Who needs the NBA! The Nazzaro Center and the North End Athletic Association are teaming up once again to provide the neighborhood with one of the best in-house basketball programs in the city. Bigger and better than previous years, the Small Fry League, as it is generally called, will consist of three divisions covering all age of boys and girls up to 15 years old. Games/instruction are held on Fridays and/or Saturdays up the Nazzaro Center gym and run from November 12 until March 3 (actually, the upper division has already begun). Shirts, all equipment, instruction and coaches are all provided by the NEAA/Nazzaro and the whole program culminates in a spring awards banquet where every child receives an award based on participation, not wins and losses. The only requirements are a pair of sneakers and a $20 registration fee (current members of the Nazzaro Center can register for free). Below is a breakdown of the three divisions (all divisions are co-ed). Registration can be done anytime at the Nazzaro Center but it is advisable to pre-register and avoid doing it on a game day since the center gets pretty hectic in season. If you have any other questions or need more information, feel free to call to center at 617-635-5166 and ask for Carl.
Saturdays 10:30-11:30 am
This division is designed for children with minimal or no experience in the sport. The first 40 minutes or so is spent teaching the children the basics of passing, dribbling, shooting, rebounding and playing defense. Then for the final 20 minutes, the group is split into two and play a “game”. The big scoreboard on the wall is used so the kids get a sense of competition much like the older divisions. Lower baskets are used (7 ½ feet) and a smaller ball makes ball control much easier. There is no lower age limit but we must feel comfortable that your child is not at risk of getting injured through routine drills and also that he/she can stay focused for the hour. The upper age limit too is flexible but a 3rd or 4th grader might be better suited for the next level. Which is…..
Generally Saturday early pm, but occasionally Friday early evening
The junior varsity division is designed for children who are ready and capable to play a game. While there is still instruction, this division consists of four teams who play an organized game with referees, follow a set schedule, can follow their team’s standings on a regular basis, and culminates in a Final Four style play-off. They follow high school rules, have a regular coach each game and shoot on regulation 10 foot baskets (with a slightly lighter ball). Players in this division are primarily 4th and 5th graders but any younger children in the instructional league who exhibit a certain level of proficiency may move up to this division.
Generally Friday early evening, but occasionally Saturday early pm
The Varsity resembles the JV in every way except age. Here, children from the 6th through 9th grades compete following the exact format as the JV (they do use a regulation ball, though).