As most know, and for those who do not, spring ball is not specifically offered through community Zones like it is in the regular fall/winter season. Spring ball is a mix of individually organized teams and various clubs, all deciding independently on their schedules (ie: number of practices, games they play, leagues they are in, tournaments they register for, fees, etc). This means that your "season" can be the length of the CMBA spring league or can be extended beyond based on tournaments you enter your team in.
After having personally debated this a few years back on what to do for my own kids in spring I landed on the idea of forming our own individual team (after painfully understanding the "how to do this") to keep them playing. So as Thunders' interest, along with CMBA, is set around this same idea of keeping as many players playing as possible we are here to offer a little assistance and thoughts on forming a team.
First, get an idea of your practice schedule... how often, when, where and of course paired costs (notes below from Bonnie on gym bookings). If you are struggling in trying to find a City of Calgary gym keep in mind that anyone who may have renewal rights from booking last year will have those expire 30 days prior to their first booking which means more gyms will become available late March. However another option is always looking at private facilities, just be sure you are aware of their costs and requirements on insurance coverage.
school gymnasiums through the City of Calgary:
- any school labelled as "FA" is ±$40.00 per hour
- any school labelled as "1-C" is ±$90.00 per hour with a minimum 2 hour booking
- any school not labelled with either of the above is where you probably want to stay as prices are between ±$30.00 and ±$35.00 per hour, depending on the size of the gym
- additionally you may of course look at other facilities, private ones typically ±$100.00 per hour
Second, commitment and size of roster you are willing to take on, along with assistance coach(es), team manager, etc. It is hard to turn anyone away, though you want to be fair to your team by not over extending your bench, coaches, etc. Generally I would suggest sticking to similar sized rosters and support that aligns to what you would see in our Thunder program; 2-3 coaches, 1 team manager, rosters 8-9 for u11 and 10-12 max for u13 and up. ...however this is up to you, though it is capped if/as you are playing in the CMBA league (always double check league/tournament rules to avoid issue).
Finally, game schedule for league and/or tournaments. These obviously have costs associated to them, especially if you are looking to have a travelling team, so you want to have a fairly good idea on all that you are looking to run in as asking players/guardians for more funds in the season (or eating the cost yourself) is a tough pill to swallow. To give you an idea, at a recreation/community level we look at the CMBA league and typically 1-2 local tournaments (AYBC - good source for tournament information and general Alberta Basketball info https://www.aybc.ca/). But again, it is all up to you and your team scheduling; you could do only leagues, only local tournaments, only travel tournaments, add strength training, etc.
Word of advice, consider costs and commitment from all involved in your team in order to have a successful season. With an established schedule (or close to it) and associated fees, divide this amongst your team, generally best to collect to ensure commitment and then register your team accordingly; AYBC insurance first and foremost (info below), practice facility booking, CMBA league play, any tournaments, additional training, etc.
Hopefully this helps a little and if you are looking to put a team together we would suggest talking to your current Thunder team first for interest... and expand the conversation from there to find more players/coaches. That said, if you need more players or are looking for a team please let us know and we will try to connect you as we want you all to continue to play ball!
Individual team notes:
If you are currently apart of our Thunder community and are wanting to bring a team together (does not need to be your current team/players, anyone you want to have) we are here to offer minor assistance with;
Spring ball word of advice:
Read the CMBA Spring league information for age categories and league divisions (club/high competitive verse community/recreational). If you are looking to have Thunder assist with your team (as noted above) we need to hear from ONE representative of your team to secure contact information, coordinate lending our uniforms, etc.
CMBA League has renewed AYBC (Alberta Youth Basketball Clubs) 2023 membership for Spring League 2023
CMBA Zone Member Associations, The CMBA League has renewed AYBC (Alberta Youth Basketball Clubs) membership for all 10 CMBA Zones for Spring League Basketball 2020. If CMBA Zones decide to sponsor teams under their Zone Banner with uniforms, this is the procedure below for teams to follow when purchasing insurance from AYBC.
Please direct teams to the link below to register and pay for insurance through AYBC, reminder they are already members of AYBC if they are under your Zone, CMBA has paid the membership fee for all Zones. Thus teams do NOT need to pay the AYBC membership fee, just the insurance fees for their players and coaches.
AYBC Insurance Form -