions and special events. September 23-November 11

Saturdays, 8:30am-10:00am

Members $80, Non-members $120

Grades K-1 (Rookies): Youth enjoy a 30-minute practice followed by 30-minute scrimmage during the same one-hour timeframe on Saturday mornings. An 8-foot goal is used in this league, making it the perfect transition and preparation for Y Basketball League.

September 23-November 11

Saturday mornings, time contingent upon enrollment Members $80, Non-members $120

Grades 2-12 (Y Basketball League): Teams practice one evening per week with a game on Saturdays. Practices begin the week of September 11. Games begin September 23 and end in tournament play on November 11.

Early bird (thru 8/15): Members $80, Non-members $120

Regular (thru 8/27): Members $100, Non-members $150

Divisions (contingent upon enrollment): 2nd/4th, 5th/6th, 7th/8th, high school. All divisions are co-ed.

How are teams formed? In general, team formation is dictated by a myriad of operational elements in conjunction with coach availability and participant requests. Upon registering, you may enter a coach request, friend request and list any weekday evenings in which you CANNOT practice. Requests will be granted to the extent possible on a first-come, first-serve basis during early registration. The best way to influence practice night and team selection is to become a volunteer coach.

How much will my child play? We do not use tryouts to select the best players, nor do we cut kids from YMCA Youth Sports. Everyone who registers is assigned to a team. During the season everyone receives equal practice time and game time, playing at least half of every game.

Can my child play in a more advanced division? With the exception of high school, youth may play up one grade level. This means that a 4th grader may play in the 5th/6th grade division; however, a 3rd grader may not advance to the 4th/5th grade division. Extenuating circumstances for an athlete to play down a division must be approved by the sports manager.

Who will coach my child’s team? Our sports leagues are made possible by the generous commitment from volunteers just like you. All Y Sports teams are led by volunteer parent coaches following the Y of the USA national sports curriculum. Volunteers complete a background check and orientation to implement developmental and values-based coaching that promotes healthy spirit, mind and body through skill development, teamwork and fair play.


What volunteer roles exist in Y Sports? Community and family involvement is at the core of our program. Become involved as a head coach, assistant coach, scorekeeper, team parent, community partner, sponsor, special event volunteer and more.

How do I become a volunteer? Contact Johnnie Cox at jocox@ymcachicago.org to get connected to your selected volunteer role. Next, visit the front desk to complete a volunteer application for background check. Attend the volunteer orientation or arrange a meeting with the sports manager.

What support does the Y provide volunteers/coaches?  The Y provides season-long practice plans, online resources and any guidance you may need. We work with you to select a practice time that fits your schedule. Commit to one weeknight practice, Saturday games and basic communication with the team throughout the season. No experience necessary!


Additional sports opportunities:

Can my child/team practice more than once per week? The Y believes in a healthy balance of activity, including academics, athletics and family time. Youth seeking additional training and development opportunities are encouraged to enroll in Y Basketball Academy. Through the Academy, experienced instructors guide participants through drills and games designed to improve technical, tactical and athletic performance. Skills academy focuses on individual development and serves all ages and abilities. Perfect for beginners preparing for league play to advanced athletes seeking supplemental training opportunities during the YMCA Basketball League (YBL) season. Plus, YBL participants receive a 25% discount when enrolling in Y Basketball Academy.

What is the difference between the “league” and “academy?” Leagues (grades 2-12) are setup with weekly team practices and organized Saturday games throughout the season. The Academy (ages 6-16) serves as a standalone or supplemental clinic-style sports opportunity that focuses on individual skill work, making it suitable and challenging for all athletes to grow and progress at his/her own pace.

What if my child is not ready for league play? YMCA sports are founded on a “for all” philosophy. Everyone is welcome! If your young child is not ready for league play, the Y also offers individual and sports exploratory class opportunities such as tumbling, karate, Super Sports & More (parent/child) and Super Tots Sports. Email inclusion@ymcachicago.org if we can help your child enjoy Y Sports with special accommodations.

Who do I contact for additional questions and information? We’re here to serve you! For general sports questions, front desk staff are available during any operating hours to assist you. For further or specific assistance, please contact Johnnie Cox, sports manager, at 773.947.2538 or jocox@ymcachicago.org.



Important fall league dates:

August 15: Early enrollment deadline – save up to $25!

August 27: Regular registration deadline

August 28: Late registration begins as space permits ($20 late fee applies)

August 29: Welcome email sent with additional league details and next steps

September 5: Deadline for any refund requests

September 7: Team assignments emailed to email address provided on questionnaire

September 8: Basketball Academy begins (separate registration)

September 9: Coach, scorekeeper and parent meeting

September 9: Season warm-up clinic – free to all league participants!

September 11: First week of practices for grades 2-12

September 18: Game schedules posted

September 23: First game and first day of season for All-Stars (ages 3-5) and Rookies (grades K-1) November 11: Last day of the season, tournament play for grades 2-12