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Program Rules & Policies

 “Don’t hold other people responsible for the decisions you make. If you don’t like where you are in life… look in the mirror.” – Anonymous

“This ain’t funny so do you dare laugh, just another case of (someone) taking the wrong path (despite the directions & signs)” – Slick Rick


Program / Organizational Rules & Policies (Taken From Our By-Laws)

Organizational Rules / Policies From The Winston-Salem Stealers By-laws: Article IV , Section 2: The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the policies of the Winston-Salem Stealers, Inc., the team’s organization and the playing rules.  Organizational = Winston-Salem Stealers Girls and Twin City Jazz Boys programs.

Article VII, Section 2: The Board of Directors shall have the authority, by vote of the majority, to suspend any member whose conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the program as outlined in Article II.

Our Board of Directors will be responsible for handling parent, coach, player, and team problems / issues that are brought to their attention by the Director of Basketball Operations.

Problems and issues include: 

–     Conduct at practices or games that is negative to our program’s image, growth or success.

–     Conduct away from practice of games that is negative to our program’s image, growth, or success.

–     Each problem / issue will be handled on a case-by-case basis as each case, from experience, has its’ own unique angle.

All coaches & bench personnel will need prior approval from our Director of Basketball Operations. *  In 2015, our program is moving to the direction of having all coaches certified through USA Basketball’s Youth Development Program.

*Our coaches & bench personnel can be teenagers. If they are teenagers, they must have at least three years of playing experience in our program or prior approval from the director of basketball operations.

All of our court coaches are volunteers, willing to take their time to give your daughter the opportunity to participate in our program.

Our program is not designed as a means to “recruit” players from another AAU program or to influence players to attend a certain school.

The fee each season will be determined by our Board of Directors and Director of Basketball Operations.

Payment of fees is due in a timely manner. Delinquent payments can and will lead to disciplinary actions by the Board of Directors. If you have written the program a “bad” check in the past, you are responsible to send in your payment via cash, money order, or certified check.  Question we get: “Why do we have to pay a registration fee and why is my child held out if the fee isn’t paid?”  The answer: “We have to pay for our practice space and our tournaments – it’s just that simple.”  Expecting to play without paying, unless your child has received a program scholarship or a payment plan has been worked out with the Director of Operations really doesn’t making any sense.  It doesn’t work that way when you go to a restaurant or when you buy clothes, a television or a car.

There is a $25.00 returned check fee for any “bad” check written to our program.

All (AAU registered) teams are required to attend the Nationals during the summer (DI or DII) should they qualify. This is not an option.  Failure to attend nationals, whether by an individual (unless granted permission by the Board of Directors) or a team, will ban that player or team from future participation in our program. *SPRING TEAM REQUIREMENT*. If your team is not AAU registered, you are not required to attend AAU Nationals.

Uniforms must be turned in at the completion of each season, unless the team / player has prior approval from the Director of Basketball Operations to keep their jerseys for the next season. A fee can be assessed for late return of uniforms

All fundraising activities have to have prior approval by our Director of Basketball Operations / Board of Directors. All fundraising funds have to be deposited in our general account so that we follow IRS rules.  Fundraising monies cannot be returned to individuals for any activity not related to the actual fundraising purpose. Teams that fundraise for tournaments, but do not attend tournaments, will have their fundraising money turned over into the program’s general account. Fundraising money cannot be refunded under non-profit regulations.

Assigned team parents are to send out information from the Director of Basketball Operations / Board of Directors.  Assigned team parents are not to handle problems / issues on the team from disgruntled parents.

Team parents must have access to email or must have quick communication skills to send information to parents on their team.

All parents are responsible for checking our web site: on a multiple daily basis.  Updates to the site are made throughout the day.

Playing time is at the discretion of the coach. Problems or issues concerning playing time need to be handled in a professional manner by parents and coaches. Parents are to contact the coach during Monday-Thursday, and not during a tournament weekend, Friday-Sunday, concerning playing time.  Meetings are to be done face-to-face, with no talk of another player taking place.  If the meetings begin to take a wrong turn, the conversation is over, and the next step will be for the coach to alert the Director of Basketball Operations.

Parents are not to approach the coach about playing time, coaching decisions, or game management during a tournament.  Parents are not to approach coaches during practice or game time to make suggestions or offer opinions on practice or game management.

Parents are not to come on the court during practice or games to instruct their children, or give “signals” as a form of instruction to their kids while they are practicing or playing.

There is a no return policy (Rule Since 2000-01). Once you become a part of our organization, you cannot leave the program, join another program, nor practice with another club program, and then tryout or play for our program again (exception is to join the 292 program, not to play, but for consulting purposes). Ask Coach Robinson if you are unclear about our no return policy before playing with another non-school team at any point of the year. Another club program is considered to be one that plays against other travel teams or club programs (AAU/ YBOA/ USAAA, etc…) in tournaments, invitationals or showcase events.  (See note below on a main question.)

Why can’t we return? We have to take care of the folks in our program that are expecting full teams for practices and games.  If you decide to go to your other program’s club team activities and miss ours, it hurts our team / program.

Note on No Return Policy (Common question): Question: Our high school coach wants to start a fall or spring team (mostly fall teams), and this team is to prepare the school team for the upcoming season; can our daughter play with this team since it is labeled as a school team? Answer:  If the team plays against other travel teams, club teams, or AAU Teams then she is considered to be playing with another club team.   The Argument:  If this is a school team, how can she be denied a return to the Stealers?  Answer: No school team can assemble and be coached by a member of their school team staff in the off-season (off-season being: 3rd Sunday in March – first week in June; August – October), with the exception being June, and a couple of noted weeks in July assigned by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. So if the members of a school are playing together in the fall (or spring), and there is a member of the school staff coaching the team, the team is violating NCHSAA Rules.  If the team is not being coached by a member of the school staff, but playing against other travel teams, club teams or AAU Teams, then she is considered to be playing with another club because her high school coach is not coaching the team and thus is ineligible to return to the Winston-Salem Stealers
.  The Next Argument: Why would the Stealers deny someone from playing with their school team?  Answer: We are not denying anyone that opportunity because all school activities will always come before our program activities, but if the team falls under previous answer, then she is actually playing with a club team.  Again, there is no school ball in the spring under NCHSAA Rules.  A new NCHSAA rule allows for some high school team work in the fall pre-season, but the rule is open to everyone to be allowed to play on your school team on the school campus and is not a tryout or organized / set school team (email Coach Robinson if you have any questions). That then becomes a family choice on what to do, and not something that our program will decide for you. However, just note what our program rule is when it comes to playing with this type of team.

Players cannot quit their team, then return to our program. Fighting through adversity, improving their personal situation through tough times by working, and understanding that winning comes from consistent and correct drills and skills is the way to get better for your team to improve.  Quitting is the easy way out, and is not the way to teach future adults.  Dropping from a team because of injuries, family emergencies, etc… can be discussed, but quitting because team is not winning or if she is not receiving a lot of playing time as desired is not a good reason. Folks that bail on their team one time can’t be counted on to stick with their team the next time if we were to allow them back.

Argument that we get: “Don’t you care about the kids? “We want our kids to play as much as possible and we should be allowed to play with another program and yours as well at anytime of the year.” The answer is simple: Of course we care about the kids, why else would we run a program for twenty years when the majority of our coaches and the director doesn’t have a child in the program? The issue doesn’t come down to caring for kids, it comes down to the parents of the kids not following our rules and then using an emotional reasoning to make a case to return to the program. Being a part of our program, then going to another team / program, then trying to return to our program leads to drama because someone will feel as though they can do the same at anytime of the year as well. That, in turn, causes chaos and issues throughout the program.  All teams at all levels have their issues and if we can at least control this situation by not letting a player return based on a parent decision for their child then that’s one less headache to deal with.

School sports: Including activities that are school-related should come first and be a priority for our players.  Our players are not to skip school-related activities to attend a Stealers’ activity. Players missing practice should note that we are a basketball program.  If they miss, they need to catch-up with the ones that are at practice.  If they fall behind, then they will lose their playing time.  If they are able to keep up, then they should not be penalized. This is at the discretion of the coach. If they miss practice just to miss practice, or miss practice for another club sport, that is an entirely different matter.  Again, school-related activities will always come first.  Playing for our program is considered a choice and an outside activity.

Each parent must fill out and sign the “Tryout Letter of Intent” and follow the associated rules that go with that Letter of Intent.  Each parent will also need to fill out a medical release form and the uniform contract before participating.

The tournament schedule is decided on by the Director of Basketball Operations, with the help of the coach if need be.

Each practice facility will be insured through the Winston-Salem Stealers.  It is your responsibility to make sure that each facility is taken care of, and that siblings are being watched at all times.  Do not let siblings, especially those that are younger, roam free around or outside of the facilities.  You will be responsible for any damage that happens to a facility if it by you or a member of your family.

Parents are not to approach the hosting facility staff that we practice at to try and secure extra practice space that we have not secured through contract and / or payment with that facility.

We do not hold in-season group parent meetings as per our Board policy in 2011.  If a parent would like to meet individually, they can request a meeting.  Group parent meetings are not productive as not everyone has the same feelings.

Parents are encouraged to support their child, and all the team members, and not degrade or talk negatively. Question: “What if we run into folks talking negatively about our team or program or my daughter?”  Answer: Understand that you have the ability to sit away from the people, walk away and in some cases when appropriate, stand up for what is right.  You’ll find that the majority of the negative talk usually comes from someone who used to have an association with us.  Instead of moving on, they have to make comments.  In other cases, some people are just rude.  In either case, that’s the world.  Not everyone likes McDonald’s or Starbucks, but the businesses still thrive.  It happens, but just use your judgement when it comes to responding

Parents are to read the following pages on our web site:

Founder’s Philosophy / Straight From the Parent’s Mouth / Parent FAQs / Handling Situations

These web pages were designed by Brian Robinson, founder, and are to help you work through your life as an AAU Parent.  Many who came before you, have gone through the same highs and lows you have, are, and will experience.  If this program’s rules and policies were good enough for those in the past, they are good enough for you, especially the beginners.   AAU life is a marathon, not a sprint… let this program help you along, as it has helped others become the successful players and people they are today.  –  Coach R:)

All of our rules and regulations of our program are to provide a healthy, fun, and productive environment for our players and their parents.  These rules are also trying to help condition the players and parents for future basketball life on the college recruiting trail.  The program is set-up for your child, should she work hard and listen, to be successful. Our focus on skill development and fundamentals at a young age sometimes comes at the sacrifice of winning games. However, the Winston-Salem Stealers feel that it is better to be skilled at a young age and then winning more when the child is older versus winning a lot when the child’s team is younger at the expense of not learning skills and fundamentals.  As the founder and director, I feel as though it is harder to try and catch up fundamentally and skill wise when the child is older, especially when, at the same time, you are trying to impress a college recruiter.  Those, in our program, who have followed the skill development and fundamental blueprint when they are younger have seen the success with college recruitment when they are older. – Coach R:)

“True Success Is When You Have True Happiness.”