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AAU Program

For weekend practice schedule May 26-27: weekend pract sched may26_27  posted 5/23   2:35 pm

For the 2018 AAU Team Tournament schedule click: 2018 team tourn sched  updated 4/26/18

For the 2018 Weekday practice schedule click: weekday practice sched2018  updated Mar 14 @ 11:20

2018 Open AAU Tryouts:  Sundays, January 7th and 14th.

Girls 4-6th Grades:   11:00-12:30

Girls 7-8th Grades:  12:45-2:15

Girls 9-11th Grades:   2:30-4:00

Boys U10-U12 (4-6th  Grade):  4:15-5:45

Boys U13-U14 (7- 8th Grade): 6:00-7:30

Boys 9-11th Grades:  7:45-9:00

$35 tryout fee (can be applied to registration fee).  Kids should be at both tryouts. If unable to attend, contact Steve at Returning players should plan on attending unless contacted by last year’s coach and told specifically not to attend.


Fielding 33 teams in 2017, In the Zone is one of the largest AAU programs in the Region. In 2017, we had 15 boys teams from 4th grade through 11th grade and 18 girls teams also from 4th through 11th grades.

Teams are formed after the tryouts in January and practices start the beginning of March. The first tournament is usually later in March with the season running through the second week in June. There are 2 practices each week, one during the week and one on the weekend (unless of course there is a tournament that weekend).

AAU Basketball at In the Zone:

In the Zone is forming AAU basketball teams for boys and girls grades 4-11 to compete in tournaments during the spring of 2018.   In the Zone Basketball Club is a fundamentals driven program. We believe that you never outgrow the fundamentals of a sport. We stress playing the game, not running the play.  Our goal is to provide players with the opportunity to gain experience in competitive game situations, improve their fundamentals and help them take their game to the next level.   Our focus will be:

  • Individual player development
  • Improving fundamentals
  • Teamwork and court IQ

Within this framework we will also:

  • Provide an average of 6 minutes of playing time each game for every player in good standing* (assuming 16 min stop clock halves; 5 minutes if 14 min halves).
  • Dedicate 20-30 minutes each practice to individual skills (ball handling, shooting, footwork etc)
  • Conduct skill workshops that will focus specifically on individual skills.

*good standing means that a player attends practice, knows the offense and defense, maintains a good attitude, plays team ball and displays good sportsmanship. If a player is not in good standing, playing time is not guaranteed.

Team and Player Options: We have 5 different options:

PLATINUM Teams are our highest level of play. For grades 5-8, these teams compete for national titles. Grades 8-11 focus on national competition and college exposure. There can be significant travel involved with several overnight events (DC, Louisville, Atlanta, Chicago, etc) Not every age level will have a Pt team while some ages might have a couple—it depends on the competitiveness of each year group.

ATTACK 1 Teams are A level teams that travel and compete in regional tournaments. These teams travel within a 2 hour radius that shouldn’t require overnight stays. These teams will also play in some ITZ tournaments.

ATTACK 2 Teams are B level teams that travel and compete in local and regional tournaments. These teams travel within a 2 hour radius that shouldn’t require overnight stays. These teams will also play in some ITZ tournaments.

Spring to Sumer Training Program (SSTP): Those players not selected for an AAU team will be given the option of participating in the SSTP developmental program. This program consists of the AAU skills and drills during the spring and playing in the 3v3 summer league. This program is designed to enhance basic skills and develop court IQ.

Alternates are practice players.  These players are assigned to a team and practice with that team but DO NOT play in games unless specifically invited by the coach.  There are 2 common types of Alternates:  1) Athletes who play another spring sport and can’t make the time commitment to be a full player.   2) Athletes whose skill level isn’t high enough be a productive player in game situations but who still wants to practice, develop and get better.  Alternates get all the additional benefits of being an ITZ AAU player.

Registration fees:

Attack Teams: $585; includes 21 games

Platinum Teams:   $680; includes 27 games

SSTP:   $235

Alternates:   $285

The Registration fee includes at least 21/27 games which is usually achieved through participation in 7 tournaments, court time for practices March 1-June 14, open gyms, skill workshops, skills and drills program and other discounts.  A $300 deposit  is due within one week of being offered a spot on a team in order to hold that spot ($150 deposit for Alternates and SSTP).  The balance is due March 1, 2018.

*Due to the higher cost of NCAA certified tournaments, required NCAA coaching certifications, etc, these Platinum players will also be required to volunteer 10 hours at an ITZ tournament (keeping score, admissions desk, etc) or some other fund raiser.

Uniforms: This year players will be required to purchase their own uniforms (this is a change form previous years). Uniforms will be reversible black/white and will cost $58 for a complete set. This will be a one time purchase; the same uniform can be used year to year. Players will also be required to wear practice jerseys at practice. The blue/white mesh practice jerseys will still be used. Practice jerseys can be purchased for $20 at the front desk. Platinum uniforms will be handled the same way as in the past years (ordered through ITZ, cost $85).


Additional benefits of playing AAU Basketball at In the Zone include:

  • FREE Open Gym every weekday Mon-Fri, 3:00-5:30 Mar-Aug (hours subject to minor changes).
  • FREE Skill Workshops throughout the season (i.e Shooting).
  • FREE in season Skills and Drills program; 40% off Fall/winter sessions.
  • 40% Discount on 3-on-3 tournament fees (AAU member player only)
  • 40% Discount on basketball-related summer camps, (discounts good through end of year).
  • Huge discounts on use of Dr Dish and The Gun (up to 80%).

AAU Age Bracket Determination:

AAU has gone back to age based eligibility standards for boys ages 6-14 but have kept the grade based standard for high school boys and all girls. The age determining date is August 31, 2018.

Boys: The boys actually have 2 different tiers; one grade based and one age based. For 9-11th grade, there is only one criterion: grade. Here are the brackets ITZ will follow:

10U: No older than 10 on Aug 31, 2018  (i.e. can’t be 11 yo on 8/31/18).

11U No older than 11 on Aug 31, 2018

12U No older than 12 on Aug 31, 2018

13U No older than 13 on Aug 31, 2018

14U No older than 14 on Aug 31, 2018

15U/9th grade: in 9th grade and no older than 15 on Aug 31, 2018. Grade Exception: In 9th grade on 10/1/17 AND no older than 16 on Aug 31, 2018

16U/10th grade: in 10th grade and no older than 16 on Aug 31, 2018.  Grade Exception: In 10th grade on 10/1/17 AND no older than 17 on Aug 31, 2018

17U/11th grade: in 11th grade and no older than 17 on Aug 31, 2018.  Grade Exception: In 11th grade on 10/1/17 AND no older than 18 on Aug 31, 2018



10U/4th grade: In 4th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 11 on Aug 31, 2018

11U/5th grade: In 5th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 12 on Aug 31, 2018

12U/6th grade: In 6th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 13 on Aug 31, 2018

13U/7th grade: In 7th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 14 on Aug 31, 2018

14U/8th grade: In 8th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 15 on Aug 31, 2018

15U/9th grade: In 9th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 16 on Aug 31, 2018

16U/10th grade: In 10th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 17 on Aug 31, 2018

17U/11th grade: In 11th grade on 10/1/17 and no older than 18 on Aug 31, 2018


AAU Frequently Asked Questions:

What is AAU?

AAU stands for Amateur Athletic Union and is one of the oldest and largest non-profit, volunteer sports organizations in the United States. It is a multi-sport program dedicated to the promotion and development of amateur athletes.

What is AAU Basketball?

It generally refers to tournament basketball. Instead of competing in a league and playing one or two games a week for 2-3 months, AAU teams play in weekend tournaments and typically play 3-5 games in one weekend. It is very common to play several games in one day. Each tournament is a stand alone event and teams compete to become tournament champions. Teams from all over the region compete in these tournaments.

AAU sanctions regional tournaments where teams complete to earn invitations to national tournaments.

There are several organizations that conduct tournaments and national level events. In the Zone runs “open” tournaments which means that any team can enter: school teams, recreation, AAU, travel, YBOA, etc.

Although not completely correct, recently the phrase “AAU basketball” has been used to refer to the general practice of competing in weekend tournaments.

What is In the Zone Basketball Club (ITZ BC)?

ITZ BC is an organization created to form and train basketball teams and players for participation in tournaments and leagues from March through June/July.

In the Zone has been fielding AAU teams for 10 years. We have grown from 3 teams the first year, to 33 teams the past few years which makes ITZ BC one of the largest AAU programs on the east coast. The In the Zone Basketball Club is a Level 2 AAU member club and is part of the Mid-Atlantic District.

Is there a lot of travel involved?

Generally with AAU programs there is a lot of travel.  Our Platinum Teams travel quite a bit.  The Attack teams travel within a 2 hour radius and play some tournaments at ITZ.  Our Defender Teams don’t travel at all.  They stay home and the competition comes here. This approach is especially appealing for families who have children participating in other activities and don’t want to devote an entire weekend traveling back and forth for games or spending extra money on hotel rooms.

My son/daughter plays another sport during the spring, can he/she still play AAU?

Yes, they can still play, but we do expect a certain level of commitment from players to attend practices and games.  We recommend the “Defender” teams for players who play a 2nd spring sport.  We realize there will be conflicts here and there, but players should be at almost all practices. It is assumed that players participate in AAU ball to get better so they can excel during the regular basketball season; it would be unrealistic to think a player is going to improve without attending practices. Additionally, it is not fair to the other kids on the team for a player to routinely miss practices or games. Not attending practices may impact playing time; although there is a fee for this program, that fee does not guarantee playing time. Players need to be in “good standing” to play.

Can my son/daughter play on more than one AAU team at the same time?

Technically, yes but we discourage it. It’s probably better to make a firm commitment to one team.

How competitive is AAU Basketball?

AAU Basketball is very competitive and is generally considered a higher level than school or travel ball. Kids that play AAU ball usually have committed to basketball as their main sport.

For a printable brochure on our 2018 ITZ AAU Basketball Program click:  aau broch 2018

For 2018 ITZ AAU registration form click:aau reg form 2018