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Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the registration fee go?

Registration fees offset the costs of operating the league. Each year, the NGBA pays between $32,000 and $47,000 in practice and game facility fees for the use of the Newton school gyms. The remainder of the budget is used for buying team equipment, paying referees, running tournaments, conducting player and coach development activities and administrative expenses.

Team Assignments

How do you assign players to teams?

Each grade has Grade Coordinators (usually two) who are responsible for assigning players to teams. They take the registration form information, and based on player size, skill development (all players are evaluated by their coach at the end of each season), friend request, practice night conflicts, and school affiliation, the Grade Coordinators try to create balanced teams. The team assignments are set in draft form by the Grade Coordinators. The President and other NGBA board members who know some of the players in the grade then review the assignments. The final team lists are then given to coaches who contact their team. On average, Grade Coordinators spend 50-100 hours on this process.

My daughter would like to be on a team with her friends. How can we make sure that happens?

We are happy to try and place players on a team with ONE friend (particularly in the younger grades where we try extra hard!), as long as each girl has the same practice night requests and as long as placing them on the same team still allows us to balance the teams across their grade. Please note that if two very strong players request to be on the same team we will not be able to honor the request. Please identify your daughter's friend on your registration submission and make sure both friends select the same practice nights. Your daughter's friend must also identify your daughter as a friend. EACH OF THESE ITEMS MUST BE AN EXACT MATCH. Please note that every effort is made to place at least two girls from a school on each team.

My daughter requested to be on a team with her friend, but they were assigned to different teams. Why? Can we switch teams?

We try to honor requests to be together on a team. If your daughter and her friend were assigned to different teams, one of the following occurred:

  • They did not identify each other (on both forms) as a friend
  • They identified more than one girl as a friend
  • They had different days on which they could not practice
  • We needed to place the girls on different teams to create a better balance among teams

Once the teams are set it is very difficult to change them. Changes that occur after the teams are announced often affect multiple teams as the Grade Coordinators struggle to regain the balance they tried to create with the original assignments. NGBA is extremely reluctant to make changes after the teams are announced. If you wish to discuss your daughter's team placement, please call the Grade Coordinator.  Coaches are not allowed to make changes to team assignments.

My daughter loved the team she was on last year. Can we just have the same team again this year?

We reassign players to teams each year to enable girls to play with a variety of other girls. While your daughter may be on a team with someone she has played with before, we do not keep teams together from year to year. Unfortunately, requests for specific coaches cannot be honored. One of the great parts of NGBA is the opportunity to meet girls and coaches from all over the city.

What do I need to do to change the team to which my daughter is assigned?

You may try calling the appropriate Grade Coordinator and making your case, but please recognize that the NGBA is extremely reluctant to make changes in team assignments once those assignments have been given out. If you believe the current team assignment will absolutely not work for your daughter, you must remain as flexible as possible. We will not be able to ensure that she will be on a team with other players from her school.

Why do some teams seem so strong and others so weak?

Despite best efforts in team formation, it is not a perfect science and this happens almost every season.  Some players in the older grades may opt out if they play for school or travel teams.  After about three weeks we create a new schedule so that teams of similar strength will play each other. It is fun to watch teams improve over the season, and often the weakest teams at the beginning can be among the strongest by the end of the season.

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When are practices?

Each team will be assigned one practice night (Monday through Thursday). The actual practice schedule depends on the specific facilities we obtain (some facilities only work for specific age groups because of gym size and basket height) and the number of teams at each grade. Each practice is one hour. In general you may assume the following practice times, subject to facilities availability:

  • Grade 2 - No practices during the Week (Saturdays only)

  • Grade 3 - 6:00

  • Grade 4 - 6:00 or 7:00

  • Grade 5 - 7:00

  • Grade 6 - 7:00 or 8:00

  • Grade 7&8 - 8:00

Younger teams will always be given the earliest time slot available.

My daughter cannot practice on several nights during the week. Is that a problem?

We generally will be able to place your daughter on a team which practices on the nights you have available (be sure to indicate the night you cannot practice on your registration form), but we cannot guarantee that she will be placed on a team with any other particular player. Note that practices usually start after Hebrew School, dance classes and school activities.

My daughter can't make it to practice on her assigned night. Can we change to a team that practices on another night?

The registration form allows you to identify one night you cannot make it to practice. It is our experience that this is sufficient for all but a very few players. You should try very hard to make sure you understand your schedule when you fill out the form. If your schedule changes we will try to accommodate you, but changes made after the teams are set are very difficult to do and we cannot ensure your daughter will be on a team with any of her friends or anyone from her school.

My daughter can't make it to practice, but she wants to play on Saturdays. Can she be on a team?

Basketball is a wonderful team sport. We find that players really love this league because of the tremendous team feeling that comes from it. Participating in practices fosters this team feeling as well as allows the coaches to teach basketball skills. If your daughter consistently misses the practice sessions due to other commitments, she will not be able to participate in this most important aspect of the league. The coach may be placed in the difficult position of not being able the pull the players together as a team. If your daughter cannot commit to coming to at least 75% of the practices, she should consider not registering for NGBA.

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My daughter never seems to get as much playing time as other players. What gives?

Coaches are explicitly instructed to balance playing time across players and across the season. Additionally, NGBA rules require each player to play at least half of each game. It is rarely possible to completely balance playing time for each game. Most coaches chart out players and positions for each game and in this way ensure that playing time is balanced across the season. If you have a complaint about playing time, please speak to the coach. If this does not resolve the problem, email the Grade Coordinator or chairman of the sportsmanship committee.

My daughter just got her ears pierced. Can she play?

We have a strict NGBA rule that no jewelry is allowed during practices or games. This restriction applies to earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and hair items such as clips and beads. Wearing jewelry presents potential safety concerns, and referees are instructed to require each player to remove all jewelry. If your daughter cannot remove an item of jewelry, she will have to sit out the game. Please note that tape over earrings on newly pierced ears is not allowed. Usually earrings can be removed for an hour and replaced with the use of Bacitracin or other antibiotic ointment. Consider piercing ears in the off season!

Why can't you just schedule all of the games for the same time each week?

Games for each team are assigned throughout the day. Most grades have anywhere from 6-10 teams. We vary the assignment of game times so that no team always has 'the early game' or the 'late game.'

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