Frequently asked questions

Find answers to your commonly asked questions about Almaden NJB below...

General

National Junior Basketball or NJB is a program designed to introduce, teach, and develop the fundamentals of basketball to our local youth. The primary emphasis is sportsmanship, teamwork, and healthy competition. NJB is a non-profit organization. Our funding is entirely dependent upon the contributions of local businesses and individuals, along with registration fees.

To inspire our youth; regardless of race, color, creed or national origin. To practice the ideals of health, citizenship and character. To implant the game elements of safety, sanity and intelligent supervision; and to keep the welfare of the player first, foremost, and entirely free of adult lust for glory. To emphasize teamwork for all participants.

Almaden NJB local territory consist of zip codes of 95120, part of 95118 South of Hwy 85, part of 95123 West of Santa Teresa Hills and part of 95124 East of Camden Ave and Hicks Road. For more specific details, please refer to Section Boundary Map available on the Silicon Valley NJB Website.

All registered Almaden NJB players must live within the Almaden chapter boundaries. You can determine your local NJB chapter by following this link: NJB Chapter Boundaries. If you do not reside within the Almaden chapter boundaries and wish to register for Almaden NJB, NJB rules stipulate you must submit a player release form/waiver. Please follow this procedure:
  1. Player release waiver/form should be provided and completed by your local (home) chapter.
  2. Have this form signed by the local chapter's director.
  3. Contact Almaden NJB's director to obtain his signature.
  4. Retrieve player release waiver/form and submit it to your local chapter's director so that they may submit it to Silicon Valley's Sectional & Northern California Regional Director (Mel Robertson) for his final signature or you may try to submit the waiver/form to Mel Robertson directly.
  5. Please be aware that there is a STRICT deadline for this process. Please contact Silicon Valley NJB (408.260-0100 )for the date of this deadline.
  6. This player release waiver/form is MANDATORY to play in Almaden and a player would NOT be eligible for All-Stars or All-Net (boys only) if he/she does not have one;All-Net candidates for boys' teams - please see additional note below:
    • Non-Almaden All-Net candidates must abide by same rules established for ALL All-Net candidates which includes local (Almaden residents) All-Net candidates. In addition, these non -Almaden All-Net candidates MUST obtain and provide an approved "Non Local Chapter All-Net Tryout Form."The deadline is the first certification date (typically in November, but it is the responsibility of the player to confirm the deadline date) and all documentation should be submitted to Silicon Valley NJB (attention to: Silicon Valley Sectional All-Net Director (Rodney Ryce))
  7. Please be aware that all signed player release forms/waivers are good for only ONE season.

NJB provides several safeguards. Every individual (Board Member, Coach, Assistant Coach, etc.) associated with NJB is required to register on-line. In addition to address and telephone information there are also a series of Yes/No questions that relate to an individual’s fitness and eligibility to be involved in youth sports. Lastly, all coaches must be fingerprinted and are subject to background investigation and/or fingerprint verification to determine suitability for this sensitive community position. Live Scan, by U.S. Fingerprinting, provides a timely and accurate response from the Department of Justice alerting us to anyone who has had a felony conviction. If a felony conviction appears, that individual as well as the Chapter Director is immediately notified in writing that the individual can no longer be associated with any NJB activity.

Registration

Registration usually starts in August. Please keep checking our website as the date approaches. The website will provide instructions on how to complete the registration process.

There is a registration fee of $340 per player. There is a discount of $25 offered for each additional player per family (sibling discount). Rookie league player cost is $155. If the player is selected to play All-Net, they will be required to pay an additional $50 to cover the additional gym and referee costs. In addition, parents are required to contribute at least four hours of volunteer time during the season or they can opt to pay the volunteer buy-out of $55.

No. The purpose of evaluations is to form teams with parity. Granting requests for certain teams or coaches disrupts the process in which the teams are formed.

Your child should still go to the evaluations for his/her age group. If someone else drops out, we may pull you off the wait-list. Please be sure to bring a check to the evaluations to pay your balance. If your child does not attend evaluations, he/she may lose their spot on the wait-list.

Registration fees (minus $12 administration fee) are only refundable before October 10, and no refunds after that.

Evaluation Process

Every player must be evaluated in order to play. This allows the coaches to assess all of the players and try to assure evenly matched teams. Divisional evaluations are usually in mid to end of September. Rookie evaluations are usually in November. Evaluations are also when players will try on uniforms and decide on their sizes.

Attendance to evaluations is MANDATORY. This is the only opportunity that all the coaches will be together to assess the players. If your child cannot make it to evaluations, he/she MUST attend the make up session. NO EXCEPTIONS! The make up session date will be posted on our website at a later date.

Season

The program consists of two three groups-Divisional and All-Net and Rookie League.
  • Divisional Group
  • The Divisional program is divided into Boys and Girls leagues, each having three divisions: Division I - 7th and 8th grades; Division II - 5th and 6th grades; and Division III - 3rd and 4th grades. Mandatory evaluations are held in September. A draft is conducted for each division and strict procedures are adhered to in order to assure evenly matched teams. NJB emphasizes teaching basketball skills and sportsmanship through participation. Each player must play two full eight-minute periods in each five-period game. Each player must also sit out at least one full period in each game. Coaches and players are required to comply with a strict code of conduct or they will be removed from the league. Maximum participation for practices and games is crucial to ensure that players get the most out of the season in terms of learning and having fun. All of the teams participate in the playoffs towards the end of the season. Playoffs are single elimination.
  • All-Net Group
  • All-Net consists of highly skilled players that want to play at a high level of competition. The group will consist of one or two teams each (depending on player population and volunteer coach participation) for boys in grade 4th through 8th and girls in grade 5th through 8th. For details, please refer to All-Net section of the FAQ.
  • Rookie League
  • The Rookie League is a non-competitive basketball league for 1st and 2nd graders. The Rookie program is one of the best ways to get boys and girls started in your NJB chapter. Parents will have the opportunity to learn how to coach NJB, and players will learn the basic fundamentals of basketball in a non-competitive environment. Through your guidance as coordinator, both the coaches and players will be ready for Division 3 play. There is one practice per week beginning in the middle of November and continuing through February.

The Almaden NJB season for the Divisional league will conclude in February. Participation in All Net, NJB’s Championship Series or All-Star tournaments could extend your season through the end of March.

Registration usually begins around the middle of August. Tryouts and evaluations usually happen around the middle to end of September. The draft is completed in October. Practice begins in October. Each team will usually have a weeknight practice and a weekend practice. Practices will be held at Pioneer HS, Bret Harte MS, LeLand High School or Castillero MS. League games will be played on Sundays in December, January, and February, for a total of eight or nine games for Division Teams and twelve games for All-Net Teams. All the teams participate in the playoffs towards the end of the season. Playoffs are single elimination. The league rests during Christmas vacation and President Holiday Weekend. The times for practices and games are determined by which team your child plays on.

The process for drafting NJB basketball teams is unique. Divisional coaches draft their teams based upon the rules that each team consists of 10 players and that all 10 players participate in one quarter of playing time per half. There is also a player advantage rule for divisional games so having all 10 players attendance at every game is beneficial to that team. Gym time is also limited, so attendance at practice is important because the coaches do not have a lot of time to work on skills, go over plays, etc. Thus the dedication and commitment of both players and coaches is essential.

Practices

Practice days and times are scheduled by the league. There is one weeknight practice and one weekend practice per week. Practice length is 60 – 90 minutes depending on schedules. NJB is dependent on school schedules and gym time availability. As a result, sometimes schedules come late or last minute in the early season. Please do the best that you can to communicate with your coaches regarding your player's availability. Attendance at practices is critical for both player and team development. We really can't stress this enough. The coaches absolutely need all of their players to attend practices. There is a limited amount of practice time, and most coaches have several offensive plays and different defenses. If a player misses a practice where plays are introduced it is very difficult for them to catch up and it takes time away from fundamentals.

Unfortunately, the schools we use have both scheduled and unexpected blackout dates in their gyms that change on a monthly basis. School plays, school team tryouts, school team practices, school games, etc., all create uncertainty to the schedules. We monitor those and put together new practice schedules towards the end of each month. We cannot give teams the exact same practice days/times for the entire season. Practice days, times and locations can be very desirable or very undesirable and it is not fair to give teams the same spots all season.

Games

Games are traditionally on Sundays. Games will start the first week in December with the final season game ending in February. The End of Season tournament will be held toward the end of February and the advancing teams will play the following weekend. All-star players’ season (for players selected) may extend to the end of March.

Both game and tournament schedules come from Silicon Valley NJB and we typically receive the schedule a few weeks before the first game. We forward it to the coaches as soon as the final schedule is received. Sometimes changes/edits take place during the season due to gym availability variances. In these cases, you will be notified via your coach.

NJB incorporates strict player participation rules in which each child will play at least half of the game through the first four quarters. Each child is required to play one full and continuous period in each half. A 5th period is played at which time the coach may freely substitute players in and out of the game at his or her discretion.

Games are played at any of the Silicon Valley NJB locations. Approximately half of games take place at home gyms and half away. Game Day Gym maps are available here

Equipment

Each paid player will receive a full uniform consisting of professional-style jersey and shorts, a team photo, participation trophy or medal, use of local gyms for practices and games, and officiating by trained, experienced referees.

A ball and a good pair of basketball shoes is suggested.

Most coaches require players to bring their own ball to practice. The three divisions use different size basketballs:
  • Division 1 boys use a standard 29.5" size ball.
  • Division 2 uses a 28.5" size ball. Div 1 girls will also use this size.
  • Division 3 and Rookie Division will use a 27.5" size ball.

(Note:All-Net and All-Stars may have rule differences from description below) NJB versus the basketball you see on TV For those that are new to NJB basketball, there are a few rules that make it a bit different from what you see on TV. The following summarizes some of the key differences with Divisional NJB games which will hopefully make following the game easier. For the hardcore, you can download a full copy of the rules from the Silicon Valley NJB site.
  • 5 Periods (4 Quarters + 1)
  • Unlike college (2 half’s) or the pros (4 quarters), our games consist of five 8 minute periods. The periods are a running clock meaning that the clock ONLY stops for time-outs or shooting fouls. If the score difference between the two teams is nine or less, then regulation time (clock stops on all change of possession) will be implemented for the final two minutes of the game. The five periods exist to allow easy enforcement of the player participation rule (see next) while allowing the games to remain competitive.
  • Player participation rule
  • Please understand that due to NJB policy, each divisional team is drafted with no more than 10 players. This is to comply with NJB's rules which require that each player must play in two of the first four “quarters”. While we understand many players play multiple sports, please be aware that due to NJB rules and our method of drafting...there are 10 players per team and a player's absence in a game does make a difference (i.e player advantage rule, etc.)."

    All players that are in attendance MUST play one of the first two periods and one of the second two periods. In other words, if all ten players are present everyone will have played two full periods by the fourth period. During these four periods, other than for injury, there will be NO substitutions. The 5th period is at the Coach’s discretion & substitutions are allowed. So during this period, it’s possible for only 5 players to play the entire period, for all 10 to play with substitutions or any combination in-between. This rule is STRICTLY enforced so if you’re planning on leaving after the first half & taking your child with you, please let the coach know BEFORE the game. Similarly, arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the start of a game as late players disrupt the Player Participation rules. Lack of conformance may force a team to FORFEIT the game.

Volunteering

Each NJB family is required to volunteer at least 4 hours. Please note that we are a non-profit organization made up of parent volunteers. We have approximately 500 players with a 10-12 week regular season. It takes a lot to operate an organization of this size successfully. If you prefer to make a donation or provide sponsorship please let us know. There will be volunteer opportunities during the evaluation weekend as well as our Jamboree (which is held the first Saturday in December). An iVolunteer link will be sent from the Volunteer Coordinator a few weeks before each event. Other options are to volunteer to be your team's photographer or to be the scorekeeper or time keeper when your team has been designated as the home team.

No, coaching as a head coach or assistant coach will satisfy your volunteer commitment.

Typically, we have enough volunteers from our Division and All Net families. However, we may enlist the help of some Rookie families if it is necessary.

All-Net

All-Net is similar to a preseason All Star team. All-Net teams play All-Net teams from other chapters.

There are no playing time requirements. All-Net games follow high school rules.

  • ALL boys candidates must reside in their corresponding chapter. If a candidate does not, he must obtain a waiver. Please refer to the following link for details.
  • For additional information regarding All-Net candidates for girls’ teams, please refer to the following link.
  • For additional information regarding All-Net candidates for boys’ teams, please refer to the following link.
  • All-Net typically begins at 5th grade for girls and 4th grade for boys.
  • 4th and 5th grade candidates: ALL Divisional 4th and 5th graders are considered eligible for All-Net & will be evaluated at Divisional evaluations
  • 6th-8th grade candidates: All-Net Players from the previous season’s 5th, 6th, and 7th grade teams are considered candidates and do not attend Divisional evaluations. In addition to these players, All-Net coaches will attend the Divisional evaluations to identify other potential All-Net candidates. All-Net coaches will deliver invites to additional All-Net candidates following Divisional evaluations.

All-Net tryouts occur AFTER Divisional evaluations, but before the draft for Divisional teams.

  • All-Net candidates MUST attend the invitation-only All-Net tryouts.
  • Attendance at All-Net tryouts is not a guarantee of team placement
  • The head coach selects the All-Net team based upon his subjective choice of who will make up the team that he feels will have the best chance to compete. It is important to note that the Board does not participate in any way in the selection process. The Board merely functions as a supportive role.

  • Players that do not make an All-Net team will be placed back into a general pool for Divisional draft
  • Non-selected players also have the option of attending an All-Net try out of a neighboring NJB chapter.
  • All Divisional coaches are encouraged to attend the All-Net tryouts

All Star

At the end of the regular season, All-Star teams will be selected from each division (except All-Net). Each All-Star team competes with All-Star teams from other communities and have the opportunity to advance to the NJB National Tournament. Details of All-Star Team selection, additional costs and tournament dates will be communicated to players and parents during the season. To be eligible for an All-Star team players must reside within the Almaden boundaries or have a waiver completed at the beginning of the season. Players must also commit to attend all practices and games. If you reside outside of the Almaden NJB boundaries and do not have a waiver, your player is ineligible to try-out for All-Stars. If you would like this option please inquire about a waiver at the time of registration as waivers are not offered late in the season. For more information, contact All Star coordinator.

The All-Star Coach is a volunteer(s) from the Divisional coaches. All-Star players are selected from nominations received from each of the Division’s Head Coaches. All rosters will be certified and approved by the Board of Directors. All-Star teams compete against other NJB Chapter All-Stars in a round robin type format with winners being invited to play in NJB’s National All-Star Tournament which takes place in the Los Angeles area. All Star teams who qualify to play in the National Tournament are required to attend. Nationals is typically held at the end of March/early April.

Want to know even more about NJB?

For more information regarding Almaden NJB, please visit our website at Almaden NJB If you require additional assistance feel free to e-mail any Board Member. Almaden NJB is part of Silicon Valley NJB Section. Their website is: Silicon Valley NJB. For NJB Headquarters information please see their website at National Junior Basketball