When your child starts playing a sport like basketball, they’ll likely start with their local school or neighbourhood team before thinking about trying out for a rep team. Having fun, making friends and getting good at the game is the best way to get started in any sport.

Since they won’t jump on the court knowing everything, learning the rules of the game and figuring out how much they actually like playing is key in creating a love of the game that will last a lifetime. Though there are many different tiers your child can play, house league basketball is going to be where they start and could even be the best place from them in the long term.

Benefits of house league sports

For many players, playing house league level sports is the best choice for several reasons. Whether it comes down to finances or just the desire to have fun more than anything else, choosing to stick with house leagues rather than going with a rep team could be the best way to go. When faced with the choice between not playing at all, playing house leagues or playing rep league, there are many reasons to choose house leagues.

Did you know that house league sports can combine all the elements of competitive sports, except in a more relaxed and less intensive environment? If you’re in Burlington or Halton Region and looking for a great house league program, try Burlington Basketball’s House Leagues!

Focus on fun

While learning skills and improving game play is an important aspect of all sports leagues, house leagues tend to focus on fun as a primary goal, as well. Most kids start out playing basketball or another sport because they enjoy it so incorporating fun as a main goal is a great way to keep them interested and motivated.

Learn about team work

Team sports like basketball are a great way for kids to learn about working together with other kids to accomplish a common goal. Teamwork is an essential skill for kids to learn at any age, as it will stick with them their entire lives both on the court and off.

They’ll make friends

Though players will make friends in all levels of the game, house leagues are a great place to do that since much of the focus is on having fun. From getting ready together in the locker room to team building activities outside of the game, the friendships they’ll make playing sports are ones that will often last a lifetime.

Much less travel

Perhaps the biggest benefit to playing on a house league team is that there will be much less travel throughout the season. Rep teams often have players and families travel once or more each week for games, and sometimes for practices, too. When playing for a house league teams most, if not all, games and practices will be held in local spaces.

Lower costs and stress levels

One huge benefit for families is the lower cost and stress level of house league teams compared to rep teams. With higher travel costs, more expensive team uniforms, higher registration fees and increased expectations in terms of practice and game time, rep teams can create a barrier to families and kids just wanting to try out something new.

House leagues are less competitive

When kids are just getting started playing a sport, it can take awhile to get their bearings and feel comfortable on the court. If they jump right into a rep league without enough time to get to know the game, the competitiveness might take a lot of the fun out of the game, especially for kids who aren’t naturally athletic.

Playing house league now doesn’t close the door on playing rep in future

Regardless of whether your kids choose to try out for a rep team or stick with house leagues for this year, the choice they make isn’t forever! As their interest grows and their desire to get competitive increases, they can always try out for a rep team for the next season. After all, even rep teams play at all levels (divisions) of competition in Ontario.

Spending a year or two playing house league (especially at the younger ages) is a great way to build up their basketball IQ, learn some important skills and figure out if they’re willing to put in the work it takes to play on a rep team. Kids may love house league and acquire skills to make the school team, or make a leap to rep basketball should their burning desire to train more intensely take hold. Either way, just play!