CATS U14 Tryouts

scan-2250We have been asked to let you know about the Cats Basketball Program Under 14 boys tryouts tonight and tomorrow night at Regi. This is not affiliated with our program, but many of our players have participated in it in the past. The brochure, and web site link giving more details are above.

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We The North End

You will notice #WeTheNorthEnd popping up on our Twitter postings and on our T shirts this season, so we wanted to give you some background on why we chose that line. We obviously recognized the unifying power of the Toronto Raptors “We The North” slogan, and what it did for our country, but we also wanted to capture the unifying power that our league has had in our city.

Don “Pete” Petersen started the league to give the children in his community around St. Pat’s a safe place to play and learn the game he loved. For 62 years we have continued his dream, while expanding the league to give opportunities to children from across the city a chance to learn the game as Pete intended – in a safe environment, together, regardless of where you come from, and to learn the skills that make playing basketball fun.

“We The North End” is an attempt to capture the pride that Pete had in the players from his league, and the pride of participation felt by so many thousands that have come through his gym over the last 62 seasons.

We are the little basketball league that started at a north end school, and we are the league that has grown through Pete Petersen’s stewardship into a 38 team, 500 player, 100 volunteer safe haven for basketball development. This will, in all likelihood, be our last year playing at St. Pat’s before we move to a new school. Because of that, we wanted to pay homage to the magic we have had in that gym – Pete’s gym- for 62 seasons. We can say with pride to the Kingston Community, we ARE the north end basketball league!

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Practice Schedule 2016

Here are the start times for the practices next week in all divisions. The coaches were given their team lists last night and will be in contact in the next couple of days. There are two teams listed in each time slot. Graduate practices at Ecole Cathedrale, all others at St. Pat’s.

Graduate Division

Monday September 26 ( At Ecole Cathedral)
5:30- Heat and Sixers
6:30- Warriors and Hawks
7:30- Bulls and Celtics

Biddy Division

Monday September 26
6:00 – Ravens and Cavaliers
6:45- Vikings and Raptors
7:30- Suns and Tarheels
8:15- Grizzlies and Magic

Little Guys Division

Tuesday September 27
6:00- Wolfpack and Huskies
6:45- Tarheels and Wildcats
7:30- Mustangs and Jayhawks
8:15- Rebels and Hoosiers

Girls Division

Wednesday September 28
6:00- Sting and Mercury
6:45- Storm and Starzz
7:30- Liberty and Sparks
8:15- Comets and Monarchs

Little Gals Division

Thursday September 29
6:00- Monarchs and Lions
6:45- Aztecs and Rebels
7:30- Golden Gals and Tigers
8:15- Slammers and Rockers

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Coaches Meeting Tonight

A reminder to all coaches and league executive that the coaches meeting for team distribution and practice time assignment is tonight, Wednesday September 21, at 7pm at St. Pat’s.

If you have been notified that we have a coaching position for you for this season please make sure to attend. We also cover a lot of topics important to your role and responsibilities as a coach.

See you there!

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St. Lawrence College Community BBQ Event

Again this season St. Lawrence College is hosting a Community BBQ before their home opener against The Centennial College Colts – and we are invited!! There is no cost for this and admission to the games is FREE as well. Game time for the women’s game is 6 pm and the men tip off at 8. October 21 is the date to mark in your calendars. This is an opportunity to get behind YOUR Vikings as they start their season.

They also have an exhibition game against Queen’s University at the SLC gym September 28. Game time is 8 pm.

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Week of September 19-23

With evaluation week wrapped up the task of making the teams for the coming season gets underway. A reminder for parents and players – there is no activity next week for players. We have our coaches meeting on Wednesday September 21and we will make a phone call to all players in the days following that meeting to let them know what team they are on and when they practice the week beginning September 26. We will publish the practice schedule here following the coaches meeting.

Our thanks to the coaches and other volunteers that gave up their time this week to help with the player check in and evaluation process.

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Queen’s University Study Executive Summary

Here is the more detailed summary of the study done by Matthew.

An Integrative Case Study of Positive Youth Development in a Recreational Community Sport Program
Summary Report for the Pete Petersen Basketball League Executive Board

The purpose of this research project was to conduct an in-depth case study of a successful, sustainable community youth sport program. A growing body of research aims to better understand how we can create youth sport environments that promote the personal development and life skills of young athletes, ultimately helping to foster their civic and community engagement across the lifespan. The Pete Petersen Basketball League (PPBL) represented a real-world, sustainable example of a youth sport program that aligned in many ways with this body of work. Thus, through three separate studies, this project aimed to better understand how and why the PPBL has been so successful over the past 60 years. This research project served as Matthew Vierimaa’s doctoral dissertation and was completed over a three-year period in collaboration with his supervisors (Dr. Jean Côté and Dr. Mark Bruner) and dozens of undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University. This report summarizes the methods, results, and outcomes of the research project, and outlines the next steps that have been taken to further this line of research.

Study 1. The first study provided a description of coaches’ perceptions of the basketball league. Twelve coaches from the PPBL (six of whom also previously played in the PPBL as youth) completed semi-structured interviews wherein they described the structure of the league and the perceived benefits for the young athletes. This first study intended to provide a general overview of the league from the perspective of coaches, who are key members in the league’s operation.
Study 2. The second study described the PPBL from an “insider’s perspective”. Specifically, Matthew volunteered as an assistant coach in the biddy division for one season and explored the organizational culture of the PPBL. Over this six-month period, he collected data through a variety of means including interviews with players, coaches, and volunteers, personal reflections, and archival data (e.g., PPBL anniversary memory books). Through this process, he attempted to uncover the deeply rooted cultural values and foundational beliefs that are shared by the PPBL and guide its operation.
Study 3. The third and final study explored the relationship between players’ self- reported developmental outcomes (competence, confidence, social connections, and character) and their observed behaviour during basketball games. The research team videotaped multiple game nights in the biddy, graduate boys, and girls’ divisions, and 67 players also completed a set of questionnaires. Video recordings of all 67 players were coded based on the frequency and duration in which various social behaviours were observed, and this information was later linked with the questionnaire data.

Key Findings
Study 1. Aside from a description of the general structure and operation of the PPBL, two distinct, inter-related themes emerged from Study 1. First, unlike many other youth sport programs that are time/resource-intensive, and explicitly teach youth life skills and how they can be applied outside of sport, the PPBL appears to adopt a more implicit approach to the transfer of life skills. Rather, coaches simply emphasized the importance of fostering positive immediate experiences (i.e., “Just for the fun of it!”), and that over time, these enjoyable experiences may lead to more long-term benefits, such as former players returning to the league to volunteer. This cultivation of contribution and the desire to give back to one’s sport organization and the community is the hallmark of effective youth development programs.
Study 2. The themes that were identified from the second study can be understood at three levels of complexity. First, observable aspects of the league’s organizational culture related to its welcoming atmosphere and strong community support. The PPBL’s espoused cultural values implied a focus on fun, inclusiveness, and accessibility. At the deepest level, the PPBL appears to share underlying assumptions related to equally valuing all members’ contributions, giving without expecting a return, and the importance of family.
Study 3. Overall, the questionnaire data from this study revealed that all players’ reported relatively positive perceptions of their sport experiences in the PPBL. However, further inspection revealed two clusters of players which were differentiated on the basis of higher and lower self-perceptions of confidence, coach-athlete relationship quality, and character. Interestingly, the group of players who scored higher on these measures also engaged in more frequent social interactions with their coaches. Overall, this study highlights the critical role that coaches play in youth’s sport experiences.

Ultimately, this research project formed the basis of Matthew Vierimaa’s doctoral dissertation, which was successfully defended in July 2016. A copy of this document can be found at the following link: Each of the three studies described above have individually been submitted for publication in peer- reviewed academic journals in the area of sport psychology. All three manuscripts are currently under peer review, and will be shared with the PPBL executive board when they are ultimately accepted for publication. The findings from these studies have also been disseminated through eight separate presentations at national and international academic conferences. The data collected through the first and third studies were collected in part by undergraduate students Kaitlyn Saunders, Cheryl Yang, and Courtney Braun, and served as the basis for their honours thesis research projects. Altogether, this research project has made a significant contribution to the academic literature and has served to advance the development of many young researchers.

Next Steps
Despite the wealth of data that has been collected and analyzed to date, numerous research questions remain. First, an additional data set similar in nature to Study 3 (observation and questionnaires) was collected and partly analyzed through an undergraduate honours thesis
project, but further data analysis is still required. This fourth study will be analyzed and completed over the next eight months, and the key findings will be shared with the PPBL at a later date.

The prominence of former PPBL players who return to the league to “give back” later in life, in other words, fostering a sense of “contribution” is a unique characteristic that has been studied in other youth development contexts, but not in sport programs specifically. Thus, there are plans underway to follow-up on this project with a novel line of research that will more broadly examine what motivates former athletes to give back to youth sport organizations and communities.

Even though many different aspects of the PPBL were studied in detail through this research project, a core element that was not adequately stressed was the immense role of Pete, specifically. Thus, plans have been made to write a “best practices” profile of Pete and his vision and philosophy behind the PPBL. This profile will be written in collaboration with members of the PPBL, and will be framed as an article that will be accessible and useful for both researchers and practitioners.

Finally, the entire sport psychology lab at Queen’s University are thoroughly appreciative of the relationship with the PPBL that has been forged through this project. It is hoped that the PPBL will remain open to future research opportunities with the Queen’s research team. The research team is more than happy to give back and provide the PPBL with any resources or programming (e.g., coach education, workshops, etc.) that may be beneficial.

If you have any questions about this research project, or ideas about ways that we can give back and help, do not hesitate to contact either Matthew Vierimaa (; 435-797-7323) or Jean Côté (; 613-533-6000 ext. 79049).

Matthew Vierimaa, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology and Health Science
Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services Utah State University

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Queen’s University Study

Some of you may recall a study done on our league for the last three seasons by a group of Graduate students, led by Matthew Vierimaa. I am happy to report that Matthew successfully defended his thesis this past July and is now working at the University of Utah. He has sent us a three documents – a short summary of the findings that I am including here, an executive summary that will be in the next post, and within the executive summary is a link to his full thesis.
It was nice to be able to help the research team in their work, and when I emailed Dr. Jean Cote today I thanked him for sharing the students with us, and let him know that we would be happy to partner with the university again for additional studies. Here is the lay summary from Matthew.:

An Integrative Case Study of Positive Youth Development
in a Recreational Community Sport Program
Condensed Lay Summary for the Pete Petersen Basketball League

Over the previous three seasons, I was part of a group of sport psychology researchers from Queen’s University who completed a research project with the “Pete” Petersen Basketball League (PPBL). This project involved videotaping games and graciously asking coaches, players, and their parents to fill out questionnaires or participate in interviews. Since the project has finally reached its conclusion, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the findings with you all. In summary, we identified the PPBL as an example of a model youth sport program, and wanted to better understand why it is so popular and successful. The results of this project suggest that the welcoming family atmosphere of the PPBL and its focus on ensuring that players have fun appears to have long-term benefits in terms of creating a culture which encourages former players to return and give back to the league as adults. This cyclical tradition of volunteering has facilitated the sustainability of the league over 60+ years and continues to provide local youth with a unique, enriching, and accessible sport experience. On behalf of the entire research team at Queen’s, I would like to thank the league – players, coaches, volunteers, parents, family members, and friends—for your cooperation and for making the last three years a rewarding and enjoyable experience. I will truly miss spending weekday nights in the gym at St. Pat’s. You are all a part of something truly special that provides an invaluable experience for Kingston youth. If you have any questions or are interested in hearing more about the results of the research project, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Good luck this season!

Matthew Vierimaa, PhD
Assistant Professor
Utah State University

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Basketball Donation

20160909_110335On Friday the Kawartha Credit Union donated two basketballs to our program. Shown in the photo L-R are Brenda Benn, Assitant Manager at the Princess and Regent Street Branch, Roland Billings, League President, and Martin Harris Branch Manager at the Princess and Regent Street Branch of the Credit Union. Our thanks to Martin for making this donation possible, and to the Kawartha Credit Union for believing in what we are doing with the league. The donation is very much appreciated!

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Player Evaluation Schedule

“Pete” Petersen Basketball League
2016 Player Evaluation Schedule

Monday September 12
Biddy Division
6:00 – 7:00 11 year old boys
7:00 – 8:00 12 year old boys

Monday September 12
Graduate Division (At Ecole Cathedrale)
6:00 – 6:45 13 year old boys
6:45 – 7:30 14 and 15 year old boys

Tuesday September 13
Little Guys Division
6:00 – 6:45 8 year old boys
6:45 – 7:30 9 year old boys
7:30 – 8:15 10 year old boys

Wednesday Sept. 14
Girls Division
6:00 – 6:45 11 year old girls
6:45 – 7:30 12 year old girls
7:30 – 8:15 13 and 14 year old girls

Thursday September 15
Little Gals Division
6:00 – 6:45 8 year old girls
6:45 – 7:30 9 year old girls
7:30 – 8:15 10 year old girls

Please come a few minutes early for the assigned time to allow us to get the players ready to have an effective evaluation process

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