Spring ball


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:

Book a gymnasium


- 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 ±$35.00 and ±$45.00 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

  • GYMS
    1. City of Calgary step-by-step guide on booking school gymnasiums: Book a school gymnasium (calgary.ca)
    2. Checking school gymnasium availability: School Gymnasium Availability - City of Calgary - Registered Programs (this will be the most time consuming part as The City's site is not as user friendly yet as even the City would like it to be)... it's pretty self explanatory once you're on the site, but you'll basically have to check weekly at each location you're interested in booking at. Get on this ASAP as a lot of other groups (club basketball and other sports) will have already put in their requests based on The City's timeline for spring bookings.
    3. Once you have a list of locations and times you'd like to book, you'll submit an application for each school you are requesting (if more than one) Submit Service Request - Citizen Web Portal (motorolasolutions.com). Once submitted, it may take The City weeks to get back to you, so again, good to get organized and on this ASAP.

*If you are a U11 team be mindful that the main hoops will likely be adjustable... but then your team will be running full court; it is good to secure gyms with side hoops that are adjustable.


Secondcommitment 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).


Finallygame 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/events). 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; ABA or AYBC or a independent broker for 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;

  • the use of our uniforms (same as regular season credit card damage/replacement deposit required)
  • use of TeamSnap to help you keep your team organized with schedule, availability, game information

 Spring ball word of advice:

  • Yes, players are able to "play up," though we would recommend that you limit this to only the division they would be heading into for the fall season (ie. U11 currently, moving to U13 in fall - possibly play U13 for Spring). We see that "playing up" is a big jump, so with it we would not recommend a U11 (no matter how advance their play is) playing U15.... but this is at your discretion. 

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.


Alberta Basketball Association or AYBC or Broker insurance:  

You will likely want, and be required to, carry insurance for your players and coaches. In that, if your players/coaches have attended the latest ABA Provincials in March of the current year, it is likely that they will have active ABA insurance in place to carry them through the Spring season.***


  • ***Teams that carry on in Spring need to do their own individual registration and administration.  We provide uniforms (when/where possible) to help make the sport cost effective for players/coaches that want to carry on for spring basketball***


  • Alberta Basketball Association
  • AYBC 
    • You must be a current member to obtain insurance through AYBC. Once submitted, you will receive an email confirmation.
    • The cost to insure is ±$7.5 per individual.
  • Broker insurance
    • get a quote: provide information on your team roster, along with practice/game/tournament schedule plans to ensure you secure accurate coverage

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