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Frequently Answered Questions

Welcome to the 2020-21 Bow Basketball Season.  Please keep in mind the following important information:

• Registration closes October 23, 2021 (except 1st and 2ndgraders).  Failure to register by October 23rd will result in a $25 late fee and also subject to available space within the program or on a team.

• If you do not have a jersey, you will be charged $40 to buy a jersey when you register. You get to keep the jersey (and presumably wear it the following year). We believe that typically a player will get two seasons of use out of a jersey.

• Everyone will need to buy game shorts this year ($32). You get to keep the game shorts.


Price to Play



1st and 2nd grade


3rd and 4th


5th through High School


Manchester Suburban League Players

An additional $50 (due to significantly more costs for referees)



• Please note the important times as follows: 





34 Girls

12:15 PM

Sunday, October 24th

BHS Outdoor Courts

56 Girls

1:15 PM

Sunday, October 24th

BHS Outdoor Courts

78 Girls

2:15 PM

Sunday, October 24th

BHS Outdoor Courts

78 Boys

3:15 PM

Sunday, October 24th

BHS Outdoor Courts

56 Boys

4:15 PM

Sunday, October 24th

BHS Outdoor Courts

34 Boys

5:15 PM

Sunday, October 24th

BHS Outdoor Courts

Your child should come to evaluations wearing sneakers, comfortable clothes and bring with them a basketball, mouth guard and water bottle. 

Your child can expect to perform various drills in front of the BAC Basketball Committee, prospective coaches, assistant coaches and neutral evaluators (collectively “evaluators”).  A portion of the evaluation may also involve scrimmaging against other children participating in the evaluation.

Upon completion of the evaluation, the evaluators anonymously submit their evaluations to a 3rd party who tabulates the results.  The players rated the highest are selected to play on the Manchester Suburban League (“MSL”) team(s).  After determining the MSL team(s) the remaining players will be assigned to separate but generally equal teams to compete in the Merrimack Basketball League (“MBL”).  It is our expectation that teams will be made up of somewhere between 8 and 12 players/team (depending on late registrations and availability of coaches). 

The evaluation process is simple; each evaluator determines two grades for a player. Overall basketball ability and a separate grade for behavior (if the evaluator does not observe or is not aware of any behavior issues, then the evaluator will default to a high grade for behavior). All of the behavior grades will be added together to equal one behavior grade (the equivalent of one evaluator). The grades are then converted to a numerical value (e.g. A+=11, A=10, etc.). So, for example, if eight evaluators give a player a 10 rating it would equal 80 points. If all eight gave the player a 7 for behavior, then the overall grade for the player would be an 87 (not 80 + 56). The players are then ranked from the highest rated to the lowest.

Dunbarton residents will be allowed to be selected for Bow MSL teams - but due to MBL rules - are not allowed to play on Bow MBL teams (as Dunbarton has its own teams that participate in the MBL).


MSL vs. MBL 

Here is a summary of the difference between the MSL and MBL:

Manchester Suburban League

Merrimack Basketball League

3/4th grade players play on 10 foot high hoops

3/4th grade players play on 8.5 foot high hoops

Divisions for 3rd through 8th grade

Divisions for 3rd grade through High School (boys)

14 game schedule and playoffs

7-9 game schedule and playoffs

Minimum of 8 minutes playing time per player. Not equal playing time.

Strive for equal playing time among all players.

Typically season ends late-March

Typically season ends late February

Games could be any day of the week

Games are on Saturdays

Presumably will play in additional tournaments (at an additional fee, which could range in cost from $20 - $45 per player, per tournament)*

Typically will not play in additional tournaments.

Play teams from Bedford, Derry, Merrimack, Hollis, among others

Play teams from Henniker, Hopkinton, Weare, New Boston, Hillsboro, among others

Players selected based on ability

Players placed on teams in an effort to create equal teams between each Bow team at each grade level

Teams consist of 8 to 10 players per team.

Teams range in size from 7 to 11, typically depending on the number of volunteer coaches


Two seasons ago we also had a coach decide to play (instead of the MBL) in the Lamprey River League (“Lamprey”). This league is most similar to the MBL, except it plays about twice as many games and the games are on Saturdays and Sundays.  The opponents are all east of Bow (e.g. Chester, Raymond, Exeter, etc.). It is unlikely that we will have any teams in this league this year, but if a coach (and players) prefer to play in the Lamprey League it is likely BAC would support such.


Practice Times

Teams that play in both the MBL and MSL have two practices per week (plus game(s)).  The practices are held at times and locations most convenient to the coaching staff (and frequently include weekends).  Typically 1st and 2nd graders practice sometime between immediately after school and 7:30 pm.  The older kids generally practice between 5 and 9 pm. Typically, 1stthrough 4th graders practice 1 hour/practice, whereas the older kids typically practice 75 - 90 minutes/practice.


School Vacations

*Neither the MBL or MSL have games during the December or February breaks, however MSL teams frequently play in tournaments during the season, including December and February (if a player is on an MSL team, players are not required to play in any non-MSL tournament(s)).


Team Assignments

You can expect to hear from the coach of the team your child is assigned to sometime in late October/early November.  Likewise, you can expect practice to begin in early November as well (except for high school players, who begin later).  While we strive to meet all of the requests that various parents have made for their children in the registration process we cannot guarantee that we will be able to satisfy all those requests (however, they will be considered when the evaluators determine the makeup of various teams).

We expect all registered players, as well as registered coaches and assistant coaches to come and participate in the evaluations.  Likewise, we can never have too many coaches and welcome any and all parents interested in coaching this season.


1st and 2nd Grade League

The 1st and 2nd grade league is focused primarily as a very basic introduction to basketball. Making sure the kids have fun in the top priority. Typically practices do not begin until December and games are held in January and February (opponents are other Bow and Dunbarton teams). While we strive for equal teams, generally these teams end up created based on many other factors (e.g. kids that attend Bow Youth Center frequently end up on one or two teams, or children that live near each other, etc.). Many years we struggle to get coaches to coach these teams and as a result end up with rather large teams. The difference between the 1st and 2nd grade teams and program and the rest of BAC basketball is significant; it bears repeating that this introduction to basketball is focused on fun and getting children interested in the sport such that they return as they grow older.

There are no evaluations for 1st and 2nd grade players.


7th and 8th grade players

As many of the 7th and 8th grade players also try out for the BMS team(s), we ask that all 7th and 8th graders also register and attend the BAC evaluations. BAC allows the BMS players to play on their own MSL team. We also have had non-BMS players play on their own (separate) MSL team. Finally we also have MBL teams each year.  To the extent a player registers for BAC basketball and ends up being selected to the BMS team(s) and does not wish to play BAC basketball, the registration fees will be returned to the registered player.


Team Selection

After the completion of the tabulation of the evaluation results by a third party, MSL teams are formed. The process is simple; prior to evaluations the coach (the BAC Basketball Committee attempts to determine MSL coaches in advance of the evaluations. It is frequently the parent of a child that is essentially a “lock” to make the team. Further, it is almost always the same coach from the prior year – assuming the coach wants to coach again) is asked two questions a) how many players do they want on their team, and b) do they want to select the team or be simply given the top players that they requested. It is almost always the coaches choice to simply be given the team (as a result they do not need to deal with parents of players that were not selected for the team as they had no say in the team’s make up).  

Once the MSL team is selected, the remaining players then are equally split up into teams that play in the MBL. In a perfect world, the coaches of the MBL players get a list of the rankings of the players and have a draft – to create the teams (using their own knowledge along with the evaluation results). If the coaches are unable to come together to have a draft, then the BAC Basketball Committee takes the evaluation results and creates equal teams (e.g. if three teams, then the top three players are split up, then next three players split up, etc.). There are a few changes that may occur due to schedules, car pooling, etc. but for the most part it is as equal as possible based on the evaluation results. 


Playing Up

We do allow players in 2nd grade to play in the 3rd and 4th grade division on a case by case basis. We do not allow any other players to play up with older players, except if we do not have enough players to form a team. We likewise have allowed a player to play up prior to establishing this policy and will continue to allow that player to do so.


Basketball Opportunities

BAC offers opportunities to all to be able to play basketball. MSL provides more opportunities for the more advanced basketball players. However, it is typically up to a coach or parent to find additional opportunities, if they so choose. BAC supports all basketball efforts to play more. There are additional tournament opportunities out there for all teams. If coaches or parents try hard, they can find teams to scrimmage on a regular basis. It takes some effort by the coach, but the opportunities do exist if folks look for them.


BAC Tourney

The BAC Tourney is, by far, the largest fundraising event held by BAC.  It is held on both weekends of February break and includes basketball teams in grades 3 through 8.  We need an enormous amount of volunteers to pull off the event.  The funds raised from tournament are used for a variety of project including the BMS Cafeteria Floor, the four new glass backboards in the BMS gym among other projects.


Questions or Comments

Should you have any additional specific questions or comments do not hesitate to contact Bryce Larrabee ( Honestly, do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to talk basketball and happy to give you the rationale behind any decision that we make. It may not be an answer that you are looking for but at least we can explain to you why we did something the way we did. We have to look out for the program as a whole, not just an individual and we strive to do our best to accomplish such. We are, after all, just volunteers.