Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
A girl plays basketball

RBA and DAYBA merge to form K-8 league

Added on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

For over 30 years The Salvation Army Rookie Basketball Association (RBA) and Duluth Amateur Youth Basketball Association (DAYBA) have helped thousands of youth across Duluth to develop their basketball skills and personal character, with the RBA serving kids in grades K-4, and the DAYBA, grades 5-8.

RBA players shoot hoopsSoon, both programs will join forces to become one program for grades K-8. (Read Duluth News Tribune story.)

The merger will become effective during the 2019/2020 winter season, for which registration begins in August. Administrative oversight of the program will fall under direction of The Salvation Army RBA staff, and all volunteer coaches will apply online.

This merger will benefit the health of youth basketball in Duluth. The RBA and DAYBA have shared principal foundations for youth development through basketball, based on the Minnesota State High School League “Why We Play” education-based athletics and NBA/USA youth basketball national standards. Where coaches and players used to “change tracks” from one program to the other after the fourth grade, they will now be able to continue straight through.

A 2016 poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports announced that by age 13, about 70 percent of children in the U.S. will stop playing organized sports. We hope that this merger will help to retain players and ensure the many benefits that sports can provide, such as physical activity, success, growing through failure, learning to work with others as teammates, taking risks, and so much more.

RBA and DAYBA respective programming will continue outside of the winter season. RBA will continue to provide the Spring 3 on 3 league, Summer clinics, and fall Dunkin’ in Duluth tournament. DAYBA will continue to provide the Spirit of the North Tournament in November and Border Battle in March.

We are thankful for the hard work of both organizations and the many who have given their time and effort to make an impact on youth in Duluth for so many years.  We hope that you join us in celebrating this merger as we look forward to the opportunities that it will provide.