The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has been a youth sports staple since 1888. But you need an AAU membership to take advantage of all the great benefits the AAU offers. So how do you register, and why is membership important?
Below we’ll give you the details on membership and its many benefits.
An AAU membership lasts from September 1 to August 31. When it expires, you must complete a renewal to maintain eligibility for AAU play. You can use the AAU membership lookup tool to confirm your renewal date.
Age groups in the AAU youth division start at seven and under. They go as high as 20 years old, with a separate division for each age in between.
Once you complete AAU registration and submit your annual membership cost, your child qualifies to join an existing AAU club. You can also get together with others to form a new team. Your child’s team will compete against other AAU teams in your region.
Depending on the sport, your child could play year-round. This is different from high school when you can only play a sport in season. Because athletes get far more practice and competitive experience during a year of sports, they often acquire skills faster than their high school athletics counterparts.
Also, AAU events provide opportunities for clubs and individuals to shine. For example, an AAU track and field event, such as The Southwest Indoor Championship, brings various clubs together for a higher level of competition and more meaningful awards.
This is not to say AAU members cannot participate in high school sports. They are free to play on their school teams too. Many take a break from competition during school sports seasons. Some athletes, with the approval of their coaches, do both.
Types of AAU memberships include:
For youth athletes, the membership costs $14-$16 a year. Adult membership fees are $14-$39 per year. Coaches and admin memberships cost $16-$18. Youth club fees are $30 a year while adult club fees are $50 a year.
There are many benefits of AAU membership, like:
Most importantly, the skills, sportsmanship, and competitive experience of athletes who have grown up playing AAU sports may help them win college scholarships. Not only do athletes get the chance to play against the best and sharpen their skills, but they also get more exposure. That means more chances for recruiters to come to games and see you in action. The more you’re seen the better chances you have of being recruited
An AAU membership is good for one year, begins on September 1 and lasts until August 31. However, some sports may play year-round.
One way to start checking out clubs in your area is to get a list of AAU clubs from the AAU Club Locator. Use your AAU login information to gain access. Then, you key in your sport and your zip code to find basketball teams, for example, or martial arts events.
Some teams travel more frequently than others. Before choosing a team, determine how often your athlete will be on the road and how often the clubs play at home. Depending on your lifestyle, this information may be critical to your sign-up and the benefit of athletics to your child. However, to get the most from playing AAU sports like AAU volleyball, travel to championship tournaments is a given.
Regional tournaments and national championships take place throughout the U.S. The 2022 AAU College Hockey Federation Cup took place in West Chester, PA. With AAU clubs playing worldwide, your team may occasionally play far from home.
Children aged 7 and under to 20 can compete in the youth division once they get their AAU membership. The youth membership covers all the sports, so kids can play as many as they have time for.
The adult AAU membership is for players over 18 years of age. Unlike youth membership, adults must specify the sport they intend to participate in and have a separate membership for each sport they want to join. You can also obtain an AAU registration as a coach or team administrator.
Clubs or teams must also register for membership and AAU renewal annually. First, the coach and adults running the club must be members. There are three levels of AAU club membership.
Level one covers:
Level two includes the above, plus the ability to host a sanctioned sports event.
In addition to all the benefits that level one and two provide (plus a combination AAU membership for a youth and adult club), level three provides the ability to apply for tax-exempt status and collect donations.
The annual club membership costs $30 per year for a youth level one team. It tops at $320 for a level three adult and youth combination membership. If you are unsure of your membership type, use the AAU membership lookup tool on the AAU website.
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