Oak Knoll After School Sports
Basketball and Volleyball
Oak Knoll PTO organizes two after school sports programs: Basketball (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade boys and girls) and Volleyball (4th and 5th grade girls). Teams participate in the Menlo Park Recreation Department League (Burgess League).
- Oak Knoll teams are comprised of only Oak Knoll students
- No previous experience is necessary
- Parent volunteers needed -- teams are organized and coached by parents
- Practices are at Oak Knoll and games are played at Arrillaga Family Gymnasium
The 2019 Volleyball season is over. Registration information for the 2020 Volleyball season will be updated here in Spring 2020.
Registration for Basketball is closed for the 2019 season. For the game schedule, please visit the Menlo Park City’s Team Sideline website.
The after school track program is a co-ed program for students in 4th - 8th grade. There will be workouts and track meets (at Menlo Atherton High School and Hillview) where students will compete in individual and team competitions with other neighboring schools (La Entrada, Corte Madera, Woodside). This program is a developmental one that focuses on participants being introduced to various track and field events and improving personal skills. Sign up information will be provided in late Winter 2020.
The after school programs and sports listed on the Oak Knoll website are organized and run by vendors that are unaffiliated with Oak Knoll School or the Menlo Park City School District. The vendors have reserved Oak Knoll campus facilities through the Menlo Park City School District’s Use of School Facilities policy. Oak Knoll School is not responsible for the content of the vendors' websites or for the conduct of the activities they provide and is not liable for any damages or negative consequences from participation in any of the listed activities. Although parent volunteers strive to keep the information on this website up-to-date, parents should always contact the vendor for the latest status of the activities as well as meeting dates and times, which may change from time to time. In addition, Oak Knoll School is not responsible for supervising children after the end of the school day. Parents should make their own arrangements for ensuring their children’s arrival and participation in the activity or activities for which they are enrolled.
Employees and volunteers of Oak Knoll School, Oak Knoll PTO, and the Menlo Park City School District are not liable for any errors, omissions, or changes to any of the information or activities listed herein.
Goals and Policies of After School Sports at Oak Knoll
If your child is planning to play basketball this year, please review the program goals. If you are planning to coach, please make sure you understand our goals and Equal Playing Time Rules and coach within them.
- Fun: Our success should not be measured solely by wins and losses, but rather by the enjoyment of players, coaches and parents.
- Positive and supportive introduction to organized sports: Our parent coaches are the single most important factor in shaping that experience.
- New friendships with teammates who may be outside their circle of friends.
- 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.
- The value of hard work and playing hard
- The fundamental skills of the sport
- The responsibilities of being on a team: coming to practices, cheering on teammates, sharing playing time
- Good sportsmanship and respect for teammates, coaches, referees, and opponents
Equal Playing Time Policy
If we are not careful, the goal of winning can supersede the essential goals of our program. This result is unacceptable to the Oak Knoll community. We want our teams to be competitive and our children to experience success, but not at the cost of our long-term developmental goals for our children. 3rd and 4th grade is a time to have the opportunity to learn all aspects of the game and to develop the broadest possible set of fundamental skills. “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, the Oak Knoll Playing Time Rules are as follows:
- Teams should be selected so that they are balanced and equal in ability.
- Coaches should strive for equal playing time for 3rd and 4th grade players who have comparable practice attendance records. At the fifth grade level, players who have attended practice should play a minimum of 12 minutes.
- All players should be encouraged to be active when in the game (i.e., in basketball, on offense, coaches should not tell their teams to have only the best players handle the ball; on defense, man-to-man defense is a great way to get every player involved).
- Each child should have the opportunity to try every position. Coaches should not pigeonhole players (i.e., taller players should not be told to just wait under the basket; the team's best ball handler should not always be the point guard). In basketball, developing "positionless players" on offense (i.e., giving players a chance to learn and play every position) and playing man-to-man defense are great ways to help young children learn the fundamentals. The rate and timing of children's growth and physical development varies dramatically, and a person's fully developed size, speed, and coordination are unpredictable; coaches should not constrain a child's future prospects in a sport by optimizing for their third or fourth grade win-loss record.
"No Trophy" Policy
The Oak Knoll Volleyball and Basketball teams play in the Menlo Park Recreation (Burgess) League competing against other area schools. 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.)
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 give trophies simply for participating. 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.Ward Bullard, Bjorn Carey, Jenni Djafari, and Becky GenauerOak Knoll After School Sports Committee 2019-2020