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Rookie Basketball

Does your child want to learn to play basketball in a fun environment? The Salvation Army Rookie Basketball Association is a youth basketball league for boys and girls in Duluth, Minn., that teaches team building and equal participation while developing on-court skills.

The league offers seasonal sessions, plus 3-on-3 player opportunities and clinics. For information on current league events view our most recent newsletter: Fall 2018.

Register today

Registration is currently open for the 2018/2019 Winter Season of our Rookie Basketball program. Co-ed K-1 and Boys 2-4 is now FULL.  Anyone registering in these categories will be placed on a waiting list but is NOT guaranteed a spot on a roster. Girls 2-4 is still open.  Parents will need to fully complete an online form before Oct. 5 to receive the early bird pricing. Late registrations will be charged an additional $20 per child. The last day to register is Nov. 30.

Winter League: Grades K-4

We offer a 5-on-5 winter basketball league for elementary-level boys and girls in grades K-4. This league runs Nov. 5, 2018 – March 9, 2019 and focuses on learning the fundamentals of basketball along with character qualities. Registration is now open.

There is a $90 registration fee per child. Families registering more than one child will receive a $10 discount for each additional child after one paid full-cost registration. Jerseys are $12 per child. There is a $20 late fee per child for registrations submitted after the deadline.

Coaches will contact parents between Oct. 27-31 with team assignments.  Access the game schedule here: FULL game schedule. Games are played at The Salvation Army, 215 S 27 Ave W and The Encounter, 201 E 1st St.

Spring League: Grades 3-6

We offer a 3-on-3 spring basketball league for boys and girls in grades 3-6. This six-week league focuses on improving a youth player’s fundamentals. Both recreational and competitive levels are available. Games are on weeknights, with a tournament the last week.  Registration will open in February.

Summer Clinics: Grades K-6

We offer six summer basketball clinics for boys and girls in grades K-6. These clinics focus on developing basketball fundamentals, as well as character qualities of integrity, teamwork and excellence. Players will develop their individual and team skills through training drills, participating in individual contests, and playing in games. Registration will open in late April.  

Fall 3-on-3 Tournament: Grades K-12

Every September we host Dunkin’ in Duluth. On Saturday, Sept. 22, all basketball players in grades 12 and under are invited to Hillside Sports Courts with up to three of their basketball-playing friends. Each team is guaranteed two games in double elimination tournament play. UMD players will referee the games. One hoop will be dedicated for the 3-point and free-throw contests.

Games will begin at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed to set up, keep score and fill many other roles. For more information, to participate in planning, or to volunteer email or call 218-576-6174. Registration will open in August.

Discounts & Scholarships

Families with more than one child participating will receive a discount for each additional child. Scholarships are available for qualifying families (download a scholarship application). For any questions, call 218-722-7934.

Practice and Games

Practices for league sessions are held at the following locations:

  • The Salvation Army, 215 S. 27th Ave. W.
  • Congdon Elementary, 3116 E. Superior St.
  • Holy Rosary School, 2802 E. 4th St.
  • Homecroft Elementary, 4784 Howard Gnesen Road
  • Lakewood Elementary, 5207 N Tischer Road
  • Lowell Elementary, 200 Rice Lake Rd.
  • Laura MacArthur Elementary, 720 N. Central Ave.
  • Lester Park Elementary, 5300 Glenwood St.
  • Myers Wilkins Elementary, 1027 N. 8th Ave. E.
  • Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Ave.
  • Stowe Elementary, 715 101st Ave. W.

All games are on Saturdays at either The Salvation Army, 215 S. 27th Ave. W., or The Encounter, 201 E. 1st St.

If Duluth Public Schools are closed due to a holiday or inclement weather, practices or games will be canceled.

Coaches send players home with drills and skill work to practice at home. View player skill guide.

Coaches and Volunteers Needed

The Rookie Basketball program relies on volunteers to coach teams for each winter season. The time commitment varies from one to three hours per week. If you volunteered for this role last year, you do not need to fill out a new application. You can simply log in with your username and password and indicate your interest to return. Thank you!

Each volunteer will need to complete the following:

  • Online volunteer application, including references
  • Online background check, linked in the volunteer application
  • Attend Salvation Army Safe From Harm training, good for four years
  • Online concussion training, state mandated and one time (view training)
  • Attend coaches meeting and training, date to be determined

Apply now to coach for the 2018-2019 winter season.

View the Coaches Guide 2018-19 and official basketball signal chart. Our Rookie Basketball coaching resources may also be helpful.

2017-18 Dale Stocke Coach of the Year

Jill Doberstein, recipient, with members of her team.


2016-17 Dale Stocke Coach of the Year

Mayor Emily Larson, Steve Williams recipient, St. Scholastica Head Coach David Staniger

COY 2017

Parent and Player Resources

Rookie Basketball lessons take place both on and off the court, with each parent’s involvement being key to the development of their child. The Rookie Basketball program has developed a Parent Guide, as well as a Code of Conduct Guide (Grades 1-4) to help ensure the league is a positive learning and growing experience.

Photos and video

Curious what you’re missing out on? Miss seeing your Rookie in action? Check out the action in our Photo Gallery and view footage from our games and most recent practices below:

Videos: Testimonials & Season Highlights

Season Highlights

These are the highlights for the past winter seasons. Watch to learn what our league is about and what a typical season is like.

From the Mayor

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson congratulates players on a season well done and talks about her own children’s experience in the league.

Parent Testimonial

End of Season Message: Minnesota Viking C.J. Ham

End of Season Message: Anders & Bjorn Broman


Sponsors and Support

A number of basketball standouts partner with the program and practice with the kids, including the Bulldog men’s basketball team from UMD.

We also have a number of local businesses who support the program:

“Pro Team” Sponsors ($1,000+)

“Varsity Team” Sponsors ($300-$999)

For more information about the Rookie Basketball Association, please contact Kris Mallett at 218-576-6174.