AAU is one of the most prestigious athletic organizations you can participate in. High school coaches and college scouts alike recognize the talent that comes from the Amateur Athletic Union and its members. Joining a team or forming your own AAU team to participate in competitive leagues and tournaments is easy. There are some requirements which you should follow when ordering uniforms though. The next few paragraphs provide a basic outline on what to follow when designing and purchasing basketball uniforms:
Home and Away Sets:
This is where the initial cost first comes in. The AAU requires that teams have a “home” and “away” jersey to participate in league play. This is quite surprising, considering the high school I played for only had 1 uniform for both. There are ways around this to make better use of the team budget when being required to have two separate uniforms:
1. Order reversibles! As long as one side is light, and the other is dark, a reversible will suffice in most AAU district leagues. Typically, the reversibles can get a little heavy, although a reputable uniform company will have means to manufacture a lighter uniform to solve this issue. You can also choose to sublimate or screenprint the jerseys instead of tackle-twill to take some of the weight off.
2. Order a reversible jersey with standard short. Some uniform companies offer the option of purchasing a reversible jersey with a single sided standard short to match the jersey design. This is a cost cutter versus ordering a full reversible because typically the single-sided shorts are much less expensive than having a reversible.
3. Order two jerseys and one short to match both. If weight becomes an issue, or the age group participating is under the 9/10 range, you can always order two separate jerseys and a short to match. You can get a short color that matches the color scheme both jerseys, or get a reversible short to go with either. The guarantees the jerseys won’t be AS heavy as the reversibles and may even be a relief on team mom’s not having to wash the same uniform over and over again!
Customization is a crucial part of the AAU uniform. Unlike middle and high school play, most AAU districts allow the team to have unlimited customization on the uniform. The kids feel great, look professional, and most of the time this translates to them playing a little bit better! Basketball is the most “flashy” of all sports uniforms, so get creative with piping, accents, sublimation, and logos. A reputable uniform company should be able to provide you a unique design from scratch, and allow you to add just about any thing you want to the uniform.
Numbering can generally be either tackle-twill, screen-print, or sublimation. But, once again, districts do vary, but most follow the following rules (quoted from the NJ AAU girls basketball website): “Each player shall be numbered on the front and back of the shirt with plain Arabic numerals.
The following numbers are legal: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 00, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55. (But double zero and zero cannot both be used for the same team) The number shall be at least 6 inches high on the back and at least 4 inches high on the front and not less than 3/4-inch width.”
I hope this helps all you AAU coaches and interested participants out there!
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by Dustin Brown