My my My my
Week 16 Update: Pool Play Begins Thursday
by posted 02/16/2020

Connecticut Basketball Family 

The 2019-20 Conference Tournament documents ((1) Girls randomly selected pools and brackets; (2) Boys randomly selected pools and brackets; and (3) the Master playoff schedule (which is searchable).  

You can access these documents by scrolling down to the "Documents" tab of the website and clicking on the folder entitled, "2019-20 Conference Tournament Documents.  

Three very important notes:

  1. Our webmaster is in the process of uploading the schedule to the website after which your game notifications will issue.  Please remember that the website always controls.  Stated another way, if a change is made to the master schedule on the website during the playoff--the website always controls.
  2. The prime directive is critical during our two week long playoffs.  Issues will arise--as we've changed our playoff format from single elimination to a pool formate to provide all teams and clubs with two games--but we will work together off the court to resolve them to ensure the kids have another tremendous playoffs--but compete intensely on the court
  3. Thank you for all you do on behalf of our kids, our League and our community.

As always, please escalate any issues or concerns to your Club President.

Please check here for additional updates in the coming days!

As always, keep rebounding!

Connecticut Basketball


The 2019-20 Connecticut Basketball Playoffs: “The Final Shootout”

·         “The Final Shootout” is comprised of two phases. 

o   Phase I: Pool play in which each participating team will play two games in their pool of three teams.

o   Phase II Pool winners will be placed in single elimination brackets which will determine our Champions.

·         “The Final Shootout” will be played on the following dates:

Pool Play

o   Thursday, February 20, 2020

o   Friday, February 21, 2020

o   Saturday, February 22, 2020

o   Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pool Play & Championship (Single Elimination) Rounds

o   Thursday, February 27, 2020

o   Friday, February 28, 2020

o   Saturday, February 29, 2020

o   Sunday, March 1, 2020


Snow Dates (If Needed All Star Weekend will Be Cancelled to Complete Playoffs)

o   Thursday, March 5, 2020

o   Friday, March 6, 2020

o   Saturday, March 7, 2020

o   Sunday, March 8, 2020


·     Each of the ten Divisions (4th-8th Boys & Girls)  shall have their own bracket and pools which will feed into a single elimination bracket. 

·    During the single elimination round, each bracket shall be played at a different site and towns hosting the single elimination round will play at home. 

·    In some of the boys’ single elimination brackets, the tournament may take place in multiple sites due to the number of teams.

·    Each host may--if they so choose--charge a $3 admission fee for adults but admission shall be free for all kids/spectators under age 12.


Player Eligibility

·         Players participating in the 2019-20 Final Shootout Playoffs must be listed on the team's 2019-20 team roster.

·         As in regular season play, players are not permitted to “play down”, e.g. have a 6th grader play in a 5th grade game.  Failure to abide by this rule without the express approval of League’s Co-Presidents shall result in game forfeiture and likely banishment from any future League play.

·         As in regular season play, a town’s players must all reside in the town of the team they’re playing for.  Failure to abide by this rule without the express approval of League’s Co-Presidents shall result in game forfeiture and likely banishment from future League play.

TopShare this

Strategies to Defeat Goliath
by posted 02/16/2020

Connecticut Basketball Family  

A question that many coaches might ponder as the playoffs approaches is "How is my team going to be able to compete and BEAT the tougher teams in my pool of in the finals?" 

While "modern basketball" has changed the way the game is defended (because the rules now favor the offensive player, i.e. hand checking and other tactics that were historically at the defender's disposal will now draw a foul.

Regardless, the old adage, if the "other team can't score, they can't win!"  Here are two strategies that might advance that cause:  

#1 - Shorten the game 

#2 - Play a unique style of defense that will limit and frustrate your opponents scoring abilities. 

Shortening the game 

The first tactic that you might want to consider is shortening the game. The idea here is to keep the game low scoring and as close as long as possible and then pull out the win in the last few minutes. This is usually accomplished by being very deliberate on offense, reducing turnovers by taking extremely good care of the ball, playing outstanding defense, and limiting your opponents to only one shot each possession. 

Although this is a tried and true big game strategy coaches should fully realize that this can and does back-fire for many teams. Once this back-fires there is usually very little chance that your players will be able to turn things back around and win the game. 

The primary reason that this does back fire is because teams do not stay committed to the game plan. At the first sign of adversity everybody panics, speeds the tempo up, and the game quickly gets out of hand. Either that or as soon as they build even the smallest of leads they start playing too slow and become dangerously hesitant. This hesitancy then destroys momentum and takes the team out of the rhythm that allowed them to build a lead in the first place. 

Play a UNIQUE Defense 

Another tactic you can use to beat the best team on your schedule is to play a unique style of defense. In fact, many coaches who realize their team is going to struggle all season, will base their entire defensive philosophy on running something unique in hopes of frustrating the opposing team's offense. Running a different defense than from what most teams usually face will also force the opposing coach to actually coach! If making game time adjustments is a weakness of the opposing coach, his hesitancy may be enough to counteract his own team's talent. 

Here are some great ideas that you can try when running a unique defense: 

Box & One: This is a great defense if the opposing team has one superior basketball player who possesses the ability to destroy defenses single handedly. 

Double Teaming the Post: While a Box & One is a great tool in order to more effectively defend perimeter players, sending multiple defenders to harass the post can lead to turnovers and extra possessions for your team. (If interested, click here to see our extremely detailed EBook on doubling the post.) 

Half Court Trap: The previous two strategies focus on stopping one specific player, but attacking half court traps will assault the whole team. This is an excellent option if your team is long and lengthy! 

Sagging Zone: The use of this option is determined by two major factors. Can the other team sink shots from the perimeter? Is the gym conducive to good outside shooting? Size, lighting, temperature and depth perception are all things to consider. A similar option would be to play a switching, sagging man to man defense. 

Run & Jump Press: Most teams on your schedule will be familiar with the basic man to man pressure defenses. However, can your team run a pressure defensive system that the offense hasn't seen before? An effective Run & Jump is a press that many coaches and players are not familiar competing against and can be a definite game changer. (If interested,click here to see our extremely detailed EBook on the Run & Jump.) 

Of course, these are not all of the unique defenses available to your team. Defenses such as the Triangle and 2, the Freak, and the Yo-Yo are not quite as popular as the ones mentioned above but can still be extremely effective when used correctly or against the right teams. 

As a coach you are obligated to give your team the very best possible chance of winning regardless of who you are playing. Obviously this is sometimes easier said than done but shortening the game and/or playing a unique style of defense may be exactly what you need to get that season changing big win!


TopShare this

Week 15 Update: Rosters Locked Down for Playoffs!
by posted 02/14/2020

Connecticut Basketball Family 

The regular season comes to a close this President's Day Weekend and "Bracketology"--the two week Connecticut Basketball playoffs tip-off on Thursday, Thursday, February 20th!

There are simply two many tremendous matchups in store to recount but the Old Saybrook 5B (0-12) versus Westerly, Rhode Island (0-9) from one of the 5B NIT pools promises to be an instant classic!

Three important reminders:

  1. Rosters are Locked Down.  During the regular season, a roster can only be changed with permission of the League.  However, during the playoffs, no roster can be changed--even by the League.  This includes Clubs with two teams in a division--no change can be made to the team's rosters.
  2. Entry Fee at All Sites. One of the ways we support our members clubs and hosts (and pay for the playoffs) is by charging a $3.00 entry fee at all sites. (Kids are always free.)   You should always feel free to make a donation to your hosts beyond their entry fee to support their programs--which helps pay for more basketball games. 
  3. Conduct, Conduct, Conduct. The next two weeks are tremendously exciting but please remember to comply with both the spirit and the letter of our Code of Conduct!  See below.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of our community.

As always, keep rebounding!

Connecticut Basketball


Code of Conduct

Connecticut Basketball promotes and mandates good conduct by all participants including players, coaches, referees, parents and spectators.

Good Conduct is essential to provide a safe athletic environment, good role models and a sense of community spirit throughout the league.

Connecticut Basketball participants are to maintain and promote the highest standards of conduct at all times.

Connecticut Basketball believes that good conduct and competitive sports can co-exist.

Players will:

  1. Be on time (If you're not five minutes early--you're late!)
  2. Work hard to improve skills, learn the game and play by the rules.
  3. Always respect teammates, opponents, coaches and referees.
  4. Support teammates at all times.
  5. Shake hands with opponents after the game.

Parents & Spectators will:

  1. Always behave in a manner that is consistent with Connecticut Basketball's missionto teach winning habits and get young people prepared for life

  2. Parents are mindful that that they are not advancing the mission of teaching winning habits and getting young people prepared for life when:
    • Derogatory remarks are directed at a student athlete (or instructions are yelled out onto the court).
    • Speaking to a coach during the game--and in front of the children
    • Stepping onto the court at any time during the playing of a game (which under League rule will likely result in the forgeit and end of the game).
  3. Connecticut Basketball parents advance the mission of teaching winning habits and getting young people prepared for life when:
    1. Being a positive role model by respecting all players, coaches, referees, parents and spectators at all times.
    2. Valuing skills development, fair competition and good effort. And recognize that the efforts of all children, your own team and opponents, is more important than the outcome of the game.
    3. Cheering for all children on the team in a positive fashion, not just your own child.
    4. Refraining from rude or obnoxious behavior or comments toward the opposing team and officials, and never confront referees or other game personnel.
    5. Discouraging any behaviors or tactics that would endanger the health and well being of anyone.

Coaches will:

  1. Make skill development, sportsmanship, teamwork, fun and learning the game…the goals of the team.
  2. Be a positive role model by respecting all players, coaches, referees, parents and spectators at all times. Coaches should not direct negative comments at the opposing team.
  3. Learn and play by the rules of the game.
  4. Be as respectful and restrained as possible in response to calls by officials.
  5. Never lose their temper.
  6. Be generous in their praise, emphasizing the efforts of players over the outcome of the game.
  7. Be fair, honest and consistent in coaching philosophies and practices.
  8. Recognize that children learn differently… and adapt coaching to each child’s needs accordingly.
  9. Communicate clearly to players and parents about goals for the team and what behavior is appropriate.
  10. Provide a safe environment for the children to play.

"Problem Coaches" have been and will continue to be expelled from our League. This is a youth league, model adult behavior takes priority over any argument over a basketball technicality. 

Although Connecticut Basketball only has a limited and indirect relationship with the Referees of League games, it has established the following guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for all officials.

It is expected that Referees will:

  1. Exercise a high level of self-discipline, independence and responsibility. Master both the rules of the game and the mechanics necessary to enforce the rules, and shall exercise authority in an impartial, firm and controlled manner.
  2. Work with each other in a constructive and cooperative manner.
  3. Uphold the honor and dignity of the profession in all interactions with players, coaches, parents, colleagues and the public at large.
  4. Prepare themselves both physically and mentally, shall dress neatly and appropriately, and shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the high standards of the profession.
  5. Be punctual and professional in the fulfillment of all obligations.
  6. While enforcing the rules of play, remain aware of the inherent risk of injury that competition poses to the players and where appropriate, they shall inform the coaches and the league of situations that appear unreasonably hazardous.



TopShare this

Playoffs: Pool Play Tie Breaker Procedures
by posted 02/12/2020


TOURNAMENT RULES- (All Divisions) When competition begins with pool play format, each team will play a pool play schedule as determined by Connecticut Basketball.

At the end of the pool play schedule, only one team will advance to the single elimination Championship Round or Game (depending on the size of a division/field).  Stated another way, you must finish first in your pool to advance to the single elimination round.

The majority of the pools are comprised of three teams but there will be a handful of four team pools.

Pool play standings—to declare first place--will be determined as follows:

1. WIN – LOSS RECORD The tie breakers are used in order to advance or seed ONE team at a time. Each time a tie is broken to advance one team, leaving a tie between two or more teams, the situation reverts to criterion #2. (Head-to-Head results). 

If still tied:

2. RESULTS OF HEAD-TO-HEAD COMPETITION Example: Three teams are tied with identical records for the first place at the end of pool play. Teams A, B and C played against each other once in pool play. Team A won all of its games Team B and Team C during pool play. Result – Team A advances.

Second and third place within the pool is determined by reverting to criterion #2 (head to head competition).   However, it is again noted that only one team from each pool will advance to the single elimination Championship Round or Game.

In the event that all teams within a pool finish pool play with identical records, i.e.  three teams finish with a 1-1 record, we proceed to criterion #3.

3. FEWEST POINTS ALLOWED. If the results of the head to-head match up(s) of the teams that are involved in the tie cannot break the tie (because no team defeated each of the other teams in the tie each timed they played, or because no team has defeated all of the other teams involved in the tie, or because the teams involved in the tie did not play one another during pool play, then the tie is broken using criterion #3: fewest points allowed. The remaining teams tie (for second, third or fourth place) is broken by reverting back to criterion #2.  But please note, only one team from each pool will advance to the single elimination Championship Round or Game

If still tied, we proceed to criterion #4:

4. Point DIFFERENTIAL WITH A MAXIMUM OF 30 PER GAME In the event a tie is created by virtue of a forfeited game, and the tie cannot be broken by criterion #2, the order of Criterions #3 and #4 will be reversed and applied to the tie. Since the number of Points which might have been scored during the game may have affected the fewest Points allowed standing (and the awarding of the forfeit gives the “winning team“ no additional Points given up), this order will better adjust for that event.  Otherwise, criterion #4 is Point DIFFERENTIAL WITH A MAXIMUM OF 30 PER GAME.

TopShare this

2019-20 Conference Tournament (Playoffs) Game Rules
by posted 02/08/2020

2019-20 Connecticut Basketball Conference Tournament (Playoffs) Game Rules

  All games are governed by high school rules except for the following:

1.      Game Logistics. Each game will be scheduled for 70 to 75 minute time slots. A 3-5 minute warm-up period will be allowed prior to each game. Teams are encouraged to stretch outside the gym before their game, if permitted by your host.  You are likewise to start early whenever possbile.

2.      Length of Game/Quarters. We do not play running time.  You will play four 8 minute quarters.  Halftime shall be no longer than 3 minutes (and is otherwise a long time out).

3.      Ties. There are no ties.

a.       If the score is tied at the end of regulation, two minutes shall be placed on the clock.  The team ahead at the end of the two minutes is the winner.

b.      Overtime will commence with a jump ball. 

c.       There are no timeouts in overtime—just play.

d.      If still tied at the end of the two minutes, place another two minutes on the clock and repeat process until a winner is declared.

4.      Fouls. Team fouls reset at the half as in CIAC play for all divisions.

5.      Foul Shots. 4th-5th Grade Boys and 5th Grade Girls may shoot fouls 1 foot inside of the foul line (or to jump over the line). Referees are encouraged to call only blatant violations on the foul shooter at these ages.

6.      Ball Size.  4th Grade Boys, 5th Grade Boys and all Girls divisions will use a 28.5” ball.

7.      Time-outs.  Each team shall be allotted one-full (60 second) and two 30 sec. time-outs per half.  (No timeouts carry over.) There are no timeouts in overtime even if you have timeouts left over. Either coaches or players may call a time-out.

8.      Mercy Rule. There is no mercy rule in Conference Tournament play but we ask that you be mindful that a team’s season is ending with a playoff loss and that good sportsmanship is appreciaed.

9.      Referees. Board certified referees will officiate each game.

10.  Coaches Conduct. If a coach receives a technical foul he/she must stay seated on the bench for the remainder of the game.  If ejected from a game, the ejected coach shall coach any further in the tournament and serve a three game suspension at the beginning of next season.

11.  Parents Conduct. Any parent who enters the court during the playing of the game—including the stoppage of play—shall, at the referee’s discretion, cause a forfeit of the game.

* A copy of these rules be present at each home site.

TopShare this

All Stars Update
by posted 02/08/2020

Connecticut Basketball Family:

The date is set for our annual All-Star Classic is March 7th-8th!  

This is our League's highest distinction and something that can only be acheived through dedication and hard work.

Please note, only All-Stars approved by their Club's All-Star selection process may register.  (You may not register your child because you think them to be super-awesome basketball players.  Your Club President must agree!)  See below for details.

Three important updates for this week: 

  1. Players will be assigned to a roster the week of February 9, 2020.  All players will receive a digital notification of their roster assignment.
  2. Within a day of being assigned to a roster, your game will post.  Like all Connecticut Basketball events, you will receive a digital notification regarding your game.
  3. We are often asked, “why isnt my daughter Mary playing on the same team with her teammate, Jannelle?”  We sometime purposefully mix the kids up to force them to meet and play with another kid from another part of the State.  Our League President believes that meeting new people is a winning habit--and the event is structured so that they will play with players they have never met.

After we complete player and coach assigments, we will also post instructions and logistical information regard the event next week. In advance of that posting, we provide below the general instructions we will be providing to coaches and parents to give you a sense of how the event is organized.

We look forward to see our All Stars in March!

 Connecticut Basketball 

Arrival & Logistics


All players and coaches arrive one hour prior to their game time.


Upon arrival, all parents and players should proceed directly to the balcony on Sports on 66.


There will be sign with your name and your team’s name on it.  This is where you should obviously wait for your team.


Team Meeting & Photo


Before or after your team meeting, you will be asked to take your team to the corner of the balcony for a team photo.  (Guards in front on a knee (with a basketball); bigs in the back)


Please take your time in conducting your “chalk talk.”  I would note that while these are the top 200 players in the League, you’re still better off keeping things simple. 


NOTE: I always found it helpful to print out my team’s roster (from the website) and use it as a cheat sheet because I’m terrible with names and I need it to give instruction during the game. 


On Court Pre-Game


Approximately, 20 minutes prior to your game, you should take your team downstairs to the courts.


There will be another sign that shows you which court you be on.


After your pregame warm-up, your team should line up on the baseline on their side of the court.  As each player is announced, they can wave to the crowd and walk to the foul line where they will wait for their teammates.


After the players are announced,  I give the kids a short TED-Style talk on this year’s theme, “Three Things Every Leader Must Do to Make Their Teammates Better.” 


It’s then GAME ON!




The teams will play two 25 minute halves—running time with stoppage at the last two minutes of each half.


We have by design, kept the teams smaller this year—typically 7-8 players to make it easier for everyone to get lots of run.


You get one-full and two thirty second timeouts.


Try and win your game.  This is all about goal attainment—and the goal is always to win.


All Star Classic Selection Process and Criteria 


All Star Selection

  1. Your Club President or Team Leader must approve the one (1) to three (3) All-Star nominations for your team.  (The League does not participate in the selection of your All-Stars—only your Club President or Team Leader can approve your selection(s)).
  2. After your Club President has approved your one (1) to three (3) All-Star nominations, the player’s parents must go to the League website, click on the White Button (“All-Star Regis”), and register the All-Star.  (Please note, if an unregistered player just shows up and says, “my Club nominated me an All-Star”, they will not be permitted to play--because there will be no team for them to play on. They must be registered on the website.)
  3. Nominations are due on Thursday, Sunday  February 9, 2020 at midnight.  The tentative All-Star game schedule posted on the League website could change after the selection process closes.  Please remind any All-Star parents that the schedule is subject to change.

Finally and most importantly, this event is about rewarding excellence, please take the selection criteria seriously

Connecticut Basketball’s All-Star selection criteria are as follows:

  1. Player demonstrates a consistent drive to develop (and has developed) superior basketball skills;
  2. Player consistently demonstrates leadership ability on and off the court; and
  3. Player is always committed to the team and supporting the shared goal of making the team better each and every practice and game.
TopShare this

Manchester Helps Push CTBBALL to All American Status!
by posted 02/08/2020

Connecticut Basketball Familly (Current and Former Members):

With the help of contributions from coaches versus cancer veterans like Old Lyme Travel Basketball, Portland Travel Basketball and Manchester Travel Basketball, Connecticut Basketball acheived "All-American (2nd Team)" status from the American Cancer Society!

Thanks to all for your contributions and participation this year's campaign.  You're the key to our success and why we're so proud of the Connecticut Basketball family. 

Thank you again!

Keep rebounding!!!

Gary Collins

Connecticut Basketball 

The American Cancer Society reports than an estimated 15,780 children and adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. In addition, 1,960 children will lose their lives to cancer this year.  While advances in treatments have increased survival for some cancers affecting children and adolescents, cancer remains THE leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States.  Scientific discovery is essential to drive advances against the childhood cancers that have seen little or no progress and remain deadly.

You can read more about the League's Coaches Versus Cancer initiative and access the webpage to make a donation at the Connecticut Basketball website: http://www.ctball.org.

TopShare this

Jr. Blue Devils Lead (again) in the Fight Against Kids Cancer
by posted 02/08/2020

TopShare this