For more information or any questions, please contact:
Terri Green at 715-386-4317 or email@example.com
Tracie Tilton at 715-749-9048 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please click on the tab below for:
Team Playing Date Preference Forms
Meet Hosting Forms
Enrollment Informational Posting
Enrollment materials for the 2019-2020 season of The Great Northwest Basketball League have been posted on our website. These include:
All coaches enrolling teams in The Great Northwest Basketball League, should read this League Enrollment Informational posting thoroughly. We realize that this Posting, the Hosting Form, Enrollment Forms and League Rules are rather lengthy. However, we strongly encourage you to read all four documents. It's important particularly if you are a new coach in The Great Northwest during the 2019-2020 season to familiarize yourself with primary League operations. That's the purpose of this Posting – it highlights key registration issues and will answer the most often-asked questions.
Meet Hosting Forms are due on August 3 for all grades.
The deadlines for submitting the Team Enrollment Forms reflect the order in which we prepare the meet schedules for each grade. We will have the schedule for each grade completed approximately 45 days after the registration deadline for that grade. The deadlines for submitting the Team Enrollment Forms for the various grades are as follows:
All boys teams, and 6th, 5th and 4th grade girls teams, please remember that, even though your Team Enrollment Forms aren't due until late August through early October, if you intend to host, we still need your Meet Hosting Form by the deadline of August 3. While these teams have more time to register, we appreciate receiving as many early registrations as possible for all grade levels to help facilitate schedule preparation.
If your community wants to host a boys meet, or one for 6th, 5th or 4th grade girls, and you miss the August 3 deadline, we MIGHT – there are no guarantees – be able to accommodate your desire to host if we need the space and if you're able to host on a date that works for the League. However, if you're involved with an 8th or 7th grade girls team, we will actually begin scheduling for those grades by August 25, thereby making a late request to host very difficult, if not impossible, to accommodate.
Three-Game and Four-Game Meet Formatting Options
The Great Northwest Basketball League offers all teams in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8, the option to play either three or four games at their meets. This option allows all teams to play their preferred number of games per meet. We will have some meets where all teams in attendance play three games and others where all teams play four. To ensure that all teams are able to play the number of games they prefer at each meet and to keep travel times down, as well as giving teams a large variety of opponents, we will also utilize the option of "hybrid" meet formats. These meets will be structured to allow those teams that want to play three games to be accommodated – as well as those that want to play four. All 4th grade-only meets will consist of three games.
When registering with the Team Enrollment Form, teams will indicate whether they want to play only in meets with three games, only in meets where they play four games or that they do not care whether they play three or four games at each meet. Teams choosing the four-game or the “don’t care” option, need to be aware that the League, the hosting community and the opposing team expect that the team will play the fourth game of the meet. This fourth game is counted towards League standings (even in hybrid meets in which it is not counted toward the meet finish). Teams enrolling to play four-game meets who subsequently refuse to play the fourth game will face consequences ranging from financial penalties, sanctions against four-game meets in future seasons, to expulsion from League sponsored events for repeated offenses (see Rule B-4 for more detail). All meets will be formatted in one of three ways:
Please note that the only time The Great Northwest will schedule a mini-meet (four or five teams on one surface) is if a small community literally has only one playing surface in their community, or under certain special circumstances with permission from the League (see Item #2 in the Meet Hosting Form).
Whether your community hosts a three-game meet, a four-game meet, or a “hybrid” meet will be based on the teams attending each meet, as well as the requests of the home team. If the host team indicates that they will play only three games per date, they will host a three-game meet or a mixed three/four-game (hybrid) meet with the host team(s) playing three. If the host team indicates they want to play four games per meet, the home meet will be a four-game meet or a mixed three/four-game meet (hybrid) with the host team(s) playing four.
2019 – 2020 Meet Fee Structure
The cost to play in a four-game League meet during the 2019-2020 season will be $130 per meet. The hosting credit for a four-game meet will be $70 per team hosted. If you are hosting a three-game meet, the fee to play in these meets will be $115 (with a hosting credit of $55 per team hosted). If you host a "hybrid meet" (see discussion above), you will receive a hosting credit of $55 for each team playing three games and $70 for each team playing four games.
A small number of teams still have an outstanding unpaid balance for the 2018-2019 season. If you have such an original invoice balance, or you added meets during the course of the season for which you have an unpaid balance, you need to address this immediately. We will not process 2019-2020 enrollment applications from any coach, team or program until the unpaid balance is settled.
The following is a brief discussion of the enrollment forms used by teams playing in the League.
When filling out the Meet Hosting Form and/or the Team Enrollment Form, please read the materials carefully - - do not simply answer the questions. The forms are filled with information you will need to accurately answer the enrollment questions.
One of the things we accomplish with this approach is more flexibility on host dates. For example, let's say the boys program in a community is willing to host two meets and the girls program one meet. Each provides us with optional dates they've "reserved." We would expect teams in the same community using the same facilities to switch those reserved dates with each other if it works out best for the League schedule. Communities that do this help immensely to facilitate League efficiency.
Requests for hosting dates will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you submit your Meet Hosting Form, the more likely that you'll get to host on your preferred date. Communities submitting Meet Hosting Forms shortly on or before the August 3 deadline may not receive the choice of date(s) they want to host. For example, let's assume you have a 7th grade girls "A" team and they want to host on December 7, but you don't submit your hosting form until August 3. If, at that time, we've already exceeded the number of meets the League can accommodate on that date, or at least in your area and at your ability level, we will not be able to accommodate your request to host on that date. At that point, you'll either need to come up with an alternate host date that works into the schedule or you'll be unable to host.
Every season, at several grade levels, we have too many or too few communities that want to host. Preferential treatment will be given to those communities that submitted their hosting forms early (along with other considerations, such as the total number of meets hosted by that community relative to meets played). Bottom line: submitting your hosting form on July 10 is better than July 15, and July 25 is better than August 3.
Over the course of the last several years, a few communities cancelled their home basketball meets for various reasons. While we realize that a host may occasionally lose gym space for a totally legitimate reason (e.g., a re-scheduled varsity basketball game due to school closure, a WIAA-sanctioned event that wasn't on the calendar at the beginning of the school year, etc.), cancelling a meet is a very serious problem that affects not only your team, but the players, coaches and fans of many other teams as well. Teams/associations that cancel a home meet will risk losing hosting privileges in succeeding years (see Rule B-2).
It is critical that Team Enrollment Forms be filled out by, or in consultation with, the coach actually coaching the team – not solely a varsity coach or association contact. If you choose to have someone other than the actual head coach of the team complete this form, that team will still be obligated to the choices made. (Please read the information below regarding dropping meets.)
If you are enrolling a 6th, 7th or 8th grade team that didn't play in the League last season, use games against League opponents you might have played elsewhere as a means to gauge the relative ability of your team, or gauge your team's likely ability based on general program strength.
For grades 6, 7 and 8, we've rated the Top 32 teams at each grade level based on 2018-2019 season play. Teams wanting to know why they were ranked where they were can call Terri Green at 715-386-4317 to discuss our methodology. This listing will be used in selecting teams to play in the League Championship Tournament discussed in greater detail below. Please note that teams failing to play in at least three meets are not included in the Top 32 rankings (unless those teams have already informed us that they intend to play in the League during the 2019-2020 season on a more significant basis); nor are teams that have said in the past they were not interested in playing in the League Championship Tournament.
We need to have at least 45 days from the posted registration deadline for your grade to construct a schedule. If something comes up, either before or after the registration deadline for your grade, and you can no longer play on the dates you selected on your Team Enrollment Form, email Tracie Tilton (email@example.com) as soon as you are aware of an issue. If it's before your grade's registration deadline, there's absolutely no problem - - as long as you contact us right away. If it's after your grade's deadline, contact us before you commit to any non-League tournament or other event and ask if the change can be made. If your request is prompt and reasonable, we'll almost always accommodate you, particularly if we haven't completed the schedule for your grade. If you don't contact us in advance, and don't tell us about your conflict until after we have completed scheduling for that grade, or until you receive your schedule, the financial penalties outlined in League Rules will apply.
Level 1 – October 26; Level 2 – November 2; Level 3 – November 9; Level 4 – November 16
Other dates that cause a significant number of conflicts for many teams are: solo ensembles (these are often in November or February; check with your school's music teacher, since these dates are often not included on school calendars, but students are required to attend), holiday concerts (or other holiday activities), drama events and winter or spring break. If any of these would cause your team to not want to play on a given Saturday, check dates with your school before submitting your Team Enrollment Form.
2019-2020 Game Rules
A complete set of revised Rules for the 2019-2020 season is posted on our website (gnbl.org). We realize that our rules are lengthy, however, each rule is there for a reason. Rather than be part of an undisciplined or disorganized League, we want coaches to embrace the benefits that come from knowing that it doesn't matter where you play in The Great Northwest, the Rules are the same everywhere. Please don't file complaints or ask questions unless you have made an attempt to read and understand the League Rule about which you have a concern. We, of course, welcome calls if you fail to understand a particular rule, feel that a certain rule should be changed, or believe another team is in violation of a specific rule.
Please note that we are working with our website provider, SportsEngine, to set up an online system so that coaches can submit rosters online and track submission of waiver/concussion forms. We will post updated information as it becomes available. Until the changes we hope to make can be implemented, the rule below will apply.
All teams in a given grade level must submit rosters and completed waiver/concussion forms two weeks before their first play date or absolutely no later than the deadlines listed in the third bullet below. All teams must submit the following information.
To submit Liability Waiver/Concussion forms online, have each parent from the team visit our website at gnbl.org, then click on "Waiver/Concussion Info" in the top menu bar. From there they can follow the online instructions. Parents must complete this process once each season (even if they filled it out last season, we need a new waiver submitted for the 2019-2020 season). If you have questions during the process, please contact Jen Myer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosters and Liability Waiver/Concussion forms must be submitted two weeks before the first date your team plays or absolutely no later than the following deadlines for each grade level:
All information submitted for each team or player are kept in the League’s office – not circulated to meet hosts – please do not turn them in to anyone at the host community. If you have questions, please contact Jen Myer, who is handling roster, Liability Waiver/Concussion Agreements, at email@example.com. Failure to comply with these rules by not returning completed rosters or failing to complete online submission of Liability Waivers/Concussion Agreements could result in the loss of meets this year or exclusion from League play next season. Liability Waivers/Concussion Agreements must be submitted each season for each player and each coach – we must have a newly submitted form each season. We strongly urge you to take this process seriously. The Liability Waiver/Concussion Agreement provides legal protection to you as a coach, your school and your referees, not just those parties organizing the League.
Unruly Fans and Coaches
Each year we get complaints from hosts about unruly coaches and fans. The first question we ask those hosts is: how many technical fouls did your referees issue? Often, the answer is "none." League Rule D-10 gives referees broad authority to deal aggressively with unruly fans and coaches. The fact that we get complaints about adult conduct at meets, either means that referees haven't read the rules or choose not to follow the sanctions outlined. Hosts are encouraged to make sure that referees know what procedures they're supposed to follow and to do so assertively.
With that said, all coaches should be aware that they are ultimately responsible for the conduct of their team and fans. The League will remove teams from the schedule when/if we receive multiple complaints regarding fan or coach behavior.
Combining Players from Different Communities or School Districts
All teams in the GNBL must be from a single school district; however, Rule C-1 allows two small communities to combine their players to form one team only when both communities lack sufficient numbers to form a team on their own. Any coach wishing to form a combined team MUST notify the League of this decision. This rule limits such combinations to two Wisconsin Division 4 or 5 (or Minnesota A) communities. A Wisconsin Division 3 (Minnesota AA) community will be allowed to combine with a Division 4 or 5 (Minnesota A) community only by petitioning the League when enrolling. Where combining is allowed, all kids from the grade and gender in question in both school districts must be given the opportunity to play on any combined team (it can't be only the strongest players from one or both communities, or a hand-picked team). That means sending a note home from school to every student of that gender in both communities (or some other effective form of written communication), so no one is precluded from participation. No Division 1 or 2 (Minnesota AAAA or AAA) communities can field a team in the League with players from another community, nor can two Division 3 (Minnesota AA) communities put forward a combined team. In communities with multiple public high schools (e.g., Eau Claire, Wausau, La Crosse, Duluth, etc.), all players on a team must reside in that portion of the city that feeds into the same high school.
Non-Weather Related Cancellations
One of the biggest problems each year in preparing schedules are teams that do not plan carefully when completing their Team Enrollment Form regarding the dates on which they are available to play. In order to avoid large scale changes, the League has always had a policy for how to charge teams for dropped meets. The policy for the 2019-2020 season is identical to the one used during past seasons. Meets can't be dropped with less than ten days notice without paying full price for that meet. Paragraph C-12 of the 2019-2020 League Rules reads as follows:
Rule C-18 (and Attachment #5 to the League Rules) spells out how a meet must be reformatted if a team fails to show up on the day of the meet. During the last several seasons, a small number of hosts did not re-format meets as required.
If a host fails to reformat as prescribed by League Rules, the host will have a choice: either forfeit its entire hosting credit for that meet or be banned from hosting in future years for the remainder of that team's participation in The Great Northwest. If it's an 8th grade team, there will be no option: the hosting credit will be forfeited. The reason we're adamant on this process is simple. When teams come to Great Northwest meets, they expect to play a full complement of games. No team should be limited to less than the number of games promised simply because the host refuses to follow League Rules.
League Championship Tournaments are two-day, 32 team events. The top 32 ranked teams at each grade level automatically qualify (each qualifying team will receive an invitation via email to the head coach). Dates and locations for the six League Championship Tournaments (6th through 8th grade boys and girls) will be set sometime in July. Teams ranked below #32 will receive an invitation to be included in the field if a team ranked ahead of them declines to play due to a conflict.
Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament (WSICT)
The Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament (WSICT), which The Great Northwest plays a part in organizing, has become Wisconsin's premier youth basketball event. Over 650 top community-based teams from across the state play in this event each year. Our Minnesota participants have an opportunity to play in a similar event in their state each spring.
Sixth, seventh and eighth grade (2019-2020) League teams that attended the 2019 WSICT this past spring and performed well, will be invited back to the 2020 event - - 2020 is also the 20th Anniversary of the Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament. Seventh and eighth grade League teams that weren't very highly ranked in the regular season two years ago (2017-2018), but moved up markedly last season (2018-2019), will also be invited in 2020, depending on where they rank relative to other League teams at their community's size (i.e., WIAA Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5). Generally speaking, if you're from a WIAA Division 1 or 2 community, you need to have an "A" or high "B+" rating and have qualified for the LCT to get a WSICT invite; while WIAA Division 3, 4 and 5 teams can often qualify if "B+" rated, even if they didn't make the top 32. Tournament organizers expect to again have more top-flight applicants than can be accommodated at the 2020 WSICT and will be forced to turn some good teams away, particularly at the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels. Applications for the 2020 WSICT will be emailed in waves to eligible teams in October. For 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams (2019-2020) that were invited to the 2019 WSICT and declined, please see the posting on the website entitled "Background, Structure, Team Selection Process and Play Eligibility," by clicking on "Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament."
Invitations to the 5th grade WSICTs will be based almost entirely on 2019-2020 performance in the 5th grade division of the League. Many of the invitations for the 5th grade WSICT won't be extended until later in the process (December and early January) because there is less historical information on which to base an assessment of a team's relative strength.
Sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams that are invited to the LCT and decline are not guaranteed a spot in the WSICT. As with the other major traveling Leagues in the state [Tri-County, YSGBL, WYBL, Metro (boys) and Metro South (girls)], The Great Northwest uses the LCT to determine who its best teams are and, therefore, who should be included in the WSICT field. A team that argues that they should play in the WSICT after refusing to play in the LCT, would be a little like a high school varsity team arguing that they should be able to skip the Regionals and be slotted directly into the Sectionals. Since we have as many 6th grade teams play in the State tournament as we do for 7th and 8th, if all teams from the previous spring's WSICT return, there is very limited space available for new teams. As a result, 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams that decline participation in the LCT will be extended invitations later in the process only if space allows after last year's WSICT attendees who were competitive in the event have decided whether or not to re-enroll.
If your community is in Wisconsin and has one or more strong teams that may qualify for the Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament (WSICT), consider hosting a meet in March that could be used as a warm-up for your team (and others) for the WSICT. Every year WSICT participants complain that there are few places to play in March to keep their teams sharp. While, as of this writing, some of the 2020 WSICT dates have not been finalized, we will most likely run the tournaments the weekends of February 15 and 16 (6th grade girls), February 22 and 23 (5th grade girls), March 28 and 29 and April 4 and 5 with two or three tournaments on each of those weekends. Dates and locations of all 2020 WSICTs will be posted on our website in July, once all are set (access by clicking on "Wisconsin State Individual Championship Tournament").
Sale of Basketballs and Other Related Basketball Equipment
The Great Northwest offers for sale certain basketball-related merchandise that many coaches (particularly in rural areas) have had a hard time accessing, or that coaches anywhere are unable to find in one location at a fair price. The most purchased item is the men's and women's Spalding TF-1000, the most popular basketball for high school and middle school players in America. We are also offering whiteboards, dry erase markers, ball bags, dribbling goggles and scorebooks. A description of all the available products, a price list and order form can be accessed by clicking "Equipment" under The Great Northwest tab on our website at gnbl.org. Please note that there is a significant price break on the basketballs when purchased in quantity. Allow 1-3 weeks for delivery.
Roster Options. Each team will be allowed to carry as many players on its roster as it wants. However, a maximum of 12 individual awards will be available to each team at each meet. If a team has more than 12 players at a given meet, the head coach will be given all of the individual awards and be responsible for determining who receives them and who doesn't – additional ribbons can be ordered by the coach or association (the coach/association is responsible for the cost of extra ribbons, these can be ordered by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org). Teams with more than 12 players on their roster are encouraged to rotate the players they actually bring to each meet so that there aren't so many players on the bench, which will work to decrease the number of mass substitutions and shorten the overall length of games. Conversely, teams are expected to have sufficiently large rosters, or have access to players at a younger grade level who can be moved up when needed, so that one or two injuries or illnesses do not cause them to cancel attendance at a meet. This will not be considered a legitimate, non-weather related excuse within the meaning of Rule A-5.
Girls will not be allowed to play in League meets for boys. Likewise, boys are not allowed to play in League meets for girls.
All players must be from the same school district or same community, except where:
However, no player attending public school, and living and going to school in the same community, can play on two unaffiliated teams during the same season. Some examples: a 7th grader from the territory covered by Eau Claire North High School can play on that team's "Blue" team (or "A" team) one week and on its "Red" team (or "B" team) another week, and "up" on the 8th grade team another week – these teams are all "affiliated." But that same player cannot play on a different weekend for another Eau Claire team that is not associated with the 7th and 8th grade teams described above.
Also, a middle school basketball coach, who lives in District A, but is paid by District B to teach in their schools and/or coach a middle school basketball team, will be allowed to have his/her son or daughter (as long as his/her son/daughter is the same gender and in the same grade as the grade the parent is coaching) play in Saturday League meets, in limited situations, for the team representing District B. For that to be allowed, all three of the following conditions must be met:
The rationale for this latter middle school coach exception to the general rule against players from multiple districts playing on the same team, is to allow coaches who are contractually-obligated to coach another team of the same age as his/her son or daughter, the opportunity to spend quality time with his/her child on weekends.
The objective of this rule as detailed in the various bullets above, is to have League teams that are community-based, and not regional or metropolitan area all-star teams.