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Traveling Program (4th - 8th Grade)

Traveling Program Description

The Traveling Program is the most competitive MBA program. There are girls' and boys' teams at five levels: 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade.  Teams will participate in weekend tournaments throughout the metro area.  Not all players who sign up will make a team.  Traveling teams are designed to challenge the individual players who want to compete at the highest competitive level.  This program helps players develop basketball skills as well as provide an opportunity to implement those skills at a level that is comparable with that player's skill level.  Traveling basketball can be highly competitive with a significant time commitment.  Some of the key traveling program features include:

  • 1 or more teams at each grade level
  • Roster size may vary based on skill level
  • 10 weekend tournaments plus one State Tournament (with team option to add additional tournaments or replace tournaments with "Super Saver" one day tournaments)
  • May be fewer tournaments for 4th grade level
  • 2 weekly practices from early November thru late February/early March
  • Games throughout the metro area plus one overnight out-state tournament
  • Mandatory player evaluations (mid September) 

Player Eligibility


  1. Participants must live or attend a public or private school within the geographic boundary of the Mahtomedi School District. 
  2. Players that live in our district but do not attend our public school may participate on a "school team" for their educational institution as long as the typical game and/or practice schedule is not on the same day.
  3. Players on an MBA team may not participate on other association teams.
  4. "Outside Players" (players not living in or attending school within the Mahtomedi School District) may be considered as long as they do not displace a qualified, eligible Mahtomedi player. The inclusion of an “outside player” must be approved in advance by the MBA Board and if applicable, the basketball association where the player would normally participate.
  5. In the event that another basketball association approaches the MBA board requesting a release of a Mahtomedi eligible player to their association program, the Board, as a general rule, will not release a player if there is a reasonable playing opportunity available to the player within the MBA program. Any exception to the “no release rule” must be brought before the entire Board and voted upon in normal process.


Team Selection

Our goal is to have 10 player rosters, however, roster size may vary based on:

  1. Number of available players meeting minimum skills threshold;
  2. Ability to field additional traveling teams (the MBA would like to field multiple teams at each age level if possible);
  3. Injury waiver (must have board approval in advance); and
  4. The competitive level of the particular age group

To receive consideration for such an exemption based on item number 4: 

  • There must be a request by a returning coach (or if a new coach, must be a returning team that is basically intact)
  • Coaching qualifications/experience will be considered
  • Previous year's win/loss record and level of competition will be considered
  • All players must pass a 50% minimum threshold in the scrimmage portion of the evaluations
  • Roster Committee will meet with players/parents to ascertain level of support
  • Team must play at the highest competitive level available in each tournamentFor 9 or 10 player rosters, the top 8 rated players from the evaluations automatically make the team (for 8 player rosters, the top 

Typically player 9 and/or 10 will also make the team. The Roster Committee may consider any of the following roster variances:

  • Approved absence from evaluations (see PLAYER EVALUATIONS section)
  • Variances as highlighted in the ROSTER SIZE section
  • Prior year coach's input (see PLAYER EVALUATIONS section)
  • Player position issues (especially height, but also ball handling, team play or other factors)

After considering any roster variances and any other material facts, final team roster recommendations will be determined by the Roster Committee.  All Final Rosters will be announced by the MBA President.

If by combining grades, there will be enough players to create a team that would not otherwise be established, the MBA may consider allowing players to play up.  Other extraneous circumstances may be brought before the board, however, the board strongly discourages playing up and such requests are likely to be denied.  Any playing up request must be submitted to the board and approved in advance of the player evaluations.  A player with tentative board approval must participate in the upper level player evaluations and score in the top 2 (they must also participate in their own age level evaluations).  In no case will a player be allowed to play up if it displaces an eligible player of the appropriate age group.

Playing Time


All 4th and 5th grade traveling players will be given approximately equal playing time. Actual time will vary game to game and tournament to tournament, but each player should play no less than 40% of the total game minutes in each game and no less than 40% of the total game minutes over the course of the season. Coaches may make reasonable exceptions for illness/injury, foul trouble, documented disciplinary issues, and failure to attend regular practices/games.



Playing time for middle school traveling players is based on practice/game attendance, attitude, effort, sportsmanship, coachability, situation , and skills. Each player should play no less than 30% of the total game minutes in each game and should play no less than 40% of the total game minutes over the course of the season. Coaches may make reasonable exceptions for illness/injury, foul trouble, documented disciplinary issues, and failure to attend regular practices/games.


Each traveling player is provided with a full uniform (jersey and shorts).  Uniforms under this program must be returned to the MBA at the end of the season.  Parents failing to return either item will be required to reimburse the MBA $100 per item.


Players will be given a warm-up shirt, at no additional cost. Warm-up shirts will be kept by the players.  Teams may elect to purchase other items at their own cost. 

Traveling Coach Selection

The Board will review/approve every head coaching position each year.  The head coach may carry over from the previous year, provided that their child is placed on the same team as the prior season and feedback received on how the team was coached the previous year has been positive.     The board may interview and select other candidates if the Board deems that it will benefit the program.  If the head coach's player is placed on a different traveling team than the prior year, and the new team does not have a returning coach, the players parent/coach will carry over to the new team.

  • MBA Traveling Director and President will identify which traveling head coaches will be invited to return for the next season by considering coach adherence to MBA policies, player and team development demonstrated in the past season and prior year parent feedback.
  • MBA will make every attempt to inform coaches by July 15th if they are invited to return to coach the team for the next season (assuming their child makes the team) or if MBA will hold interviews for the head coaching role.
  • Coaches who have been invited to return will be asked to provide an answer back to MBA regarding their intent to coach again by July 30th.
  • When registration is opened, or by  August 15th, MBA will publish which teams will have a returning head coach (assuming the prior year head coach’s child makes the same team) and for which teams the head coaching position will be interviewed for.  MBA will NOT advertise for which positions the head coach was invited to return but declined and for which positions MBA made the decision to interview for the head coaching role.
  • Interviews, as described below, will be held before or after tryouts for teams that do not have a returning head coach.  If the head coach’s child does not make the same team, then interviews would be held for that team after tryouts.
  • All individuals who are interested in being a traveling head or assistant coach should indicate as such in their child’s registration online.  If there is a person wishing to coach who does not have a child trying out for the team, he/she should contact the Traveling Director.
  • The head coach may select assistant coach(es) from those who indicated a desire to do so via registration but they are not required to do so.  If requested by a head coach, MBA Traveling Director will share the names of the individuals who indicated a desire to be an assistant coach. All assistant coaches must be approved by the Traveling Director.
  • If interviews will be held for the head coaching position on a team, all individuals who indicated a desire to be a head coach will be considered.  In the event that there are a large number of candidates, all candidates may be asked to submit a resume from which finalists will be selected for interviews.

The following traveling teams are expected to have a returning head coach for 2019-2020 season.  There may be cases where the head coach from last year is not yet confirmed but may still coach next season.In cases where a new coach will be selected, interviews will be held after rosters have been identified.  Identifying a traveling coach as “expected to return” is not a guarantee that the coach’s child will make the team.  If the coach’s child does not make the team, a new coach will be selected after tryouts.  Grade level indicates the grade for the 2019-2020 season. This information is provided for transparency for those who may be interested in coaching next season. All individuals who wish to be a head coach or assistant coach should indicate that in their child’s registration materials, even if the head coach from last year is expected to return.  If someone who does not have a child on the team wishes to be a traveling coach, he/she should contact Mike Cummins, Traveling Director, prior to the player registration deadline. 

Mike Cummins

Traveling Director