Connect Hot Topics

January 23, 2020, Department, by The National Recreation and Park Association

2020 February NRPA Update Connect Hot Topics Youth Leagues 410

NRPA Connect is an online network with more than 63,000 professionals who can answer your questions, share your challenges and discuss trending topics in the field. Check out what is being discussed this month:

Player Requests for Youth Leagues – Currently in our youth sports leagues, we take practice-night requests, as well as any other request they may have (e.g., coach [a team], be [on a team] with another player, etc.). This has become a problem in some of our leagues, especially basketball, where teams are stacked due to all requests being met. What are some things you have done in your community in regard to requests? Do you limit them in any way?

Several NRPA members offered the following suggestions:

"One thing we have incorporated in the past couple years is adding a preseason skills assessment and a coaches draft following immediately after the skills assessment. With the draft, each team drafts players with a similar assessment score ratio. This has reduced the number of parent/player requests significantly."

"We do a draft similar to what another member said, but also allow players to request to be on the same team as another player. The one catch with us is, you get one request, and the person you are requesting to be with must also request to be on your team. This lets legitimate requests go through for, say, carpooling reasons, but prevents 3 to 4 people from requesting to be together on the same team and stacking, like you said."

"We had the same issue a couple seasons back, and I decided to cut requests all together other than either siblings playing together or, of course, coaches having their own child. We let parents know that as our league is recreational, it is best for us to be able to assign teams based on previous season analysis by coaches and staff (for returning players), and also host an assessment day for all incoming players, returning or new."

"In my previous city, we allowed up to three players to be requested onto a team (head coach and two assistant coaches). The three player requests would be used as the first, second and third draft choices. We also ran a skills assessment and a draft with all of the coaches. To get around the players who did not show up because the coach told them, the blind draft would not occur until all players had been picked that were at the draft. We also provided all coaches a list of the registered players, along with [the] age of the player and skill set (years playing)."

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