Twin Valley Soccer Club
Player Evaluation Policy
(updated April 2018)
Twin Valley Soccer Club (TVSC) evaluations for the fall season are held each spring to evaluate current players as well as new players entering the club for U9 to U12 team assignments. Evaluation sessions will occur for all age groups where there are enough players to form a team, unless otherwise specified. Evaluations are conducted by age group and gender. Even when there are only sufficient number of athletes for one team an evaluation will take place to determine team assignments and placement in league division. Athletes playing in age groups at U13+ are assigned to teams via evaluations performed by that team's coach. The CPDC will provide input to such evaluations to ensure consistency and fairness in discussion with the team's coach.
Evaluations will be conducted for the purpose of evaluating players and forming teams of players with similar ability. Based on the number of players that register in a given age group, teams may be formed across age groups, (referred to as “multi-age teams”), to help ensure similar ability players are assigned to a team. The goal of such is to ensure that players’ development is maximized, rather than having a few players that may excel and dominate a team. When teams are not balanced with similar skills, athletic ability, and psychological maturity, touches on the ball become limited for some of the players preventing an equal opportunity for development. The goal of the club is to ensure that those that are ready for a higher level of soccer are challenged to push and develop, and for those that are not ready to be given time to develop with similarly skilled players. Rosters will not be automatically filled to capacity; players that do not meet the minimum standard of ability associated with a given team may not be placed on that team, regardless of prior season placement..
There is also a concept of “playing up”. This is an opportunity for a select few players who may need to play at an older age group to be challenged to develop further; due to their superior soccer skills, athletic abilities, and mental maturity. In such cases, parents must formally request that their child be evaluated at an older age group. In such cases, the TVSC Coach and Player Development Committee (CPDC) must agree and the player must attend both their normal age group evaluation and the older age group being considered. In cases where a player has already demonstrated an ability to play up at an older age group, the requirement to be evaluated in their current age group can be waived by the CPDC. (More details are included below).
Evaluation sessions will be coordinated by the CPDC with or without the Director of Coaching (DOC) as applicable, unless it would involve a team he/she may be coaching, then the Board of Directors shall appoint a surrogate to fulfill the DOC duties.
1. All players wishing to play for TVSC must register for the season and attend TVSC evaluations for U9 to U12 age groups (Birth years - 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007).
2. All registered players will be notified of the evaluation session information (date/time/location) by the club. This information will also be available on the TVSC website.
3. The CPDC will utilize internal club evaluators to provide feedback on players’ ability in a standardized form. Internal evaluators must not have a conflict of interest for the age group, such as coach in the age group or parent of a player being evaluated.
4. An evaluation form will be used consistently for all evaluations. Each evaluator must score the player on each aspect of the evaluation listed on the form. The CPDC will collect forms immediately following the evaluation session.
5. The CPDC will review the scores and determine if they should be tallied or utilize specific reviewer’s scores to ensure clarity of player placement. The CPDC will meet to finalize the placement of players on teams. This will occur within two to four weeks of the final evaluation session. Prior team coaches will be consulted, when deemed necessary, to gain additional information to help with player placements.
6. Players will be notified via email of their placement within four weeks of the final evaluation session, with the goal of having all travel players notified of team placement prior to end of school year.
7. It is understood that board members or TVSC coaches will not be involved with the evaluation process of a TVSC team with which he/ she is affiliated. Parents of a player will not be involved in the TVSC player evaluation process for that age group(s).
8. Registrants will incur a non-refundable fee of $30 associated with evaluation expenses. Should the player not be placed by the club on a team the full registration will be refunded. If the player withdrawals or choose not to be placed, all but the non-refundable fee will be reimbursed.
9. The coach of the team for which the evaluations are being conducted may observe the session, but must not participate in any manner including: speaking to the evaluators, players or parents at the time of the evaluations.
This policy strives to give each and every player an even chance to make a team without prejudice or the appearance of unfair practices during the evaluations. Evaluations are also utilized by the CPDC and Board of Directors (BOD), to make assessment of the club’s training programs and curriculum to determine improvements and changes that should be considered to further advance player development within the club’s programs.
Technical: physical soccer skill set: (e.g., dribbling, receiving [1st touch], passing, shooting, feints/fakes, trapping, heading, shielding, etc.) Tactical: demonstration of understanding of abstract areas of the game: positional playing, spacing, playing ahead of the play, and timing of runs Physical: speed, endurance, strength Psychological: imagination, competitiveness, desire to play, mental toughness, concentration, commitment to high standards Commitment: attendance and participation in practices, games and tournaments Coachability: focus, distractibility, desire to play
A player must be evaluated to be placed on a primary team unless the player is injured such that she/he cannot participate in an evaluation. If the CPDC is contacted about such a circumstance prior to the date of the applicable skill assessment, the player will by necessity be assessed on the basis of observations from prior coaches/trainers and prior experience. If no prior observations exist, an evaluation may need to be scheduled when the player is physically able to again participate.
Conflict with Evaluation Dates
Player's should make every effort to attend all evaluation sessions for their age group. However, in circumstances where a conflict prevents this from occurring, an email should be sent to the club email address and/or the CPDC, in advance of evaluation session. The email should contain the following information:
- Player Name
- Age Group
- Evaluation session date to be missed
If a player cannot attend any of the scheduled evaluation sessions, an alternate evaluation may be offered at the discretion of the CPDC if notification and valid excuse is provided by player's parent/guardian prior to the scheduled date of the evaluation. In most cases, the age group directly above will be the preferred session proposed and it will be noted that the player is not being evaluated to play-up, but rather is being evaluated for the actual age group. If notification is not provided to the CPDC until after the scheduled evaluation date, an individual evaluation will not be permitted and the player cannot be placed on a top team in an age group. Not attending skill assessments in the hopes of being placed on a particular team is strictly prohibited.
When there are sufficient available registered players, players will be evaluated with their age appropriate team as designated by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA). However, due to number of registered players multiage teams will typically be made to help balance assignment of like ability players. The goal of these assignments is to ensure the team environment maximizes the potential for individual player and team development, along with placement in a league division that enables appropriate competition level. Refer to the "Playing Up in Age" Policy for special considerations and exceptions. The general philosophy of team placement is to form teams based on skill level. The theory is that players will progress better and have a more enjoyable experience if playing with and against children of similar skills, speed, agility, commitment.
Player Placement Procedure
The team placement process will result from the committee's consideration of the following information: Coach’s feedback, trainer evaluation, and evaluation results. Feedback from coaches and trainers will be obtained by the CPDC, when deemed necessary to make a final decision prior to the final placement.
Placement after the Formation of Teams
A player requesting placement after the selection of teams may be placed on a primary team at the discretion of the CPDC based on the circumstances of the situation. The committee will consider the experience of the player, impact on the existing team dynamic, recommendation of the head coach, and results of the CPDC's evaluation. This policy typically applies to players who move into the area after evaluations have been completed. This policy does not apply to players who simply missed a scheduled evaluation session. Players that miss evaluations will be placed on the lowest competitive ability team within their age group, or in some cases on a multi-age team based on numbers.
A player may not migrate between teams mid-way through a soccer year. A soccer year consist of fall, winter, and spring seasons. The only exception to this rule is one team chooses not to participate in the spring season. In this case, any player from a team that will not play in the spring season may move onto a waiting list to be placed on another team that is participating in the spring. Players will sit on the waiting list ranked in order of their fall evaluation scores. Players that did not participate in the fall will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list below existing club members. Players will be placed on teams at the discretion of the CPDC in the order by which they were ranked based on roster space and appropriate skills to contribute to the team.
Playing Up in Age
TVSC requires that players play within their ability level, as determined by evaluations. This includes placement on multiage teams. This policy is applied to the U9-U12 age groups. However, in an effort to provide players of exceptional skill with the opportunity to play at a level that challenges their physical and mental abilities the club has developed a "Play up Policy” for players age 8 and above. Under this policy a player may play on a team in the age group one year above which she or he is qualified, provided that the player's evaluation scores rank them such that he or she would qualify for the team and they fall under one of the following limited circumstances:
1. If a player demonstrates far superior soccer skills, athletic ability, and mental maturity and there is not a team available at the appropriate skill level within the multiage teams. He/she can be evaluated at a higher age group. In these cases, the player must be evaluated in their age group and in the older age group against those players and selected for the team based on the categories that every player will be evaluated on.
2. If a player was playing up previously, they will not be required to be evaluated at their age group, if agreed to by the CPDC.
3. The CPDC may use its discretion to allow the evaluation of players in an older age group, even though they would not qualify for the top team in the next age group or multiage team. Two incidences where this might occur are:
a. Parental Hardship: Parents express a hardship in attending multiple practices/games with siblings, so having one child play up would alleviate the hardship
b. Best interest of the player: If the player's ability exceeds the skill level for the age group in which they naturally fall including multi-age team, he/she may be provided the opportunity to play up on another age group or multi-age team.
4. Players that have been chosen to play up may do so for the duration of that year (fall and spring season). Exemptions to play up must be reconsidered, evaluated and approved by the CPDC on an annual basis.
5. The “Play up Policy” may be used in an instance where a girl requests to play on a boys’ team.
6. U13 and above teams are typically based on ability and formed via try-out conducted by a team’s coach with support from the CPDC. The CPDC in these older age teams is involved to help ensure consistency and fairness in the try-out by providing an independent perspective from the team’s coach. The team’s coach will ultimately determine the players they invited to have a roster spot, but will be done in consultation with the CPDC.
Evaluation process for Playing Up
The parent(s) or guardian of the player who wishes to be considered for playing in the age group above their true age must submit in writing this request. Again, this is different than formation of a multiage team by the CPDC to ensure like ability players are assigned a given team. This request must be sent to either the club email address or directly to the CPDC. The CPDC will either grant or deny this request prior to the first evaluation date.
Players who have been approved for evaluation in an older age group may attend evaluations for the age group immediately above their actual age group. If the player fails to meet the 'play up' criteria as defined above, then that player reverts back to their own age group. The player must be evaluated within their age group and the next older group to ensure proper evaluation with other players within that age group, example a U9 (2010 birth year) player must attend the U9 birth year evaluation and if requesting to “play-up” attend the U10 birth year evaluation (2009 birth year). The player may then be placed on the team with the appropriate like abilities to her/his abilities.
All players being evaluated for a team in an older age group must also attend evaluations for their own age group. Failure of a player to do so would preclude that player from qualifying for the older age group. Furthermore, that player would only be permitted to play on the lowest level team in their natural age group or on a multi-age team with lowest abilities. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved at the discretion of the CPDC.
Evaluations to play on an 11v11 team (ages 12 and up) will be performed by the coach of that team. Coaches may request independent evaluators from the CPDC or other qualified/appropriately licensed coaches without a conflict of interest to provide input or to participate in the independent evaluation. Evaluations are at the discretion of the team’s coach and they may deem that evaluations are not required to select a team.
TVSC encourages the use of secondary players as a means to enhancing the soccer experience and development of its primary players. TVSC players are permitted to be used as secondary players with other clubs as long as TVSC takes precedence. Players must not miss games or tournaments to compete with a secondary club, as mandated by EPYSA rules. TVSC teams in the will not allow secondary players, except in the following circumstances and guiding principles:
1. Secondary passes may be issued when a team needs players to supplement their roster. Some leagues allow “club passes” and then such policy will be followed. Primary players will be the priority in terms of playing time; secondary players should not take away from the experience of the primary players. Coaches must inform secondary players of their role on the team prior to receiving a commitment.
2. When TVSC teams are seeking secondary players, these players may only come from within TVSC for age groups that play 7v7 or 9v9 format The reason for this policy is these years are consider the developmental age groups and our desire is to maximize the development of players that have primary roster status with a TVSC team.
3. This policy does not apply to teams that play 11v11 format, which are considered the competitive age groups. For 11v11 teams, players may be primary on another team and be secondary on a TVSC team. The status of primary and secondary will not be considered regarding playing time.