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Travel Program

The Orchard Park Thunderâ„¢ is the premier travel basketball program in the region!  This high level program was started in 2012 as a way to develop better athletes, better basketball players and teach good sportsmanship among players, coaches and families.  

Travel teams are separate from House teams.  If you choose to tryout for a travel team, you need to register on the site for the appropriate grade level.  Even if there are multiple options, please choose the exact grade that your child is in.  We may choose to move some kids up a level but we need everyone to enter the grade level of the child so we can organize it properly.  We do not typically move kids up.  This will always be at the discretion of the program only.

Travel will consist of high level practices and games.  Typically there will be one team practice per week as well as a team training session with Darren Fenn of XGen, on a weeknight or weekend, and 1-2 games per week - usually on Saturday afternoons or evenings and Sundays.  By committing to playing Travel, you need to be able to make 90% or more of the practices and games.  Although we understand that families' schedules are demanding, it will only hurt your child and especially the team if you do not make most of the scheduled practices and games.

The plan for the 2021-2022 season is to expand on several fronts. Pre-season games will be scheduled for October-November with a full schedule of games and tournaments scheduled for November-April. In addition, it is the hope that many teams will continue to play throughout the spring and summer.

If you register for Travel tryouts, you son will tryout for their respective team (based on their grade) and if they make a team, you will then be charged the Travel Fee.  Modified and JV boys players are encouraged to tryout for travel teams - we can work around your schedules and you do not have to play House.

Travel Fee for 2021-2022 will be at various levels depending on the team.  This includes uniform, gym fees, referee costs, team equipment and league registration and approximately 4-6 tournaments.  If the team decides to do more than that, there could be additional out of pocket expenses.  

1) Divisions: Travel teams for the boys will consist of 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades.  We will have a 5th/6th girls team and a 7th/8th girls team.  Their price will be lower and they will have a slightly lighter schedule.

2) Eligibility: All players registered for OP Thunder tryouts are eligible to try out for a travel team.

3) Financial Obligation: Each player (parent) is responsible for a player fee due when the player has secured a roster spot. The fees cover the expense of the travel league (games, referees, gym space, end of season event etc.). The travel team fee for the season is listed in each registration link for the teams. This cost will include a full uniform for this season.  It does not include the complete expense of playing.  There will be other fees for tournaments, extra gear, etc as well as your own transportation costs. These costs will differ slightly from team to team depending on how many tournaments, etc they want to do.  

4) Team Philosophy: Our goal is to develop players and quality individuals on and off the court. Our focus will be to provide an opportunity to significantly improve their basketball skills, understanding of the game and how to perform while showing respect and class towards all involved. Coaches will, at all times, have the safety and general well being of the players in mind.

5) Zero Tolerance: We expect all players, coaches and parents to treat everyone at practices and games with respect. Any player, parent or coach not living up to the expected standards will be removed from the team.

6) Parental Participation: Parents are encouraged to attend games and cheer their teams on.  

a. We ask that parents, relatives and friends attending the games show complete respect towards all players, coaches, referees and facility staff.

b. We ask the parents to allow the coaches to coach and the referees to referee. Please do not put a child in a position of being torn between listening to a parent or listening to a coach. During a game, please offer encouragement and not instructions. During practice, simply observe unless called upon to help a coach.

7) Playing Time: It is the intention of Orchard Park Youth Basketball to try and have each team on the court at least once a week whether for practice, games or tournaments. There is no guarantee of individual playing time during games. The coaches intentions are to do their best to make every player better and to coach the game to win.

8) Players Rules and Expectations

a. Players must show respect for all concerned. There is no tolerance for arguing with coaches, players, parents or referees.

b. Foul language is not permitted. Players, coaches and parents will be removed from the team or gym if foul language is used.

c. Players and coaches are expected to show class during practices and games. Players and coaches are expected to shake hands with the apposing team and referees.

d. Missed games and practices should be communicated to the respective coaches.

e. Any player missing any part of their uniform will not be allowed to participate in the game. 


Please contact Tim at [email protected] with any questions!

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