Armstrong Cooper youth basketball programs are generally for students who live or attend school within the District 281 boundaries. Check the school finder. Our season begins in late September (October for House) and ends in early March with the State Tournaments.
Boys Travel Program includes Armstrong only players (Grades 4-8).
Cooper maintains their own boys travel program.
Girls Travel Program combines Armstrong and Cooper players (Grades 4-8).
House League combines Armstrong and Cooper players for both boys and girls (Grades K-8).
Info on this page is subject to change.
If you have questions, please contact us.
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Who can participate?
Our programs are generally for students who live or attend school within the District 281 boundaries. Armstrong and Cooper each have a Boys Travel Program. For our Armstrong Boys Travel program, a student must live or attend school within the Armstrong boundaries. Check the School finder for eligibility.
Why are Armstrong & Cooper combined?
In order to maintain a quality program, we need a large pool of players. This enables us to establish good competition among multiple teams in our boys and girls House Leagues. It also helps us to place female players on travel teams at the appropriate skill level.
What is the schedule for House League?
Our House League begins practice in late October, takes a break over Christmas, and continues play into early March. Each week consists of 2 sessions for practice and games. Days of week vary by team and age group. House league teams practice at District 281 elementary school gyms.
How much traveling is involved with Travel Basketball?
Most tournaments we attend are in the west metro and are within 10 to 15 miles. We typically compete in one out-of-metro tournament, either St. Cloud or Rochester; that is our most distant tournament. We also participate in the state tournament; locations for this tournament are spread throughout the metro and occasionally beyond.
What is the schedule for Travel Program?
Our Travel Teams practice twice a week and compete in weekend tournaments. Tryouts are held in September, practices begin in October, and tournaments begin in November. There is a break over Christmas, and play continues into early March.
How many tournaments do Travel Teams play in?
We typically plan for 10 or 11 tournaments, including the season-ending state tournament. Teams are guaranteed three games in each tournament, and sometimes get as many as five. Games are usually Saturday and Sunday; the larger tournaments sometimes schedule games on Friday evening. Our fourth grade travel teams are expected to play in 8 to 9 tournaments.
How do I know if my child is ready for Travel Basketball?
In September, all players interested in the Travel Program will be evaluated. We aim to have 2 or 3 teams formed in each grade, which means players can be placed based on their skill level. Tournaments as designated as A/B/C levels (We differentiate our teams as A=Red, B=Blue, C=White), so teams can be fairly matched.
Boys that do not make a Travel team are encouraged to play in the House League.
We will try to accommodate all girls, but if a girl player is not qualified for the Travel Program, we encourage her to play in in our House League (through 5th grade).
What does the evaluation process entail?
The traveling evaluations occur over the course of two nights for each grade. It is vital that each player attend both sessions to ensure an accurate assessment. We have several independent and experienced instructors to conduct the evaluations. Players will be evaluated on individual skills as well as their game play. We encourage players to attend the open gyms that take place in advance of the evaluations; they are good opportunities to better understand what will occur at them. Results will be communicated within a few days of the completion of evaluations.
How many players are placed on travel teams?
We allow 8 players on each team. This ensures significant playing time for each player. We occasionally make exceptions, most notably in the girls program. Due to small numbers, and the lack of a Girls House League in 6th-8th grade, we feel it is important to keep as many girls playing as possible. Our Travel Commissioners have final say in decisions related to the number of players on a team.
What is the cost for Travel Basketball?
The registration fee of $290, gym time, and tournament entry fees for the team. Each tournament has admission fees that typically are $6 for adults and $4 for students for each day - these are not included. Note that the 4th grade travel teams will participate in fewer tournaments and have a reduced fee of $225.
Where are practices held?
Travel teams have typically practiced at Armstrong High School, Plymouth Middle School, Sandburg Learning Center, and Robbinsdale Middle School.
House league teams practice at District 281 elementary school gyms..
What is the refund policy?
If registered for traveling basketball and player does not make a traveling team (see Evaluations), that player is automatically added to our house program (if their grade level is available). The cost difference between traveling and house will be refunded. If the player chooses not to play house basketball, the cost of registration will be refunded.
Refunds: 0% refund will be given after the teams are formed Board discretion for other issues as they may arise.
What is the volunteer bond for?
Our association keeps costs down by hosting separate boys and girls travel basketball tournaments. These are huge fund raisers that require participation by everyone in the Travel Program. If you choose not to volunteer, this check will be cashed by the association. For everyone else, this check will be destroyed or returned. The volunteer bond is $200.
What does volunteering at the tournament entail?
We have positions for admissions, concessions, gym supervisors, clock operators and scorekeepers. Each family is needed to put in 4 to 6 hours during the weekend for each Travel Program player. We would welcome assistance from our House League families.
Can I coach?
All of our programs and teams rely on volunteer parent coaches. The Program Commissioners select coaches based on experience and background checks. The coaching application can be found online. (Coaches are not assigned until teams are formed).
Boys Travel Commissioner
Girls Travel Commissioner
Girls House Commissioner