: About Blue Ridge Force
Blue Ridge Force fields teams in the 11U/6th grade through 17U/junior-eligible age brackets and has helped place a significant number of players in the college ranks. Currently many of the premier high school players in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League (MVAL) are involved in our program.
The majority of Blue Ridge Force coaches are current or former girls high school coaches and/or former college-level players. In addition to experience in teaching basketball individual and team skills, our coaches can help facilitate introductions at the college level and enable BRF girls to be seen at the college exposure events.
Practices for most Blue Ridge teams are conducted at Oakdale, Urbana, and New Market middle & high schools. Additional locations are used when needed and available to ensure each team is able to practice a minimum 2-3 times per week. The private facilities used for tryout locations are not commonly used throughout the season, rather out of need for gym time when public facilities are not available.
Girls AAU basketball is designed for the serious basketball player. The majority of girls who play either focus solely on year-round basketball or play other sports but recognize basketball as their favorite. A typical spring season lasts from mid-March through July, depending on the age group and level of commitment for that team. Many college coaches and recruiters use AAU as a means to see players firsthand that they cannot see due to the overlap of the college and HS seasons. Games are commonly played in a tournament format based around a weekend schedule. BRF teams travel to tournaments both on a local and regional basis, and may also play in Blue Chip recruiting and National level tournaments for college recruiting exposure. A significant commitment of time is required including evenings and weekends, and player fees typically range from $275 to $600+, depending on the goals of that team.
Why Blue Ridge FORCE?
· Our teams play anywhere from 25-40+ highly competitive games per season.
· Break the barriers of playing on the school team. Exceptional players should be challenged by playing with other exceptional players. High-level college coaches are NOT spending their time watching the HS spring and fall leagues!
· Play on a team where the talent level is likely 10-deep, where girls may play different positions, develop new skills and are pushed in practice every day by equal talent.
· This is a great opportunity to “get seen” by college recruiters looking at D1, D2 and D3 players.
· Our younger teams emphasize individual fundamentals and team concepts that will be required for top-level players.
· Play with other girls who are serious and committed to basketball and being the best individual and team player that they can be.
· Compete against the best teams in the state of Maryland for the privilege to represent Maryland and compete at Nationals.
· Get ready for HS tryouts (they are only 5 months after the season ends).
Understanding Age Categories
AAU girls basketball has recently changed the age qualification criteria. Exceptions are now granted for girls not born in the same calendar year IF that girl is still in the same grade and has not repeated that grade. For example, a girl born in the calendar year 1996 will be a 14U player, meaning that on January 1st of this year she was still 14 years old. However, if she is in 8th grade but was born in 1995, then she will qualify as a 14U.
Athletes may only move up in age brackets, they are not allowed to move down. However, it is important to note that only in very rare cases are girls encouraged to play in the "next-age" group. Parents and players should keep in mind that AAU consists of the best players from multiple schools in an area. Assuming they could even make the next age team, playing in the next age group up is a difficult proposition both physically and in many cases emotionally.
Thursday, January 7