How are teams formed?

The HYL league is a school-based program.  Parents sign up their children to play and we form the teams. It is much easier and more inclusive than requiring coaches or parents to form the teams and then register.  Our mission is to provide opportunities for anyone who wants to play basketball at the K-6th grade level at all skill levels. Our process for forming teams reflects this mission in both the recreational and competitive divisions.  The first priority is that kids play with their schoolmates as is described below. 

Recreational Divisions K through 6th grades:

The goal for kids looking to play in the recreational division is to create an enjoyable experience playing and learning the game of basketball. HYL aims to achieve this by forming teams based on the grade and school they attend. By creating teams within attending schools, we hope teams will naturally relate to an already existing community by having players practice and play with classmates and friends from their neighborhood.

However, creating these teams based on schools depends on how many players register in each grade at all the participating schools. If not enough players register to form a team for a given grade at the player’s school, HYL will work with the school district to assign players to teams in a number of ways: varying the size of the team (between 6 and hopefully no more than 10), combining players from neighboring schools and combining players from more than one grade.

Additionally on the registration form:

  • Players can request to play on the team coached by the same HYL coach for whom they played last year.

Competitive Divisions 3rd through 6th grades:

We form teams for competitive divisions in the same way as described above for recreation teams.  However, HYL creates teams in the competitive division based on HS boundaries because there are fewer players interested and able to compete at a more serious level. Furthermore, basing teams on HS boundaries helps competitive players connect with their future HS classmates and programs giving them opportunities to attend games and camps and meet coaches.

HYL will work directly with the school districts to hold pre-season Skills Clinics at High School gyms. Those clinics and working with coaches will be the basis for forming teams.

Similar to recreational, the number of teams per HS depends on the number of players that register in that boundary. If there are enough players to form more than one team, team formation will be at the recommendation of the HYL coaches. If there are not enough players to form a team, players will be reassigned to the next closest high school boundary.

In many ways, this is similar to the HS model for Freshmen, JV, and Varsity teams. Ideally, all freshmen play together, and JV teams are mostly sophomores.  But to fill teams, sometimes players move up.

On the registration form, players can request to play on the team coached by the same HYL coach for whom they played last year, but not request to be on the same team as a friend.  Regardless, the priority on forming teams will be based on clinics, coaches’ feedback, and making the team sizes work.  Therefore, there are no guarantees we can accommodate requests.

As a result, HYL competitive teams have the opportunity to grow and learn from their future HS program, better preparing them to be competitive and impact players at the HS level.

If you have any questions, please email