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Traveling Teams

Traveling Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  Who can participate?
LNGBA runs Traveling Basketball teams for 4th thru 8th grade girls.  Our programs are for students who live or attend school within the Lakeville North High School Attendance boundary.  At times, players from bordering communities may petition to be included on an LNGBA team, but may only be accepted if LNGBA needs additional members to complete a roster, and said player does not have the opportunity to play within their own school district.  Signatures from the home association are needed to consider eligibility.

Question:  What is the difference between House/Rec League and Traveling?
Traveling basketball is a more competitive program, with significantly more practice and game time, as well as the division into A, B, and C teams for tournament play with and against similarly matched competition.  Travel teams may play up to 30 competitive games in 8-10 weekend tournaments over the course of the season, and practices are 90 minutes long, usually 2 times per week. 

Traveling is generally the preferred choice for players who are committed to developing their basketball skills and competing at a higher level, and have basketball as their preferred winter sport.  Players whose goal is to play High School Basketball are strongly encouraged to participate in the Traveling program starting in 4th grade.

Question:  How much traveling is involved with Travel Basketball?
Most tournaments we attend are much closer than you may think.  We usually sign up for tournaments in neighboring communities, such as Farmington, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Prior Lake, as well as both Lakeville North and South tournaments.  To get a wider variety of competition, as well as to find appropriate openings on the right weekends, we do schedule a few tournaments that may be up to 45-60 minutes away.  We try to schedule only 1-day tournaments when the location is more than 20 miles from Lakeville.  We also usually play our season-ending tournament in Rochester; which is our only overnight tournament (overnight stays are not mandatory). Teams may also decide to participate in the state tournament, which can be staged at a variety of locations.

Question:  Why do you play the season-ending tournament in Rochester? LNGBA looks for the opportunity to do one out of town tournament to provide a different, memorable, and fun bonding experience for our athletes and their families.  An out of town tournament gets our families together in ways that typically aren’t easy to make happen with local tourneys.  In determining where to play, we look to keep that tournament within a distance that allows families who do not wish to stay overnight the ability to still commute, so we aim for a location less than 2 hours from Lakeville, and we need a tournament that hosts A/B/C levels for each age group so we can send our whole program.  We continue to evaluate alternatives, but so far, we have found Rochester to be the best option providing for competitive games for all of our teams.  Because of the popularity of this tournament, associations need to contract with local hotels to ensure space, so advance planning is always required with the Rochester tourney.

Question:  What is the schedule for Travel Program?
Our Travel Teams usually practice twice a week (occasionally 3 practices) and compete in several weekend tournaments. Tryouts are held in September, practices begin in October, and tournaments begin in November. There is a break over Christmas (teams may hold optional practices during breaks), and our season typically ends with the Rochester tournament the last weekend in February.  Teams may choose to play in the State Tournament scheduled the first weekend in March.

Question:  How many tournaments do Travel Teams play?
We typically plan for 8 tournaments for 4th Grade Teams, and 9 for all others, NOT including the optional season-ending state tournament. Teams are guaranteed at least three games in each tournament, and sometimes get as many as five. Games are usually Saturday and/or Sunday; the larger tournaments sometimes schedule games on Friday evening (very rare). A majority of Girls tournaments are single-day events, meaning your team plays all games on either Saturday OR Sunday.  Teams occasionally have the opportunity to join additional tournaments last-minute when associations offer free or reduced-price entries to fill brackets – LNGBA requires that coaches consult with parents prior to registering for any additional dates.

Question:  How do I know if my child is ready for Travel Basketball?
If your daughter loves basketball and has a commitment to improve, there is a spot for her in our program!  Girls interested in playing are encouraged to attend LNGBA Summer Camps to develop their skills and have the opportunity to get to know and compete with other girls in the program as well as to get to know our High School coaching staff. 

In mid-September, all players interested in the Travel Program will be evaluated by the Lakeville North High School Girls basketball staff. We aim to have 2 or 3 teams formed in each grade, and put together teams at the A, B, and/or C level, which means players can be placed on a team with others nearest their skill level, and play against others of similar ability. Tournaments for most grades are designated as A/B/C levels so teams can be fairly matched. 

There is no automatic carryover from year to year – everyone has the opportunity to be placed on any given team based on how they compete in the tryouts.  Players who are not selected for a Traveling Team are automatically placed on a Rec League team to allow them to continue their skill development. 

Question:  Is 4th Grade Traveling handled differently?
4th Grade is a challenging age for Traveling basketball.  Many tournaments do not post 4th grade at different levels, and different associations take different approaches in assembling teams. This can create an imbalance that all traveling programs struggle with – some try to form A and B teams, while others try to balance teams – historically, it has been about a 50/50 split of the organizations we have connected with.  

Each year, the LNGBA Traveling Director and Coach Clemons consider a variety of factors in determining if we field A and B teams, if we try to create evenly balanced teams, or a combination of both based on the numbers of girls trying out as well as the distribution of talent.  Our goal for 4th graders is to give them a season of highly competitive, enjoyable 5 on 5 basketball in an environment focused on player development for ALL.  Player development can be stunted and enjoyment of the game limited when a team is winning or losing by a large margin in most games. 

Question:  What does the Traveling tryout process entail?
LNGBA tryouts are completed by the Lakeville North High School Coaching staff.  The traveling tryouts occur over the course of two sessions for each grade, unless the evaluators determines they need more or less time to make an accurate assessment  for any particular grade. Tryout attendance is mandatory, players with injuries will still need to attend (prior-season coach feedback and summer camp performance may be considered for team placement in those cases).  Players will be evaluated on individual skills, teamwork, and game play, as well as feedback from their prior year’s coach. We encourage players to attend the open gyms that take place in advance of the evaluations, as well as LNGBA summer camps, as they are good opportunities to better develop basketball skills.

LNGBA may add players without a tryout to the lowest level team in an age group, and may add players during the season to fill roster needs.  For players who move into the community post tryouts, an individual tryout may be arranged for proper team placement.  A separate tryout fee will be required.

Question:  How many players are placed on travel teams?
We place 8-10 players on each team. This ensures adequate playing time for each player. We try to place the girls at the right level for their skills and development, which can result in variations in team sizes.  Our Travel Director has final say in decisions related player placement and the number of players on a team.

Question:  Can my daughter play up to a higher grade level?
LNGBA believes that almost without exception, in the long term, girls are better served by playing at their grade level with their friends and with same-age competition.  In the case where the numbers of registrants for different grades creates a situation where we may have to "cut" players at different levels, LNGBA may consider requesting that certain girls play up to the next level.  The Traveling Director will work with LNHS coaching staff and the LNGBA President to determine any playing up needs following tryouts.  Girls will be invited to play up only if the girl is evaluated as having the emotional maturity and skill level that indicates her development would be better enhanced by playing with the older age group.

  • Must be a clear choice to make the “A” team for that level for grades other than 4th.

  • No one will be placed on a higher-grade team if that placement results in any players at that grade level being "cut" from the Traveling program.

  • Girls who play up one year should not expect to be playing up in future years.

In some circumstances,  8th graders may be invited to join the High School program.  Girls who play at any HS level other than 9th grade are not allowed to also participate in the Traveling program due to Minnesota State High School League regulations.

Question:  What is the cost for Travel Basketball?
Costs will vary.  For the 2020/21 season our total player fees were $450 for 4th grade and $475 for the older grades.  This was an increase from prior years, as most tournaments are now charging higher entry fees to associations, but not charging parent admission fees at the door.  Our fees cover all gym time, team tournament entry fees, uniforms, personalized shooting shirts, coach training, outside professional training, tryout fees, and supplies (balls, etc) for the team. The few tournaments that continue to have admission fees typically run around $8-10 for  each day, and about half of girls tournaments are single-day events.  We will attempt to register primarily in tournaments that are not charging admission in 2021-22.  

In the event that a team is assigned a paid coach, players on that team will be assigned an additional charge to cover the coach salary.

Question:  Where are practices held?
Travel teams typically practice at Lakeville North HS, Kenwood Trail MS, and Elementary gyms, as well as occasional guided practices at local Basketball Training Schools.

Question:  What is the refund policy?
If registered for traveling basketball and player does not make a traveling team, that player is automatically added to our Rec program (if their grade level is available). The registration fee will be applied toward the cost of the Rec program. If the player chooses not to play Rec League basketball, the tryout fee will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given for players who decide to not play basketball after being placed on a specific Traveling roster.  

For a season cancelled or shortened due to pandemic, all portions of the player fees not already spent will be refunded.  For details, please reach out to the traveling director.

Question:  What is the volunteer bond for?
Our association keeps costs down by hosting an annual girls’ travel basketball tournament.  This tournament is our primary fundraiser that requires participation by all families 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.  The volunteer bond is $300 per child.  

Question:  What does volunteering at the tournament entail?
We have positions for admissions, concessions, gym supervisors, clock operators and scorekeepers.  Each family is required to put in between 4 and 8 hours (determined each year based on needs) during the weekend for each Travel Program player, with a maximum of 10 hours per family.  7th and 8th Grade girls are required to work clocks for 4 hours during the course of the tournament, and parents need to supervise 7th graders until they are completely comfortable.  This does NOT count toward the family’s volunteer requirement.

Question:  Can I coach?
Our program relies on volunteer parent coaches!  We select head coaches based on experience, attitude toward player development, and fit with the program.  We appreciate the opportunity to consider new coaches every season. Interviews are conducted of those expressing an interest, and coaches are not assigned until teams are formed.  Volunteering to coach will have no impact on what team your daughter is selected for (tryout evaluators will not have access to coach application information until after teams are formed).  LNGBA provides coach training sessions before and throughout the season – those selected for coaching assignments should plan on attending those sessions whenever possible.

All Coaches (Assistant and Head) must  complete online registration with Trusted Coaches, which includes Concussion Training, Safe Sport training, and a full background check.  Coaches are not allowed to work with their teams until those requirements are met.

On occasion, if no qualified parents volunteer or LNGBA otherwise determines that a team is best served by adding a paid coach, the Association may add paid coaches.  Any team utilizing a paid coach will have an additional expense for all players.  That cost would be significant - in the neighborhood of $300 per player.

Parent Behavior Expectations
It is expected and required of parents to show sportsmanship and respect for all players, coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or other association event.  This includes refraining from “coaching” their daughter from the sidelines, and parents must never confront a coach “in the heat of the battle.”

In the event where a coach or other parent observes improper parental behavior, a face to face meeting will be scheduled with Board Representation, which may result in disciplinary action up to and including the following options:

  1. Verbal warning

  2. Written warning

  3. Parental tournament or game suspension with written documentation of incident

  4. Parental season suspension

  5. Child being removed from the program

Question:  I have some ideas on how to improve LNGBA Traveling.  Who can I contact?
We want to hear your suggestions!  Ideas, comments and concerns about our Traveling Program may be sent to the Traveling Director at:

2021/22 LNGBA Tournament Calendar

Tournaments listed in ALL CAPS are single-day events, those listed in lower case are both Saturday and Sunday.  The  2021-22 Tournament Calendar will be built after teams are formed.


Weekend of Nov 6-7 Nov 13-14 Nov 20-21 Dec 4-5 Dec 11-12 Dec 18-19 Jan 8-9 Jan 15-16 Jan 22-23 Jan 29-30 Feb 5-6 Feb 12-13 Feb 19-20 Feb 26-27 March 6 - Sunday only

2020/21 Season Kickoff Presentation

Normally, we prefer an in-person meeting with all parents. That isn't possible in 2020. Please click the above document to review season information. Click in the document to advance pages.

2020/21 Covid Release Form

Please complete this form and provide to your coach

Scott Dorow

Scott Dorow

Traveling Director

LNGBA Traveling Basketball

LNGBA Girl's Traveling Basketball adheres to the philosophy that players having more advanced skills should be given the opportunity to enhance their abilities under the best conditions possible. We believe that the best conditions exist when a more challenging and therefore more competitive environment is created. We believe that competition against players of similar ability is healthy for the girls physically and mentally and that the girls will grow as they strive to overcome these greater challenges.

Our goal is the following:

  • Development of a positive self-esteem. That each girl feels good about themselves and can be proud of the effort they've given.
  • Development of well-balanced mental strength. That each person has a positive mental approach in handling the rewards of success, as well as the correct mental approach and strength to handle the emotional feelings associated with a setback.
  • Teach the girls to work together as a team to accomplish goals such as, playing at competitive level, develop leadership, create friendships, and HAVE FUN!

LNGBA Girl's Traveling Basketball serves grades 4th through 8th, preferably 2-3 teams per level, with 8 - 10 players per team. The season runs from mid-October to late-February. There will usually be 2 practices per week and approximately 7 to 10 tournaments played, with each tournament being a minimum of 3 games.

All tournaments are all in nearby communities with the exception of one overnight tournament near the end of the season - usually Rochester, MN. The Traveling Director sets up all tournaments for the traveling basketball season. Parents are required to help out with the traveling program in one capacity or another.

We want the girls to develop the habit of thinking as a winner ("I can", "Never give up", etc.) and working hard to win. In the end, we want them to handle winning graciously, and to accept losing with strength.

Traveling players are also encouraged to come and support the Panthers during the varsity season, so each traveling player is admitted free to all Senior High home games.

An FAQ section linked at the top of this web page may provide answers to more of your questions.