Parent Info!

Welcome to Upward!  Click here for a Basketball Player Parent Guide and here for a Cheerleader Parent Guide.  These guides contain important and helpful information about how Upward works, including information about the Upward Stars that are awarded at practice and on game days!

Things you might want to know about Upward!

— Our league is open to boys K5 (age 5 before August 1) through grade 9 and girls K5 – grades 7.
— Teams and cheer squads practice once a week beginning the week of December 9th.  Practices are held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
— Our league plays in two gyms: St. Matthews Baptist Church and Hurstbourne Baptist Church.
— A computer program drafts the teams for K5 through Grade 4 players.  Upward leaders put together the 5-7g and 7-9 grade teams.
— Each practice includes a brief Team Time or Mid-Practice Huddle focused around a Bible verse and a spiritual truth.
— Games begin January 4th.  We play every Saturday in January and February (an 8 game season)
— Each game includes a Halftime Activity for fans in the stands– a fun game and a spiritual truth!
— Younger players (K5 – grade 4) follow a substitution system that guarantees equal playing time for all!
— Our older players (grades 5-9) play by Level 4 rules.

The Upward Stars!

The Upward Stars are a very important part of our league!  Players and cheerleaders receive a Green Star each week at practice for participation in the Mid Practice Huddle or Team Time.  On Game Day, each player and cheerleader receives one of the following stars:

GRAY STAR— offense/best cheer
RED STAR— defense/leadership
BLUE STAR— effort
GOLD STAR— sportsmanship/spirit
WHITE STAR— Christlikeness

Please join your team and coaches after the game for the Star Presentation Ceremony!  Player stars should be ironed on the t-shirt where they will show (collar or sleeve).  Cheerleaders receive stickers which can be easily attached to their megaphone.

Basket Heights and Court Size

  • K5 Boys/Girls
  • 1-2 Grade Boys/Girls
  • 3-4 Grade Boys/Girls
  • 5-6 Grade Boys/Girls
  • 7-9 Grade Boys
  • 7 1/2 feet
  • 8 feet
  • 9 feet
  • 10 feet
  • 10 feet
  • cross court at St. Matthews
  • cross court at Broadway Baptist
  • full court at St. Matthews
  • full court at St. Matthews
  • full court at Broadway Baptist

Rule Levels

— league plays with a 28.5 inch ball
— game consists of six 6 minute segments
— stealing off the pass is allowed

— league plays with a 28.5 inch ball
— shooting fouls results in free throws

— league plays with a 28.5 inch ball
— shooting fouls result in free throws

— 5-6(7g) grade league plays with a 28.5 inch ball
— 7-9 grade league plays with an official ball
— game consists of four 6 minute quarters
— teams shoot double bonus after 10th team foul

Game Day Guide

This guide will help you know what to expect on Upward Game Days!

— Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before your game. When you arrive, look for your coach and teammates!

— During the game you may notice coaches using phones and iPads. They are using the Upward Game Day App which helps them manage the game!

— For our younger players (K5 – Grade 4) we use a Substitution System to make sure each player plays at least half of every game!

— At halftime players leave the floor to go huddle with their coaches. Fans in the stands will enjoy a special Upward Halftime Activity designed to entertain and inspire! Please give your attention to the leader.  Several games will also enjoy a halftime performance by our cheerleaders!

— During the game please refrain from criticizing or yelling at our referees. This initiates a Circle of Criticism that has a negative effect on everyone and changes the atmosphere in our gyms.

— After the game please join your team and your coach for a post game huddle that will include the Star Presentation Ceremony!  The stars should be ironed on your Upward T-shirt.

Additional Resources

Worst part of youth/kids sports: the ride home!
The parent should ask “Did you have fun?” and “Did you try your best?” and “Were you a good person out there?” Parents let their child drive the conversation. If they want to talk about the game, let them talk, but do not be the one forcing the conversation. The ride home can begin to take the joy out of playing youth sports for many kids if handled poorly.  Click here to watch the video!