Recreational vs. Travel Soccer
HYS strives to offer all children in the town of Hanson the ability to play the game of soccer. Because we know some families are more interested in a competitive program while others would rather have a recreational program, starting in the Spring 2013 season, HYS will offer both options for its players. The recreational soccer program will be available for all residents from Pre K (age 4) thru U12 (typically 6th grade). For the K-2nd grade it will be an instructional program focusing on skills development and learning the game of soccer. For children in the U10 and U12 age group, the recreational program will consist of a combination of skills development and games against other kids in the recreational program. For families that are looking for a more competitive program HYS offers competitive travel soccer teams.
Travel Teams & Player and Family Commitment
Hanson Youth Soccer (HYS) is a member of the South Shore Soccer League (SSSL). SSSL currently has over 18 member towns and is recognized by the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (MYSA).
SSSL offers two, 8 week seasons, one in the fall and one in the spring. The fall season will usually begin the first Saturday after Labor Day weekend. The spring season usually begins the second Saturday of April.
Within SSSL, HYS teams play against teams from other towns based on experience and overall ability level. Division I teams are the most skilled; Division II teams are next most skilled, and so on -- at each age level.
HYS’ goal is to have travel teams in each age-group of SSSL from U10-U19. The number of teams per age group will be dependent on the number of registrations. HYS will do it’s best to manage roster size to best maximize playing time for all participants These Travel teams will be placed in divisions within the SSSL travel league based on an assessment of the overall skill level of the team. These teams require a big commitment from parents & players; to attend at least 1 practice each week, every weekend game, and likely attend tournaments each season.
Travel Team Player Selection
Travel team players will be selected for the upcoming season based on evaluations from their (prior season) coaches, the direct observations of the Director of Coaching as well as open tryouts held with professional evaluators each spring. The players will be evaluated based on soccer skills, athletic aptitude and commitment.
Placement on a Travel team in any previous season does not guarantee placement on the same team for subsequent seasons, as player performance, attendance at practices & games, attitude and work ethic, as well as the number of players registered to play, will determine placement for future seasons.
All players will have an equal opportunity to compete; undue preference will not be given to players already on a travel team. In some cases, this will mean dropping a current player from one travel team to a lower ranked travel team the following season. This is never easy to do, but we will be fair to new players and the progression of current players in the program.
Parents and players should understand that:
* Each Head Coach is asked by the Director of Coaching to complete an objective evaluation form for each player on the team.
* The three major sources of information used by the Director of Coaching to help make team assignments are the coach's evaluations, spring tryouts and Director of Coaching input. Of these considerably more emphasis is given to the evaluations as they reflect a season long review of each player.
* Team assignments are made with the best interests of players and teams in mind.
* Player assessment will be conducted as fairly as possible.
* Every effort will be made to see that teams are not exclusionary over time and that team assignments reflect an evaluation of each player's current skills and commitment.
* A player's individual success and development results in large part from how the player interacts with the team to which he/she is assigned, and is not dependent on which team they are assigned to.
* As a parent, you should be supportive of your child and her/his enthusiasm for the sport of soccer regardless of the team assignment.
Who Manages the Travel Team Player Selection Process?
The Director of Coaching, with oversight from the Board, is tasked with managing the selection process in a system designed to eliminate as much coach and parent bias as possible. This individual collects the player evaluation forms, coordinates and oversees tryouts, reviews prior coach’s ratings and determines the rosters for Travel teams with Board oversight. They also run a meeting with the coaches from the particular age group to confirm the rosters, and recommend appropriate team placement with the SSSL leagues. While the goal of the team selection process is to achieve consensus, in the absence of consensus the Director of Coaching will make the final decision.
The Tryout Process
The Director of Coaching manages tryouts with evaluations being performed by impartial paid professional evaluators. Tryouts will be held in May or June each year and there will be one tryout scheduled per age group.
*** Your player must be registered in advance (by noon the day before tryout) to tryout for a travel team. ***
*** All players who wish to be considered for one of the travel teams should make every effort to attend tryouts. Players only interested in the recreation program do not need to register for tryouts ***
*** If your player cannot tryout on the assigned date for their age group, due to injury or a major conflict, please notify the Director of Coaching and their current coach in advance. ***
Players play in series of small-sided and regular format games. The small-sided games are designed to maximize the number of times each player interacts with the ball. This format also puts a premium on ball control. The small-sided games are followed by "regular format" games, either 6 vs 6 or 8 v 8 depending on player age. During both phases of the tryouts, evaluators rate player performance while observing the players in these game situations.
Players interested in trying out as goalkeepers should identify themselves on tryout nights – goalkeepers will be evaluated collectively at some point during the session. Goalkeeping candidates should try out with the understanding that goalies placed on a travel team will be expected to willingly play in goal for at least 50% of a game.
Does Every Player Need to Tryout?
Only those looking to play on travel teams are reccoended to attend tryouts. Players looking to only play recreational soccer are not required to tryout.
Players in our Instructional soccer programs - those going into Kindergarten, 1st grade (typically u7), 2nd grade (u8), - do NOT tryout. When registered by the deadline we will place those players on a team automatically.
On the Day of Tryouts, Your Player Should:
* Arrive 15-20 mins before their scheduled tryout to register and warm up.
* Wear cleats, shin pads and training gear. They should NOT wear HYS or club team shirts.
* Bring a water bottle and a ball (with their name on them).
* Collect a numbered colored shirt when registering which they should keep with them throughout the tryouts.
* Be ready to play and have fun.
* Work hard for the entire tryout.
* Let the evaluators know if they are interested in playing as goalie.
On the Day of Tryouts, Parents Should:
* Arrive 15-20mins early to DROP OFF your player, allow them time to register and warm up.
* Encourage them to have fun.
* Remind them to let the evaluators know if they are interested in playing as goalie.
* Return at the designated finish time to pick them up.
* Try NOT to ask them how they did (they usually don’t know). The weight of your hopes/expectations can weigh heavily on a kid.
* Ask them if they had FUN instead.
All players who register for travel soccer before the registration deadline will be placed on a travel team. Players who cannot attend tryouts are still eligible to play on a travel team but will only have the coach’s evaluation and Director of Coaching input used for their placement.
Rosters are optimized during the team selection process so timely registration is critical for placement on a travel team. Players that register late, after team selections have occurred, will be placed on the team entered into the lowest SSSL division for their age group. They will also be assessed a non-refundable late fee.
Announcement of Player Placements
Players will not be notified of their placements until the Spring Soccer Season has been completed. Typically players will receive notification of their placement (via posting on this website) by the end of July. Some teams will have a coach already in place while HYS will work through the summer to find coaches for others. Players can expect to be contacted by their coach by Mid August.
What if I think my player was deserving of a higher placement level?
HYS understands that player placement is not an exact science and that it is impossible to please everyone with its decisions. Hanson Youth Soccer always strives to do its best to objectively place each of our 400+ players on a team appropriate for his/her competitive level. Players unhappy with their placement are encouraged to continue playing and develop with their assigned teams. Players will have the opportunity to earn a higher team placement at the following year’s tryout. A disappointing placement can be utilized as an opportunity to teach young people how to persevere in the face of adverse circumstances.
What should I do if the coach hasn’t contacted me by the middle of August?
Please feel free to contact the HYS director of coaching, or a board member, if the team coach has not contacted you by the middle of August. It might simply be that your contact info was not communicated clearly.
SSSL Team Placement
Teams will be placed in SSSL Divisions for the upcoming season based on past performance, the recommendation of the Director of Coaching, Board of Directors and SSSL own evaluations over the previous 8 week season. Our goal is to place each team in league with teams of similar commitment, ability and skills.
The SSSL goal is to have each team play to a .500 record. To this extent, they will periodically reseed teams midseason to keep them challenged appropriately.
Number of Teams in each Age Group
The number of teams at each age-group is determined by how many players register for that age-group, as well as the number of volunteer coaches that offer to help. To this extent, the size of each team's roster can vary. Ideally, we limit the number of players to allow teams to offer each player substantial playing time.
HYS depends upon parents to volunteer as coaches. If you think you might be interested, we encourage you to start coaching in our instructional program. But, please don't be reluctant to volunteer, even if you know nothing about soccer. Many of our most successful coaches never played soccer and are learning the sport along with their children!
Of course, because most of our volunteer coaches are not professional educators or soccer players, occasionally some parents feel their children are not receiving the best soccer instruction. If you find yourself in this situation, we suggest you pick up a book on soccer, come to a coaches' clinic, and volunteer your services. We can always use assistant coaches, and you will quickly discover the joy of watching the children improve their skills under your guidance.
HYS will assist coaches who are taking or have completed licensing courses. You can contact the Board for more information about licensing courses.
Keep in mind that HYS engages the services of professional coaches to provide support services for players and coaches of all HYS teams, both Instructional and Travel teams.