Travel Program

NCBA travel teams are open to 5th through 8th grade boys and girls who live or attend public school in New Canaan. The teams are selected by the NCBA coaching advisors based on tryouts completed in mid-October.


Players in 5th through 8th grade who reside in or attend public school in New Canaan are eligible for the NCBA travel teams.


October: Tryouts and team assignments

November: Practices begin 

December-February: Regular season practices and games

March: Play-offs


NCBA teams compete in the Fairfield County Basketball League (FCBL). Practices and home games are usually held at local schools (e.g. Saxe Middle School and The New Canaan Country School). Away games are held in other Fairfield County towns.


Each team has two mandatory practices per week (excluding holiday breaks). A highly encouraged skills clinic will be offered one night per week.


Teams typically play one to three games per weekend (excluding holiday breaks). NCBA teams typically play 60-70% of games at home.


Uniforms should be ordered after team assignments. Players are required to have two team jerseys and shorts. More information about ordering will be provided in the offer letter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there restrictions on who can play on NCBA's travel teams?

Yes. NCBA travel teams play in the FCBL league and are therefore governed by the FCBL's residency, grade, and age requirements. In general, players must reside in New Canaan or attend one of New Canaan's public schools and be enrolled in grades 5-8 to play on one of the Travel teams. Elementary school-aged players (2nd-4th grades) are only eligible for the Pre-Travel program. At this time, the NCBA does not have programs for Kindergarten and 1st graders.

Who are the coaches for travel basketball?

The NCBA works with the high school varsity coaches, Danny Melzer and Kim Palmer, and our girl's coaching advisor, Mike Evans, to recruit coaches for the boys and girls travel teams. Specific coaching assignments will be communicated with team placements.

Are practices and games mandatory? What if I have a conflict?

Basketball is an in-season winter sport. Players are expected to make all practices and games. Missing practices negatively impacts team development and will negate playing time guarantees. Our schedulers do their best to minimize conflicts with other activities and off-season clinics, but it's nearly impossible with so many kids in the NCBA program. We recognize some players have specific needs (e.g. religious holidays, family events, etc.) If this applies to your child, please communicate with your coaches and team manager at the start of the season, so that they can help develop an action plan that makes sense for your child and the team.

What is the practice schedule for each grade?

Each team will have two mandatory practices per week. All players will be eligible for an optional, but highly encouraged, skills session on Fridays. Practice schedules will be announced once the teams are finalized. Practices this year will take place at Saxe Middle School, New Canaan High School, and New Canaan Country School.

What is the game schedule like? How are will we have to travel?

All teams participate in the Fairfield Country Basketball League (FCBL) which draws teams from Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford, Litchfield, and Westchester counties into six regional divisions. NCBA teams will play 16-18 regular season games and at least one playoff game. NCBA teams typically play more than half their games at home with the furthest drive normally being less than one hour.

Is playing time distributed equally?

No. In general, playing time is determined by each coach and is influenced by factors such as the players' ability, work ethic, enthusiasm, and attendance at practices. On average, each player is guaranteed to play a minimum of six minutes per game. Coaches will balance line-ups to foster learning and development, while also being competitive. 

How much does the program cost?

The cost of the NCBA winter season program will be included in the team placement letter. NCBA programs cover gym space, two coaches per team, and up to 18 games per season. Team fees are spread among 10-11 players per team (as opposed to 15-20 for many other New Canaan travel sports). The NCBA board works hard to maintain costs, while still providing a rewarding experience for its athletes.

Are scholarships available? Can I donate to provide a scholarship?

Scholarships are awarded on a case-by-case basis, and are usually funded by generous parents and fundraising events. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to provide a scholarship to a NCBA athlete, please follow this link.

Can I use last year's uniform?

Yes! We encourage you to do so.

Travel Teams 2023-2024

Registration links will be sent after try-outs

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