Player Evaluation Process

As an organization, we are constantly trying to provide the best possible environment for every player to enjoy their soccer and to develop their soccer skills.

Our player placement and team formation process is unashamedly child-centric and we make great efforts to put as many eyes on the player and to institutionalize the data that drives the decision. 

Please know the following...

  • We do not put a player on a team just because they want to play with their best friends.
  • We do not put a player on a team because a parent wants it to be so - we respectfully remove the burden of player placement from parents and trust the Club's coordinators, evaluators and process to make a more informed choice.
  • We do not put a player on a team simply because they were on that team last season - children develop at different speeds and consequently players may well fall from a top team to lower teams over time, much as they can rise from lower teams to higher teams, or indeed have a mixture of falling and rising in the level of their team. All the Club will focus on is grouping the players together in teams of similar development level. Please note that teams are re-formed every season and no guarantees of playing on the same team is made season to season.
  • At the combined 7th/8th grade level, we do not favor younger 7th graders over older 8th graders, not do we favor older 8th graders over younger 7th graders. We solely focus on the development level of the player within that cohort. A team could be a mix of both grades or it would be all 7th graders or all 8th graders - teams are composed with only the level of development in mind. Because of the combining of the grades parents of children in these grades should expect more flux in team formations than at the younger single-grade team ages. 
  • We believe in exposure to as many coaches as possible and spend a great deal of time providing opportunities for coaches to be educated in soccer matters and also try to rotate coaching exposure where possible for the children to benefit from varied styles & methods. We do not consider parent requests for a particular coach for their child.
  • While we have a default structure based on the number of teams (3rd Grade: 4 Teams AABB, 3 Teams ABB, 2 Teams AA; 4th-8th Grade: 4 Teams ABCD, 3 Teams ABC, 2 Teams AB), the coordinators, in coordination with the DOC and President will have the option to make modifications to the default structure for particular cohorts based on the data (coaches eval, tryouts).

What's involved in the player evaluation process?

  • Volunteer coach evaluations: these are centered, predominantly, around the technical abilities of each player. Coaches are encouraged to assess players in practices more so than in games, so as to see the player in a relaxed environment where each player can show there individual abilities with the ball. 

No roster placements are decided solely on coach evaluations.

  • Try-outs run by external staff: try-outs are also centered on each player's technical abilities. At the try-out, players are evaluated by external staff. These staff do not know the DS players and score them 'blind' as pinnie numbers only.

The try-out process involves a series of small-sided games; the first of which is used to place players onto fields amongst players who the tryout staff feel are of a similar ability. The following four small-sided games involve the tryout staff member on each field ranking each player in their group, and then moving a few players in each group to other fields.

No roster placements are decided solely based on tryout data.

  • Director of Coaching input: based on the previous two seasons, the Director of Coaching will also give input into the placement meeting and player evaluation process on a player to player basis. The Director of Coaching will give her professional viewpoint on decisions between players. 

No roster placements are made solely based on Director of Coaching input.

What happens at the placement meeting?

  • Roster sizes: the sizes of the rosters depends on the number of registrants - there is no exact science, however, this year DS Soccer Club will be setting minimum and maximum parameters on rosters to ensure that rosters are neither too small nor too large. 

The parameters will be made in view of maximizing player development.

  • Coach evaluation and tryout rankings: rankings of players based on the coaches evaluations, and rankings of players based on try-out results are discussed in the meeting.

Coaches MUST leave the room if THEIR child is part of the discussion.

  • Division placement: once player placement is agreed upon, the coaches, DOC and coordinators will discuss the optimum placement for each team. The club wishes to ensure that all players are challenged (close score-lines and a hopeful balance between wins/ties/losses!)
  • Discussion and decision of coaches: coaches for each team are NOT decided at the meeting! They are decided at a later date and are a decision based on; DOC feedback, coordinator feedback, and most importantly previous community feedback.

The two most important things to remember are:

  1. We try our best to place players in the best environment to enjoy and develop within the sport.
  2. Decisions on player placements are based on their soccer ability ONLY. 

Note for families moving into town after the end of Spring season evaluation sessions:

The Club makes every effort to place players in teams that are most appropriate for their development - evaluation forms from previous coaches and data from independent and external evaluation assessors are our most important source of data. If a player moves into town after the Spring evaluations, we make every effort to inform ourselves as to the player's level of development (reviews or evaluations from previous other town or Club coach, contacting previous coaches etc). New to town players will be placed on the most appropriate team, based on the information that is forthcoming. In the absence of any information from the family, a player new-to-town will have to be placed on the lowest team.