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League Philosophy

The Art Sadtler Youth Basketball League is an instructional league focused on teaching our young athletes the basic fundamentals of the game as well as providing an opportunity for students to experience the joy of participating in team sports. The objective is to provide fair playing time for all participants regardless of skill level. The league’s goal is to introduce the athletes to the importance of teamwork, fair play and sportsmanship without emphasizing the need for winning


The goal of the league is to provide a structured environment for the participants to experience the excitement of team sports with an emphasis on instruction, fair play and good sportsmanship. For this reason, the league strictly enforces a zero-tolerance policy for the conduct of spectators and participants. Profanity, abusive language or creating a disturbance by a coach, player or spectator before, during or after a game will not be tolerated. Such action includes, but is not limited to, physical or verbal confrontation with a player, parent, coach or official, or loud criticism of officials’ calls. League officials have the authority to remove the offender(s) from the building if such action is warranted. League officials also reserve the right to take the necessary corrective actions to ensure the violation is not repeated.


The league is open to all fourth, fifth and sixth grade boys and girls who comply with the league’s academic and disciplinary standards. If the level of participation is sufficient, the league will be divided into six divisions: fourth grade boys, fifth grade boys, sixth grade boys, fourth grade girls, fifth grade girls, and sixth grade girls.

League Cost

The cost will be $70 per player for 4/5th grade and $85 per player for 6th grade. There may be some reimbursement for 6th grade teams with large rosters. Entry fee includes a T-shirt and a personalized trophy for participation. The following admission fee of $2 for adults, $1 seniors and under 18 years old will be free. The admission will be collected at the gate each game day to help the host school cover the cost of clean-up and other expenses. Likewise a $2 admission fee will be charged during the year-end tournament.

Snow Days

Every effort will be made to open the gymnasiums on Saturdays, even in bad weather. However, if a host school is unable to open their gymnasium, games at that site will be canceled. In the unlikely event that games are canceled, the league will attempt to announce cancellations on our web site ( and WXXQ (FM 98.5) and WQFL (FM 100.9) radio. Canceled games will not be rescheduled.



Parental Involvement

The Art Sadtler League is run by volunteers, therefore to keep league fees low parents are asked to volunteer during the games to serve as a scorekeeper or timer. These tasks are simple and require no previous experience. Instruction sheets are available at the scorekeeper’s table; in addition the referees and site coordinators will be glad to help you.


The league organizes a Photo Day for both the team and individual players. A reasonable fee is charged for both team and individual photos. Photo order forms will be handed out to the coaches 1-2 weeks prior to the designated photo day. The photo form will indicate your team’s designated photo time (which may be before or after your scheduled game). Please plan to be at the gymnasium with your completed form at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled photo time. Due to tight schedules the photographer will not wait for those absent. Photo packages will be distributed to the coaches at the end of the season.

League Schedule

The 4/5th grade season will consist of eight games followed by a season ending tournament. The 6th grade will be primarily played on Saturdays with some double headers. There however may be a few non-conference games played during the week. League play begins in early January with the tournament occurring in March. All regular season games for the 4th and 5th Grade will be played Saturday mornings The 6th Grade games will be played primarily on weeknights. Games will be played at participating host schools.


The league focuses on participation, not winning and losing. Therefore, the scoreboard should be turned off when a team reaches a lead of 20 points of more. Scorekeepers should continue to keep the actual score in the master scorebook.  Published scores will reflect a 20 point maximum differential. Weekly league standings and scores will also be provided on the league’s web site (


The season-ending tournament will be held in Mid March, please watch the web site for further details. Each team will play a minimum of two games. Since the tournament seeding is based on each team’s regular season standings, the exact time of your team’s first game may not be known until after your last regular season game. Similarly, times of additional games will be dependent upon the outcome of your child’s first game. Therefore, please keep your schedules flexible. Additional tournament information will be available in early March on the leagues web site (

League Web Site

A league web site is available at This is the primary source of communication, so please check it regularly for updated information. All relevant league rules and documents are available on the this site. A link is also provided to contact the league director with any questions or comments you may have.

Thank you for your support and we hope the league is an enjoyable experience for you and your child!


Art Sadtler League History

The Art Sadtler League was formed in 1998 as an instructional basketball league focused on teaching our young athletes not only the basic fundamentals of the game, but also important lessons in teamwork, competition and sportsmanship. The primary objective of the league’s founders was to create an environment where students could realize the value of participation without over emphasizing the importance of winning. These guiding principles have served as the foundation of the league and are evident in its structure and format.

During the first year of operation, the league was comprised of 18 teams representing the following six charter member schools: Christian Life, Gregory Elementary, Luther Academy at Gloria Dei, Rockford Christian, Spring Creek Elementary and Whitehead Elementary. At that time, the league was limited to 5th and 6th grade students with just one division for the boys and likewise for the girls.

In response to the reorganization of Rockford School District 205 to move the 6th grade students from the elementary schools to the middle schools, the league was reorganized in 1999 to just 4th and 5th grade divisions. Participation has steadily increased over the years, which allowed the formation of individual 4th and 5th grade divisions for both boys and girls. During the 2003 season, more than 335 students competed on 35 teams representing nine schools. In 2004 the board voted to reinstate the 6th grade boys and girls division. Its re-inaugural season was a success and is expected to continue to grow.

During the early years of its existence, the league was organized and operated by volunteers and the same is true today. As participation grew, a Board of Directors was established to address the administrative functions of the league. However, the day-to-day activities are still largely accomplished through the efforts of parent volunteers and coaches. The success of the league is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of all who have been a part of the league. With the continued support of parents and volunteers, the league should continue to provide a wonderful foundation for our young athletes for many years to come!

Just Who Was Art Sadtler?

We have been asked this questions several times so we thought it would be appropriate to answer this question.

Two things fascinated Art – children and sports. His life was spent deeply involved in both. He may be most remembered as the basketball coach from Rockford East High School. As the “Coach” for nine seasons his teams compiled an impressive 159-68 record. But Art was more! In addition to his coaching duties, Art headed the Athletic Department, taught Biology and Physical Education and became the Athletic Director in 1963. Art retired in 1975 after 34 years in the Rockford Public Schools. In 1993, he authored the children’s book, “Animal Potluck”. Art spent recent years in Rockford classrooms sharing his book and talking to children. Art was a coach, educator and inspiration to the lives he touched.



1) How do I sign my child up for the league?

A: We are a school based league so all sign-ups are done through the Art Sadtler basketball coordinator at the participating school or school’s athletic director. If you don’t know who these individuals are please email the league director for that contact information.

2) How do I get my school involved with the league?

A: Getting your school involved with Art Sadtler can be fairly easy provided a parent is willing to become the basketball coordinator. This coordinator will then work with league board members to setup things at your school and obtain the approval of your administration.

3) What divisions are there in Art Sadtler?

A: There are six divisions: 4th, 5th and 6th grade boys and girls.

4) Can I play for another school if my school does not participate in Art Sadtler?

A: Normally this is against our league policy. Please present your situation to the league director for a final decision.

5) Can a girl play on the boy’s team?

A: Yes this is acceptable provided there is no girl’s team at your school.

6) When will the league schedule be released?

A: The league schedule is normally released between mid December and the first week in January. We will provide updates on the web site of when the schedule will be released.

7) When does the league start?

A: The league normally runs from the 2nd week in January to mid March with a season ending league tournament. Specific dates will be posted when the schedule is released.

8) How do I find directions to the game sites?

A: Located on the home page of the web site is a Map link that has all the addresses and maps to each game site.

9) How do multiple teams from the same grade and school get formed?

A: If there are enough players (8 minimum) to make multiple teams, the board encourages the coaches to hold a selection tryout in which both coaches separate the teams in an effort to make them as equal as possible. The league does not encourage an A and B team format.

10) Where are the games played?

A: Games are played at various schools in the Rockford and Roscoe region. Schools are welcomed to host games provided their facility meets the league requirements. Hosting games can be an excellent fundraiser for the school.

11) Who do I contact if there is a problem? 

A: Please email the director with any questions or comments you may have. Depending on your email content, the league director will discuss your comments or questions with the league board. There is an email link on the web site.