In the 2012-2013 season, over 400 boys and girls participated in the Los Gatos NJB program and we expect similar numbers this year. We offer children in grades three through eight the opportunity to play competitive basketball against teams from Los Gatos and other Bay Area Chapters. We also offer older students who aren't playing for their high school teams the opportunity to play against similar teams from other Bay Area chapters.
NJB is a developmental league and Los Gatos NJB puts player development ahead of winning for both Divisional and All-Net teams. It is still very competitive and may not be for players of all skill levels. Divisional players are guaranteed at least 2 full periods of play per game. There is no playing time requirement for All-Net, however, Los Gatos NJB All-Net teams will strive to give all players significant playing time.
Los Gatos NJB is committed to developing players who live in the neighborhoods of Los Gatos and Leigh High Schools. We will not accept players from other public school boundaries simply for the sake of making our teams better. We will only accept All-Net players who live outside of the LGHS and Leigh HS boundaries if we don't have enough local players to form an All-Net team.
Levels of Play
NJB has two levels of play, Divisional and All-Net. The majority of children play at the Divisional Level, where players attend Evaluations (mid-October) in order to form balanced teams. All children who participate at the Divisional Level receive guaranteed playing time throughout the year. Divisional play is at three levels according to the following grades. (These are NOT co-ed):
- Division 1: Boys and Girls – 7th and 8th grade
- Division 2: Boys and Girls – 5th and 6th grade
- Division 3: Boys and Girls – 3rd and 4th grade
The All-Net level is for advanced players who qualify in All-Net Tryout sessions (early October). All-Net teams play teams from other Silicon Valley Chapters. There may be an additional fee of ~$100 per player to cover added costs for All-Net (full court practices if possible and more games than Divisional play). This fee is dependent on us getting enough gym time to offer full court practices to the All-Net teams. Last season, gym time was a challenge and we did not charge this fee.
We've also had a great deal of success having non-parent coaches as our All-Net coaches for some of the age groups. We pay those coaches a small amount of money, so families with players on those teams may be asked to pay an additional fee directly to the coach of $100. Our non-parent coaches are primarily volunteering their time, so this fee is to compensate them for expenses like transportation.
It is our intention to have boys and girls All-Net teams for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. However, that is based on having enough All-Net caliber players try out for the teams. In the past, we have had some girls grades without an All-Net team.
Practice and Game Commitments
Divisional and All-Net teams practice twice a week…one night during the week and once on Saturday. Each practice is usually 90 minutes long. Practices are held in local gyms that include CT English Middle School on Summit Road, as well as LG High School and Union, Fisher and Dartmouth Middle Schools. Teams may also use the JCC, Courtside, local Community Centers and even West Valley Community College.
Please be aware that your child will almost certainly have practices at CT English. We usually have a few parents express concern about this, but it is less than 20 minutes from downtown Los Gatos, it is a big gym that can accommodate two or more teams at a time, and most teams meet somewhere in Los Gatos and the coaches carpool the kids up and back. LG NJB would not be able to exist without CT English unless we cut the amount of children in the program in half.
Since we use school gyms, we cannot use them until the schools are done with them for the day. This means practice times begin at approximately 6:00pm (usually the younger age groups) or 7:30pm (7th & 8th graders and some 5th/6th) during the week, and as early as 9am on Saturdays. We don't have an abundance of gyms, so some teams will have practices on Friday nights or late Saturday afternoons.
Games are played on Sundays (there will be some Saturday games on Super Bowl weekend). Our home games are played at either Los Gatos High School, West Valley College or Union and Fisher Middle Schools. Road games could be as far south as Hollister or as far north as Redwood City. Most teams will have ~6 games in Los Gatos and 3-4 outside of Los Gatos.
Teams have 9 regular season games, and there is also a post-season tournament (single elimination) that includes teams from Hollister up to Redwood City.
Attendance at practices is critical for both player and team development. We encourage you to carefully review the practice and game commitments before enrolling your child.
We really can't stress this enough. The coaches absolutely need all of their players to attend practices. There is a limited amount of practice time, and most coaches have several offensive plays and different defenses. If a player misses a practice where plays are introduced it is very difficult for them to catch up and it takes time away from fundamentals.
Alternatives to LG NJB
There are other leagues to play in if you feel that NJB is too competitive, two practices a week are too much, the cost is too high or if your child is on the wait list. Los Gatos-Saratoga Recreation Dept. has a basketball league. Calvary Church has had them in the past, and the JCC will also most likely have children's leagues this season.
Volunteers Make it Happen
We continue to put a strong emphasis on volunteering. NJB relies heavily on volunteers for gym operations, clean-up, fund-raising, uniform distribution, coaching, and a host of other tasks. Please pay careful attention to which volunteer activity you would like to select on the application form. The strength and success of our chapter is directly correlated to the active participation of our parents! We expect a large turnout of children again this year and it is our goal to accommodate each and every child who wants to play. Sponsors are welcome to help us absorb the costs of gym time, which is our biggest expense.
If you are interested in Coaching, Volunteering or Sponsoring or know of qualified people who are interested to help us, please send an email to: email@example.com
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the court!