Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

—————————————–General—————————————–

General

What is Upward Sports™?

A program that provides the opportunity to reach out into the community for Christ through basketball. The upward motto:
Every child plays.
Every child learns.
Every child is a winner.
Upward Sports is a first-class sports experience that emphasizes healthy competition, sportsmanship, skills building and fun versus the “win-at-all-costs” mentality found in many children sports leagues.  Upward provides the Best Sports Experience for every child, regardless of prior experience or skill level.  Upward emphases that winning is about so much more than the final score.
For more information, please visit the Upward Sports™ Website

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Why choose Upward Sports™?

Currently, more than 500,000 children (K5- sixth grade) participate in Upward Sports leagues. For over 14 years, Upward Sports has been conducting exciting children’s sport leagues and camps in the US and around the world.
The Providence Presbyterian Church started hosting Upward Basketball at the church during the 2008/2009 season.  The program quickly grew and for the 2011/2012 season expanded into a second court supporting almost 290 players spread across 36 teams.  We would love to have you and your family join our team!
For more information, please visit the Upward Sports™ Website

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Who is eligible for Providence Upward Basketball? (Do I have to be a member of Providence Presbyterian Church?)

Participants: children in grades K-6
Volunteers: adults and teens

No, you do not have to be a member of Providence Presbyterian Church for your family to participate.

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How and where do I attach the Practice (Green) and Game (Multi-Color) stars?

The green (for practice) and multi-colored (game recognition) stars are iron on and should be applied to the arms of the Upward Basketball T-Shirt.  When the Upward Basketball T-Shirt is worn under the Upward Basketball jersey, the stars will be visible.

The Upward Sports Website suggests the following:

To apply the stars onto the basketball uniforms, use these instructions to help avoid damaging the garment and to ensure laundering durability.

1. Use an iron set at medium high temperature.
2. Set the iron to no steam.
3. Some recommend putting a piece of fabric between the iron and the star (my wife doesn’t!).
4. Press using both hands for 15-20 seconds.
5. Do not move the iron back and forth as in ironing, just press down firmly.

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What size basketball is used for each age group?

We provide all basketballs for practices.  However, if you would like to get a basketball for your child to practice at home, please reference the list below:

  • Kindergarten / 5 year olds         25 inch basketball *
  • 1st / 2nd grade boys and girls    25 inch basketball *
  • 3rd / 4th grade boys and girls    28.5 inch basketball
  • 5th / 6th grade girls                     28.5 inch basketball
  • 5th / 6th grade boys                     29.5 inch basketball

The 28.5 and 29.5 inch basketballs can be found at almost any sporting goods store. The 25 inch basketball is a little harder to find.  We have had success ordering 25 (or 25.5) inch basketballs from UpwardFan.com and Amazon.com.

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What basket height is used for each age group?

We use two different styles of baskets within our league.  The Kindergarten / 5 year old and 1st / 2nd grade divisions play on high quality portable baskets in Taylor Hall.  The 3rd grade and above divisions play on our high quality, glass backboard baskets permanently installed in Mission Hall.

We adjust the basket heights based on age group as follows:

  • Kindergarten / 5 year old division     7 1/2 feet
  • 1st / 2nd grade divisions                     8 feet
  • 3rd / 4th grade divisions                     9 feet
  • 5th / 6th grade divisions                      10 feet

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—————————————Pre-Season—————————————

Registration

When does Registration open?

For the 2013/2014 season, registration will open on September 9th, a full three weeks earlier than previous seasons. Please reference the current season schedule at: http://providenceupward.org/current-season-schedule or calendar at http://providenceupward.org/calendar for details of each new season.

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How do I Register if I don’t have access to a computer or the internet?

You may register at the Chick-fil-A Spirit Night or at Player Evaluations using one of the computers provided or you may fill out a paper registration obtained from the church office. Paper registrations and your payment may be mailed or hand delivered to the church prior to the close of registration.

NOTE: There is a risk that your child will be placed on a waiting list the longer registration has been open.

Please reference the current season schedule at: http://providenceupward.org/current-season-schedule or calendar at http://providenceupward.org/calendar for details of each new season.

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What does it mean to be placed on a Wait List?

It means that there is a chance that there may not be enough space available for your son or daughter to play this season. However, if another player drops out or we are able to add additional teams, your child will be pulled from the wait list on a first in, first out basis. So please come and get evaluated and see how things play out! (NOTE: A full refund will be issued if we are unable to place your child on a team.)

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Can I choose what team my child is on?

No.  You may indicate a “carpool buddy” and, assuming the “carpool buddy” request is mutual, we will do what we can to draft both your child and the indicted “carpool buddy” on the same team.

One of the main tenants of Upward Basketball is to create as near equal teams as possible.  This goal produces competitive opportunities for every player on every team to learn and advance both offensively and defensively throughout the season.  In order to do this, we must have the flexibility to draft teams as dictated by the player pool available at the beginning of each season.

Further, we believe that it is an important life skill to learn to form teams and relationships with new people that we may not initially know.  As adults, we all know that we don’t always get the luxury of choosing who we work with.  We believe it is important to teach our children skills to gracefully handle this situation early in life.

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Evaluations

What are Evaluations?

Evaluations are NOT try outs. Everyone who is not on a waiting list will be placed on a team. However, evaluations are an extremely important part of the Upward Sports Experience and are mandatory. Evaluations are a way for the Providence Upward Registration team to verify registration information, test fit uniforms, measure height, and conduct six simple drills with your child. All of this data is entered into a computer system and used to generate teams. Player assignments are generally done by the computer such that every team in a division, when looked at as a whole, has similar player capabilities. This enables highly competitive and balanced game situations and generates opportunities for each and every participant to learn and grow in their basketball ability over the course of the season.

It is also an excellent opportunity for you to meet members of the Providence Upward Basketball Leadership Team and get answers to all of your questions in person!

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When are Evaluations?

Please reference the current season schedule at: http://providenceupward.org/current-season-schedule or calendar at http://providenceupward.org/calendar. If you have missed all of the scheduled evaluations, please contact the registration team at Registration@ProvidenceUpward.org.

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How many evaluation sessions do I need to attend?

Each child only has to be evaluated once at one evaluation session.  Once your evaluation is complete, you are good to go until you are contacted by a coach with team assignments.

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Where are Evaluations held?

All evaluations will be held at Providence Presbyterian Church, 9019 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA  22031, in Mission Hall (our gym).  Please use the back parking lot entrance (near the gym) to the church.

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Are Evaluations mandatory?

Yes! Please see “What are evaluations” FAQ above for reasons why.

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Do I need to make an appointment for Evaluations?

No. Evaluations are conducted on a walk-in, first come, first served basis.

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Jewelry, compression shirts, Crocs

Jewelry is prohibited on all basketball players.  Please remove all jewelry prior to practices and games.

Compression shirts below the elbow are prohibited for basketball players since they may make the wristbands less visible (we use colored wristbands to identify player matchups in our man-to-man only defenses).

Crocs and similar shoes are prohibited for basketball players during during any basketball activities (practices, games, etc.).

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What shoes should my child wear for Upward Basketball?

A good quality court shoe or high top basketball shoes are best (discount coupons for Dicks sporting goods are available at the church). High tops are not required and may not even be required for the younger participants, depending on an individuals ankle strength.

Running shoes with a wedge heel won’t protect against rolling ankle injuries and are highly discouraged.

Please ensure your child wears street shoes to the church and changes into basketball shoes prior to entering the gym. This will help prevent snow, water, and outside debris from contaminating the basketball court and potentially contributing to an injury.

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—————————————In-Season—————————————

Practices

Jewelry, compression shirts, Crocs

Jewelry is prohibited on all basketball players.  Please remove all jewelry prior to practices and games.

Compression shirts below the elbow are prohibited for basketball players since they may make the wristbands less visible (we use colored wristbands to identify player matchups in our man-to-man only defenses).

Crocs and similar shoes are prohibited for basketball players during during any basketball activities (practices, games, etc.).

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What shoes should my child wear for Upward Basketball?

A good quality court shoe or high top basketball shoes are best (discount coupons for Dicks sporting goods are available at the church). High tops are not required and may not even be required for the younger participants, depending on an individuals ankle strength.

Running shoes with a wedge heel won’t protect against rolling ankle injuries and are highly discouraged.

Please ensure your child wears street shoes to the church and changes into basketball shoes prior to entering the gym. This will help prevent snow, water, and outside debris from contaminating the basketball court and potentially contributing to an injury.

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When are Practices held?

Practices are spread across all weekday nights at Providence Presbyterian Church utilizing both our new Fellowship Hall space (one team at a time) and Mission Hall Gym (two teams at a time). Each team will have a single one hour long practice time assigned to it each week during the season (with a few off weeks due to the Christmas and New Year holidays).

Younger players (Kindergartners and 1st/2nd graders) will practice earlier in the evening (530 – 630 pm with a few 1st/2nd grader teams practicing at 630pm) and older players (3rd/4th and 5th/6th graders) will generally practice later in the evening (630 – 730 pm and 730 – 830 pm).

Practices generally start the first week of December and continue until the last game of the season is played. If there is a makeup game, then practices will be held the week leading up to that makeup game. Please reference the current season schedule at http://providenceupward.org/current-season-schedule or the calendar at http://providenceupward.org/calendar for additional details.

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Where are Practices held?

All practices will be held at Providence Presbyterian Church, 9019 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA  22031, in either the Fellowship Hall (multipurpose) or Mission Hall (gym) areas. We anticipate a very full league this year and will have to use both spaces to the maximum degree possible.

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Does my child need to bring a basketball to practice?

No.  Appropriately sized basketballs will be provided for practices and games.

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Is attendance at Practice mandatory?

Yes. An occasional missed practice or occasional late arrival is understandable. However, practices are an integral part of the Upward Basketball program and complement the experience of Game Day. Without practices, a player’s development as a basketball player, team member, sportsperson, and student of the Word will be severely hampered. It is also not fair to his or her fellow teammates.

Please make a commitment to your child and your child’s teammates to bring your child to each and every practice and arrive on time.

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What happens if my child is consistently and significantly late to practice and/or misses a significant number of practices?

Consistent absences from practices or tardy arrivals may result in your child sitting out all or a portion of the next game.

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Do you observe Fairfax County Public School holidays?

We do not hold practices between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Some years this will directly map to the FCPS holiday schedule, some years it may be different.

We do not observe any holidays after New Years Day. This means there will be regularly scheduled practices on Martin Luther King, Jr’s Day, the traditional FCPS Student Holidays at the end of January, and Presidents’ Day.

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Games

Jewelry, compression shirts, Crocs

Jewelry is prohibited on all basketball players.  Please remove all jewelry prior to practices and games.

Compression shirts below the elbow are prohibited for basketball players since they may make the wristbands less visible (we use colored wristbands to identify player matchups in our man-to-man only defenses).

Crocs and similar shoes are prohibited for basketball players during during any basketball activities (practices, games, etc.).

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What shoes should my child wear for Upward Basketball?

A good quality court shoe or high top basketball shoes are best (discount coupons for Dicks sporting goods are available at the church). High tops are not required and may not even be required for the younger participants, depending on an individuals ankle strength.

Running shoes with a wedge heel won’t protect against rolling ankle injuries and are highly discouraged.

Please ensure your child wears street shoes to the church and changes into basketball shoes prior to entering the gym. This will help prevent snow, water, and outside debris from contaminating the basketball court and potentially contributing to an injury.

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When are Games?

All games will be held on Saturdays. Generally the first game of the season will be held the first non-holiday Saturday in January and continuing for 8 consecutive weeks. Specific game schedules for teams will be published shortly after teams are drafted. Please reference the current season schedule at http://providenceupward.org/current-season-schedule or calendar at http://providenceupward.org/calendar for general details and contact your assigned coach for your team’s specific practice schedule.

Locker rooms generally are available about 20 minutes before a scheduled game time. Teams are encouraged to be lined up outside the gym approximately 10 minutes prior to game time. Starting line ups will be finalized approximately 5 minutes before game time.

Locker rooms are also generally available for approximately 25 minutes after a game for post game team activities.

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How early should I arrive for a game?

Please check with your coach to understand his or her specific requirements for your child’s team.

In general, arriving approximately 20 minutes before a scheduled game time will provide your child with sufficient time to change out of street shoes and sweat clothes and into game attire. This will also provide some time for stretching and pre-game coaching.

Locker rooms generally are available about 20 minutes before a scheduled game time. Teams are encouraged to line up outside the appropriate gym approximately 10 minutes prior to game time. Starting line ups will be finalized approximately 5 minutes before game time. Team introductions will occur promptly at the scheduled game time.

Locker rooms are also generally available for approximately 25 minutes after a game for post game team activities.

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Where are Games held?

All games will be held at Providence Presbyterian Church, 9019 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA  22031, in either the Fellowship Hall (multipurpose) or Mission Hall (gym) areas. We anticipate a very full league this year and will have to use both spaces to the maximum degree possible.

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What color uniform should I wear to a game? (What color jersey is Home? Away?)

The lighter color is always worn by the home team.  For the 2011/2012 season, the lighter color is white.

The away team always wears the darker color.  For the 2011/2012 season, the darker color is orange.

NOTE: If you don’t remember if you are home or away for any given day game, please make your best guess.  The great thing about reversible jerseys is that they are easy to switch on the spot!  Also, please remember to wear the Upward Basketball T-Shirt under the Upward Basketball jersey.

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Are there any “bye” weeks in the game schedule?

No. There are no “bye” or skipped weeks in the game schedule.

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Are there make-up Games if a Game during the regular season is canceled?

There is one makeup game day in the schedule. It is the Saturday immediately following the last game of the season. This make-up day will only be utilized if there was a cancellation during the regular game season. Only one missed game will be made up during a season. Please reference the current season schedule at http://providenceupward.org/current-season-schedule or calendar at http://providenceupward.org/calendar for additional details.

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Do you observe Fairfax County Public School holidays?

We do not hold practices between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Some years this will directly map to the FCPS holiday schedule, some years it may be different.

We do not observe any holidays after New Years Day. This means there will be regularly scheduled practices on Martin Luther King, Jr’s Day, the traditional FCPS Student Holidays at the end of January, and Presidents’ Day.

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————————————–Post-Season————————————–

Post-Season

Is there an End-of-Season Celebration?

Yes!  Providence Upward Basketball has a League Wide End-of-Season Celebration at the end of every season.  It is definitely the don’t miss event of the season!  Please check the calendar at http://providenceupward.org/calendar and watch for announcements on the main Providence Upward Basketball web page (http://ProvidenceUpward.org) as the end of season approaches!

The End-of-Season Celebration is open to everyone and is completely free!  Invite your family, extended family, friends, and neighbors.  There will be reserved seating for all Providence Upward Basketball teams and their coaches.  Family members, friends, neighbors, and  PPC members are asked to sit further back in the Sanctuary.

Generally, the celebration starts with live gathering music provided by the Providence Praise Band 1/2 hour prior to the ceremony start time.  Each ceremony is headlined by an outstanding Upward Sports Entertainer and includes a random drawing for basketball related prizes.  The celebration generally concludes with coaches handing out Upward Sports gifts and a light dinner provided by Providence Presbyterian Church.

 

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Where will the End-of-Season Celebration be held?

The End-of-Season Celebration will be held at Providence Presbyterian Church, 9019 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA  22031, starting in our main sanctuary.  The light dinner portion of the celebration will be held in Fellowship Hall (small gym) and Mission Hall (big gym).

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How do we request a room reservation for an end-of-season team party?

Please contact the Providence Presbyterian Church Business Manager (busmgr@providencechurch.org) and CC the league commissioners (Commissioners@ProvidenceUpward.org) to inquire about the possibly of hosting a small end-of-season team party at Providence.

Please note: there will be a league-wide End Of Season Celebration (see season schedule) that will include a professional entertainer, end of season gifts, and a light dinner.

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May we give out team trophies?

Starting with the 2013/2014 season, all players will receive Upward Basketball trophies at the End-of-Season Celebration!

Coaches may chose to issue certificates or other personalized gifts to each participant.  Samples of these certificates will be available to coaches near the end of the season.

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