We'd like to hear from you. Contact us at (317) 773 4406 or by sending us an email at contact@emmanuelumc.org


Mission Statement

Promoting the discovery of Jesus through sports.

The 360 Progression

360 ProgressionUpward Sports is the only youth sports provider of the 360 Progression, which is a uniquely designed sports experience that develops the total athlete mentally, athletically, spiritually and socially.  As players progress through Upward Sports programming, these four teachings of the 360 Progression adapt and expand with them.  It is centered on the development of Jesus found in Luke 2:52 – And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.

Upward Sports Athletes grow in character, confidence, faith and sportsmanship during their personal athletic journeys, and become more than just an athlete.  Whenever athletes participate in any Upward Sports program, they experience the 360 Progression; regardless of age, skill level, program type, or how long they participate in the programs.

Mentally – Making Wise Decisions

To develop mentally, young athletes learn right from wrong by discovering game rules and understand the objectives of the play, both of which foster a genuine love of the game.  Learning to make positive choices will lead them on a path to success.  Through wins and loss, athletes become equipped to use adversity and success to grow and develop into a well-rounded adult.

Athletically – Improving Physical Ability

Improving physical ability is a key benefit of sports participation.  It is through game play that athletic foundations are formed.  These foundations are strengthened through skills introduced with structured activities.  This helps young athletes compete at the highest level possible and develops a consistent desire to achieve.

Spiritually – Embracing Life Purpose

Through Upward Sports, athletes discover and build spiritual purpose as they understand Christ’s plan for their lives and their part in it.  This introduction to life’s purpose is built through intentional character lessons throughout the season.  These lessons build toward the discovery of God’s Big Story.

Socially – Fostering Healthy Relationships

Connecting with teammates is an essential element to the development of each young athlete.  As they enjoy time with others, they are also learning how important sportsmanship and selflessness are as they compete with peers and begin new relationships.  These are valuable character traits that will carry them whether they choose to go further in their athletic career, or move on to other aspirations.  An essential part of young athletes connecting with teammates socially is learning the importance of putting the needs of others ahead of their own.

Rule Levels to Upward Basketball

Upward Sports uses a four-level age appropriate format to develop the basketball skills of each young athlete.  Each level of Upward Basketball is tailored to meet athletes where they are in their playing ability, allowing them to improve their physical ability and build athletic foundations.  The game format and rules of Upward basketball are designed to promote healthy competition and sportsmanship while also teaching the objectives of game play.  Below are the four levels with their recommended age divisions. Divisions may be adjusted depending upon registration numbers

 Level 1: Kindergarten

Level 1 rules are designed to allow young athletes the opportunity to learn the game of basketball at the most basic level.  Children at this age are still learning foundational hand-eye coordination skills and generally can only handle one building block at a time.  Because of this, rules have been designed to help each player improve throughout the season and equip them for success as they progress to Level 2.

Level 2: 1st Grade

Players at this age are learning to perform more than one skill at a time on the court.  They still possess a “Me” mentality and are not accustomed to the concept of team (i.e. passing the ball, offensive movement, etc.) Although they are still developing foundational hand-eye coordination they are able accomplish some basic basketball skills (dribbling with one hand, not moving feet during a shot, the distinction between offense and defense, etc.) Because of this, rules have been designed to allow athletes to compete in a format that coordinates with their level of mental and physical capacities.

Level 3: 2nd/3rd Grade

Players at this age are able to pick up some of the more advanced concepts of the game and are growing into a more mature level of hand-eye coordination.  They are able to understand the concept of teamwork.  They realize that they can be successful as an athlete by helping their teammates in game situations.  It is important to keep score at this level because of life lessons can be taught through the concept of winning and losing.  Because of this, rules have been designed to allow athletes to compete in a format that coordinates with their level of mental and physical capacities as they prepare for middle school basketball.

Level 4: 4th - 6th Grade

Players at this age exhibit a mature level of hand-eye coordination and understand of the game.  As individual skills continue to grow, athletes embrace team aspects of the game.  They also possess a strong desire to compete and determine how they stack up against the competition.  Because of this, Level 4 rules follow a traditional middle school rules format.

Many volunteers are needed to coach, referee, greet, announce, and prepare/clean up for games and practices. If you would like to volunteer your time, please contact Jess at jlower@emmanuelumc.org.

One night per week practices and one game on Friday or Saturday.

Grades 4-6 compete in End of Season Tournament

Available Leagues

Co-Ed Level 1 (Kindergarten)

Co-Ed Level 2 (1st Grade)

Boys Level 3 (2nd/3rd Grade)

Girls Level 3 (2nd/3rd Grade)

Boys Level 4 (4th/5th/6th Grade)

Girls Level 4 (4th/5th/6th Grade)


Important Dates

Registration Dates:
  • Early Registration Begins: September 11
  • Early Registration Ends/Regular Registration Begins:  October 9
  • Registration Closes:  November 8
Mandatory Evaluations for Basketball:
  • November 9, 6-8:45 p.m.
  • Make-up evaluations fitting - November 12, 9-11 a.m.
Skill Camp and Cheerleader Uniform Fitting:

BASKETBALL CAMP - October 29 (9 a.m. -12 p.m.)

This camp will be led by Coach Nic Carothers. He works with Head Coach at Central High School, Hamilton Southeastern Travel Basketball, he has also worked with 100% Hoops, Shortridge High School, Butler University .
         K and 1st grade – 9-10 a.m.
         2nd & 3rd grade – 10-11 a.m.
         4th – 6th grade – 11a-12p
CHEER CAMP - October 29 (10-11:30 a.m.)

 - This camp will be led by Cheer Commissioner Autumn Strong.  She was a cheerleader in school and cheered with Cheer America for 5 years. She has coached middle school cheerleading, Upward              cheerleading and was the commissioner last year, as well.
- To the camp, girls will also need to bring a light blue t shirt (t-Shirts at Michael's, Jo-Ann's, and Hobby Lobby for $2-$4 each)
- Uniform sizing will take place during the last half hour of camp.

2016-2017 Season Dates:
  • Practices Begin: December 5 (no practices weeks of 12/19 and 12/29)
  • Games Begin:  January 6 (no games weekend of 2/17 and 2/18)
  • Upward Sunday: February 26
  • Boys and Girls Playoff Games: March 6 and 7
  • Boys and Girls Championship Games: March 10
  • Awards Celebration: March 11
Registration Fees
  • Early Basketball and Cheer Registration: $100
  • Basketball and Cheer Registration: (On or After October 8th) $120
Registration fees include uniforms:
  • Basketball - t-shirt, jersey and shorts
  • Cheer - uniform, turtlenecks, megaphone and pom poms

Online registration closes on November 3rd