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Frequently Asked Questions

The following items are frequently asked questions that impact all participants regardless of sport or season.

What Sports Do You Offer?
(And When Are They?)

Mineral Baptist Church's Upward Sports™ Ministry offers 4 sports over 3 seasons:
Fall - Flag Football & Cheer
Winter - Basketball & Cheer
Spring - Soccer 

Who Can Play?

Mineral Baptist Church's Upward Sports™ Ministry eligibility varies by sport:
Flag Football: ages 5 through 14
Basketball: ages 4 through 15
Soccer: age 4 through 17
Cheerleading: age 4 through age 10
*All sports are co-rec except cheer which is girls only.*
**Minimum age for each sport is based on age by September 30, 2024**

What do the uniforms look like? (Colors)

Upward Sports changes the colors every season for every sport.

(NOTE: Most churches who partner with Upward Sports do one (1) or two (2) sports. We are rare that we do four (4) and do it all year long, so uniform issues - buying a cheer uniform in the fall and a new one in the winter - we may face are unique to us.)

How Much Does It Cost?
(What Do I Get For That Amount?)

2024-2025 Prices: $55/person; $65 (late registration)
*some items optional to parents at additional cost

Upward Sports provides all player items a la carte, so we can decide what we get each season. This season's cost includes participant's jersey/cheer uniform, practice cards, end-of-season awards (ball, lunch box, etc.), coach shirt cost split, megaphone, pom-poms, and other system fees charged to us.

We are currently looking at ways to be more cost efficient in the future with certain items like flag football belts, coach wristbands, hair bows, pom-poms, and basketball wristbands.

Upward $ Breakdown

Player Registration Fees: paid by participants and covers your costs to play

Concessions revenue: restock concessions, cover grill equipment, and Celebration Day costs

Upward Budget Line (via MBC): overhead and admin costs

Individual and Corporate Donations: scholarships for need-based assistance, big equipment replacement (e.g., scoreboards, benches, etc.)

Refund Policy

Full refunds will be granted if participant withdraws prior to the first game and uniform is returned.

Partial refunds will be granted if participant withdraws after the first game and prior to the last game and uniform is returned (only refunded cost of uniform/sport equipment).

No refund will be granted if participant withdraws prior to the last game and elects to keep uniform.

No refund will be granted if participant simply disappears on us and uniform is kept by participant or abandoned by participant (i.e. never showed up to receive it).

When Are Practices?

All teams will practice one (1) day per week for one (1) hour. There are NO practices scheduled for Wednesday nights. Practices will be the same night/time each week. All practices will include time for a Biblically-based devotional by a coach.

*Practices will always be held at Mineral Baptist Church unless additional site is communicated by director of a particular sport.*
**Cancellations for weather usually align with cancellation decisions by the Louisa County Public School system. Cancellations for Holidays are determined by the director of that particular sport.**
***Outdoor sports ONLY - Rain schedule (indoor facility use) to be determined and communicated by director of particular sport***

When Are Games?

All games take place on Saturdays at Mineral Baptist Church.
First Game dates vary by sport. Visit their web pages for details by going to our main Upward Sports™ page and clicking on the respective photo.

Game times also vary by sport but the first game time usually begins at 8:30 AM or 9:00 AM. Games last approximately one hour. All seasons last for 8 consecutive Saturdays. A game schedule is provided at least 3 weeks in advance of the first game.

*Cancellations for weather/holidays are determined by the director of that particular sport.*

Game-Day Experience

On Game Days, we have two fields behind our Family Life Center in the back of our campus for outdoor sports. The Family Life Center is the 2nd building as you enter the parking lot and is where we hold our basketball games.

Games open with player introductions and prayer. During half-time of every game there will be half-time activities and a devotion for players and families. Weekly take-homes are provided for families as follow ups and practical resources relating to the weekly devotion.

Parking, restrooms, and concessions are available onsite.

How Are Teams Formed?

All  teams/squads are formed based on skill-based evaluations that took place prior to the start of the season.

All teams will be categorized into three (3) to four (4) age-graded divisions. Cheer divisions will be a bit more varied although we like to keep teams age-graded as best as possible.

*From time to time there are some participants that need to be placed in a different division. These situations will be handled case-by-case by Upward Sports leadership.*

When Are Evaluations?

All participants must attend ONE evaluation session. Evaluation times advertised represent a window. Evaluation takes approximately 20 minutes. Participants may come anytime during the allotted time frame.

There will be multiple evaluation times offered for every sport: at least one scheduled for a Saturday and at least one scheduled on a weeknight.

*Division 4 Basketball (6th-8th Grade) ONLY: We hold a special Saturday evaluation that lasts 2 hours and all participants are expected to attend the entire time. We run this evaluation more like a traditional try-out experience.

Can I Make Requests?

Our primary goal in team formation is competitive balance. We realize that there are schedule conflicts and siblings playing in different divisions. Therefore, we allow you to make one (1) practice night exclusion (a night you CANNOT practice - remember there are no Wednesday practices) when you register. We do our best to keep siblings on the same practice night regardless of division but cannot guarantee this every season.

If your child is assigned a practice night that they cannot make, we cannot guarantee a switch. The size of each team/squad is established to ensure a safe and positive experience for all participants. Teams/squads that are too large or too small can compromise the experience.  We will work with families, to the best of our ability, but please be clear on your registration forms about the days you are NOT available.

*If no practice night exclusion is identified, we assume you are available any night.*

Can I Coach/Volunteer?

Absolutely! We are always looking to develop new coaches and referees.

Our head coaches are more than coaches - they are also spiritual mentors leading our participants in devotions. We prefer our head coaches to be Christians from our church or trusted church partners. If you are not a Christian or not an experienced coach or don't have a church home, we can still use your skills or help as an assistant coach or referee.

*All our coaches and referees are required to have background checks with our church's background check company.*
**Note there are plenty of other volunteer roles if you do not want to coach or referee.**

What Are Celebration DAys?
And What Is Upward Recognition Sunday?

At the end of every season, we have a Celebration Day.
Events and activities vary by season but past Celebration Days have included carnival-like activities, a "student vs. faculty" game, or a movie night.

The Sunday after the last game of every season we invite all participants, coaches, referees, volunteers, and families to our church (Mineral Baptist) for Upward Sports™ Recognition Sunday at our 10:00 AM service. At this service we open the service by recognizing everyone involved and play a teaser highlight video of our seasons. A longer highlight video will be available on our website, and we will send out that link to participants' families.

Why do I need to sign a photo waiver?

Throughout the season we will have a ministry volunteer taking pictures and filming games for our website and end-of-season highlight video. We do ask every parent to sign a permission slip to use your child's photo for these purposes.

Also, we contract with a photography company to come in and do team and individual photos for every sport. There are packages available for purchase directly with that company.

Does my Participant have to attend practice to play/cheer on Saturdays?

Are There Playoffs?

No, however, we believe that the skills, plans, and relationships established in practice go a long way in creating better game day environments and overall skill development.

*We understand that many people play multiple sports and are involved in multiple activities throughout the week. We ask that you consider carefully your child's time commitments. We believe that busyness does not always equal good.
If your child is involved in other activities that may affect their involvement in Upward please let us know as this may affect our team formation.*
While we want to be competitive at every level, we focus on sharing the good news of Jesus, helping people build relationships, and develop sport-specific skills.

How Are Substitutions Handled During Games?

All players at all levels will be given equal playing time. There is a substitution method included in the coaching manual to ensure that all players have the opportunity to start games and play throughout the games. Substitutions will be made at specific times throughout the game (i.e. 3 minute mark, end of quarter, etc.). 

what size Fields, goals and balls will participants use?

What type of stunts/tumbling will my cheerleader be doing?

Field and ball sizes, goal heights, and rules vary by age to help out participants learn and develop sport-specific skills. As these things change, it allows our participants to progress and grow in their character, skills, and understanding of the game.

*Basketball specific: In our lower divisions (1-3), we implement a wristband system that helps create as balanced match-ups as possible. Players will guard the opponent that closely matches their ability and height. This allows for a more competitive system for every player on the court while creating an equal opportunity for each player. At the beginning of each segment, players will line up at half court and “match up” with whom they are guarding. This act is performed to promote equal player match-ups. Equal match-ups combined with man-to-man defense create five competitive pairings on the court.*
Flag Football:
Division 1: pee wee size ball
Division 2: intermediate size ball
Division 3: official size ball

Fields vary based on how many divisions we have which is dependent on annual registrations and team formation.
Division 1: 27.5" ball on 7 ft rim
Division 2: 27.5" ball on 8 ft rim
Division 3: 28.5" ball on 9 ft rim
Division 4: 29.5" ball on 10 ft rim

Division 1-3: two games at once playing on half the court
Division 4: one game at a time on full court
Division 1: size 3 ball
Division 2/3: size 4 ball
Division 3/4: size 5 ball

Fields vary based on how many divisions we have which is dependent on annual registrations and team formation.
Upward and Mineral Baptist Church limit stunts to two levels. This means approximately no higher than four feet off the ground.  Coaches and other assistants will be spotters for all stunts.

Cheerleaders will also only demonstrate single cartwheels, approved jumps and splits. There will be no continuous motions such as a series of round-offs and handsprings.