The great thing about being a basketball aspirant like you in the status quo is that there are numerous opportunities you can accept and amateur leagues you can enter to pursue your passion. Even the greatest NBA legends have spent years honing their potential in more minor leagues, then shooting a shot to nationals.
Perhaps you have leagues in mind, and AAU is one of them. The first step is to find a way to join an AAU basketball team. Worry no more, for this blog has got you covered. Keep reading until the end and find out the answer!
What Does AAU Mean?
The Amateur Athletic Union, or AAU, is the largest athletic organization based in the United States, purely non-profit and volunteer-driven. According to the AAU website, the group was founded in 1988—which means that it has been cultivating champions for more than one century.
True to its motto, “Sports For All, Forever,” it provides athletic opportunities to athletes from around the globe, although it is situated in the US. The organization is not only centered on basketball but also caters to aspirants from different athletic backgrounds and all walks of life.
Currently, approximately 700 000 members and almost 150 000 volunteers partake in this cause. Since its establishment, the sports organization has offered 41 programs across 55 districts in the United States that continue to support amateur sports and promote physical fitness.
In its infancy stage, the AAU spearheaded and led international sports by representing the United States in federations. It even participated in Olympic movements that enhanced players for upcoming Olympic games. However, they decided to refocus and strengthen athletic fundamentals from the grassroots phase in the 1970s.
The organization’s latest venture was with the NFF, or National Fitness Foundation, in 2019. The collaboration aims to expand its reach and increase youth participation in the US, hence rolling out the Presidential Youth Fitness Program that centers on the modernization of fitness education in academe.
Before learning about AAU teams, it is better to learn about their mission, vision, and culture. The organization aims to teach mental, physical, and moral development among amateur athletes in the spirit of volunteerism. Also, it aspires to develop these aspirants to their highest potential through local and national sporting events.
If you are interested in joining the organization, know that it upholds a family-like bond that penetrates several facets of society. Similar to sports, it transcends across borders and provides an inclusive environment.
Can Anyone Join AAU Basketball?
Based on the eligibility and rules stipulated on its website, anyone can join AAU Basketball as long as it qualifies for the age and academic level bracket and pays membership fees. Then, aspirants will undergo AAU basketball tryouts to prove their athletic prowess.
One of the purposes of the tryout is to evaluate your competence in playing basketball and check your dynamics with the team. If you plan to try out for AAU Basketball, it would be better to enhance your skills first if you think your age is still qualified.
Similar to any athletic organization, your eligibility may be your key to trying out, but your skills will be your last key. Even though you qualify for the tryouts, you can never join a team with a mediocre capacity.
Since it is a sports avenue open to all, the committee still selects the cream of the crop to compete in tournaments. Your goal in joining AAU Basketball is to expand your network and improve your skills at the end of the day, so make your best shots out of it.
What are the Requirements to Join AAU Basketball?
Joining the AAU Basketball program is pretty much a piece of cake since they are centered on the age bracket and academic level (aside from the membership, which you will learn about in the next section). In particular, the table below shows the entire requirement according to the latest age and academic level-based competition rules.
|7 and Under||Players should not be above seven years old after August 31, 2022.|
|8 and Under||Players should not be above eight years old after August 31, 2022.|
|9 and Under||Players should not be above nine years old after August 31, 2022.|
|10 and Under||Players should not be above ten years old after August 31, 2022.|
|11 and Under||Players should not be above eleven years old after August 31, 2022.|
|12 and Under||Players should not be above twelve years old after August 31, 2022.|
|13 and Under||Players should not be above thirteen years old after August 31, 2022.|
|14 and Under||Players should not be above fourteen years old after August 31, 2022.|
|2nd Grade||Players should not be above nine years old as of October 1, 2022, and must be in the second grade and below before August 31, 2022.|
|3rd Grade||Players should not be above ten years old as of October 1, 2022, and must be in the third grade and below before August 31, 2022.|
|4th Grade||Players should not be above eleven years old as of October 1, 2022, and must be in the fourth grade and below before August 31, 2022.|
|5th Grade||Players should not be above twelve years old as of October 1, 2022, and must be in the fifth grade and below before August 31, 2022.|
|6th Grade||Players should not be above thirteen years old as of October 1, 2022, and must be in the sixth grade and below before August 31, 2022.|
|7th Grade||Players should not be fourteen years old as of October 1, 2022, and must be in the seventh grade and below before August 31, 2022.|
|8th Grade||Players should not be above fifteen years old as of October 1, 2022, and must be in the eighth grade and below before August 31, 2022.|
|15U/ 9th Grade||Players should not be above 16 years old after August 31, 2022, and must be in the 9th as of October 1, 2022.|
|16U/ 10th Grade||Players should not be above 17 years old after August 31, 2022, and must be in the 10th as of October 1, 2022.|
|17U/ 11th Grade||Players should not be above 18 years old after August 31, 2022, and must be in the 11th as of October 1, 2022.|
|20 and Under||Players should not be above 20 years old after August 31, 2022. The tournament host has the jurisdiction of creating separate subcategories for high school, college, etc., under this category.|
How Much Does it Cost to Join AAU?
Another angle to look at is the cost of membership fees to join AAU. Considering that you clicked this blog that’s centered on the youth category of AAU Basketball, we will learn about the cost of joining the youth department in all sports. So, what is the price of playing AAU basketball?
According to the AAU official website’s membership section, all sports under the Youth Program range from $14 to $16 US dollars. If you want to enjoy essential benefits, you only need to pay $14. However, $16 is required if you wish to have extended coverage membership, such as insurance and participation benefits.
Is AAU Basketball Worth the Money?
If you think about it, AAU membership offers an array of opportunities to youth athletes with a maximum payment of $16. Hence, AAU Basketball is worth every penny if you look for an organization that takes high school sporting events.
On top of the athletic opportunities, you can also enjoy extended membership coverage. Since this is open to many schools in the US, you will be able to enhance your skills to be at par with high school rivals who are likely members of AAU Basketball.
You are guaranteed to be given ample opportunities to shine in various tournaments like the NCAA. Most of all, you will be exposed to advanced levels—which is beneficial if you plan to pursue a career in the professional basketball industry.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Join an AAU Basketball Team
The Amateur Athletic Union has been cultivating athletic excellence for over a decade. Hence, it is understandable that many are curious about how to try out for an AAU basketball team.
If you are serious about how to join an AAU Basketball team, remember that age and membership fee are some of the requirements you should consider. However, the best way to secure a slot is to visit their official website, as you can sign up through online registration.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.