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Youth basketball season comes to a close

By: Special to The News Messenger
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For the 2007-08 basketball season, the City of Lincoln Recreation Department partnered with the Police Activities League to put together the Lincoln Youth Basketball program. The league went extremely well for our first time being involved, recreation coordinator Adam White said. PAL has organized the league for the past several years with volunteers, but this year with our partnership, we were able to take advantage of hired staff members to assist with the coordination and operation of the league, easing work off of the volunteers. In addition to partnering with PAL, the Recreation Department partnered with Rocklin Community Services to create a more dynamic league for the girls divisions. Both departments combined the teams of each age group to increase the number of teams and raise the level of competition in each division. Both departments interchanged their facilities, which were located within 1 mile of each other, making it easier for participant transportation. The city of Lincoln strongly believes in the benefits of participation in organized youth sports. Participation in sports has proven to build self esteem, promote teamwork, and develop both the body and mind, and is an integral part of the developmental process. With more than 550 participants, a total of 51 teams and eight divisions, the league was a large undertaking for the department. Most teams practiced twice a week with games on Saturdays. From the beginning, one of our major goals was to observe and learn as much as we could, then go back at the end of the season and look at how we can improve the program for next year, White said. Next year, they hope to develop a sponsorship system for local and community businesses and sponsors. Also, the department plans on implementing a new sportsmanship system that will allow the coaches, players, parents and staff to be monitored and recognized for outstanding sportsmanship. We really appreciate all the parents for dedicating their time, effort and energy for their children to play youth basketball, White said. Also, a big thanks to all the elementary and middle schools for the use of their facilities. Their staff was great. Due to the success of the league, the Recreation Department is organizing a year-round competitive basketball league, joining forces with teams from Placer and Sacramento counties through the Foothills Competitive Basketball League. This will bring a high level of competition to Lincoln on a year-round basis. Look for registration to begin in September and league play to begin in early December. For more information on upcoming youth sports programs, go online at www.LincolnYouthSports.com.