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Sparta PAL


General Overview of Sparta PAL Basketball



Sparta PAL Basketball is a competitive travel basketball program for players interested in being challenged and competing in competitive games against other travel teams, both in leagues and in tournaments. The focus is on skill development and, at the higher grades, more complex offensive and defensive schemes. Teams practice at the Sparta PAL Center, the Sparta Middle School, and the Sparta High School.



The season kicks off in November with tryouts and practices as early as October. The season runs through March with playoffs.


Sparta PAL Basketball fields teams by grade level from 4th to 8th grades for both boys and girls. 3rd graders may try out, but they will be evaluated for participation as part of a 4th grade team.

Grade Level/Playing Up

Players must tryout for and play on the team for their current grade level.  Players are not allow to "play up" on a team at a higher grade level.  An exception to this rule may only be made if there are not enough players to fill a team at a higher grade level.

Tryout and Team Information

Tryouts are conducted in October by independent evaluators. Tryouts are mandatory to be considered for a team. The number of players on each team is at the discretion of the Sparta PAL and the assigned coach. If there are enough qualified players and coaches, a second team at each grade level may be added.

All interested players must pre-register online for tryouts within the registration dates that will be communicated.  No walk-ups will be allowed to tryout.

Travel Coaches Selection and Criteria

All those interested in coaching for the Sparta PAL must complete the necessary online registration Volunteer section.  This should be completed while registering your child for tryouts.   Coaches are selected based on prior basketball coaching and playing experience, ability, philosophy, and knowledge of the game. There are no guarantees that a coach will continue to be the coach from season to season. Coaching selections are determined on a season-by-season, case-by-case basis based on player development, team performance, and both coach and team conduct during the course of the season.




Players and parents acknowledge that Sparta PAL Basketball will be their priority sport for the Winter sport season. Each program will determine their number of practices and events each week and may vary depending on grade level. Teams may start practicing as early as late October (Fall sports take priority until their season is over). Teams will have a minimum of 2 practices per week as well as games. League finals are in mid-March. Rules will vary by age group for each league. Teams may choose to participate in additional tournaments and leagues with the approval of the PAL. These will have an additional cost.

Player Code of Conduct

  • Play for fun
  • Work hard to improve your skills
  • Be a team player – get along with your teammates
  • Learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and discipline
  • Always be a good sport
  • Learn the rules and play by them
  • Respect your coaches, teammates, opponents, referees, and parents
  • Never argue with a referee’s or coach’s decision


Parent Code of Conduct


  • Do not force your son or daughter to participate in sports, but support their desire to play their chosen sport. Children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment. Make it fun.
  • Encourage your children to play by the rules. Remember, children learn best by example, so applaud the good plays of both teams.
  • Promote good sportsmanship by setting a good example.
  • Do not embarrass your child by yelling at players, coaches or referees. By showing a positive attitude toward the game and all of its participants, your child will benefit.
  • Emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit your young athlete. They will be given the tools they need to improve their game and they need to be encouraged (not forced) to practice what they learn on their own time as well as at practice.
  • Know and study the rules of the game and support the referees on and off the court. This approach will help in the development and support of the game. Any criticism of the referees only hurts the game, and ultimately- the team.
  • Applaud a good effort in victory and in defeat and enforce the positive points of the game. Never yell or physically abuse your child after a game or practice – it’s destructive. Work toward removing the physical and verbal abuse in youth sports.
  • Recognize that your child’s coaches are volunteers. They are important to the development of your child and the sport. Communicate with the team and support team.
  • If you enjoy the game, learn all you can about the game, and volunteer!  Beyond coaching we need scorekeepers and clock operators on every team.


Coach Code of Conduct

  • Organize practices that are fun and challenging for the players. Learn the rules, techniques and strategies of basketball, encourage all players to be team players. To make practices both fun and instructional, practices should include individual skills development drills, team drills (offense and defense) and scrimmaging. Emphasis should be placed on minimizing inactive players during drills.  
  • Be generous with praise when it is deserved, be consistent, honest, be fair and just, never criticize players publicly, and study to learn to be a more effective communicator and coach. Don’t yell at players.
  • Adjust to personal needs and problems of players, be a good listener, never verbally or physically abuse a player or referee, give all players the opportunity to improve their skills, gain confidence and develop self-esteem, teach the basics.
  • Maintain an open line of communication with your players and their parents. Explain the philosophies, goals and objectives and codes of conduct of the Sparta PAL Basketball program.
  • Be concerned with the overall development of the players. Stress good health habits and clean living. Encourage good grades in school.
  • Never argue with referees, opposing coaches, parents, spectators or others as this violates the spirit of The Sparta PAL Basketball Program and sends a negative message to players, which is in contravention to our goals and objectives.
  • The use of foul language or any form of violence is not permitted.
  • Actions conveying any lack of sportsmanship or improper behavior are not permitted
  • Ensure physical safety and mental well-being of all players, referees and coaches, and spectators.
  • Make Sparta PAL Basketball Program a great experience - for the kids, for the parents and for yourself.
  • Observe the game rules as described on the league website.
  • Winning is a consideration, but not the only one, nor the most important one. Care more about the child than winning the game. Remember players are involved in basketball for fun and enjoyment.
  • Hold a team meeting with the parents at the start of the season to communicate the objectives of the league and the goals of the team.
  • Have fun and ask for help if you need it.
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