AAU is one of the most prestigious athletic organizations in which you can participate. High school coaches and college scouts recognize the talent that comes from the Amateur Athletic Union and its members. Joining a team or building your own AAU team to participate in competitive leagues and tournaments is easy. However, there are some requirements that you must follow when ordering uniforms. The following paragraphs provide a basic outline of what to follow when designing and purchasing basketball uniforms:
Home and away teams:
This is where the initial cost comes into play. The AAU requires teams to have a “home” and “away” jersey to participate in the league. This is pretty amazing considering the high school I played in only had 1 uniform for both of us. There are ways around this to make better use of the team budget when having two separate uniforms is required:
1. Reversible order! As long as one side is light and the other dark, a reversible will suffice in most AAU district leagues. Reversibles can usually get a bit heavy, although a reputable uniform company will have the wherewithal to make a lighter uniform to solve this problem. You can also choose to sublimate or screen print the jerseys instead of twill to remove some weight.
2. Request a reversible jersey with standard shorts. Some uniform companies offer the option of purchasing a reversible jersey with a standard one-sided short to match the jersey design. This is a cost reduction compared to ordering a full reversible because one sided shorts are typically much less expensive than having a reversible.
3. Order two T-shirts and one short to match both. If weight becomes an issue, or if the age group participating is below the 9/10 range, you can always order two separate jerseys and shorts to match. You can get a color short that matches the color scheme of both jerseys, or get a reversible short to match either. Assurances that the tops won’t be AS heavy as reversibles and can even be a relief for team moms who don’t have to wash the same uniform over and over again!
Personalization is a crucial part of the AAU uniform. Unlike the middle and high school game, most AAU districts allow the team unlimited customization on the uniform. Kids feel great, look professional, and most of the time, that means they play a little better. Basketball is the most “flashy” of all sports uniforms, so get creative with trims, accents, sublimation, and logos. A reputable uniform company should be able to provide you with a unique design from scratch and allow you to add almost anything you want to the uniform.
Numbering can usually be twill, silkscreen, or sublimation. But again, districts vary, but most follow the following rules (quoted from the NJ AAU women’s basketball website): “Each player must be numbered on the front and back of the jersey with simple Arabic numerals.
The following numbers are legal: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 00, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55. (But double zero and zero cannot be used for the same team) The number must be at least 6 inches high at the back and at least 4 inches high at the front and not less than 3/4 inch wide”.
I hope this helps all interested AAU coaches and participants!