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Oak Knoll School

Oak Knoll After School Sports


  • Basketball and Volleyball teams participate in the Menlo Park Recreation Department League (Burgess League).

    • The Oak Knoll teams are comprised of only Oak Knoll students.
    • No previous experience is necessary.
    • Teams are organized and coached by parents.
    • Practices are at Oak Knoll and games are played at Burgess Gym.

  • Goal Goals of After School Sports Teams at Oak Knoll School

    Playing Time: If we are not careful, the goal of winning can supersede the essential goals of our program. The result is unacceptable to the Oak Knoll community. At 3rd and 4th grades, and at this level of development, this is a time to develop skills and have the opportunity to learn the game. “Select” teams and “the best five” play are perfectly fine strategies for older athletes, not for eight and nine year olds. At 5th grade we begin the transition to more competitive contests. To that effect, I want to reiterate the Oak Knoll Playing Time Rules:


    • Teams should be selected so that they are equal in ability.
    • Playing time for 3rd and 4th grade players who have attended practices should be equal. At the fifth grade level, team members who have attended practice should play a minimum of 12 minutes.
    • All players should be encouraged by their coaches to be active when in the game (i.e. on offense, coaches should not tell their teams to have only the best players handle the ball; on defense, person-to-person defense is a great way to get every player involved).


    Introduce students to sports:

    For many kids, this may be their first introduction to organized sports. We want it to be a positive experience.

    Be competitive:

    We want our teams to play hard, be competitive and win games.

    Build team skills:

    The responsibilities of being on a team (coming to practices, cheering on teammates, sharing playing time) need to be embraced by all players.

    Build new friendships:

    As Oak Knoll continues to grow, we want to encourage students to interact with others who may be “outside of their circle of friends.”

    Learn basic skills of the sport:

    We want to make sure our children are learning the building blocks of the sport. Middle school and high school coaches want players who know the fundamentals of the sport. We encourage coaching strategies that teach the fundamental skills for the long run over tactics that work only at this level.

    Have fun:

    Having fun is probably the most important goal of our after-school sports programs. Our success should not be measured solely by wins and losses, but rather by the enjoyment of players, coaches and parents.

    Build Oak Knoll Community spirit:

    We want our teams to support one another, rooting for one another at games and other community building activities. We encourage grade level “Jamborees”. We encourage our coaches to support each other, share best practices, and see themselves as a “grade-level” team.

    If your child is planning to play basketball this year, please review the goals with them. If you are planning to coach, please make sure you understand our goals and Equal Play Rules and will coach within them. If you are a parent with or without a child playing basketball this year, please make sure you understand the goals and Equal Play Rules.

    Trophy Policy

    The Oak Knoll Volleyball and Basketball teams play in the Menlo Park Recreation (Burgess) League competing against other area schools. The League is run by Burgess. The games are played at Burgess and officiated by Burgess referees. Starting at the fifth grade level, for basketball teams, Burgess has playoff competitions and provides trophies to the top winners. At the lower grades, there are no playoffs and Burgess provides t-shirts to the participants. (Volleyball playoffs do not begin until 6th grade.) Since the league is run by Burgess, any trophies for the teams should by awarded by Burgess.

    The After School Sport program will not give trophies for participating in the program. Likewise, the coaches are not permitted to give trophies. We want consistency among the teams and it would be unfair for some teams to be given trophies simply for participating while other teams do not get them.

    While we want to encourage the students to play on the Oak Knoll teams, to develop the fundamental skills of the sport, to learn the game and have fun, at the same time the students need to realize that not every team or individual gets a trophy. From a developmental perspective, we want to help the students learn that they may play their best and try their hardest, and their coaches may recognize their efforts, but they will not receive an award for simply participating.

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