Mid Jersey Basketball League Mission
The spirit of the Mid Jersey Basketball League is to provide competitive games for all teams at all ages and levels.
Divisions Based on Age & Skill Level, not just Age
The MJBL does not have absolute grade or age cutoffs because teams at different age groups may be great matchups for each other, regardless of the age difference. For example, a very strong 7th grade team may match up better with 8th grade and even lower level 9th grade teams than they do with other mid-low level 7th grade teams. The age gap certainly makes a difference but a more skilled and/or experienced younger team will match up well with a weaker older team, even if the older team is bigger and stronger. With this is mind, please do not be alarmed if you see an older or younger team on your schedule or in your division. You can be assured that is because MSC thinks it will be a competitive game where each team has a chance to win and enjoy the game.
Each team is required to submit a roster at the beginning of each season. This roster may be updated throughout the season. Keep in mind that players must play in at least 50% of your team's regular season games to be eligible for the playoffs, except in extenuating circumstances like injury. However, if a player that is added or taken off the roster will significantly impact the level of your team, you must let MSC know and that will very likely result in your future schedule being updated to suit the new level of your team. For example, if you are a B level team with B level opponents on your schedule and you add a very strong player that makes your team an A level team, MSC will look at your future schedule and change any games that no longer look competitive.
Game Changes - Please Avoid Asking
MSC would like to avoid forfeits as much as possible. Coaches should make sure they have enough players for each game as soon as the schedule is posted. Keep in mind that if you have at least 5 players available, you should play the game. Changing games after they are posted is extremely difficult and we want to keep the changes to a minimum, especially considering that you have the opportunity to list all conflicts in advance of the schedule being posted. Every time a game is changed, it impacts at least 1 other team, and most likely 3 or more other teams (30-40 families) who have probably already made plans based on the schedule that is posted. If you do find out you have less than 5 players for a particular game, you may bring fill-in players, as long as they do not change the level of your team. If the only player you can find would change the level of the team, you should let MSC know and we will make a decision if the game should still be played, if the result of the game should count or if MSC should help you find fill-in players at the right level.
If a coach feels that their opponent has brought a non-roster player that has changed the level of the the other team, you have a couple choices. As soon as the coach suspects that an opponent has a ‘ringer’, the coach can politely ask the other coach to confirm that the player is on the roster. If the opponent confirms the player is on the roster, then you can either take their word for it or you can ask MSC to confirm the roster as well. We hope that coaches will not lie about who is actually on their roster. If it is confirmed that the player is not on the roster, then the player must be removed from the game immediately and not return. If that player is the 5th player or if the coach would like to leave that player in the game, the game may continue but the game will result in a forfeit loss for the team with the ringer, regardless of the score at the end of the game. A couple more notes about a situation like this: the challenge must happen during the game. If you wait until after the game is over to challenge a roster, there is nothing that can be done. Game results will not be reversed after the game has ended, even if it is determined that a non-roster player that changed the level of the team has played. The second note is to remember the spirit of the league. Please do not bring ringers - the games are set up to be competitive games based on previous results and ratings. Changing the level of your team resulting in a blowout win is doing your players a disservice. Your players do not improve or build confidence or receive any benefit when you win by blowout vs an inferior opponent. On the other hand, even if you suspect a player on the other team should not be playing, unless it is egregious we encourage you to accept the challenge and play the game. You may lose the game, but you will teach your players what it means to be a true competitor and that craving tough competition is more important than the result of the game.
All referees in the MJBL are certified and experienced and should be treated with respect by players, coaches and fans. There is absolutely no reason at all for a parent or fan to address a referee under any circumstance. Players and coaches may talk or ask questions to referees, as long as it is done in a respectful manner - the same way you would speak to any other human being off the court. Referees at every level do occasionally make mistakes, but consider how many calls we see in professional sports that have the benefit of several different angles of replay, and it's still sometime difficult to determine the correct call. Any time there is a close call in a game in any sport, the team or player that does not get the benefit of that call will usually consider it to be a horrible call by a bad ref, and that is just not the case. Sometimes a game may come down to a close call at the end of the game and sometimes referees may get that call wrong. Parents and coaches should teach our kids that the proper way to react is NOT to complain and dwell on the bad call and use it as an excuse, but to use it as motivation to get better and come back even stronger. Think about how the Saints reacted after the non pass interference call in the 2019 NFC Championship or how Lebron and the Cavs reacted after the block/charge reversal in game 1 of the 2018 NBA finals. Both of these calls very likely changed the outcome of the game - games with far more on the line than any MJBL game - but all of the players and coaches involved took the high road and moved on.
However, with all of that being said, referees in the MJBL are held to the same standard as the players, coaches and fans. Referees should be punctual, respectful and professional. If there are ever any examples of referees not adhering to this standard, then please let the MSC desk know right away.