Upward Basketball

A Basketball League for
Kindergarten – 6th Grade

Upward Basketball is designed to build athletic skills, character, confidence, and spirit. It provides a great experience that grows with young athletes over time by using an age appropriate format. Christ Church is in its sixth season of Upward Basketball this fall!

If you’re interested in coaching or refereeing on weekly basis, contact Brandon Sisley prior to registration to receive a discount for player registration.

Important Dates (2023-2024)

Evaluations are help on October 21 and 28. Players only need to attend one 15-minute evaluation time slot. Please sign up for the time slot link below.

Practices Game Day
Nov 7-10
Nov 14-17
Nov 28-Dec 1
Dec 2
Dec 5-8
Dec 9
Jan 9-12
Jan 13
Jan 16-19
Jan 20
Jan 23-26
Jan 27
Jan 30-Feb 2
Feb 3
Feb 6-9
Feb 10
Feb 13-16
Feb 17

Practice Schedule

Each team will have its own practice night, either Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. Multiple teams practice at same time for one hour.  Which night each division will practice will be based on coach availability.

If for some reason practice is held on a night you can not support, we will issue a refund if you need to withdraw from the league.

Volunteer Forms

If you are volunteering during Upward Basketball, we will need you to look over and complete the below forms.

Division Court Size Game Format Goal Height Ball Size Score Kept Rules
Short Court
Six 4 min periods, running clock
7 ft
Size 5-27.5" (Youth Ball)
1-2 Grade
Short Court
Six 6 min periods, running clock
8 ft
Size 5-27.5" (Youth Ball)
3-4 Grade
Full Court
Six 6 min periods, running clock
9 ft
Size 6-28.5" (Women's Ball)
5-6 Grade
Full Court
Four 6 min quarters, clock stops on whistle
10 ft
Size 7-29.5" (Men's Ball)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Upward Basketball?

Upward Sports partners with local churches to leverage sports to connect families and build community.  Upward creates the program infrastructure and logics to combine sports to share the gospel and promote the discovery of Jesus in every community.

Why Upward Basketball at Christ Church?

Christ Church has the facilities and desire to offer this basketball program to our community.  We hope that through this basketball program you can be introduced to us and you may become interested in partnering with us in other areas of worship, missions, or community service.

What type of facilities are used for Christ Church Upward Basketball?

All practices and games are held in Christ Church Sugar Land Covenant Hall (Gym).


Address:  3300 Austin Parkway Sugar Land, TX 77479

Why mixed/co-ed teams?

All of our divisions are co-ed and boys and girls play together at all ages.  Our league is not big enough to have separate offerings for boys and girls.  Historically about 20-25% of players are girls.

What are evaluations and why do you require them?

Every player must be evaluated.  The evaluations consist of several timed stations (1 min or less) where we record each kid’s performance of speed, dribbling ability, and shooting.  We use these scores to split up teams as evenly as possible.  Our goal is to have even teams.  Even teams lead to the best competition and most enjoyment for the kids.  The evaluation should take approximately 10 minutes per kid. Each player only needs to attend one evaluation per season.

Can I request to be on the same teams as friends and family?

We make sure siblings in the same division are assigned to the same team. If you have special car pool needs, we allow you to make those requests and try our best to honor them.  However, we can not always honor friend requests to have kids in the same school or class to all be together.  Our main goal is to create even teams, and honoring friend requests can cause the talent pool to be unevenly distributed.  Uneven teams in turn lead to lopsided games, which generates unhappy kids and parents.

What does the league schedule look like?

The general league calendar and schedule is below.  See Important Dates section for exact dates for this season.  We normally play 8 games, practice for a couple of weeks beforehand, and break for Thanksgiving week and 3 weeks of Christmas and New Years.

  • Aug – October: Registrations
  • Mid-late October: Evaluations
  • Mid-November: Weekday Practice Only
  • Break for Thanksgiving Week
  • 1st 2 weeks of  December: Weekday Practice and Saturday Games
  • 3 Week Christmas / New Years Break
  • 6 Weeks Jan – Mid Feb: Weekday Practice and Saturday Games 

Practices have historically been held on Tues or Thurs, but Wed maybe an option based on coaches as player availability.  Two teams practice at the same time, each getting a half court to practice on.  There are also multiple waves of practices a night.  The K5 division does not practice during the week but has practice time before their game on Saturday.

Who are coaches and referees?

Coaches, referees, and other league officials are all volunteers.  Traditionally most coaches are parents of players, and most referees have been volunteers from the church.  But this is not always the case and if you have the desire, your help would greatly be appreciated.  Parent volunteers who are willing to help on a regular basis as a coach or referee can receive a discount on player registration.  All coaches and referees attend a training session.  All coaches also have a background check performed.  Please contact upwardbb@christchurchsl.org for details.

Is this a youth basketball league and/or a church program?

Yes.  The Upward Basketball program is a great environment for players to learn how to play the game of basketball and develop their skills.  The rules change based on age to allow the player progress at the correct level.  Especially for younger kids, smaller balls and lower goals allow the kids to develop proper shooting techniques when compared to other youth basketball programs.  While we plan to provide a wholesome, clean, uplifting, and fun atmosphere for both players and parents to enjoy basketball, we do take opportunities to share the hope and joy we have in Christ.  Examples are short 5 minute devotions during practices, short talks at halftime, and Star rewards for players after games.

I have already registered and paid for my child, but I no longer wish to participate due to schedule conflict. What can I do?

If you wish to withdraw from the league before practices start we can issue a full refund via check.  If you wish to withdraw after practices have started, we can issue a partial refund since uniforms and other materials have been ordered.

What if registration says program or division is full? What is the waitlist?

Our league is limited to access of one full size basketball court with limited availability to use for league play.  As such we can only accommodate 4-6 teams per division and total of around 120 kids in the program.  If you register and it says the division or league is full, please leave your contact information to be on a waitlist.  At times we may find way to bring in another team and bring multiple people into the league.  At other times, a few people may back out which will open slots for people to fill in.  If on the waitlist, I will contact you to give you an idea of the odds of making into the program. 

I still have questions, how can I get an answer?

Please direct any questions to Christ Church Upward Basketball Commissioner Brandon Sisley at upwardbb@christchurchsl.org.