Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

What type of organization are you?

 

The Metro Mentorship Initiative is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit public charity (EIN: 27-4083907) located in Chicago, Illinois. All donations to our agency are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Austin Comets Athletics is the central mentoring activity of the company. Management of business affairs, properties and interests of Austin Comets Athletics are vested in The Metro Mentorship Initiative’s Board of Directors.

 

Where do you centrally operate or host activities?

 

Most of our operations and activities are based in the Austin Neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Our target is to serve kids primarily in the urban community but we are open to providing our program and services to kids in other communities.

 

How many sports activities do you offer?

 

We currently offer one activity that includes an AAU youth basketball club. We host both regional and national travel teams for youth boys. In the near future we plan to offer youth track & field and football.

 

When does registration begin?

 

* For Basketball: Registration for our basketball club starts December 1st. Participants are able to receive an early bird discount if they register before February 1st. If registering after the start of our regular season March 1st, participants are charged a $50 late registration fee. Registration for basketball is closed on May 30th.

 

What do I need to register my child? 

 

In order for your child to register with our club we MUST have the following items on file in our athletic office (P.O. BOX 51461 Chicago, IL):

 

  • * Copy of a Birth Certificate
  • * Copy of School Physical
  • Participation Agreement Form
  • * Registration Application 
  • * Club Fee Payment

 

These documents can be given to the head coach at the first parent meeting, practice or sent to our company mailbox.

 

Will I have to provide information of my medical insurance or do you provide liability for my child?

 

Yes, you will have to provide us with some form of medical insurance information in order to participate in the program due to liability issues. Membership to our affiliated organizations includes general liability insurance for your child.

 

Is our information kept confidential?

 

All paperwork, forms, documents and contracts are kept in a safe and secure place where the information that may be contained in the documents is released (1) with Parent/Guardian permission, (2) on a limited “need to know” basis, (3) in compliance with any and all statute(s). Paperwork, forms, documents, contracts are kept on file for a minimum of 7 years, longer in the event of an injury.

 

 Do I have to live in the Austin area to participate in activities?

 

No, you don’t have to live in the Austin community to participate. We offer our services to all communities preferably the Chicago metro area.

 

What kind of insurance do you have for your activities?

 

All activities are covered under general liability and accident insurance endorsed through the governing bodies.

 

 

COST QUESTIONS

 

What does my registration fee include?

 

Registration fee covers court/facilities rental fees, league memberships (with insurance), competition entrance fees, equipment and minor administrative costs. Each participant will be given a cost sheet at the time of registration that gives a detailed explanation of the cost of participation.

 

The club registration fee must be received by the due dates or an athlete WILL NOT be permitted to practice or participate in any competitions. Due dates are posted on our team website and written on the cost sheet.

 

Do you offer sibling discounts and charitable subsidizing for athletes?

 

Yes, we do offer sibling discounts and charitable subsidizing for participants. These are based on income and academics of potential participants.  We do not use this as a recruiting tool. If there is an athlete in a situation where financial aid is a necessary, please make arrangements to speak with Austin Comets administration prior to his participation so as to not interfere with roster management.

 

Will I be able to receive a refund if I pay the registration fee and my child decides not to participate?

 

No, all transactions are final and non-refundable. It is very important to know if your child is willing to commit to this club before paying the registration fee to avoid this type of issue. Any payment or registration concerns or discrepancies should be made in writing to the Athletic Director.

 

Is there additional equipment I need to purchase on my own?

 

* For Basketball: You will have to provide any accessories needed such as compression shirts or shorts, arm and knee sleeves, headbands and mouthpieces.

 

Is there a payment plan?

 

Yes, there is a payment plan available for participants. We must have at least %50 percent of the registration fee upfront in order to process the payment plan. Monthly payments are usually scheduled for the first week of the month.

 

 

TEAM QUESTIONS

 

What ages are allowed to participate?

 

We offer teams for boy’s ages 8-17. Teams are normally divided into the age groups of 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 etc. In the event that we have older age groups that decide to participate in our club, we are open to providing our services to them without complications. In some cases we host blended teams where boys of various ages play on one specific team for the year. This is to accommodate a full roster and fill needed spots for tournament participation.

 

How do you determine the age eligibility of an athlete for team placement?

 

Our teams are based on the current grade in school and an athlete’s birthdate. We do allow for an athlete to play in a higher age group based on his skill level and experience. Athlete cannot play in lower age groups if their birthday determines they should be in a higher age group. All scenarios of course are at the discretion of the coaching staff and Athletic Director. The following applies:

 

* 3rd Grade Division

An athlete must be in the 3rd grade as of October 1, 2013 and can be no older than 10 on August 31, 2014. An athlete that is in the 4th grade as of October 1st, 2013 wanting to play down in the 3rd grade division, can be no older than 9 on August 31, 2014.

 

* 4th Grade Division

An athlete must be in the 4th grade as of October 1, 2013 and can be no older than 11 on August 31, 2014. An athlete that is in the 5th grade as of October 1st, 2013 wanting to play down in the 4th grade division, can be no older than 10 on August 31, 2014.

 

* 5th Grade Division

An athlete must be in the 5th grade as of October 1, 2013 and can be no older than 12 on August 31, 2014. An athlete that is in the 6th grade as of October 1st, 2013 wanting to play down in the 5th grade division, can be no older than 11 on August 31, 2014.

 

* 6th Grade Division

An athlete must be in the 6th grade as of October 1, 2013 and can be no older than 13 on August 31, 2014. An athlete that is in the 7th grade as of October 1st, 2013 wanting to play down in the 6th grade division, can be no older than 12 on August 31, 2014.

 

* 7th Grade Division

An athlete must be in the 7th grade as of October 1, 2013 and can be no older than 14 on August 31, 2014. An athlete that is in the 8th grade as of October 1st, 2013 wanting to play down in the 7th grade division, can be no older than 13 on August 31, 2014.

 

* 8th Grade Division

An athlete must be in the 8th grade as of October 1, 2013 and can be no older than 15 on August 31, 2014. An athlete that is in the 9th grade as of October 1st, 2013 wanting to play down in the 8th grade division, can be no older than 14 on August 31, 2014.

 

NOTICE: Austin Comets Athletics is a grade-based program. Each grade division consists of a 24-month age window, which determines an athletes’ participation in that division. If an athletes’ age is outside the 24-month window for their grade, the athlete must play up to the grade division that is normal and customary for their age. If an athlete is in any grade above what is normal and customary for their age, that athlete may play down provided they meet the established criteria set out in the chart below:

 

AGE REQUIREMENTS TO PLAY DOWN A GRADE DIVISION

 

Grade as of Oct.1st, 2013 Requested Grade Birthdate Requirements
12th Grade 11th Grade born on or after 9/1/1996
11th Grade 10th Grade born on or after 9/1/1997
10th Grade 9th Grade born on or after 9/1/1998
9th Grade 8th Grade born on or after 9/1/1999
8th Grade 7th Grade born on or after 9/1/2000
7th Grade 6th Grade born on or after 9/1/2001
6th Grade 5th Grade born on or after 9/1/2002
5th Grade 4th Grade born on or after 9/1/2003
4th Grade 3rd Grade born on or after 9/1/2004
3rd Grade 2nd Grade born on or after 9/1/2005
2nd Grade 1st Grade born on or after 9/1/2006

 

How far do your teams travel?

 

We normally play in local competitions (City of Chicago) but occasionally we will play in suburban communities such as Aurora, Elmhurst, Schaumburg, Lisle, Matteson and Deerfield. In the near future our National travel teams will compete in tournaments out of state in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. Regional tournaments are usually played in Orlando, Florida at the Disney World Wide Sports Complex.

 

Do we keep the uniforms or equipment issued?

 

All club-issued game uniforms and equipment are property of the Austin Comets Athletics organization and participants must return all game uniforms at the end of the season. Uniforms or equipment are issued usually at the first practice.

 

How long are your seasons?

 

* For Basketball: Our AAU Basketball season starts officially with our first practice in March 1st and ends in August 31st .

 

Are there tryouts for your teams?

 

According to Austin Comets guidelines there are no tryouts to select players for teams. We form teams on a first come, first serve basis. We host open runs (ratings clinics) to determine which team each participant will be placed on based on athletic level. This is to ensure that all teams are created equally and have similar competitive skill levels.

 

How many players will be on a team?

 

* For Basketball: Typically, a roster would comprise of 10-12 players.

 

Do you offer all-star teams?

 

We currently do not offer all-star teams at this time.

 

How many games or competitions do your teams play?

 

* For Basketball: Typically in our basketball season we try to play in at least 6 high exposure tournaments  (18 games) a year. This of course is based on the number of participants who actually complete the registration process.

 

Tournaments always take place on the weekends and can be one, two or three day events. Each tournament organization set schedule times of games of which the coaching staff are normally not aware of until the week of the tournament.

 

Is there a fee to attend a competition?

 

Parents should expect to pay a spectators fee at each competition.  Austin Comets staff does not accommodate the fee and ask that parents plan accordingly to pay cash for most competitions.

 

Where are practices or games played and how often are they?

 

* For Basketball: Basketball practices are currently held at St. Paul Lutheran School (846 N. Menard) but locations may vary. Please check back periodically on our website for updated information of practice and game locations. Practices are normally scheduled for 2 hours, 2-3 times a week at the discretion of the coaching staff.

 

Can a multi-sport athlete play with the Austin Comets?

 

Because of the commitment level required of an athlete with the Austin Comets sports club, it is difficult for athletes to participate in multiple sports. We ask that an athlete be honest about what sport he would like to play and choose to commit fully to the expectations of that team.

 

Is my child guaranteed playing time?

 

We believe that playing time is earned by the athletes but will give everyone the opportunity to participate in games and competitions.

 

What should my child bring to practices?

 

Participants are allowed to bring club-issued practice uniform along with extra athletic gear such as gym shoes (or cleats), t-shirts and shorts. Jeans and other casual apparel are not allowed. Towels and water will be provided at practice facility.

 

A folder for athletes will be given at practice for them to keep track of all handouts including practice times, playbook, calendars etc.

 

Can parents watch practice?

 

Parents are not required to stay and watch practice. It is recommended that for at least the first practice that an athlete’s parent stay to watch how practices are ran, meet the coaches and become more comfortable with the organization.

 

How will my child get to practices, games or tournaments?

 

A transportation service (First Charter) is contracted by our organization to provide safe transport to and from practices and competitions as an additional optional cost for athletes. If choosing to opt out of this service, parents are responsible for transportation of their child. It is ideal that all athletes and coaches ride together as a team to competitions on the rented bus and we also encourage parents to assist in riding along to provide extra help with safety. Coaches or other club staff are not allowed to take kids home from practices and competitions.

 

Who are the coaches of each team?

 

All of our coaches have been thoroughly trained and certified by the American Sports Education Program (ASEP) and Positive Coaching Alliance curriculum. Coaches have also gone through extensive background checks/screenings and have accepted the role of a mentor with the full understanding of our mission and organizational goals. They share a wealth of knowledge from previous coaching and playing experiences at the scholastic, collegiate or professional level.

 

How are athletes evaluated?

 

The coaching staff give pre-season, in-season and post-season evaluations for athletes to use for positional, team and individual development. Coaches use film sessions and ratings clinics (open runs) to assess athletes in fundamental skills, strength, speed, acceleration and competitive game play. Athletes are also given individual improvement plans for ongoing athletic development on and off the court.  All athletes are evaluated using the same criteria and given the same opportunity to make a team, regardless of any previous experience.