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Spring Season 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I sign up for CYA Basketball?

You can register for CYA Basketball online or by mail. The easiest and preferred method is online registration. To register by mail, contact the registrar, Cindy Aune, at for instructions. Online registration for the Spring season is scheduled to begin on January 4th.

To register online, go to and click on the "Click here to register for CYA sports" link on the main CYA webpage. On the Basketball page, you can also click on the "Spring Basketball Registration" link on the left side of the page. On the second page of the online registration, you will see three choices. Select "Click here to register" if you have not registered any of your children for CYA sports in the past 5 years; this will allow you to enter your household in the CYA database and register your child. Otherwise, select "If you have ever used this registration system before please log in," which will allow you to log into the CYA database using either your registered email address and PIN, or using your personal information (home phone number, player name and birthdate, and mother’s maiden name).

2. What is the cost to register?

The basic registration cost for grades 4-12 is $135.50 ($5.50 of the registration fee covers the Fairfax County use fee, $20 is the CYA admin fee, and $10 is the CYA capital improvement fee). The cost of the house jersey is included in this price.

A $25 late fee will be added to the costs of those registering after March 5th.

3. I want to register online but do not want to pay by credit card. What should I do?

You can register online and select to pay by check. Contact the registrar, Cindy Aune, at to find out where to send your check to complete your registration.

4. How old does my child have to be to play CYA Basketball?

The CYA house basketball program is organized by grade not by age. In the Spring program, any child in grades 4-12 can sign up to play CYA Basketball, including those who played in the Winter travel basketball program or for their HS team. No child below grade 4 will be allowed to play regardless of the circumstances.

NOTE: There is no travel program in the Spring.

5. Are there any residency requirements to play CYA Basketball?

There are no residency requirements for the CYA Spring program. CYA pays the extra charge that Fairfax County places on non-residents.

6. When does registration start and end?

Online registration for the Sping season is scheduled to begin on January 4th. Anyone who registers for the house program by March 19th is guaranteed placement on a house team; however, to avoid the late fee, you must register by March 5th. Anyone registering after March 19th will only be placed on a team if there is still space in the league for which you are registering; otherwise, the child will be placed on a waiting list and activated if space becomes available.

7. When does the Spring season start and end?

The Spring basketball season for the house program begins in April and ends in early June, depending upon the league.

8. Are there the same number of games and practices in the Spring season as in the Winter season?

The focus of the Spring season, which takes place in a shorter time frame that the Winter season, is on games rather than instruction/practice. Teams generally play the same number of games (sometime more) in the Spring as in the Winter. However, practices are  usually limited to the lower grades for the first few weeks of the season only, after which time leagues go to all games.

9. When and where are practices held?

Practices are held in the local middle and elementary schools for grades 4-8 for the first few weeks of the season only (the HS leagues have only 1 or 2 pre-season practices). The gym assignments are made by the Fairfax County Recreational Department around March 1st, so until that time we do not know exactly which schools we will be assigned and for which dates and times. In the past we have been allocated time slots at the following middle and elementary schools for practices: Carson MS, Franklin MS, Herndon MS, Rocky Run MS, Brookfield ES, Colin Powell ES, Crossfield ES, Dogwood ES, Floris ES, Fox Mill ES, Greenbriar East ES, Greenbriar West ES, Lees Corner ES, McNair ES, Navy ES, Oak Hill ES, Poplar Tree ES, Waples Mill ES and Willow Springs ES.

Once we get our gym allocation from the Recreation Department, we assign gym slots to the various house leagues and travel teams. We make every effort to give the earlier time slots to the younger age groups and the bigger gyms to the older age groups. We also try to give each age group an assortment of schools and time slots for practices so that they can best accommodate their coaches’ schedules. This is an exceedingly difficult process because of the number of teams (nearly 150) and the fact that the County normally does not allocate us enough space to accommodate all teams.

Practices are 1 hour per week Monday-Friday; We generally schedule the younger teams in the earlier time slots (5:30-7:30) and the older teams in the later time slots (7:30-9:30).

Once the County gives CYA its gym allocation, the CYA scheduler makes up the master practice schedule, and the teams are selected, the League Administrator working with his coaches assigns practice slots to his teams. This will not occur before mid-November at the earliest, so unfortunately we cannot give out precise information before that time as to where and when any individual child will have his/her practice.

10. Where and when are the games held?

CYA house league games are held in the local high schools, middle schools and elementary schools as well as in the private-owned Hoop Magic sports complex. The school gym assignments are made by the Fairfax County Recreational Department around March 1st, so until that time we do not know exactly which schools we will be assigned and for which dates and times. In the past we have been allocated time slots at the following schools for games: Chantilly HS, Oakton HS, Herndon HS, Carson MS, Herndon MS, Rocky Run MS, Brookfield ES, Colin Powell ES, Crossfield ES, Dogwood ES, Floris ES, Greenbriar East ES, Greenbriar West ES, Lees Corner ES, McNair ES, Navy ES, Oak Hill ES, Poplar Tree ES, and Waples Mill ES. Regular season games are held on Saturdays between 9:00 PM - 8:15 PM, on Sunday between 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM, and, for the older leagues on Mondays-Thursdays from 6-10 pm. Depending on the space that we are allocated by the County, we try to schedule the younger ages (grades 4-6) on Saturdays only; grades 7-12 have some weeknight as well as weekend games.

11. Are boys and girls placed on the same team?

No. CYA has separate boys and girls leagues in both the house and travel programs.

12. Are there Travel basketball teams in the Spring?

The travel basketball league (FCYBL) does not operate in the Spring so we have no Spring travel teams. Participants in the Winter travel program can play on our Spring house teams.

13. How are the House teams selected?

For grades 1 and 2 the house teams are put together by the League Administrator based on neighborhood and school. For Grades 4-8, a skills assessment is held by each league in late March or early April at which the coaches for that league evaluate and rank the players. Participation in this skills assessment is highly recommended as it helps make the teams more balanced, but it is not required for placement on a team. Once the skills assessment has been held and the players ranked, players are assigned to teams by the coaches based on a player draft. For Grades 10-12 players are selected to teams by the coaches based on their knowledge of the players’ skills, since it is very difficult to get players at this age level to attend a skills assessment.

Please check the Basketball page of the CYA website ( for up to date information on where and when the skills assessment for each league are being held.

14. How are the House coaches selected?

Both parents and non-parents can volunteer to coach CYA house teams. You can volunteer as a head coach or assistant coach online at the time that you register your child for CYA basketball. You can also sign up separately by clicking on the Volunteer Only link on the CYA webpage ( If you sign up independently of registering your child or if you do not have a child in the program, be sure to specify in which leagues you are interested in coaching--if you do not specify the league (for example, 4th grade girls), then your name will not show up when the League Administrators check the database for prospective coaches. In most leagues, especially at the older age levels, we are in desperate need of coaches but the number of people who volunteer is not sufficient; however, at the younger ages there may be more volunteers than coaching slots, in which case the League Administrator will have to determine which candidates to choose.

NOTE: The names of all those who volunteer to coach are submitted to an independent organization for background checks.

15. I am a high school student that wants to coach CYA Basketball. Is this possible?

CYA allows young adults aged 16 or older to coach in our house program (you must be at least 25 to coach in the Travel program). The coach must be at least 3 years older than the oldest player on the team (for example, an 11th grader could coach 8th grade or below). Preference is given to parent volunteers over youth volunteers when selecting coaches. In addition, any youth coach selected must have a parent sponsor that can be at practices and games as an observer.

16. My child wants to play up at a higher grade level in the house program. Is that allowed?

The CYA house program is grade-based not skills or age-based. CYA strongly discourages children playing above their grade level except in rare circumstances. The only circumstances in which such requests are sometimes granted are: 1) a child is considerably older than most of the others in his/her grade because he/she has been held back for more than one year; 2) a child is considerably taller or heavier than most of the others in his/her age group. Anyone who wants their child to play up must make a formal petition to the Basketball board by March 15th.Anyone who attempts to move their child up to a higher grade by falsifying their record in the CYA database is subject to removal from the CYA Basketball program.

NOTE: Leagues in the Spring season are generally more competitive than in the Winter for two reasons: 1) travel players participate in the Spring season for grades 4-8 along with house players, and HS players who played on their school HS team participate in grades 9-12; 2) usually the more dedicated players sign up for the Spring.

17. My child wants to play down at a lower grade level in the house program. Is that allowed?

Sometimes parents want to have their child play at a lower grade level because they are young for their grade or less skilled. Since all leagues have kids with a wide range of skills (from highly skilled to novice), parents are encouraged not to request that their child be moved down slowly on the basis of skill level. A greater case can be made for moving a child to a younger grade program if that child is young for his/her grade. As with requests to play up, parents who want their child to play down should forward a request by March 15th to the Basketball Board, which will determine if that is in the best interests of the child and the overall program.

18. My child wants to play on the same team as his/her friend or with another child for carpool purposes in the house program. Is that possible?

CYA understands that friends want to play together and that parents often want neighborhood kids on the same team so that they can carpool to games or practices. However, CYA must balance these interests off against the program need to form teams that are roughly equal in overall skill levels. Parents should put the teammate request in the "Special Request" field on the registration form and send an email request to the league administrator. The league administrator will make these requests known to the coaches during the player selection process, but there is no guarantee that any particular request (except for siblings playing together) can be accommodated.

19. My child wants to play for a particular coach. Can this be done?

Sometimes a parent wants his/her child to play for a particular coach who either is known to the family on a personal basis or has coached that child in the past. Some coaches because of their coaching method or success are very popular, even with parents who do not know them personally or whose child has not played for them before. If you want to express a preference for a particular coach, you should indicate the name of the coach in the "Special Request" field on the registration form and contact the league administrator and coach prior to the player draft. The league administrator will make such requests known during the player selection process but the coach may not always be able (or willing) to select the child. Note that parent coaches in the house league are always assigned their own children or relatives unless they specifically request otherwise.

20. I have heard that teams in some house leagues are already formed and practicing but my child has not been notified. What should I do?

The team formation process in the various leagues proceeds at different speeds depending upon the availability of the coaches for the tryouts and draft and their ability to get the word out to their players once teams are selected. Check the CYA website regularly for information about the skills assessment dates/times and the notification process for each grade. If other players in your child’s league have been notified by their coach, send an email to the league administrator or the Boys or Girls Commissioner to find out where the league is in notifying players of their team assignment.

21. My child was placed on the "waiting list" for his/her league? What does that mean and what should I do?

Playerswho register after March 15th are placed on a waiting list if there are no open slots on teams in that league. Sometimes players drop out just before or after the team assignment process, which opens up space for players on the waiting list (selected on a first come, first served basis). If your child is placed on the waiting list, be sure to check in frequently by email with the league administrator for your league. If no space becomes available by the first week of the season, notify the registrar and you will be given a full refund.

22. My child registered for CYA basketball but wants to withdraw. Can I get a refund?

The official CYA refund policy is that refunds will only be granted if a child moves out of the area, is injured prior to the start of the season, or is selected to a high school team. CYA Basketball will also grant full refunds to anyone who makes a Travel team in another youth program or is put on the "waiting list" for the house program and not assigned to a team.

23. My child’s coach says he/she needs volunteers to serve as a building director. What is a building director and how do I become one?

Fairfax County requires each team to have at least one non-coach building director. The building director’s responsibility at games and practices is to monitor the crowd (especially the young spectators) and make sure that no behavior inconsistent with the gym use rules is going on (such as child running or bouncing balls in the hallways, defacing school property, etc.). He/she is also responsible for reporting any damage to school property or any injury that may occur. To become a building director, you must view the County’s building director video, take a short written test, and submit your answers to the Recreation Department. You will then be issued a badge good for 2 years that you must wear at games and practices. Periodically the County will send a supervisor to gyms to check in with the building director--if the building director is not present or does not have his/her badge, CYA may be fined and lose use of the gym. For more information, go to

24. My child wants to become a CYA house ref? How does he/she do this?

CYA Basketball uses so-called "house refs" to officiate games in grades 4-8. These house refs are adults and middle/high school students (aged 13 and above) who volunteer to be trained by CYA Basketball as basketball officials and, once trained, are assigned by our ref schedulers to officiate house games in grades 1-8 (grades 9-12 are officiated by semi-professional officials provided by the Cardinal Basketball Officials Association). All house refs must go through CYA’s mandatory training sessions, which generally take place only in the Fall. New referees are paid $10 per game and experienced referees are paid $15-$25 per game, depending on the age level that they are officiating. Highly skilled house refs have the opportunity to become "mentors," who are paid to train and supervise the less experienced officials.

To sign up as a referee, email the referee coordinator, Monica Despins, at You can also register by clicking the Volunteer Only link on the main CYA webpage. You will be notified when we set up our tryouts.

NOTE: Those college students who previously officiated in the CYA program are welcome back in the Spring when they return from college. They should just contact the referee coordinator, Monica Despins, at

25. Who runs CYA Basketball?

CYA Basketball is administered by a Basketball Board under the direction of the CYA Basketball Chairman. The Chairman, in his/her capacity as the Basketball Sports Coordinator, in turn reports to the overall CYA Board, which supervises all CYA sports. The Basketball Board sets the overall policy for the basketball program, oversees both the travel and house program, coordinates with outside agencies (such as the Fairfax County Recreation Department, the Fairfax County Basketball League, the HS Girls Friendship League, and the Cardinal Basketball Officials Association), determines the overall game and practice schedule for the house program, and manages each league through the League Administrator. The League Administrator for each league recruits the coaches, sets up the skills assessments and drafts, determines the league game and practice schedule, manages the standings, runs the hot shot competition and all-star games, and serves as the communication point between the Basketball Board and the coaches, parents, and players. The referee coordinators allocate games to the house refs to officiate. Of course, parents also help out as coaches, building directors, scorekeepers, and timekeepers. All those who serve in the above positions are unpaid volunteers who give generously of their time and make the CYA basketball program possible.

26. Does CYA need more volunteers at different positions?

CYA is always looking for new volunteers to serve on the basketball board, as league administrators, or as ref schedulers. Those serving in these positions, because of the amount of work involved, get a discount on the basketball registration fees. If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email to