In an effort to expand on last summer’s popular USA Basketball 14U National Tournament, USA Basketball today announced the launch of the 2018 U.S. Open
Basketball Championships. This youth initiative is intended to add opportunity, standards and quality to the
youth basketball environment.
Offered through USA Basketball’s Youth Development division, the U.S. Open Basketball
Championships is an inclusive tournament structure in which existing basketball tournaments meeting USA
Basketball approved youth development standards will serve as qualifying events for the 2018 U.S. Open
Basketball Championships. The qualifying process will require teams to compete in one of the USA Basketball
certified tournaments throughout the United States. Leading up to the U.S. Open Basketball Championships, it
is expected that approximately 3,000 teams, 36,000 players and 6,000 coaches will take part in the selected
qualifying tournaments across the country.
In addition to following established development standards, the U.S. Open Basketball Championships
will require all coaches to possess a valid USA Basketball Coach License.
The top two finishing teams from each group and division of a qualifying tournament will earn a bid to
enter the U.S. Open Basketball Championships. For information on player eligibility or to register a team for
pre-approved qualifying events, visit www.usab.com/usopenbasketball
The 2018 U.S. Open Basketball Championships will consist of six groups of play: eighth grade boys,
eighth grade girls, 13 and under boys, 13 and under girls, 12 and under boys and 12 and under girls.
Additionally, each age or grade category will offer two divisions to provide for varying levels of
competition and ability. The Stars division will be offered for established and competitive club teams that
regularly compete regionally and/or nationally. The Stripes division is offered for newer and/or locally based
recreational teams seeking compatible competition.
“The game of basketball continues to grow in popularity both here in the United States and globally. As
the national governing body for basketball in the United States, USA Basketball is fulfilling its responsibility to
promote and develop the game, to provide opportunities for competition, and to set standards for youth
basketball. The U.S. Open Basketball Championships, and other complementary initiatives, are based on
common standards so that we can continue to enhance the integrity, safety, and enjoyment of the game,” said
USA Basketball chairman, retired General Martin Dempsey. “The U.S. Open Basketball Championships’
competition structure is designed to be inclusive and impart proper youth playing standards throughout the
United States. By providing boys and girls and their coaches with quality playing options, USA Basketball can
help ensure that young players and their coaches will experience the game in fun, safe and developmentally
The 2018 U.S. Open Basketball Championships for qualified boys teams will be held June 30-July 3,
and the girls championships will take place July 19-22. Both the boys and girls championships will be hosted at
the Pacers Athletic Center at Grand Park located in Westfield, Indiana.
USA Basketball is accepting applications from event operators interested in hosting a 2018 U.S. Open
Basketball Championships qualifying tournament at: www.usab.com/hostofficialqualifier.
The U.S. Open Basketball Championships will incorporate youth basketball guidelines established by
joint working groups developed by USA Basketball and the NBA, which can be found at
www.youthguidelines.com. In 2016, USA Basketball and the NBA partnered to established three expert
working groups focused on health and wellness, playing standards, and curriculum. The joint working groups
developed the first-ever youth basketball guidelines aimed at improving the way children, parents and coaches
experience the game, with a specific emphasis on promoting player health and wellness.
Nike is an official partner of USA Basketball’s Youth Development division, which is tasked with
developing youth basketball initiatives that promote, grow and elevate the game.