Gym Safety

To NAA parents, players and coaches,

(The following is a reprise of a message sent out last year during the season when it was evident we had a problem. By sending it before the first game we hope to get off to a better start.)

As we start the basketball season, the NAA board of directors would like to bring several issues to your attention. These involve both safety and etiquette during games at Brown gymnasium.

This season, NAA has over 500 kids participating in the B4 through the Pony League program which corresponds to 51 teams. As a result the Brown gym will be very busy on both Saturdays and Sundays which will be exciting but also hectic and at times overwhelming. To insure a fun and safe environment it is important that all participants act respectful to each other, the refs, coaches and the Brown community. Also, while games are being played it is expected that non-participants will not interfere with the playing of the games. Please do your part by following the rules below:

* At the conclusion of games please clear the playing floor as quick as possible to permit the next team their allotted warm-up/practice time before their scheduled game.

* Please do not congregate in the area between the two courts. The league has requested that all spectators other than players, coaches (who are currently involved in a game) and league administrators watch games from the sides opposite the scoring tables. In the past, we have observed many parents and players ignoring this rule and, frankly, objecting when asked to move elsewhere. Please note that the corridor that runs behind the two gyms is the best way to move from one game to another without interfering with play.

* Please do not allow younger children to run between and behind the courts. Last year, we had a bad collision between a ref and a young child. Thankfully neither was injured.

* Players are responsible for any beverages they bring to the bench areas on the sideline. Spilled bottles are a common occurrence. Players who spill drinks are responsible for cleaning up when the spill occurs. (And, of course, no one ever spills their bottles but loose balls and passing players do knock bottles over.) Parents who escort their children to the gym might consider instructing their children that it is not the responsibility of the league to clean up after players. This is a safety issue as well as a fundamental consideration issue. In the past, after many games, the area behind the benches has been treated as if it were a garbage dump. That is unacceptable behavior. (We also point out that the rule and signage outside the gyms indicate that NO food or drinks are allowed in the gym!)

Hundreds of players, parents and coaches use the Brown gym on Saturdays and Sundays. We recognize that sometimes games run overtime. We have limited space and a lot going on. It is ALL of our responsibility to act appropriately and with consideration of others at all times. Coaches please give your players guidance. Parents, please instruct and supervise your children.

Thanks for your help on these matters.   NAA Board of Directors.