Y youth hoops program starting soon

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

The Los Alamos Y will begin a recreational basketball league for girls with registrations being taken next month at their Iris Street location.
The Los Alamos Basketball League (LABL) and the Y have worked together on scheduling, registration, promotion and the use of volunteers to assist the program.
“Working with Chris (Stubben) is going to be a nice transition as the Y brings on the Girl’s only league to play along side the traditional YMCA Coed league,” Y Sports Director, William Hill said.
Hill has worked as the sports director for the Y since July 2009 and oversees everything from sports to martial arts and dance programs for both youth and adults.
As practice time for community venues has become increasingly difficult to negotiate, the reciprocal-use agreement the Y has with the county, will allow the program to be in a better position to balance the needs of youth.
One goal will be to schedule younger students for an earlier practice and older students practicing later.
The Y’s on-line registration allows participants to register any time of day or night from the comfort of their own homes.
The league is open to girls in grades 1-8, with a hope of attracting older students that would like to participate in an all girl league as the school seasons come to an end.
The Y season will run from the end of November through February with two 1-hour practices each week and games on weekends.
The plans are for a minimum of 11 games for third graders and above and a minimum of nine games for those in first and second grades.
Y co-ed league games are played at the high school in both the Auxiliary and Griffith gym. The goal is to play as many games at the high school as possible when not complicated by other conditions and school events.
The anticipated price for the program is planned to be similar to years past, although costs incurred for facility monitors during games and practice may be taken into consideration. The fee includes a jersey and a pair of shorts for participants to keep at the end of the season.
The Y is currently seeking referees for games above the third grade level. Older players may work games.
“I am looking for referees that are going to be reliable and responsible individuals and have an interest and understanding for the game of basketball,” Hill said. “It is a wonderful opportunity for the youth to step up to the challenge of a part time job. It not only builds character, but it offers role models to the participants in the league as they see the high school kids taking a part in their league.”
Games played at the first- and second-grade level are refereed by the coaches and all referees are trained prior to the season.
The Y plans to use a draft system to determine teams for play this season. While past seasons have accommodated requests from parents, the draft system will balance out player skill and experience to make teams of equal strength.
“The draft system will be implemented this season and will help to relieve the special requests. I would like to see a lot of the kids going through the Saturday skills clinics with the Jr. ’Toppers program. That will allow an opportunity for the potential coaches to scout the players before the draft,” Hill said.
To learn more, visit the Y website at www.laymca.org or call Hill at 662-3100.