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Frequently Asked Questions about the Hurricanes and AAU

What is AAU?
AAU stands for Amateur Athletic Union. The AAU is a national organization based in Lake Buena Vista, FL, that is the one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. The AAU is dedicated to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness, such as with the girls’ basketball program where the Hurricanes compete. The national AAU is divided into districts around the country. The Hurricanes compete in the Maryland District, which covers the entire state of Maryland except for Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. For more information on the AAU, go to this Web site: http://aausports.org/default.asp. The national AAU girls’ basketball Web site is at http://www.aaugirlsbasketball.org/. Also, to get a flavor about AAU girls’ basketball, go to the girls basketball Message Board at http://aaugirlsbasketball.org/forum/default.asp and you’ll read comments from all over the country.

Who are the Maryland Hurricanes?
The Hurricanes organization is one of the oldest and largest of the girls’ AAU clubs in the Maryland District of AAU and has operated for more than 20 years in the Baltimore metropolitan area. In a given year, the Hurricanes will operate more than 8-10 AAU teams in various age groups to compete in the Maryland District Championships held each April and May. The goal of the organization is to field highly competitive teams each year that will qualify for national AAU tournaments and play at a high level in elite national college exposure tournaments. The Hurricanes is characterized as a regional rather than local organization or neighborhood club. The organization typically attracts players from Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. The organization is certified and affiliated with recreation programs in the area, notably Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks. The Hurricanes is a volunteer organization.

When is the Hurricanes season?
The primary season for girls’ AAU basketball is February through July, particularly for the most competitive teams that compete on the national level. Teams in age groups 14-under and above begin to organize at the end of the high school basketball season in late February and early March of each year. Younger Hurricanes teams in age groups 13-under and below may operate year-round and play in competitive travel leagues around Baltimore in the fall and winter in order to prepare for the AAU season.

How does my daughter find a Hurricanes team and get a tryout?
Formal tryouts for the AAU season are held each year in late February and early March. Parents are always encouraged to contact the head coaches and team managers in respective age groups for tryout information and opportunities. Contact information is located on our Team Pages on the Hurricanes Web site. The organization also sponsors free basketball clinics throughout the year to recruit new players, which are advertised on our Web site and in local media. Players can also submit the Hurricanes Online Form on the Web site at any time during the year and it will be forwarded to the appropriate coach and team.

What is the expected commitment of AAU basketball?
The commitment can be a big one, but also one than can bring many rewards for your daughters. AAU is not "recreational" or “county” ball. The commitment also varies from team to team as some teams play more competitive schedules than others. The commitment also involves time and funding. Time because parents have to be committed to getting their daughters to practices and games, and funding because the Hurricanes is an all volunteer organization and teams have to be supported financially in order to compete. Practices could be around the corner or an hour’s drive because much depends on availability facilities. Games are usually on the weekends. It is expected that a player will make all the games and practices. Most teams practice 2-3 times a week. While conflicts always arise in any endeavor, absences can disrupt the team’s continuity and chemistry and are not fair to teammates and coaches. The key always is to communicate with your daughter's coaches about her schedules so they can plan accordingly. Before the season begins, teams usually outline their schedules. Financially, fees during AAU season vary from team to team depending on how much the team plays, but generally range from $500.00 to $750.00, including uniforms. Fees are generally calculated by dividing costs needed to operate the teams by the number of players. The costs for Senior Division high school teams may be more since these teams tend to play more and travel more.

Is there fund raising to support teams?
Yes, the Hurricanes encourages teams to actively raise funds to support its teams. The organization, through its membership with the national AAU, is recognized as a tax exempt, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Fund-raising can come in many forms, from the soliciting of corporate sponsorships to carwashes to candy sales to support from family and friends to “bucket brigades.” Teams may also sponsor tournaments to raise operating funds. Key to fund-raising is the parents getting involved to support the team, coach and their daughters. The organization also does its best to assist teams financially.

How are Hurricanes teams operated?
The Hurricanes organization serves like an “umbrella” to support our teams. Each team operates independently within the structure of the organization – meaning each team is its own organization within the organization. The head coach is the leader of each team and is assisted in operating the team by assistant coaches, team manager, team mom, treasurer, Web coordinator and fund-raising coordinator. Usually interested parents of players on the team fill these auxiliary positions to assist the coach, players and team. Each team is responsible for collecting its own fees, operating its own bank account and determining its practice and playing schedule. Parents truly are encouraged to assist the coach in running the team. As a parent, you want the coach to focus his or her time on coaching your daughter and improving her as a player. So if you can help the coach with team business, he or she can spend more of their volunteer time focusing on coaching.

Who are Hurricanes coaches?
In the older age groups, Hurricanes head coaches and assistant coaches are affiliated with many of the top girls’ high school programs in the area. Over the years, coaches have been affiliated with public and private schools like Archbishop Spalding, Bryn Mawr, Arundel, Severna Park, Glenelg Country, Park School, Elizatheth Seton, North County, Westminster and Notre Dame Prep. In the younger age groups, coaches may be dads or moms with coaching experience.

Where is the organization based?
As a regional organizational, the Hurricanes have teams playing throughout the region. We are not based in a particular community or within a particular recreation area. Teams usually are based for practice purposes in communities of the head coaches.

What are the goals of the Hurricanes organization?
We want our players to develop as good basketball players and good young women. We want the girls to have fun, be competitive, learn sportsmanship and win. For the younger girls, our goal is to teach them the fundamentals of basketball so they can prepare for high school basketball and be successful. For our high school players, our goal is to assist them, their parents and coaches to prepare for college basketball and possibly receive college scholarships.

What’s the main thing to know about the Hurricanes and AAU?
That it takes involvement, sincerity, hard work and cooperation on the part of players and their parents. This is high-level basketball with many rewards. There are plenty of choices for basketball playing opportunities, and competitive AAU ball may not be for everyone. For those who want to play at this level, come play for the Hurricanes.

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