How many Travel teams will be formed for each grade? Up to two boys and two girls teams will be formed for each grade, dependent on the number of children signing up for Tryouts. Our program is restricted in the number of teams by the available gym space in our system. When there are two teams for a specific grade/gender, we will either have an A team (Blue) and B team (White), or there will be two teams divided equally. The latter is typically done in the younger grades, or where we feel we have very strong talent in a grade (with an ability to field two teams able to compete in the highest division).
How many players on each team? Typically, up to 11-12, as it is very difficult for coaches to allocate sufficient playing time beyond this amount.
When will teams be announced? We will have the team announcements within 7-10 days of the final Tryout date.
Can you describe the Tryout process? All of the players for each grade/gender will have two Tryouts of approximately 75-90 minutes each. Players will be expected to attend both tryout sessions. During these Tryouts, the players will do a combination of drills and scrimmaging. Our evaluators will be grading the players on several offensive/defensive criteria. The evaluators are primarily last year’s volunteer coaches from the Chatham Basketball Club, as well as other local volunteers with strong basketball knowledge/background. Coaches will not evaluate the grade/gender of their own children. All players are given a number, which remains their only identity through team selection.
After the Tryout sessions are complete, the CBC Basketball Director (Phil Perone) meets with the Boys/Girls Travel Leaders to select teams. The only criteria considered in the team formation are the Tryout data and last year’s performance and attendance evaluation (for the returning players). Certain considerations to player position needs will be given on the final open spots for teams with prior year evaluations available.
The coaches of the Blue and White teams will be chosen AFTER the teams have been selected and will be announced along with the teams. Coach Perone, along with the Boys/Girls Travel Leaders, will select the coaches for the teams. Once teams are announced, players will be given approximately two days to accept the position on the team by registering, which includes payment of 1) a portion of the Travel League fees and 2) the registration fee for the Chatham Recreation League.
How competitive is the Tryout Process? In 2018-19, in the largest boys grade, there were 57 boys trying out in a single grade. While not all classes were this large, there were players who tried out who didn't make teams in all boys grades and nearly all girls grades. Please consider these this when assessing your child's ability to make one of the teams, and be prepared to have the discussion with him/her if your child is not chosen. It is the CBC’s greatest regret/challenge that we cannot accommodate all the players who wish to make a Travel team, and informing players/parents that they didn’t make a team is the most difficult task we have. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT A HIGH LEVEL OF SKILL IS NEEDED TO MAKE TEAMS. THERE ARE MANY GOOD PLAYERS WHO WILL NOT MAKE A TEAM. This is a function of the limited gym space we have, versus the many teams (including all CHS sports) vying for the gym space in Chatham.
If my child does not make a team, will he/she still have time sign up to play basketball somewhere else this season? YES, we intentionally moved our Tryout process much earlier than it used to be, so that kids that do not make one of our programs have plenty of time to play in another program. In addition to the Chatham Recreation League (non-tryout, registration begins in October, our area is blessed with many strong programs run by knowledgeable, dedicated coaches. Several of the programs below have no cuts, or minimal cuts. Area programs to consider:
Corpus Christi – for parishioners and some non-parishioner spots (5th through 8th)
YMCA Gators- competitive, open to all (12U and 14U)
Morris Magic – AAU (4th through 8th)
Hoop Heaven Heat and Lady Heat– AAU (4th through 8th)
Hoop Heaven League – non-tryout, for teams, or individuals (3rd through 8th)
St. Patrick – non-tryout, for students of the school (3rd through 8th)
A Money AAU - (3rd though 8th)
CBC works to maintain strong ties with all these other programs and strongly encourages any child who doesn’t make a team to move quickly to join one of these other great programs.
Why does CBC require the players on the Travel Teams to also play in the Chatham Recreation League? This is a fun experience for our Travel Team players, as they get to play with classmates in a less competitive setting. CBC has worked hard to improve the teaching, coaching and team balance of the Chatham Recreation League and had a great season last year, ending with exciting playoff games in all the grades. Our Travel Team players generally enjoy the Recreation League, but also the Travel Players’ inclusion is important for the success of the program. We are fortunate to continue to have our two Chatham High School Head Coaches, Todd Ervin and Joe Gaba, involved in our Chatham Recreation League program. These coaches, along with their assistants, as well as the Chatham High School varsity players, run our 7th/8th grade Chatham Recreation League programs. In grades 3-6, we rely primarily on parent volunteers to coach our Recreation League teams; many of these volunteers are parents of our Travel players.
Discuss my child’s ability to play both your Travel Team and do other sports activities? Once the season begins, our Travel Teams will generally have 2-3 games per week (although this varies each week), and will aim to practice 2 times per week. In addition, all Travel players will be required to play in our Chatham Recreation League on Saturday mornings. So, you should expect up to 5-7 basketball events many weeks from our program. Also, there is no set pattern to the Travel basketball schedule; the game days, and often the practice days will vary week-to-week. You will get your season game schedule in mid-November, but you will typically get your weekly practice schedule on Friday for the following week (a function of gym availability and coach decision/availability).
IT SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD THAT CHATHAM TRAVEL WILL BE YOUR MAIN PRIORITY DURING THE SEASON. Chatham Travel coaches are encouraged to insure that players missing repeated practices be disciplined by playing less or not at all in games. Our Tryout system considers prior year attendance strongly in team placement.
Overbooking a player’s schedule, then subsequently missing practices/games as a result, is unfair to the player’s coaches, teammates, and most importantly, the players that tried out but did not make this team.
Is playing time equal for all players during the season? NO. However, in grades 4-5, there are substitution rules that insure all players will be involved. Also, coaches are directed to insure that all players give meaningful contribution during games (generally a minimum of one quarter in grades 7-8 and slightly higher in grades 4-6), and to even up playing time as much as possible when the games are lopsided. With 11-12 players on a roster, the average playing time/player is less than half the game.
What is the approximate cost of the Travel Program? The cost will vary from team to team, based on additional events/tournaments a team may participate in, but you should assume $200-350, plus uniform costs. In addition, each player will have a registration fee of approximately $60-100 for the Chatham Recreation League that he/she will be required to play in, as part of our Travel Team commitment. In addition, players new to the program will be required to purchase uniforms (approximately $70-85), and replacement uniforms may be needed if the player outgrew his/her uniform from prior year.
Where does the CBC Travel Program fit in terms of level of competition? We are a town Travel program that competes primarily vs. other town Travel programs in the new Jersey Basketball Association. Our mandate is to bring together Chatham children that want to play basketball together, with the best teaching/coaching we can provide, on a non-profit volunteer basis. We believe our players will be challenged at practice and in league play. We also understand that there are many other great programs you may choose in our area, based on your desire for greater/lesser competition. The most important thing is that kids that like basketball…play basketball, whether it is our program or another one!
Tell us about the 4th Grade Travel program?
The 4th grade was added to the Travel program in 2013-14. This grade is meant to have a strong practice emphasis, which we hope will lead to improved teaching of fundamentals at this important developmental stage. We also found that while we have very tight gym space in our program during the most coveted practice times/facilities, we were able to add the 4th grade program by adding limitations on the gyms/days that the new 4th grade teams can use (which protects the practice availability for our existing 5th-8th grade teams). Generally, our 4th grade teams can expect most of their practices to be in smaller gyms, or other “remnant” gym time available, usually with less notice. Until additional gym availability is added within the program, our incoming 4th grade teams will have these restrictions, so our 5th-8th grade teams will have sufficient gym availability.