The Hopkinton Basketball Association is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose primary focus is to organize teams of Hopkinton boys and girls in Grades 4 through 8 to compete in a competitive travel league (Metrowest Basketball League).
The HBA is governed by a board of directors (check the Contact Us page for a list of board members) that meets regularly to discuss and vote on organizational matters related to the program. Anyone is welcome to attend the organization's annual open board meeting in June. If you would like to attend the meeting, reach out to one of the board members or email us.
Tryouts are held in September to select teams, which are coached by parent volunteers. At tryouts, a team of evaluators rates each player in a variety of skills. The HBA board then takes that data and combines it with coaches' evaluations for returning players to determine each player's status. Generally -- although it is subject to change based on the board's recommendation -- the younger grades (4 and 5) have two or three balanced teams per grade/gender, while the older grades (6 through 8) are divided by ability.
Not every player is guaranteed to make a team -- although we usually do not have very many cuts, especially in the younger grades. Players who do not make a team (along with those who do) are encouraged to play in the Parks & Rec in-town league and are welcome to try out again the following year.
The HBA expects a commitment from players and parents over the entire season. Practices (1-2 per week) start in late October. The game schedule starts with the Hopkinton Tap-Off Tournament the weekend prior to Thanksgiving (for 2017 it's Nov. 16-19), and then there are league games from the first weekend in December through early to mid-March (depending on how your team does in the playoffs). Regular-season league games are scheduled for Sundays.
If your family travels frequently (such as regular weekend ski trips) or your child has other commitments (like another sport) and can't make their HBA team their extracurricular priority, you should not sign up for travel basketball, as it's not fair to the other players or coaches -- as well as kids who might have been cut.
The HBA expects its players, parents and fans to display good sportsmanship at all times, especially in interactions with opposing players, coaches and fans as well as game officials. Parents also are not permitted to coach from the stands. Violators are subject to discipline by the HBA board, including removal/suspension from games. For more information about our policy on parent/fan misconduct, check our Parent Expectations page.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HBA TRAVEL BALL
Q: How much does it cost to participate?
A: The fee for the 2017-18 winter season is $195. You also will need to purchase a uniform and practice jersey (approximately $80 total) if your child is a new player or a returning player who has outgrown theirs.
Q: What does that fee cover?
A: While we are a nonprofit organization that relies solely on volunteers, we have numerous substantial costs, the biggest of which is gym rental. There also are league fees, referee fees, insurance, equipment, etc. Also keep in mind that our season is much longer than most other sports in town, lasting almost five months from the first practice to the close of the season.
Q: Do you offer financial assistance?
A: If you require financial support in order for your child to participate, we will work with you and try to make it possible. We may ask for supporting material (such as tax returns) to validate your request. Email the HBA for more information.
Q: What else does my child need for the season?
A: Every player is expected to have their own basketball, which they should bring to every practice. All girls teams use a size 28.5 ball. Boys in grades 4-6 also use a size 28.5 ball. Boys grades 7 and 8 use a 29.5 ball (full size). Put your child's name on their basketball before bringing it anywhere. Every player also should bring a water bottle to every practice and game.
Q: Are there any requirements of parents?
A: All parents are required to work the HBA concessions table for two one-hour shifts at the Tap-Off Tournament and two 90-minute shifts during the league season. If you would like to buy a concessions waiver ($40) and not work any shifts, you can sign up for that during online registration or via our website here. Most of that money will be donated to local charitable organizations (such as Hopkinton Relay for Life) via student volunteers who fill these shifts. Also, please check out our Parent Expectations page so you understand our policy on improper parent/fan conduct, including sideline coaching.
Q: My child would like to play, but we have other activities. Is it OK if we skip some practices and games?
A: No, it's not OK. If you sign up your child for an HBA team, you are expected to make this team your extracurricular priority for the winter. If you cannot do so, please do not sign up your child. In most grades, kids are being cut. It's not fair for someone to accept a spot and then not take the commitment seriously. It's also not fair to the rest of the team that your child doesn't know the team's plays well enough because they haven't been at practice. To that end, we have the following policy: If your child misses more than two games and/or three practices for reasons other than illness, injury, scholastic conflicts, emergencies or other commitments pre-approved by the coach, the HBA reserves the right to take away playing time or in drastic cases remove your child from the program at any point in the season without a refund. You will receive warning if you are not adhering to our policy. The HBA board will consider each case individually, and the decision of the board is final.
Q: When does the season start and end, and when are the games?
A: Practices begin in late October. The Hopkinton Tap-Off Tournament, which kicks off the season for all our teams, is the weekend prior to Thanksgiving (for 2017 it's Nov. 16-19). Metrowest League games are Sundays, starting the first weekend in December, and they could be anytime -- early morning through evening. There are no games during winter break, but there are games both weekends of February vacation. Then every team makes the Metrowest playoffs in early March. Playoff games could be any day of the week. Team schedules will be announced by the league in late November. All dates are subject to change at any time.
Q: When we will have practices?
A: Your child will have one weekly team practice (occasionally two) plus one weekly skills practice (possibly once every two weeks, depending on gym availability). The practice schedule will be determined in mid-October. Team practices could be on any weeknight or a Saturday morning or early afternoon. Grade 8 teams usually have practice on Saturday mornings to avoid conflicts with the middle school team. Coaches cannot accommodate requests from players to avoid certain nights. Teams cannot have practice the same night as that grade's rec team practice or skills practice, so the options already are limited. The weekly skills practices generally are scheduled for Monday nights, broken up by grade. The skills practice is not mandatory (unlike the team practice) but is strongly encouraged, especially early in the season.
Q: Are their rules about playing time?
A: Coaches are instructed that for regular-season games (for 10-player teams) no player should play less than 40 percent or more than 60 percent. There are exceptions to this, for reasons such as injury, foul trouble, behavioral issues or missed practice time. For the Metrowest playoffs, we adjust the percentage slightly to give our coaches more leeway.