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Travel Program Player Placement Info

SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION

Each spring all players who will be playing Travel Soccer in the fall go through a placement/evaluation process to aid in the creation of teams for the fall season.

Whether it’s your first time or fifth, we understand that travel evaluations can be a stressful time for you and your children. We hope by explaining the process, it will help alleviate some of that stress and let your child enjoy their travel soccer experience.

Our Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 travel teams all practice on the same fields, wear the same uniforms, travel to the same towns and are coached by our volunteer coaches. Placement on the right team should lead to a great year of soccer. Each Age Group including second year U8 players moving up to U10 (2nd graders who will be 3rd graders in the fall of 2017) will go through the evaluation process.

SECTION 2: PARTICIPATION

Participation in the 1 Day Skill Evaluation is critical and required. We always aim for 100% participation in the evaluation process and would ask that you make every effort to attend, we know there are always conflicts, but with advanced notice we are hoping you can make accommodations to be there. Players who do not attend may not be placed properly. We expect all players to make every effort to be there unless special circumstances apply (illness, injury, prior important family commitments, etc.) are communicated in writing via email. This must be done prior to the start of evaluations.

SECTION 3: GOALS:

The goal of the evaluation process is to provide a fair, objective and thorough process for assessing player abilities and skills in order to place each player onto a team that will best challenge their current level of play. All Players being evaluated WILL be placed on a team. As stated above, evaluations will be conducted by unbiased volunteers. Coaches or MUYSA parents with a son or daughter in the Age Group will NOT be allowed to evaluate. Teams are created and placed in divisions with the hopes of them being competitive in these divisions; the goal is to create teams that have competitive games across the board against similar competition from other towns in our league (MAYS). A .500 season should be looked at as a successful one.

SECTION 4: OVERVIEW OF THE ENTIRE EVAL PROCESS:

A player’s final evaluation will be formed leveraging a Coaches Evaluation, the 1 Day evaluation and a Placement Meeting. Details of each can be found below.

Coaches Evaluation:

All travels players (this includes rising U8’s) are evaluated at the end of their season by their current coaches, using a standard coaching evaluation form. Coaches evaluate their players in 12 content areas. Dribbling/Foot Skills, Passing / Receiving, Ball Control, Shooting, Individual Defending, Team Offense, Team Defense, Field Sense, Speed, Aggressiveness, Intangibles, and Communication. The results are sent to and organized by the age group coordinator. New as of the 2017 placement process, there will be an additional evaluation form filled out by the coaches for all players who play goalkeeper during the season. Goalkeeper rating will be factored into a player’s overall score.

Coaches Evaluation: (Goalkeepers)

A Goalkeeper will be measured in 7 additional categories; handling, punting, blocking, throwing, positioning, distribution, & athleticism. As a player moves up in age Groups, the Goalkeeping score will carry additional weight as fewer and fewer players play this position as the kids get older. Goalkeeping is an extremely important role on the team and we want to ensure keepers are properly recognized for their contributions in this area.

1 Day Placement Evaluation:

Players will engage in a 1 Day evaluation conducted solely by the MUYSA Evaluation Team.  The MUYSA Evaluation Team is a group of knowledge soccer individuals who have connections to MUYSA (both past and present), but do NOT have a child participating in the evaluation. The group will help ensure that the evaluation remains unbiased.

The evaluation team will stack rank the players based solely on their performance in the 1 day tryout. The Evaluation team will use a modified version of the MA Youth Soccer Evaluation Process. Players will engage in multiple 5-10 minute small sided games for the entire duration of the evaluation. The evaluation team will move players onto fields with players of similar technical and/or physical ability. Each evaluation will have one lead Facilitator, who will be in charge of conducting and overseeing the entire evaluation from start to finish.The Facilitator will NOT evaluate the players or make any decisions on player movement. The evaluators will observe the fields and continuously select players for movement either up or down based on their perception of a players skill. Once the evaluators have determined no further movement is required they will stack rank the players on their field in order of their technical ability and these results will be submitted to each age group coordinator. Each player should bring a ball, plenty of water and shin pads worn under their socks.

Placement Meeting

Once the 1 day Evaluation is conducted and all coaches’ evaluations are submitted to the Age Group Coordinator, there will be a placement meeting scheduled. This will include multiple participants including coaches, Age Group Coordinator and at least one member of the MUYSA Board to ensure that the placement process is impartial and unbiased. All placement meetings will use the same standardized form for stacking ranking players. The goal of the placement meeting is to create teams with players of similar technical ability and to properly place these teams in either Division 1, 2 or 3. While no one process is perfect, MUYSA believes this process does a good job of providing feedback from coaches who have been working with the players over the course of a season and also incorporates an unbiased evaluation of a player’s current abilities and skills by the MUYSA Evaluation Team. These things combined provide the right information for proper placement and continued player development. MUYSA Travel Teams are required to be submitted to MAYS for approval, no later than 7/4 and teams will be announced around the beginning of August.

SECTION 5: WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT THE LIVE EVALUATION

On evaluation day, players are checked in and given a numbered pinnie. That number is the player’s identification for the day. All observations are recorded by pinnie number only on standardized forms. Players are not identified by name or current team. Players are then randomly divided into smaller groups and assigned to a field. The total # of fields will depend on how many players there are in each age group. Each group will report to their assigned field with an evaluator assigned to it. Players will engage in multiple 5-10 minute small sided games for the entire duration of the evaluation. The evaluation team will move players onto fields with players of similar technical and/or physical ability. More details on this process can be found in the 1 Day Placement Evaluation section of this document. At the end of the night the evaluator’s forms are collected from each evaluator and handed over to the Age Group Coordinator. Each player should bring a ball, plenty of water and shin pads worn under their socks.

SECTION 6: WHAT DO THE EVALUATORS LOOK FOR?

Below is a sample of things evaluators might be looking for during the evaluations:

Technique (Skills):

First Touch/Ball Control – trapping and receiving ball in front of body, positioning to field when receiving, head up and field awareness after controlling ball.
Dribbling – ball control, inside/outside foot control, pace of dribbling, feinting, inside/outside cutting skills, acceleration and deceleration with ball, head up while dribbling.
Passing –technique with feet (inside/outside of foot), crisp/accurate passing to feet and to space, pace of pass, movement after passing.
Shooting/Finishing –technique of driving shot with laces/inside of foot, body position on shot, follow-through, decision on when/if to shoot, following shot for rebound
Shielding – body position when under pressure, “showing the ball” or shielding from defender, back to defender or side to defender.

Tactics:

Defending – marking player, pressuring player without over committing, body position when defending, stopping forward progress, tackling/gaining control of ball, knowing when to clear ball vs. dribble/pass
Field/Game Awareness – Movement without the ball. Head on a swivel, knowing where teammates, opponents & space are at all times. Knowing when to pass vs. dribble or shoot, seeing plays materialize, moving to a position that supports.

Physical:

Speed – quickness off/to ball, acceleration to ball/space, change of direction and deceleration  Strength – standing ground and/or winning position  Aggressiveness – attacking and going to the ball on defense, attacking and dribbling around/through defenders on offense, attacking and finishing shots Psychological:
Communication – calling for the ball, directing players to space
Attitude – are they having fun? Are they coachable, positive to other players/referees, not giving up on plays? Sportsmanship & overall potential.

Thank you for your participation in the program, we strive to improve our evaluation process year in and year out and welcome any feedback you may have to improve the process to ensure it is fair and unbiased for all players in all Age Groups. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to let us know. Thanks – MUYSA Board