Current Information

Program Information

Goal

The goal of the Jr. Cougar program is to provide an opportunity for the development of basketball skills for boys in grades three, four, five, six, seven and eight who will be attending John F. Kennedy High School. The program will introduce elementary and middle school boys to the Kennedy basketball philosophy and teach the fundamentals of the game, along with teaching sportsmanship, teamwork, loyalty and pride in a competitive basketball environment.

In order to maintain a quality program, the following guidelines have been established:

Participation

All Kennedy bound players are eligible for the Jr. Cougar program provided there are volunteer coaches available for each team. Parents are reminded this is a competitive basketball program and may not be for every player. This is not a recreational program.

Registration

All players must be registered with the Jr. Cougar program. Dates for registering players and ordering practice gear, uniforms (if needed), and other equipment will be communicated on the website.

Jr. Cougar Basketball uses an online registration system. Registration for the 2017-2018 season is open from May 1 to June 22, 2017.  Registration is now closed. Please contact the Director for your grade if you have any questions.

Any player wanting to join the Jr. Cougar program after the evaluations will be allowed in the program per the criteria explained below in the Player Evaluation and Team Placement section.

Team Formation

All teams in all grades will be formed through the Player Evaluation process.  All teams will abide by the existing guidelines for player and coaches conduct. All teams will be treated the same by the program, and will be subject to the same rules and penalties. Following are the main points that should help answer any questions you may have.

The following criteria must be met in order to be part of the Junior Cougar Basketball program.

  1. All players must reside in the Kennedy School District. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  2. Teams must carry a minimum of eight (8) players on their roster.
  3. Players may only be on one team roster during a given season. If a team is in a game forfeit situation due to illness, injury or absence of players, they may borrow up to two players from any other Junior Cougar teams in their grade level for that game or tournament.
  4. Players and coaches are expected to abide by the guidelines specified on the website (conduct, playing time, etc.).
  5. All players must complete the online registration process, and pay the current registration fee.
  6. Deadline for registration for the 2017-2018 season is June 22, 2017.
  7. Teams will be assigned a name by the Board to avoid duplication.
  8. Failure to abide by the above criteria as well as the established guidelines and codes of conduct on the website will result in removal from the program.

Player Evaluation and Team Placement

Evaluations for team placement will be held for all players and all grade levels in the program. A panel of 3-5 experienced basketball individuals will determine team placement for players based on performance demonstrated in the evaluations. This panel will consist of objective, non-grade related individuals with significant basketball experience who will evaluate the players based on specific criteria.

The panel will evaluate the players on the following individual skills and assign point values to each: Ball Handling. Shooting. Defense. The panel will also evaluate the players during 3-on-3 and/or 5-on-5 scrimmages and assign point values to these categories.  The panel's ratings will be averaged and totaled for each player.

Players must be present for at least one evaluation session and are encouraged to attend all sessions (if more than one are scheduled) to get the most accurate view of each player's skill level.

Depending on the number of players registered in each grade, multiple teams may be formed with a target number of 3 teams per grade level. The maximum number of players on any team will be limited to 10. The target team size will be 8 players but teams may be realigned by the Jr. Cougar Board if needed.  Evaluation results will be used to form the teams in each grade as follows:

3RD Grade:  Team 1 will be formed with the top 8 players based on the evaluation results.  Teams 2 and 3 will be formed by dividing the players outside the top 8 and placing them on two teams with the intent to form two competitive, balanced teams of similar skill.  If there enough players for a 4th team, Team 4 will consist of players outside the top 24 and serve as an instructional team focused on basic fundamentals and skill development.

4TH - 8TH Grade:  Team 1 will be formed with the top 8 players based on the evaluation results.  Team 2 will consist of the next 8-10 players based on the evaluation results.  Team 3 will consist of the next 8-10 players based on the evaluation results.  If there are enough players to form a 4th team, Team 4 will be an instructional team focused on basic fundamentals and skill development.

All Grade Levels:  Based on the evaluation results, the Jr. Cougar program will assist coaches in establishing developmental goals for practice, and help guide coaches to appropriate league and tournament competition.

Any player wanting to join the Jr. Cougar program after the evaluations have taken place but before the season has started will be assigned to a team if space is available. If all teams are full, the players will be placed on a waiting list until enough players are available for a new team to be formed.

Once the season has started, the rules above will apply but the final decision to add a player will be at the coach's discretion. Please see the Player Evaluations page for more detailed information.

Competition

The Jr. Cougar program seeks to schedule the toughest possible competition with the goal of developing the strongest possible players. The Jr. Cougar program participates in many tournaments both inside and outside the metro area. Except for school leagues, the Jr. Cougar players are expected to make their assigned Jr. Cougar team their primary team.

Practices

Jr. Cougar players are expected to attend all scheduled practices and games. It is the intent of the program to have teams practice twice a week. Players involved in school leagues for basketball or any other sport should attend a minimum of one practice a week during the school league season.

Playing Time

To develop all players in the program, Jr. Cougar coaches of all grades strive to have equal playing time for all players on their team over the course of the entire season. This does not mean equal playing time during any given game.  However, over the course of the entire season, total playing time should be similar for all players on the team roster.  Jr. Cougar teams play to win, but that is balanced with the program goal of developing the skills and abilities of ALL players on the roster.

Coaches

Coaches are volunteers and may be parents of current players. The Jr. Cougar program expects each team to have two coaches. The Jr. Cougar Board will also coordinate an annual coaching clinic with the Kennedy High School staff. This clinic is to guide the Jr. Cougar coaches in teaching skills and fundamentals to develop players for the Kennedy High School program.  

A head coach is responsible for the overall development of the players, preparation for the next level of play, and the actual coaching of the team from the bench during the game. Coaches are expected to teach the fundamentals of the game, along with teaching sportsmanship, teamwork, loyalty and pride. Coaches are also expected to follow the Jr. Cougar Program Guidelines.

With an increased focus on concussion awareness, head coaches are also required to complete an online concussion awareness training prior to the start of practice.  This is the same concussion training that our high school coaches utilize.

Assistant coaches are responsible for assisting the head coach during practices and games, as deemed appropriate by the head coach.

Board of Directors & Parent Support Group

The Jr. Cougar program is governed by a Board of Directors and a Parent Support Group. The Parent Support Group will include a member from each team in the Jr. Cougar Program.

The Board and Parent Reps represent all Jr. Cougar players and parents and are responsible for developing and monitoring program guidelines, coordinating fundraising, planning and communicating all team related activities, and making necessary purchases.

The Board of Directors will be responsible for coordinating player evaluations, assigning teams based on the evaluation results, and securing coaches for each team.

Players and families not meeting Jr. Cougar guidelines or displaying inappropriate conduct may result in suspension or termination from the program and will be addressed by the Board of Directors. Termination by the Board of Directors will result in loss of fees.

The Board of Directors reserves the right to make exceptions to the Jr. Cougar Program guidelines in the best interest of the players and the program. Special situations need to be approved by the Board of Directors.

Program Funding and Program Support

The Jr. Cougar program is funded by:

  1. A registration fee for each player will be established each year to cover some of the costs of program expenses, team equipment, and other miscellaneous expenses.
  2. Jr. Cougar Fundraising Tournaments for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.

Because volunteerism is a key ingredient to the Jr. Cougar Program, it is expected that all parents support the program by participating in one of the following activities:

  • Jr. Cougar tournaments volunteer spots.
  • Team support activities (Assisting team coach).
  • Jr. Cougar Board position or Parent Representative.
  • Committee or other administrative duties for the Jr. Cougar Program.

Program Costs

2017-2018 Registration Fees: $200 per player.

After several years of feedback from coaches and parents, we are modifying the Jr. Cougar Registration fee for the 2017-2018 season. To better represent the overall cost of participation in the Jr. Cougar Boys Basketball program and to reduce some of the initial administrative responsibilities coaches have in collecting team fees for leagues and tournaments, Jr. Cougar Basketball registration is now $200/player. The $200 fee is NOT an increase in fees from prior years but rather a combination of registration fees and team participation fees that were collected separately in prior years. A breakdown of the $200 fee is as follows:

  • Registration Fees - $60. This portion of the fee goes towards covering the numerous Jr. Cougar Basketball program costs including but not limited to practice gear, pictures, facilities insurance, year-end awards and banquet.
  • Team Participation Fee - $140. At the beginning of the season, each team will receive $140 per active player to cover league and tournament registration costs.

Jr. Cougar team budgets can range from $1,000-$2,000 per season. This change will provide coaches with the resources to build a schedule and register for tournaments/leagues at the beginning of the season. Each team will determine if $140/player is sufficient to cover their team budget or if additional funds are required during the season. Coaches may also refund families for any unused team fees. The $200 Cougar registration fee is non-refundable after player evaluations in July.

Uniforms for new players or existing players (if needed) are an additional expense but ordered through the Jr. Cougar program. 2017-2018 uniform costs will be approximately $80 if ordered at the sizing dates. Sizing dates are yet to be determined, and will be posted in the Current Information column of the site.

PLEASE NOTE: The Jr. Cougar Summer Camps are run by the KHS Men's Basketball Staff, and are NOT included in the Jr. Cougar Basketball registration fee.  You must sign up separately for the camps.  Please see the CAMPS page for more information.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available on a needs basis. Scholarships cover the cost of the Jr. Cougar registration, game shirt and shorts. Requests for scholarship eligibility must be submitted to the Board of Directors in writing.