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Basketball 101

By John Battaglia

The winter chill is upon us and what’s a boy to do? Basketball.

Hingham’s basketball program is called the Barker Basketball League, and runs from December through March. This opportunity begins in 2nd grade and yes, I know just the thought of watching your son try to make a basket at that age seems unthinkable, but the boys have fun and learn teamwork and basic skills. Best part? the equipment cost is virtually zero -just use your ordinary sneakers at this age- you are given a jersey.

Barker Basketball is the boy's league. There are "tryouts" which are a way for the program coordinators and coaches [the dads] to check out everyone’s skill level so that they can [hopefully] make the teams balanced. There are no "cuts" for this Barker town team, everybody plays. If you are interested in coaching you can sign up for that during registration in the Fall.

The registration fee is $125 ($200 max per family) for town league and $200-250 for the Travel League.

You will be notified [usually via email] by your son’s coach to let you know what team he is on and their schedule. Every week there is a game on Saturday and typically one practice during the week. All the teams play other Hingham teams unless of course you also try out for the Travel Team.

The Travel Team option begins in 4th grade. There are tryouts with cuts, and because in 4th grade there is only one travel team, there are only 12 spots. If your child doesn’t make the travel team in 4th grade, encourage them to try out again in 5th grade because from then on, there are at least two travel teams per grade giving him a greater chance of making a team.

It is required that if you play on a Travel team that you also play on the Barker town league. In other words, your son will be on two teams and therefore more games and more practices. Typically there will be one practice per week per team and one game per weekend per team. Two practices a week, two games a weekend. The games are fun to watch, not all that long so your entire day isn’t consumed by it [unless of course you have more than one child participating in the sport] and they’re inside so there’s never a rain out/rain delay and it’s always warm.

Barker Basketball and the Travel League continue up through 8th grade. [However, just this year Barker Basketball Town League has developed a High School Division which offers a great option for those boys that aren’t playing on a Hingham High School team]. Barker Town League is more low key and relaxed while the Travel League is more intense. What I have found having two boys who play basketball is that Barker is fun, an opportunity to get out there regardless of your skill level and participate in a team sport. The boys that play on the Town Team enjoy Barker because there is less pressure and they can play with their friends, against their friends, but then they also have the opportunity to play at a higher level on the Travel Team and experience teams from other areas and a more challenging experience.

Bottom Line: Lots of fun, you can make it what you want. Play only Barker or Play Barker and Travel depending on your interest level and skill. For more information on registration, your team, and ongoing schedules changes during the season, everything is posted on www.hinghambarkerbasketball.com.

Insider Tips:

  • Keep those reversible jerseys from year to year, they are used during practice scrimmages - half the team reverses their jersey to the opposite color. No jersey? Then it’s “shirts vs. skins”- and when that happened at practice, the look on my modest 4th graders face was priceless!
  • Keep the travel team uniforms too. They’ll wear them the next year and you don’t want to be buying the jersey, shorts, warm up top and pants all over again--. For those who enjoy basketball there is a week-long summer camp in June for grades 3-10 at the High School sponsored by the Boys High School basketball team. Just this year Barker Basketball Town League developed a High School Division it’s a way for boys to continue playing if they aren’t playing on a Prep or Hingham High team.
  • Want to add more information to this guide? Have more insider tips to share? Great! Email them to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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