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"Matrix 2019 Black"
2010 Fall/Winter Team for 3rd-4th Graders

Overview of Team Plans and Team Formation

What’s The Plan?  Matrix Basketball will be holding tryouts to form a 3rd-4th Grade team and player pool to train together regularly and play games periodically over the fall/winter. 
Who Can Try Out?  Any girls heading into 4th Grade or younger in 2010-2011 are eligible to try out.  Players should be serious about basketball, and should intend to play on a Matrix AAU team in spring/summer 2011. 
Who is Coaching?  The Matrix 3rd-4th Grade fall/winter team will be led by Matrix President, Liz Reed, who will also be the Matrix 2019/4th Grade Black team’s head coach for spring 2011.
Can My Daughter Play for Another Team in the Fall/Winter Too?  Yes, except not on another AAU team.  This 3rd-4th Grade fall/winter team is designed to supplement, not replace, community-based county/travel teams that compete in the FCYBL over the fall/winter, as well as local house/recreational teams.  Matrix Basketball is a strong, long-time supporter of those programs.  Players are strongly encouraged to try out for county/travel basketball, and play house basketball if they so choose.  Players may not, however, play for another AAU club/team at the same time.
Purpose of Forming Matrix 3rd-4th Grade Fall/Winter Team; Building Toward the Spring AAU Season
The Matrix expects to be able to form at least three strong teams (two 4th Grade teams, and at least one 3rd Grade team) in spring 2011 from these age groups.  The Matrix 3rd-4th Grade fall/winter team is designed to develop a strong core of players for these three teams.  
The Matrix 3rd-4th Grade fall/winter team will focus primarily on developing the fundamental skills of the players that participate, as well as fostering team chemistry, team play, and a sense of continuity heading into spring 2011. 
When/Where are Tryouts?  Tryouts will be held:
  • Thursday, Sep. 9, from 6:30-8:30 pm at Williamsburg MS in Arlington
  • Friday, Sep. 10, from 7:00-9:00 pm at Kenmore MS in Arlington
  • Saturday, Sep. 11, from 9:00-11:00am at Kenmore MS in Arlington

(Tryout schedule updated on August 31, 2010 to add third tryout date)

How Many Tryouts Should I Attend?  Players are only required to attend one tryout, but are strongly encouraged to attend at least two tryouts. 

How Do I Sign Up?  Click here to register online for tryouts now. 
Contact with any questions.

Team Plans and Schedule Overview
Players selected will gather approximately once-per-week over most weeks during the fall/winter season to practice and work on skills as a group.  Fundamental skills training will be the team’s primary activity over the fall/winter.  The Matrix believes that supplementing a player’s county/travel or house team experience with more advanced skill development opportunities with other strong players in their peer group is the best way to develop 3rd and 4th Grade players over the fall/winter.
Additionally, the team will play games periodically, working around players’ fall and winter sports schedules.  It will not be an overly extensive game schedule, knowing that players have other sports and other basketball games during the fall/winter months.
In short, most weeks during the fall/winter months will feature one practice/training session, and no games.  Games will be played periodically, whenever it fits best for players’ schedules and can provide a good development opportunity for the team against appropriate competition.

Cost for Matrix 3rd-4th Grade Fall/Winter Team
All players selected at tryouts will pay a deposit of $150, which will cover the cost of gym rental for practices and an estimated number of games.  The total cost per player will ultimately depend on the number of games the team is able to play over the entire fall/winter season, and is estimated to be around $200-250/player.
Matrix to Use USA Basketball’s “Core Team” Approach For 3rd-4th Grade Fall/Winter Team
The Matrix plans on utilizing a unique team formation approach for the fall/winter.  We will be using the “core team” concept used by USA Basketball for many of its National teams.
Through open tryouts in September, a “core team” of approximately 8-10 players will be selected, along with a player pool of approximately 8-10 players.  The player pool will practice and train with the core team, and will be invited to fall/winter league games on a rotating basis, so they get some game experience.  Players on the core team will be expected to attend games regularly. 
Players may be added later to the core team and the player pool if they missed tryouts in September, at the coach’s discretion.  Roster spots on the core team and player pool will not carry over to the spring 2011 tryouts, when the Matrix will hold open tryouts for all spots on its spring AAU teams.

Why the Core Team Approach, and Why Not Just Form Two Teams?
The Matrix is adopting the “core team” approach for its 3rd-4th Grade fall/winter team, rather than simply fielding two teams, for a number of reasons. 
First, relatively few 4th Grade girls’ AAU teams play over the fall/winter, so there are only a limited number of potential opponents for 4th Grade teams to play in the fall/winter to begin with.  Many 4th Grade teams must play up against 5th Grade teams at times during the fall/winter.  Further, there are even fewer 4th Grade “B teams” in the fall/winter, which makes it even more difficult to find appropriate matchups for a second team.  We do not want to throw a second team into fall/winter AAU play if there are not appropriate matchups and if there is a risk of the team having a poor initial AAU experience against much stronger teams.  This is a particular concern for us this year, considering that we anticipate having a number of players who are only in 3rd grade among our player pool, and we do not want younger players having a poor experience when they are just starting out in AAU basketball.
Second, coaches tend to consider positions (G, F, C) and position balance when making traditional team selections, rather than just selecting the best players available for a core team and player pool, regardless of positions.  We think the latter approach is more appropriate for this age group in the fall/winter, and will still provide sufficient position flexibility for each game.
Third, we believe that players selected for the Matrix 3rd-4th Grade player pool will have an overall better developmental experience by training with the core team, and by rotating in for games, than by being on a separate second team.  Members of the player pool will still have an opportunity to get additional playing time and take on key roles on the court by concurrently playing county/travel basketball and/or house basketball over the winter.
In the spring AAU season, more 4th Grade girls’ teams compete - including more “B teams” - and so there are more opportunities for good matchups for a second 4th Grade team, and the reasons against fielding a second team are less compelling.  Thus, in spring 2011, the Matrix will field two separate 4th Grade teams, as the club has done each of the past several years, in addition to a separate 3rd Grade team.

Last Updated:  August 31, 2010.