Bethia Upward Update

Hello Upward Families!


Our current update for the 2022 Upward Basketball/Cheer season.

As we continue to follow local and state government regulations as well as UMC conference COVID-19 guidelines it has been decided that Bethia UMC will not be offering Upward Basketball and Cheerleading this season.

 We believe the Lord is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. Our peace and strength is in Christ, and we have a unique opportunity when facing battles like this. God tells us over and over in Scripture to not be afraid or discouraged because He will be with us.

 Please continue to join us in prayer as we place our trust and confidence in the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Please check back regularly for any updates


Bethia UMC Upward Basketball & Cheerleading

Upward is a sports-based ministry and we offer basketball and cheerleading for boys and girls starting at age K5. Upward offers the advantage of learning skills, playing a sport and most importantly, hearing a message from the Bible each week. Players all have a chance to play regardless of experience or skill level.


Church Office

(804) 739-3459

Evaluations and Orientations

  • Everyone must attend at least one Basketball Evaluation or Cheerleading.
  • Orientation and Evaluations will take place at Bethia United Methodist Church.

League Schedule

  • Practices are held one hour per week on a Tuesday or Thursday evening.
  • Games are played on Saturdays.  The season consists of (8) one hour games.
  • Activities will take place at Bethia United Methodist Church

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Who can participate?

Our Upward Basketball and Cheer League are open to girls and boys ages 5 to 11 as of November 30th of the current year. All teams are co-ed.

I’ve heard this League is different...

Our Upward Sports League is a unique offering for youth sports in the area.  These unique aspects include an evaluation system (virtually a skill assessment, not a player try-out) that promotes equal and competitive teams as well as a substitution system which allows for equal playing time for all participants. Through Upward, children are exposed to quality coaching and sport development in an affirming environment.  The Upward Sports model emphasizes building character and integrity on and off the court, instead of a “win at all costs” mentality associated with today’s sports world.

What is included in the registration cost for Basketball?

Basketball items include the jersey and shorts, a t-shirt, car magnet, iron-on award stars, scripture cards, and a special end-of-season gift received at the season celebration event.

Do players need experience to participate in the League?

Whether your child is interested in participating in basketball for the first time or is returning for another Upward sports experience, all skill levels are welcome in our League.

Where are the games and practices held?

All games and practices are held at Bethia United Methodist.  Saturday game times may vary throughout the season, but practice time will remain the same throughout the week.

May players request a specific practice night and time?

No, due to the size of the league, a player cannot select only one night to practice.  Yet, players can (but are not required to) select one night they cannot practice.

Can two coaches request to coach one team together?

Yes, requests for coach pairings can be made; however, please understand these pairings cannot be guaranteed.  A Coach Application will be required per coach, designating the Head Coach and Assistant Coach on each application.  To learn more about volunteering within our Upward Sports program, click here.

How do I register my child?

Online registration is available September through early November. Once registration closes or division capacities are reached, a waiting list will be formed.

In other youth sports leagues, actual playing time...

Our coaches are trained to implement a unique substitution system specifically designed to address this concern.  This substitution system provides every child the opportunity to be in the starting lineup, requires no child to sit out back-to-back segments, and allows every child to play at least half of the game.

What is included in the registration cost for Cheer?

Cheer items include the shell and skort, a mock turtleneck, car magnet, award stars, scripture cards, and a special end-of-season gift received at the season celebration event.

When does the season begin?

The mandatory player evaluations take place in November; practices begin right after Thanksgiving and games begin in January.  For a full list of key dates, click here.

How long are games and practices each week?

Both games and practices are one hour each per week.

Are siblings placed on the same team?

In order to be eligible to be placed on the same team, registered siblings must be in the same age division of the League.

As a parent, how can I make my child’s...

As parents, you play an invaluable role in building a positive sports experience for your child.  Be supportive of coaches, referees, and all participants both on and off the court. You can also make sure your child is on time for all games and practices, so they don’t miss a minute of the action!  Opportunities are endless to be involved, and one includes contacting your child’s coach to offer to bring snacks or coordinate a team gathering. Lastly, have fun, and your child will, too!

What is required of me as a parent?

All families are required to volunteer at least 2 hours.  It takes a lot of man-power to run the league and your help ensures that prices stay low and provide the best possible game day experience.  To see a list of volunteer opportunities click here

How are the Levels of Progression within the league defined?

The Levels of Progression were introduced to enhance the overall development of each player. We use three levels that are defined by the specific age division a player is assigned, and the game format and division specific rules of play per level help foster healthy, age-appropriate player development. As players’ age and build a foundation for specific skills, their opportunities to gain more experience and employ what they are learning to grow as well.

What does a full season of Upward Basketball/Cheer involve?

A season of Upward Basketball consists of player evaluations (every participant must attend an evaluation), eleven weeks of practices, eight league games, and an end-of-season celebration for families, coaches, and players.  Our League also hosts Coach & Referee Development meetings and events for volunteers.

Are Evaluations mandatory to attend?

Yes, player evaluations are essential to the formation of the League.  Essentially, the evaluation is a player assessment, not a try-out. All players must be evaluated prior to being placed on a team.

What nights are practices held?

During the season, each team will practice one hour on a weeknight at a time that is consistent throughout the season.  Teams will practice on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday evenings.

May players request to be placed on the same team together?

No, individual or team requests cannot be honored.  This is another purposeful area where Upward Sports differ from many other sports programs.  The player assessments aid in the formation of division teams, and teams are intentionally formed for parity and balance.  While we recognize perfectly equivalent teams are difficult to achieve, as balanced as possible teams afford all players with the opportunity to grow and thrive in a healthy, competitive sports environment.

What are ways I can volunteer in the League?

All families will be required to volunteer for at least 2 hours.  We need dedicated coaches, assistant coaches, and referees. We also need setup, cleanup, concessions workers, committed prayer partners and team parents.  To learn more about volunteering within our Upward Sports program, click here.