To provide youngsters with an opportunity to learn basketball and develop their skills in a recreational and/or competitive travel environment.

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Travel program FAQ's



What's the difference between GBA's "travel" and "rec" programs?  Which one should I register for?

The 'travel' program requires boys & girls in grades 5-8 to try out for a limited number of available roster spots.  This program is a substantially greater time commitment for families, as there are, on average, 4 activities each week. Days, times and locations for practices will vary due to gym availability.  About 150 kids play in the travel program.

The 'rec' program is GBA's most popular program, and there are about 1,500 boys & girls in grades 3-12 involved.  There are no tryouts (but most leagues require assessment sessions in order to properly place kids  in an effort to make all teams competitive across their league).

Your child is welcome to register for either program. Typically, players who desire a more intense experience and are willing to tryout knowing they may or may not be offered a roster spot will register for travel. If you child does not make a travel team, they will have plenty of time to register for the ‘rec’ program.

What can my child expect from the tryout?
The tryout process evaluates individual and team basketball skills.  Players can expect to be evaluated on shooting, ball handling, rebounding, passing, defense, teamwork, sportsmanship etc.  Players will scrimmage as well.  Tryouts may involve two sessions.

Candidates' fitness level should be adequate to allow them to fully participate in all drills and scrimmages.

What is GBA Travel looking for in a player?
Basketball ability is a significant consideration.  However, other significant factors could be the player's size, hustle, speed, tenacity, instincts, etc.  In other words, it is entirely possible that a player with less developed basketball skills than another could be selected if the evaluators project that the player's potential warrants their selection.  We strongly encourage all boys and girls to not assume they won't be selected, particularly due to underdeveloped basketball skills.  Our goal is to develop those skills in players that have the potential.

How far do teams "Travel"?
The average drive to a road game is 20 minutes.  Some rides can be as long as 45 minutes, some can be 10 minutes.  No out of state games

What is the weekly time commitment?
2 practices per week.  Because of uneven gym allocations to us, we do not offer a set day of week schedule (e.g., every Tues/Thurs)...this can make family scheduling of activities challenging.  More often than not, teams play a game on both Saturday and Sunday.

Who does the evaluating?
Experienced GBA Travel administrators and their helpers. 

Can my child try out for a team older than his/her grade?
No, there is no "playing up" contemplated in the team selection process, regardless of the skill level of the younger player.  It is possible that an insufficient number of qualified candidates tryout for a team, and GBA may consider an exception to this rule.  There may be other extenuating circumstances.  Such exceptions require the approval of the GBA Executive Board.

My child is involved in another activity during basketball season (snowboarding, soccer, hockey, music, etc.), and we'd like him/her to be able to split time among activities during the season.  Is this OK?
This is not OK for Travel basketball.  GBA serves approximately 1,500 players on a rec and travel basis, and those players who want to play basketball, but not to the exclusion of other activities, are encouraged to participate in our Rec program.  A player can participate in multiple activities, including Travel basketball, but the commitment must be made up front that when the activities conflict, basketball is primary.  This commitment can be a challenge for kids playing premier soccer, etc., so careful consideration should be given to attempting to do both activities.  Attendance policy allows for a few 'free' misses during the season.

Can a player participate in both Travel and Rec programs of GBA?
No.  The rationale for prohibiting Travel players from participating Rec is that they could have a too-prominent role in the Rec games, taking away from the non-Travel players.  We realize that it would be fun for the kids to play with and against classmates, but unfortunately it's not available.

When does the Travel season begin and end?
Tryouts generally occur in the 2nd half of September or early October.  Practices begin no earlier than October 15.  Basketball practices held in October or early November do respect the priority of fall sports, so don't worry about finishing the soccer or football, etc., season.  The season ends early March.

What is the make up of the teams in each grade? Is there an A vs B team?

See the chart below for typical number of teams.  The make-up of the these teams may vary by year.  GBA will determine if there are sufficient "travel-caliber" players to field team(s) at each grade level.  Players may migrate between teams throughout their travel ‘career’.






2 teams

1 team per grade  + 

1 team combined with 6th grade


2 teams

1 team per grade  + 

1 team combined with 5th grade


2 teams

1 team per grade  + 

1 team combined with 8th grade


2 teams

1 team per grade  + 

1 team combined with 7th grade


When will my child find out if they made a team?

Usually, within a few days after the 2nd evaluation night, all families who tried out will receive an email with a roster of players who were selected for travel. In some grades, which travel team the player made will be determined at a later date.


What if, after being selected, my child decides they do NOT want to play travel?

Bottom line, a player should not tryout unless they are 100% certain they will promptly accept a travel invitation, no matter what.  Anything else is bad form.


Are there playing time rules?
Yes.  Every player who attends practice and is generally in good standing on his team will play a minimum of 8 minutes per game, which equates to 25% of the 32 minute game.  While most of the towns we compete with do not have such a requirement in their Travel program, we do.  Coaches strive to exceed the minimum where possible, but the player has to earn the time. 

I'm interested in coaching, how do I submit my application?
All prospective coaches, including those who coached in a prior season of the Travel program, should complete Coach Registration on this website.  The prospective coaches' son/daughter must be a bona fide candidate for player selection.  Compatibility with the principles of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a must for all coaching candidates.

Are families discouraged from going away during December and February vacations?
No.  Coaches  will have no issue with a player being unavailable during one of the school vacations.  Being gone for both vacations could cause a hardship to the team...players and parents should discuss with his/her coach.

What size basketball is used in the various grades and leagues?

Boys in grade 5 use a 28.5 inch basketball

Boys in grades 6-8 use a 29.5 inch basketball

Girls in grade 5-8 use a 28.5 inch basketball