County Basketball Deputy Commissioner
In addition to our SYC REC Program, SYC participates in the Fairfax County Youth Basketball League (“FCYBL”). This league is for select teams from participating youth clubs throughout Northern Virginia and is for players from 5th - 8th grades who are also more skilled players wishing a higher level of competition.
As the 2023/2024 basketball season rapidly approaches, I’d like to share some information about opportunities within the SYC basketball program. While you may be familiar with our Recreational Basketball program, did you know that SYC also provides opportunities for players seeking extra development and play against higher levels of competition?
The SYC County Basketball Program (also known as Travel or Select) is for boys and girls in grades 5-8. The program offers a dynamic platform for players to develop their skills and take their basketball talents to the next level.
Location/Timing: Practices for the County teams are held at schools in the Springfield area. Teams practice for 90-120 minutes, twice per week. Games are held at locations across Fairfax County on weekends, with some weeknight games possible. Teams will play 15-20 games per season. County teams may also participate in additional local tournaments and receive extra training based on the coaches’ and players’ interest and potential.
SYC will host several open gyms starting in early September and tryouts for the County teams will be held in late-Sep/early-Oct. Schedules will be announced shortly. There is no charge to attend open gyms or tryouts.
Cost: The registration fee for those selected to play on the County teams is $350-$400 and includes full uniforms. Some level of SYC Scholarship support may be available for those who qualify.
Coaches: SYC County coaches boast impressive credentials, with experience at high school, college, national travel leagues, and semi-professional levels. We’re also open to welcoming new dedicated coaches who are committed to the game and want to build on their coaching skills.
Playing Time: Unlike the recreational league, playing time in County basketball is earned, not guaranteed. While we encourage all coaches to maximize playing time, this approach aligns with the league’s competitive nature and prepares players for higher levels of play.
Commitment: Participation in SYC’s County program requires a greater level of commitment from players and parents. Players are expected to attend all practices and games, except in cases of illness or family emergency. Consistent participation significantly factors into playing time. Like the recreational league, parents may be requested to learn and manage certain game responsibilities, such as scorekeeper or clock operator.
Expectation and Outcomes: Parents and players should expect increased challenges in conditioning, skills training, and in all aspects of the game. Positive attitude, mental toughness, nutrition, sleep, and game preparation are all part of the recipe for success at the next level. SYC and the County program have developed some of the best players in the area over the years, with many going on to very successful high school and college careers. However, as with most challenges in life, success is closely tied to dedication, attitude, and effort. If you think your player is ready to take the next step in their basketball journey, we encourage you to have them drop in on our open gym sessions and attend the County team tryouts.
Additional Information: If you are interested or have questions regarding SYC County Basketball please contact me or Dan Allen, our Deputy Commissioner for County Basketball CountyBasketball@sycva.com
SYC participates in the Fairfax County Youth Basketball League, which offers a more advanced level of competition among teams from youth clubs in Northern Virginia. This league is for 5th - 8th grades and is more skilled players and involves more games and more time, travel and expense (although not unduly burdensome) than the regular SYC House (Recreational) program. Due to the extra costs associated with participating in the FCYBL, individuals who are selected for SYC’s County teams pay a registration fee that is generally higher than the recreational basketball registration to defray the added expenses. Additionally, county players will be issued, and may keep, SYC jerseys and shorts, plus any other uniform/shooting shirt/sweats that may be issued by SYC. Should any County team decide to enter a tournament, other than the season-ending tournaments sponsored by FCYBL, the cost of these events is borne by the individual teams, not SYC.
SYC County teams are restricted by FCYBL rules to players residing in certain zip codes assigned by the FCYBL; SYC’s zip codes are 22150, 22152, 22153, 22039, 22079, 22310 and 22315. Any child living in these 7 zip codes is allowed to play for an SYC County team without a zip code exception. Only two zip code exceptions are allowed per team and no player living outside Fairfax County can play via a zip code exception. In addition, FCYBL groups County teams by grade – for example, if the player is in 6th grade, they can play on the 6th grade team, whether the player is age 11 or age 12. Accordingly, FCYBL has done away with the notion of “grade exceptions.” (This is a change from prior years when age group was determined by player age as of October 1, but an exception could be made to age placement based on grade.) Players will be required to produce proof of grade for eligibility purposes.
In order for a player to be considered, he or she must attend at least one of the three scheduled tryout sessions. It is generally best to attend all three sessions, but SYC is aware that school, fall sports and other activities may create conflicts. Players should try and attend as many sessions as possible. Tryouts may not start until October 1 pursuant to FCYBL rules.
Parents are welcome to stay during tryouts, but should not coach their children or otherwise interfere with the tryout process.
After the third tryout, the selected players will be contacted by e-mail. If your player is not contacted, then he or she was not selected. Note that the coaches may elect to have a fourth tryout session with SYC club approval, but these tryouts will be by invitation only and are designed to allow coaches the ability to make a first cut before the final selection.
Each team is allowed a maximum of FIFTEEN (15) and a minimum of EIGHT (8) rostered players.