Upward Web Site Head Image
First Baptist Church

735 Park Street

Charlottesville, VA 22902

2019/2020 Season Dates:

Coach's Training

  • A make-up training will held soon. Stayed tuned for the date.

Player Evaluations

Evaluations are held from 5:30 to 7:00. You do not need to come for the whole time. The actual evaluation takes 15 to 20 minutes but there will likely be a short wait before your player's evaluation begins. Please come to the Fellowship Hall to get started.

  • Monday, October 14th
  • Tuesday, October 15th


  • Practices begin on Monday, December 2nd. Games start Saturday, January 11th.

Upward Mission Statement: We are committed to maximizing our efforts, individually, and as a group, to lift Upward the name of Jesus and reach Unlimited people for Christ.

Guiding Principles: To achieve our mission with a Christ-like attitude, we are committed to:

  • Being keepers of the promise
  • Creating seed casters
  • Using conflicts as ministry opportunities
  • Looking for ever-changing ways to share a never changing message
  • Being a first class, organized, detailed evangelistic ministry partnered together as a unified team.

Ways To Get Involved

We are always looking for people to help us provide a great ministry experience for those who participate in Upward Basketball and Cheerleading in Charlottesville. If you would like to get involved in any of the ways listed below, please send an email to upward@fbcparkstreet.com or call the First Baptist Church office at 434-296-6195.

Show or hide contents   Coaches

The Upward coach has one of the biggest impacts on this ministry. You work with players on a weekly basis throughout the season, teaching them basketball skills and life skills. You have the opportunity to share about Jesus and the Bible while helping the players develop character and leadership. Never played basketball before, no problem! Upward provides drills, practice, plans, and basics about the game in your coach’s handbook and provides plenty of online resources as well. Coaches commit to leading practice once a week (on a weeknight suitable to you) for eleven weeks and coaching games on Saturday morning for eight weeks during the season. Practices begin after Thanksgiving and games take place during January and February. We have needs for both head and assistant coaches for both boys and girls in Kindergarten through 8h grade.

If you are interested in coaching, we ask that you contact us and come to a coach’s training. This year, the coach’s trainings will take place on the following evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 at First Baptist Church in the Fellowship Hall.

Monday, September 24th

Tuesday, September 25th

Show or hide contents   Referees

Referees are another important component of the Upward program. We want our players to have the opportunity to play games that reinforce the skills they learn in practice. Our volunteer referees serve as on-court coaches. They call violations, but they also explain the rules and help participants to improve as players. If you need some encouragement or are just learning the game of basketball, we have opportunities in our younger leagues where we can pair you with an experienced referee.

If you are interested in refereeing, please contact us and we will let you know more details about referee training and how to get involved.

Show or hide contents   Halftime Devotion Speakers

One of the unique aspects of Upward sports is the opportunity to speak to parents about Jesus and the Bible during halftime of our games. While the players are getting a break and receiving instruction from their coaches in preparation for the second half, halftime speakers can share with the families and friends that have come to watch the game. It is an opportunity to reach people, some of them unchurched, with the gospel. It is a time for a brief (5-7 minutes) devotion, Bible story, life lesson, or anything else that reinforces the message of hope and love that we have through Christ.

If you want to share a devotion, you can contact us for more information or you can simply sign up for a devotion slot on the Upward website when the game schedules are made available shortly before the Christmas holidays.

Show or hide contents   Clock/Scoreboard Operators

Our clock and scoreboard operators are important to help us keep our games moving, and for our upper leagues, keeping everyone informed about the score. It is an easy job and we can show you what you need to know in a few minutes before the game begins.

If you want to help run the scoreboard, you can contact us for more information or you can simply sign up for a volunteer slot on the Upward website when the game schedules are made available shortly before the Christmas holidays.

Show or hide contents   Prayer Partners

Another important part of our ministry, prayer partners commit to praying throughout the season for players, coaches, , and others involved in Upward. Prayer is a huge part of our ministry, and our prayer partners are important.

If you want to be a prayer partner, you can contact us for more information or you can contact the prayer commissioner.

Show or hide contents   Gym Coordinators

Gym coordinators provide on-site management on Saturdays during January and February. They do set up/breakdown at each site, keep games on schedule, announce lineups, manage the clock operators, and make sure that the microphone is all set for the halftime devotion speaker. They also act as the liaison between the host facility and Upward. We currently have three game sites for this season. First Baptist Church (games run all day) Covenant Church on Rio Road (games only in the morning), and Baker-Butler Elementary (games run all day). For sites that games run all day, the position can be broken into two shifts if necessary.

If you want to help out as a gym coordinator, please contact us.

Show or hide contents   Upward Café Workers

Work at the Upward Café on Saturdays during January and February serving items and interacting with players and families. The Upward Café is located in the First Baptist Church fellowship hall. Funds raised at the Upward Café help to fund Upward scholarships.

If you want to help out with the Upward Café, you can contact us for more information or you can contact the Upward Café director.

Show or hide contents   Pictures & Video

We are always looking for video and pictures for our end-of-the-season celebration. If you would like to help take pictures and video of our games and practices to use at the conclusion of the season, please contact us.

Show or hide contents   Evaluation Night Volunteers

In an attempt to have the most balanced teams possible, each player goes through an evaluation process. The results of these evaluations are used to assist us as we form teams. On each evaluation night we need help with registering players, gathering player information such as height and jersey sizes, organizing players as they wait to be evaluated, and recording evaluation scores. For those recording evaluation scores, all you need to do is be able to count and record the number you counted for each player.

If you want to help with evaluations, you can contact us for more information or you can simply sign up for a volunteer slot on the Upward website.

The evaluation nights for this year are:

Tuesday, October 9th

Thursday, October 11th

Monday, October 15th

Thursday, October 18th

Interested in Playing a Larger Role?

Do you want to get involved in a deeper way? We are always looking for individuals who love the Upward ministry to join our leadership team. If one of the unfilled roles below appeals to you or you want to help out by assisting one of the listed individuals, please contact Buddy Osborne (buddyo@fbcparkstreet.com).

Show or hide contents   Upward Director (Buddy Osborne)

Oversees the running of the basketball and cheerleading leagues and coordinates the other volunteers that make the league work. The Upward director is the primary point of contact for league leaders, coaches, and parents. This person coordinates facility usage, coach assignments, and key events throughout the season.

Show or hide contents   Cheerleading Commissioner (Currently Vacant)

Oversees the cheerleading league. The cheerleading commissioner trains cheerleading coaches, organizes cheerleading teams (including assigning coaches and players to teams), creates cheer schedules, and works with the Upward director to ensure a successful cheer season.

Show or hide contents   Referee Commissioner (Rob Pochek)

The referee commissioner seeks out volunteers to referee games on Saturdays during the season. They coordinate the referee volunteers and monitor referee sign ups leading up to game days. They also coordinate referee training sessions and work to pair new referees with experienced mentors. The referee commissioner serves as the point person for questions about the rules and sends communications to coaches and referees throughout the season.

Show or hide contents   Devotion Commissioner (Currently Vacant)

The devotion commissioner seeks out volunteers to fill the halftime devotion slots each week. This position also works to support those who are new to giving devotions and provides strategies for sharing with parents and families.

Show or hide contents   Prayer Commissioner (Terry Hansen)

Organizes the prayer partners in their efforts to support the Upward league through continuous prayer. The prayer commissioner also provides guidance to prayer partners on specific prayer needs.

Show or hide contents   Café Commissioner (Currently Vacant)

The Café Commissioner runs the Upward Café at First Baptist Church on game days. They also coordinate café volunteers and scheduling. Responsible for the purchasing of food and drinks sold at the café.

Show or hide contents   Player Draft/Game Scheduling Coordinator (Mark Leach)

The draft and scheduling coordinator oversees the placement of players on teams based on practice night availability and evaluation scores. Handles post-draft movement of players between teams and assigning late registrants to available teams. Creates the game schedules.

Show or hide contents   Upward Webmaster (Chip Felker)

The Upward webmaster maintains the Upward website. The website provides information to parents, players, and volunteers including game and practice schedules. Posts important dates and creates signup links for volunteer opportunities.