Getting out on the Court
Nothing motivates the minis like a sports hero. When you’ve got a team like Oakland’s Warriors to watch, it’s easy to get kids excited about the game of basketball. If your own little warrior decides it’s time to shoot some hoops, it may be time to sign up for Lafayette Moraga Youth Association’s (LMYA) winter season. Go online in late August for a spot for your 1st to 8th grader. The younger teams are randomly assigned within Lafayette and Moraga, while grades 3-8 require evaluations for more evenly matched competition.
With teams for both boys and girls Lamorinda Basketball Academy can even get your kindergartener bouncing the big orange ball. Their academies for older kids take it up a notch with competitive play in the spring and summer, leaving time for players to participate in their local leagues for the regular season. Orinda parks and rec’s OYS program offers two levels of play with their Developmental and Youth Leagues. Both run January to March.
Skyhawks will teach the pee wee’s to play starting at age 3. Register them for the fall-winter tot/preschool basketball held at Orinda Community Center Park. The organization also runs afterschool programs for kids ages 5-11 in Lafayette.
When they’re ready for the pick and roll, Catholic Youth Organization’s (CYO) Santa Maria program offers two levels of volunteer coached, competitive play for boys and one for girls, grades 4-8. Evaluations, held in the fall, are required for boys wishing to play in their American league, while other leagues are open to any child, Catholic or non. Practices begin in October and are sometimes held outside of the Lamorinda area due to gym availability.
The full season runs from November to February. Players ready to dunk may have to travel (no pun intended). Based in San Francisco, Bay City Basketball’s Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) runs camps, clinics and club teams. Comp teams vary, with some traveling outside the area, while others compete mostly around the Bay. For kids looking to make their mark outside of the regular high school season, Bay City offers programs through 12th grade during both spring and fall.
Clearing the Net
Volleyball is big in Lamorinda, particularly for girls. Lafayette Moraga Youth Association’s (LMYA) holds weekly practices and Saturday games in the Joaquin Moraga and Stanley Middle School gyms for 8 weeks in the spring. Get your 4th-8th grader setting and spiking by signing him or her up in January. Evaluations for team placement are held in early February.
The Northern California Volleyball Association dictates tryout dates for club volleyball, generally in early August for boys and early November for girls. A USAV membership number, available on the NCVA website, is required to try out for any club. For girls, the NCVA has two levels: Power League and Premier League, while the boys have only the Power League.
Vibe’s pre-registration begins in October, but players may also register and pay their application fee at the door of any tryout. The organization also holds summer clinics and runs fall, sand, and rec programs. Diablo Volleyball accepts boys and girls ages 12-18 and hosts their tryouts in Walnut Creek. See their website for registration, clinic, beach and open gym dates. Based in Pleasanton, NorCal is unique for having its own training facility, though some teams practice at St. Mary’s College in Moraga.
In addition to their Power League and non-comp Juniors teams, NorCal has a wide range of offerings including a summer doubles program, camps and clinics, private coaching and fall ball. Like other clubs, East Bay Volleyball has fall ball, beach, open gyms, camps and clinics as well as their comp teams. East Bay Volleyball is situated in Livermore. Xceleration volleyball holds all their camps, clinics and comp practices at their facility in Martinez.
Backhands, Forehands and Drop Shots
With our fabulous weather, Lamorinda is a fantastic place to pick up a racket. In addition to the many pool and tennis clubs, several organizations offer lessons, clinics and camps. Hunter Gallaway’s Tennis Academy runs programs at the Lafayette Tennis club for members and non-members alike. Kids can start in their Pee Wee classes beginning at age 4.
Older players looking for a higher level of play can take their Academy courses. Camps are offered throughout the summer for kids of all ages and skill levels. Paragon Tennis also holds camps and clinics at Acalanes High School during the summer.
Contact Drew Diefenbach for schedules and pricing. Orindawoods Junior Tennis program begins spring tennis in April for kids from 4 and up. Their tournament training group is by invitation only. Orindawoods also offers private and semi-private lessons as well as summer clinics. Rancho Colorados runs an after school tennis club beginning in August. Rancho’s variety of clinics are based on skill and commitment level.
Moraga Valley Tennis Club has drop in classes in the fall for kids, ages 6-15 in addition to private lessons, spring and summer clinics and interclub teams. Lifetime Activities in Walnut Creek also has a wide variety of tennis classes for kids age 4-15.
In a Pickle
Pickleball is a fast growing, fun game played with paddles and a Wiffle ball. Hunter Gallaway’s Tennis Academy holds 8-week group lessons at the Lafayette Tennis Club for members and non-members. Private lessons are also available to all. Once your kid has mastered the sport, you can venture out together to Walnut Creek Rec’s Open Gym at the Tice Valley Gymnasium where $5.00 gets you 3 hours of pickleball time.