AAU is one of the most prestigious athletic organizations you can participate in. Both high school coaches and college scouts recognize the talent that comes from the Amateur Athletic Union and its members. Joining a team or forming 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:
Sets at home and away:
This is where the initial cost comes into play. The AAU requires teams to have a “home” and “away” jersey to participate in league play. This is quite surprising, considering the high school I played in only had 1 uniform for both of them. There are ways around this to make better use of the team budget when two separate uniforms are required:
1. Ask for reversibles! As long as one side is light and the other is dark, a reversible will suffice in most AAU district leagues. Usually reversibles can get a bit heavy, although a reputable uniform company will have the means to make a lighter uniform to solve this problem. You can also choose to sublimate or screen print the shirts instead of the twill to take some weight off.
2. Order a reversible jersey with standard shorts. Some uniform companies offer the option of purchasing a reversible shirt with a standard one-sided shorts to match the design of the shirt. This is a cost cut compared to ordering a full reversible because single-sided shorts are typically much less expensive than having a reversible one.
3. Order two T-shirts and one shorts to match both. If weight becomes an issue, or the participating age group is below the 9/10 range, you can always order two separate jerseys and matching shorts. You can get a short color that matches the color combination of both shirts or a reversible short to match either. The guarantees that the jerseys won’t be as heavy as the reversible ones and can even be a relief for the team mom by not having 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 to have unlimited uniform customization. Children feel great, they look professional and most of the time this translates into playing a little better. Basketball is the most “flashy” of all sports uniforms, so get creative with piping, accents, sublimation, and logos. A reputable uniform company should be able to offer you a unique design from scratch and allow you to add almost anything you want to the uniform.
In general, the numbering can be twill, silk-screen 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 both be used for the same team) The number will be at least 6 inches high in the back and at least 4 inches high in the front and not less than 3/4 inch wide. ”
Hope this helps all AAU coaches and interested participants!