Georgia Pistols ( a competitive girls’ basketball club) FAQs

  1. Question: What is AAU ?
    Answer: The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. One of their sports is Girls Basketball and our club is a member club (Club Code: XTF88C) and also a member club of YBOA (Youth Basketball of America). Our club is a competitive basketball club for girls who want to play in AAU basketball tournaments. The Georgia Pistols organization is one of the oldest and largest of the girls' competitive basketball clubs and has operated for more than 20 years (originally called the Raiders) in the Atlanta metropolitan area. http://www.gapistols.com/ Visit our facebook page for additional info: Atlanta Girls Basketball Georgia Pistols. Go to www.aaugirlsbasketball.org to learn about AAU.

  2. Question: If I am interested in my daughter playing competitive basketball, what do I do?
    Answer: Go to www.gapistols.org and click on Tryouts 2013 on this site for information.

  3. Question: What is the mission of the Georgia Pistols?
    Answer: Our goal is to inspire young athletes with a passion for the game of basketball, and empower them to become their very best – on the court, in the classroom, and in life. Through coaching and good competition we want to take each player to the next level. We want to help players achieve their goal of playing high school or college basketball. Over 200 players from our club have played at the college level. Pictures of these players may be found on our Facebook site. Our club excels in helping girls to get to the college level and beats the so called exposure programs in this regard every year.

  4. Question: Are there tryouts and when are they?
    Answer: Tryouts are held every year to determine on which team your daughter should be placed. Usually, there are 2 to 4 teams in each age group. Tryouts for the 2013 season are January 13, 20, and 27 and Feb. 10th for non high school players and Feb 17 and 24th for high school players if their season is over. Please check the club web site for the most current info or if additional info is needed contact Jack Feagin at jfeagin2@gmail.com for more information.

  5. Question: How are athletes evaluated at the tryouts?
    Answer: Athletes are evaluated based on several different fundamentals. Coaches will look for dribbling, passing, athlete speed, shooting, and defensive skills during tryouts. They will also scrimmage.

  6. Question: What is the expected commitment of this type of basketball program?
    Answer: The commitment can be a big one, but also one than can bring many rewards for your daughters. This is not "recreational" or “church” ball. The commitment also varies from team to team as some teams play more competitive schedules than others. If your daughter plays on a high level team a high level of commitment is required. The commitment also involves a commitment from the parents with regards to time and funding. Time because parents have to be committed to getting their daughters to practices and games, and funding because the Ga. Pistols Club is an all volunteer organization and teams have to be supported financially in order to compete. Some clubs are a “for profit business” for the owner but our club is non profit for the girls. Practices could be around the corner or an hour’s drive because much depends on availability facilities. Games are usually on the weekends. It is expected that a player will make almost all the games and practices. Most teams practice 2 times a week. While conflicts always arise in any endeavor, absences can disrupt the team’s continuity and chemistry and are not fair to teammates and coaches who regularly attend. The key always is to communicate with your daughter's coaches about her schedule so they can plan accordingly.

  7. Question: What about playing time (PT)?
    Answer: The amount of playing time a player receives will be based on their skill set, the opponent, attendance at practice, and each Coach’s philosophy. Unlike some travel basketball programs, there is no guarantee that everyone will play equally. With that said, we make an effort to get each player into each game. It is the Ga. Pistols’ policy that the Coach has the final say over playing time. However, many tournaments are not qualifier tournaments, so most of our coaches try to develop their players by getting them game experiences.

  8. Question: What about playing another sport during the season?
    Answer:Yes, they can still play, but we do expect a certain level of commitment from players to attend practices and games. Typically school sports are not much of a conflict because school practices are right after school and most school games are during the week. In case of a conflict we expect your daughter to go to her school game. As to other sports with only one game a week it usually works out okay. However, the problem is much greater if she is on the top pistol team and playing another sport other than a school 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 who routinely misses practices to show up at games and always get equal playing time. 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.

  9. Question: What fees are involved and when are they due?
    Answer: The fee to play this upcoming season is $475. This fee includes a uniform (to be returned at end of season), all tournament fees, and gym rental for practice. As many local AAU or YBOA tournaments as the team wants to play within the metro area provided they are charging a reasonable tournament fee. Fees are expected to be paid before the season begins. Payment plan options are $ 250 upon acceptance and the balance by April 1. Any other arrangements must be approved by Jack Feagin. College exposure events for high school players are outside the normal tournament fees and some additional fees are collected by those teams. We believe our club provides the most basketball tournaments for the fees collected, even for teams playing college exposure events.
    The Player Participation Fee does NOT cover:
    • Medical insurance. This is up to the player’s family to provide except AAU and YBOA membership provides some coverage. The player purchases her AAU AB card and the club purchases the YBOA memberships.
    • Player travel/lodging for travel tournaments – this is the parent’s responsibility if player chooses to play or team fundraising. Extra gear like shoes or shooting shirts are not included but often come through fundraising of the team or a sponsor.
    • College exposure type events usually require some additional payment or fund raising.

  10. Question: What other expenses can I expect during the year?
    Answer:Other expenses may include purchasing a basketball, practice jersey, and kneepads. Family travel expenses may also be incurred if tournaments are played outside the Metro area. College exposure events are very expensive and some additional fees are required.

  11. Question: Are there spectator fees to attend tournaments?
    Answer: Yes. A fee is charged at the door for each day of each tournament. The fee is usually $5-$8 for adults, $2-3.00 for students and young children below a certain age are free. This varies per tournament.

  12. Question: Are fundraisers held?
    Answer: Usually the club will have one club wide fundraiser. Additional fundraising is determined by each individual team. It is encouraged and can help with the expenses associated with AAU basketball for teams that travel.

  13. Question: Are teams organized by age group and how is age determined?
    Answer: Teams are primarily determined by grade, not age. The grade and associated age requirements of AAU tournaments for girls can be found at www.aaugirlsbasketball.org under rules

  14. Question: Can my daughter play up (at the next grade/age group)?
    Answer: The Georgia Pistols discourage younger players from playing up at the next grade level. We field very competitive teams at every grade level. For competitiveness, the whole team may choose to play up at the next level in tournaments. This increased level of competition helps in preparation for the AAU State and National tournaments.

  15. Question: In what grade levels do the Georgia Pistols have teams?
    Answer: The Pistols have teams in grade levels from 3rd through 11th grade.

  16. Question: How many players are usually on each team?
    Answer: Team rosters are left to the discretion of each individual coach within the guidelines of the program. Most teams will have 10-13 players. Teams that have girls playing other sports tend to be at least 12 players.

  17. Question: How often do teams practice and is additional training available outside of the team practices?
    Answer: The Pistols normally provide two practices per week for each team. Any additional training can be discussed with your coach. Sometimes you may have some speed and agility training to go with your regular practices.

  18. Question: Where do teams practice?
    Answer: Teams practice at several different sites secured by the Pistols including schools, churches, and recreation centers. Specific sites will be worked out by your coach and Jack Feagin. We would love to say practices will be within 10 minutes of your house but that is not usually the case. We will use about 15 gyms for practices for approximately 25 teams to practice, so for most people travel will be involved. Playing competitive basketball in AAU tournaments is not always convenient but it’s the best answer for how to become a serious basketball player.

  19. Question: How long is the Ga. Pistol season?
    Answer: The season starts for high school players after the last game of the school season. Younger teams start practicing in the early part of February. The season usually goes until the 1st or 2nd week of July except some developmental teams choose to end early in June. If your daughter accepts a position on our best team, at her grade level, she is also committing to playing in the State and National AAU tournament

  20. Question: How many tournaments would a team participate in during the season?
    Answer: Your head coach will determine the number of tournaments in which your team will play. Most teams will play in 7-12 tournaments per season but the club does not place a limit on the number of tournaments. However, additional expenses can be incurred if a team chooses to play in an exposure event (s).

  21. Question: When are tournaments held?
    Answer: Tournaments are held on weekends. Most tournaments start on Friday night or Saturday morning and conclude on Sunday afternoon or early evening. The number of games your team plays per tournament is based on the team’s performance. Most tournaments guarantee at least 3 games.

  22. Question: Where are the tournaments held? Are any held out of state?
    Answer: Most of the tournaments are held in the North Atlanta Metro area. Your team may choose to participate in an out of town tournament. National tournaments are out of state.

  23. Question: May parents come to tryouts?
    Answer: Parents are encouraged to come to tryouts with their daughters. However, parents are expected to quietly observe and not to “coach” their daughters at tryouts.

  24. Question: What is the role of a parent within the Pistols organization?
    Answer: A Pistols parent will be expected to be encouraging to their athlete, encouraging to their daughter’s coach, non-confrontational to referees, and to work as a team with the other parents. It takes a lot of cooperation and goodwill to have a team run smoothly. There is a Code of Conduct for Parents, Players and Coaches to sign in order to insure proper behavior. Each year we have to talk to a few parents who become too involved beyond cheering for the team.

  25. Question: What is the history of the Ga. Pistols?
    Answer: The North Atlanta Girls Basketball Club, Inc., the Ga. Pistols, (originally the Raiders) is a non -profit girls basketball club in its twentieth year. Each year the club has teams place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in AAU State (District) Championships at Division 1 and Division 2 and has won 5 AAU National Championships in the last six years. The club is both the largest and best competitive program in the State but also one of the most affordable. The North Atlanta Girls Basketball Foundation, Inc. Is a 501(c) organization and can receive donations to support the club and teams.

  26. Question: Who are the Ga. Pistol coaches?
    Answer: The club seeks coaches who have the ability to teach basketball at a highly competitive level and have the temperament to deal with referees and fellow coaches. The coach must be able to develop the individual skills of players, be committed to the ideals of sportsmanship, have high standards of personal character and integrity and have the time and resources to commit to the program. All of our head coaches have significant coaching experience either in AAU or coaching high school basketball. At this time, team assignments for coaching have not been made, Assistant coaches will frequently be parents, but most will have already been involved or have other significant coaching experience.

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North Atlanta Basketbal Club