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Safe Sanctuaries is more than guidelines, policies and procedures implemented to create an environment in which children, youth and the adults who work with them have boundaries of safe space. Safe Sanctuaries is an overt expression of a congregation in making a congregation a safe place where children and youth may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith. In 1996 The General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child sexual abuse in the church. GBOD staff were concerned about the risk of abuse occurring in churches. In talking with staff from other agencies, a similar concern was expressed. With joint agency effort a resolution was presented and passed at the 1996 General Conference to "Reduce the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church." With that resolution the agencies began working to develop programs to support annual conferences and local congregations. Soon after that the first series of national training occurred and the first Safe Sanctuaries book was written by Joy Melton. Read More
Referee Handbook 2017-2018 pic
Referee Handbook 2021-2022
(NO changes for 2018-2019)


Before the game begins, bring both teams and coaches together to remind them about game rules, common violations, and the spirit of Upward Basketball. Encourage players and coaches to do their best to honor God with their actions and attitudes. Here are a few things to discuss during this pre-game gathering:

›  Gather both teams and their coaches for a brief word of encouragement and prayer.

›  Be sure all players have their jerseys tucked in their shorts.

›  Check to see that each player has his or her shoes tied tightly. Have players remove all jewelry, hats and watches.

›  Give reminders for game play (no defense in the backcourt, man-to-man defense, three-second violations, etc.).

During the Game    

As an Upward Basketball Referee, you serve as an on-the-floor coach, teacher, and encourager. It is part of the referee’s role to talk to players during  the  game.  Communicating  with  players during play  will help them  improve their game on the court. Often the referee can stop a violation before it happens by talking to the players. Commands like “out of the lane 33,” “watch  the  pushing,”  or “pass  or shoot  –  no double  dribbling”  can  keep  the  game  moving and make it more enjoyable for all. Players, parents, and coaches will appreciate a referee who  is  committed  to  both  officiating  and teaching.

Jarvis upward basketball provides an excellent learning experience for basketball beginners and a safe and fun environment for kids to participate without the pressures of winning. Upward is a Christian league where players will not only learn basketball, they will have the opportunity to learn Bible verses weekly during practice. Read More
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