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VDBL (Grades 5-8)

LIMITED CAPACITY! Leagues/teams are rostered on a first-come (registered), first-served basis.

VABA Mission and League Goals:

The VABA Mission is to build character and shape lives through the game of basketball. Organized and run by the Virginia Basketball Academy the VDBL is set on VABA’s two main goals: SKILL & CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. The VDBL is designed to help young basketball players prepare for life and the relevant possibility of playing high school basketball. As a program of VABA, a recognized 501c3/non-profit organization, the VDBL maintains the same mission and purpose, aiming to serve the extended Charlottesville-Albemarle community by funding scholarships for all interested participants. Donations and sponsorships are vitally important to sustaining our costs and are always welcome! (Apply for a Scholarship)

League Structure

This is not a “recreational” basketball league; rather, this is a “developmental” league. We aim to provide a controlled, focused environment where devoted coaches and student-athletes can sincerely focus on developing their skills, strive toward maximizing their potential on & off the court, and ultimately prepare for the possibility of playing HS basketball.


There are four “divisions” within the VDBL: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade (two within VDBL-Girls, 5-6 & 7-8). All teams, comprised of 10 players each, are divided based on the high school the players would (eventually) be attending. The VDBL is not run directly by the schools, the high schools, or their athletic directors and coaches. It has been designed with their knowledge, input, consent and support. Local high schools stand to benefit from the development of their future athletes therefore they are very supportive and excited about the VDBL and its approach! All games and practices will be taking place at the projected high school or middle school. Participating schools include Albemarle HS, Charlottesville Catholic, Charlottesville Day School, Charlottesville HS, Covenant, Fluvanna County HS, Greene County HS, Louisa County HS, Monticello HS, Nelson County HS, Orange County HS, St.  Anne's-Belfield, Western Albemarle HS, (and other private schools and home-school students). Students will participate as Archangels, Bears, Black Knights, Dragons, Eagles, Flucos, Governors, Hornets, Lions, Mustangs, Patriots, Saints, or Warriors.

Small PRIVATE SCHOOLS (w/ no HS) *All private school must have enough participants from their school to form a school team - otherwise, they will be placed within their public school district. 
*All other local private school or home-schooled students interested in participating have the choice of trying out for either their local, districted high school mascot team or the “Eagles” or “Saints.”
*If you would like to enter a team not listed within the schools above, you may do so with the consent of the League Director (provided you have a minimum of 8 players all of whom would attend the same HS).

Special VDBL Offerings!

  • Trained Coaches/Coaches' Clinics: All VDBL Head Coaches are trained, through a series of “Coaches’ Clinics,” on a specific basketball curriculum of Coaching Ethics, Individual Skill Development, Defensive & Team Offensive play. There is no charge to VDBL Coaches for Coaches Clinics.
  • 10-12 Games: Games are played on Saturday/Sunday afternoons/evenings.  Usually teams play one (1) game per week (unless a division has an odd number of teams, in which case, one team in the odd-numbered division can play two games in a given week).  
  • Full, Reversible Mesh Uniforms, Shooting Shirt & T-shirt: All student-athletes are outfitted in full uniform, including a reversible mesh jersey and shorts, shooting shirt & league t-shirt in the respective colors of their future high school (student-athletes keep all apparel).  STOCK ORDERS ARE MADE FOR EACH TEAM so individual sizes are not taken.  
  • Two, 90-minute practices/week: Gym space has been reserved for each team practice (90-minutes in length) in order to ensure the optimum environment for teaching and learning. All practices take place at the program’s respective high school or middle school gymnasium.  IMPORTANT NOTE: All practices are subject to change due to inclement weather and/or school/varsity/JV scheduling.  Game locations rotate each week, so each team receives, in most cases, two home games during the season (usually at the high school).
  • Two, Certified, High School Officials for Games: All games are officiated by certified high school officials.  All VHSL rules are applied and enforced (quarter-length, stop-time).
  • Single-elimination, Championship tournament: The season is culminated by an end-of-the-season single-elimination tournament including all teams (all teams qualify for the tournament).
  • Championship Weekend held in High School Main gym: No atmosphere can compare to the end-of-the-season championship weekend with VABA.  100+ single-elimination games, music, announcers on site make it an unforgettable experience the kids (and fans) will never forget
  • Registration Cost:
    VDBL 5-6 and 7-8 = $319 (approx. $21/week)

*Two divisions (5th-6th, 7th-8th) *10 girls/roster *Grades 5 - 8

*Premier Boys league (10/roster) (must attend one tryout)

*Silver league teams are formed with those that do not make Gold rosters following tryouts/evaluations (must attend one tryout) *Grades 5 - 8

Full & Partial Scholarships!

Cost should NOT PROHIBIT any student-athlete from trying-out/signing-up!
In order to bring the highest quality organization & league, it requires significant costs – listed above. The VDBL is a program of the Virginia Basketball Academy, a NON-PROFIT organization, whose mission is to use basketball to teach life and ensure opportunities to all participants is critical to its purpose AND success. Click here to APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP.

After the completion of the tryout/evaluations in the fall, recommendations are made to specific athletes who may be candidates for our VABA Bruins Travel teams (AAU). These teams travel to compete against other travel (AAU) teams.

*Boys, Girls Grades 1 -4 (click on logo for more info)