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Team Formation

Wright County Soccer Tryouts & Team Formation

  1. TRYOUTS
    1. Tryouts – General Information
      1. WCS does not hold tryouts for the 9U and 10U age groups. WCS  considers these age groups to be the developmental phase of soccer and league standings are not kept. In some instances, WCS, at its discretion, may consider forming a higher level team if deemed in the best interest of an age group. When WCS determines that a higher level team will be formed, the DOC and Competitive Director will decide how to best form the team through coach evaluations and/or in-house assessments. As a general rule, WCS will form developmental 9U and 10U teams randomly using the alternating birth date method in an attempt to form balanced teams when multiple teams are being formed. WCS does not accept parent requests for team placement (playing with friends, etc).
      2. Tryouts are conducted by WCS to form the rosters of all our higher competitive level traveling soccer teams for ages 11U and older.
      3. Tryouts for the higher level WCS teams are generally held between in late July or early August each year (immediately after the summer season has concluded and before the High School season begins due to league and High School Athletic rules). Exact dates and times will be posted on the website as soon as they are determined.
      4. A non-refundable $35 fee per player/per age group is required.
      5. Players must pre-register for tryouts. If you register on site (not recommended), additional on-site fee applies. All tryout fees must be paid BEFORE a player is allowed to participate in tryouts. No exceptions.
      6. Tryout fee refund policy: Tryout fees are non-refundable unless tryouts are cancelled by WCS.
      7. Tryout registration vs club registration: Tryout registration and club registration.  Registering for tryouts allows player to participate in the process that is used to select higher level team rosters. Registering for tryouts DOES NOT register a player to play for WCS, but only for the tryout event. A player must also register with the club to be placed on a roster after tryouts. Some players may choose to try out for several clubs, but must then select one club to play with for the upcoming season. Players who make a higher level team through the tryout process but do not register with WCS are subject to forfeiting that roster spot if they fail to register by posted deadline.
    2. Tryouts – Format
      1. Check-in: All players must check in at the registration table, sign and be issued a numbered tryout vest.
      2. Duration: Tryouts will be held for 90-120 minutes and will involve several individual and team activities.
      3. What is being assessed? Sessions will be divided into skills assessment and game play activities. Players will be scored on individual skill and technique as well as overall team play and awareness, along with athletic attributes like speed, strength and agility.
    3. Tryouts – the WCS philosophy
      1. Open Tryouts: Anyone can tryout for WCS. Teams are formed annually on a merit basis and players are not guaranteed a spot just because they played the previous season. “Open” tryouts means open to all who are eligible and register, to both new and current players.
      2. Our goal in the tryout process: We believe that placing a player at the appropriate playing level is key to their overall development. Tryouts are used to effectively divide players between teams of differing competitive levels within an age group. All State (C2) teams (“higher competitive level”) and above will be formed through the tryout process, regardless of registration numbers.
      3. Fairness and transparency: WCS is committed to having a team formation procedure in place that allows for equal opportunity for all players. Our assessors are trained professionals who have no relation to or regular experience with the players being assessed. We attempt to secure the best assessors in the area who are experienced in the tryout process. Assessors may be brought in from outside the club, or may be experienced members of WCS, who have no link to group being assessed. Assessors are carefully selected by the Director or Coaching. Although no tryout process is perfect, we believe that we are giving each player an equal opportunity to make a team, where the environment, conditions and assessors are the same for all participants. Each player/family may request a copy of their tryout scores if they wish. Requests must be made in writing to the WCS Director of Coaching.
    4. Players Missing tryouts
      1. General tryout rules: WCS considers tryouts to be the most critical element in team formation. All players who wish to be considered for the higher level teams must participate in the tryout process. We understand that there might be occasions when it is physically impossible to participate in a tryout session. Examples would be a serious injury or illness. WCS will make an effort to assess players in these circumstances, but ALL players who want to make the higher level team are expected to attend all scheduled sessions. Player must register and pay for tryouts even if they are going to miss tryouts due to an "excused" absence.
      2. Absences – excused / unexcused: If a player does not attend tryouts, then they will be placed on the lower level team. The only exceptions to that rule is when a player wants to be considered for the higher level team and cannot participate in the tryout process due to circumstances that prevent participation (an absence that is considered “excused”, determined by WCS). Examples of excused absences would serious illness or injury that would significantly impede a player's ability to perform. Examples of unexcused absences are vacations, playing another sport, having “the sniffles”, social events with friends etc. The WCS executive board reserves the right to examine cases of extenuating circumstances on a case by case basis and rule on each as it sees fit. Our overall goal is to place the players at the level that fits their skill level. Skill level is most effectively observed and compared in a tryout setting.
      3. Why so strict? If tryouts are not a top priority and attendance is not required, then they lose any value they might have in team formation and the whole process is undermined. Attendance at tryouts is critical to the team formation process.
    5. Trying out for an older age level team:
      1. When is this appropriate? Players are permitted to tryout for older age level teams (State (C2) and higher) if approved by the Director of Coaching. Play-up players must also tryout for their current age team (if it is a State (C2 ) or higher team) in the event they don’t make the older age team. Sometimes playing up an age level is forced by registration numbers. In these cases, other rules apply – see below.
      2. Tryout score requirements to play-up: Under normal conditions, play-up players must fall in the top half of the tryout results of the older age team to move up and play with that team. Players who place on the bottom half are better served if they play with their own age group. Exception: WCS reserves the right to place a player on an older team (even if the top half wasn’t achieved in tryouts) if a higher level team is not available at the player’s actual age level.
      3. The “combining age groups” rule: WCS, at its discretion, may combine age groups when registration numbers require. When this is the case, tryouts for any higher level team will held in a manner that all players in the combined age groups have an equal chance to make the team. If, for example, we are forced to combine 16U and 17U, players from both age groups will have an equal chance at making the higher level team and the “top half” rule will not apply. The group will be considered one combined age level.
      4. Tryout fees: Players must pay the tryout fee FOR EACH age group he or she tries out for. Player must register for both age groups and fees must be paid before participation is allowed in any tryout event.
  1. TEAM FORMATION
    1. Post tryouts timeline and procedures
      1. Tryout data – how is it processed? Tryouts are conducted by independent assessors. The assessors gather the data and tabulate the scores. Once the scoring is complete, they remit the results to the WCS Competitive Committee. Coaches and parents do not have access to the data or results until they are made public by the Director of Coaching.
      2. How teams are formed from tryout data? Tryout results come back to us with players ranked according to tryout scores. The top scoring players make the higher level team. Depending on the scores, the higher level team may or may not be full after the tryout results are analyzed and players placed. If higher level team rosters are not filled through the tryout process, WCS will attempt to recruit players who can demonstrate a higher playing level to fill out the roster. Coach evaluations are also used at the discretion of the Director of Coaching to help determine team placement. When the Director or Coaching has finalized the rosters, he/she submits them to the Competitive Committee for approval before making them public.
      3. Maximum roster sizes: The league sets maximum roster sizes for each age group. WCS will determine roster sizes while following league maximums. 
      4. When are results released? Results are released as soon as possible after tryouts are conducted. The team formation process generally takes 1-2 weeks to complete. Results are posted online. Coaches are also asked to contact the players to inform them of their team placement.
      5. New players who missed tryouts: Every year new players join our program. New players who missed tryouts will be placed on the lower level Cities (C3) team unless they request, in writing, to be considered for a higher level team. Incoming players who missed tryouts will only be placed on a higher level team as determined by the Director of Coaching and Competitive Committee. The determination may involve a coach evaluation/recommendation. Placement of incoming players will be made at the discretion of the Director of Coaching.
      6. Rules for playing up at an older age level: Players may seek to play at an older age level. This will only be considered when this benefits both the player and the team – a decision made by the Director of Coaching. If the older team is a higher level team, player must tryout for team and place in the top half to be placed on that roster. Players may also play up in the case where there is currently no team available at their age level.
    2. Coach Evaluations & how they are used in Team Formation
      1. What are coach evaluations? Our coaches are required to evaluate each player at the end of each season. These evaluations are intended primarily to be used as a tool to promote improvement. Coach will list strengths and also areas that player needs to work on. We also use the coach evaluations to help with team formation.
      2. What impact do coach evaluations have in team formation? Although the tryout score is the most important factor in team formation, coach evaluations are also used in roster decisions. The Director of Coaching may, at his or her discretion, use the coach evaluations to help finalize team placement. Coach evaluations are not intended to override tryout scores but rather to compliment the selection process. Only coach evaluations from the most recent season will be used.
    3. Team Formation for Cities (C3) Teams (Where no tryouts were conducted)
      1. General procedures: Cities (C3) level teams are considered beginner level teams. Although WCS strives to provide higher level teams at each age level, there are situations where that cannot be accomplished. Cities (C3) teams are formed on a first come, first served basis. When roster is full, no more players will be added even if the registration period is still open. WCS will place players on a waiting list or attempt to form a second team at its discretion.
      2. Cities (C3) teams from tryout results: Players who do not make higher level teams through the tryout process are placed on the Cities (C3) team. These teams are then filled with new registrants and players who did not participate in the tryout process on a first come, first served basis until roster is full.
    4. Goal Keeper Placement Policies
      1. How are “full-time” goalkeepers placed? Full-time goalkeepers are placed according to team need. A full-time goalkeeper is one that plays the entire year in the goal, as his or her primary position. In the event of more than one full-time goalie registers to play on the same team, assessments will be conducted to evaluate each. Every effort will be made to place full-time goalkeepers on separate teams. Full time goalkeepers for higher level teams must still register and pay the tryout fees associated with making a higher level team. WCS generally does not designate full time goalies before the U13 level. At the younger ages, players should be playing multiple positions and should only start to specialize at the U12 or U13 levels.
      2. Part-time goalkeepers: Part-time goalkeepers who also play in the field must go through the tryout process and qualify like all other field players. When no full time goalkeepers are rostered on a higher level team, Director of Coaching may place, at his/her discretion, a part-time goalie on the higher level team to meet the teams requirement for a goalkeeper.
    5. Exceptions to Team Formation Policies
      1. Combining age groups for higher level teams: WCS, at its discretion, may combine age groups when registration numbers at certain age groups don’t support full teams. When this is the case, tryouts for any higher level team will be conducted in a manner that all players in the combined age groups have an equal chance to make the team. If, for example, we are forced to combine U16 and U17, players from both age groups will have an equal chance at making the higher level team and the “top half” rule will not apply. The group will be considered one combined age level (U17).
      2. Combining age groups for lower level Cities (C3) teams: In rare occasions at the beginner level, age levels must be combined to form a team. In these cases, the ages will be combined into one group (for example, U13/U14) and roster will be considered full when roster max is reached with a combination of 13 and 14 year olds. Cities (C3) rosters will be filled on a first come, first served basis. WCS will make every effort to provide teams at every age level, but occasionally age groups have to be combined, in which case both age groups have equal rights to roster spots.
  2. The league and MN High School Rules & Regulations
    1. Player Transfer & Release Criteria
      1. Transferring to and from soccer clubs: If a player is currently registered with a member of a league club, the following must be addressed before player can transfer to another member club.
        1. Player is bound to a club for the season when registration papers are submitted and payment made. Fall and summer are separate seasons.
        2. Player cannot register with another club until “released” from current club once registration has been submitted for any particular season.
        3. If a player registers with multiple clubs, the first registration is the valid one and player is officially bound to that club.
        4. A league transfer form must be filled out and signed by current clubs president before transfer will be processed.
      2. Release: WCS in some case will and in some cases will not release a registered player:
        1. Player will be released if family is moving out of the west metro playing area.
        2. Player will be released if he/she has made a higher level team at another club, but must show proof of higher placement (name on roster, for example).
        3. Player will not be released to play on another team of the same level (playing on a higher age level team does not constitute a higher playing level) unless extenuating circumstances arise to be considered by club on a case by case basis.
        4. Player will not be released to play on another team if player leaving jeopardizes viability of team (exception being if 1 and/or 2 above are true).
        5. Transfer request must be made in writing to club president, Director of Coaching, and Director of Operations. Request must be made 30 days prior to the league deadline for player transfers.
        6. A release does not result in a refund of club fees. Please see separate refund policy.
  3. Tryout timing – Why are tryouts in late July / early August?
    1. League Rules: Tryouts for member clubs cannot take place until state tournament is completed, usually right at the end of July.
    2. High School Rule: Minnesota State High School League starts mid August, and tryouts for club teams must be completed by that start date, leaving a two-week period for tryouts.
    3. Other reasons tryouts are in late July or early August: 
      1. Tryouts are held right after season when players are prepared and in shape.
      2. Tryouts are held outdoors on natural grass which is a much better surface than indoor surfaces. Players can wear cleats in a more soccer like environment.
      3. It’s much more cost effective, allowing for longer, more comprehensive tryout sessions, with more accurate result.
      4. Tryouts do not conflict with other sports seasons and holiday events.
      5. Early team formation allows for better winter training schedules.
      6. Formed teams can participate in a fall league and winter leagues as they prepare for the following season.
  4. Tryouts & Team Formation FAQ
    1. Do I have to participate in tryouts? No – if you don’t want to be considered for the higher level team, you do not have to participate in tryouts or pay the tryout fee. You do have to register with the club, however, in order to be placed on a team.
    2. We had a fun season last year; can’t we just keep our team intact? WCS policy is that each team is formed based on merit each season. Therefore rosters are not carried over from one year to the next.
    3. Can my child play on the same team as a friend? To maintain the integrity of a competitive program, players are placed based on merit. Higher level teams are formed through the tryout process and playing with friend requests cannot be honored.
    4. I can’t make tryouts, but want to be considered for the higher level team, do I have to register for tryouts and what are my chances of making higher level team? If you cannot make tryouts, but want to be considered for the higher level team, you must do the following:
      1. First you must register and pay for the tryout session. Only players who are registered for the tryouts will be considered for the higher level team.
      2. Second you must submit the reason for the absence, IN WRITING, to the Director of Coaching. If you have an acceptable reason (determined by the club) for missing, the Director of Coaching will attempt to place player using alternate forms of assessment (coach evaluations, previous tryout results, previous playing experience, etc). See section on missing tryouts above.
      3. If you do not have an acceptable reason for missing tryouts, then you will be placed on the lower level team.
      4. Tryouts are the most important factor in team placement. Missing tryouts does not eliminate your chances of making the higher level team, but will make it much harder to justify placement on the higher level team.
    5. How are coaches assigned to teams? Coaches are selected each year by the Director of Coaching and assigned on a “best fit” basis. Like players, coaches are not automatically carried over from the previous season. All coaches must buy into our philosophy of player development. Some are parents, some are not. All our coaches have gone through training and are licensed. Some coaches are paid and some are volunteers. We are always looking for quality coaches.
    6. Does the coach’s son/daughter automatically make the team? No – children of coaches have to make the team through the same tryout process like all other players. Assessors are generally unaware of who the coach of any particular team is going to be and in some cases the coach has not yet be assigned.
    7. How are lower level Cities (C3) teams formed that are not subject to tryouts? Lower level Cities (C3) teams are formed on a first come, first served basis. When roster is full, team will be closed to new registrations. If two teams are formed, rosters will be divided in a random method, such as alternately by age in an attempt to form two even teams. 
    8. Are there tryouts for the Fall soccer season? Our July/August tryouts will determine our higher level teams for the upcoming soccer year. Those higher level teams will play in the fall league as they prepare for the following summer. WCS will form Cities (C3) teams on a first come- first served basis. Fall soccer is only available for ages up to U14. 
    9. Who should I contact in the event I have a question about WCS team formation policies and procedures? If you have any questions or concerns about our team formation policies, please contact our Director of Coaching and Player Development. Our goal is to be as fair and as transparent as possible, where players are placed based on merit.