Upward Basketball is a great opportunity for all children age 5 through 6th grade to build faith, character, and sportsmanship.


Upward Sports uses a four-level age appropriate format to develop the basketball skills of each young athlete. Each level of Upward Basketball is tailored to meet athletes where they are in their playing, ability, allowing them to improve their physical ability and build athletic foundations. The game format and rules of Upward Basketball are designed to promote healthy competition and sportsmanship while also teaching the objectives of game play. Below is a more detailed explanation of the four levels.

Level 1: Kindergarten and 5 year olds

Rules are designed to allow young athletes the opportunity to learn the game of basketball at the most basic level. Children at this age are still learning foundational hand-eye coordination skills and generally can only handle one building block at a time. Because of this, rules have been designed to help each player improve throughout the season and equip them for success as the progress to Level 2.

Level 2: 1st and 2nd Grade

Players at this stage are learning to perform more than one skill at a time on the court. They still possess a “Me” mentality and are not accustomed to the concept of team (i.e. passing the ball, offensive movement, etc.). Although they are still developing foundational hand-eye coordination, they are able to accomplish some basic basketball skills (dribbling with one hand, not moving feet during a shot, the distinction between offense and defense, etc.). Because of this, rules have been designed to allow athletes to compete in a format that coordinates with their level of mental and physical capacities.

Level 3: 3rd and 4th Grade

Players at this age are able to pick up some of the more advanced concepts of the game and are growing into a more mature level of hand-eye coordination. They are able to understand the concept of teamwork. They realize that they can be successful as an athlete by helping their teammates in game situations. It is important to keep score at this level because life lessons can be taught through the concept of winning and losing. Because of this, rules have been designed to allow athletes to compete in a format that coordinates with their level of mental and physical capacities as they prepare for middle school basketball.

Level 4: 5th and 6th Grade

Players at this age exhibit a mature level of hand-eye coordination and understanding of the game. As individual skills continue to grow, athletes embrace team aspects of the game. They also possess a strong desire to compete and determine how they stack up against the competition. Because of this, Level 4 rules follow a traditional middle school rules format.

As part of the 360 Progression the 5th and 6th Grade Leagues will now follow a more traditional middle school format and game play.


Registration will be open in the fall for the January through February season. See Current Classes & Programs for registration form.


For more informations and league inquires, please contact NC Kids' Secretary, Tena Redenbaugh at 816-455-2555 ext. 117 or contact her via email.

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