Policy Handbook

Policy Handbook

MERRYMEETING SOCCER CLUB (MmSC)

Team Formation & Player Roster Policy (approved May 18, 2014) 

 

Age group: Team formation Players on the field Player Age by prior Aug 1st: Number of team players Min/Max
Under-9 Non-Competitive 6v6 7 9 Min / 12 Max
Under-10 Non-Competitive 6v6 9 9 Min / 12 Max
Under-11 Non-Competitive 8v8 10 11 Min / 14 Max
Under-12 Competitive 8v8 11 11 Min / 14 Max
*Under 12 Composite Competitive 8v8 10 & 11 11 Min / 14 Max
Under-13 Competitive 11v11 12 14 Min / 18 Max
Under-14 Competitive 11v11 13 14 Min / 18 Max
*Under 14 Composite Competitive 11v11 12 & 13 14 Min / 18 Max

(*) See Rule for (U-11/U-12) and (U-13/U-14) Composite Teams

NEW for 2014:

Spring soccer: Players must be age 7 prior to August 1 from last calendar year in order to participate in Merrymeeting Spring Soccer competitions.

Fall soccer: Players must be age 7 prior to August 1 for this calendar year in order to participate in Merrymeeting Fall Soccer competitions.

Please note that 7 year olds (U8 players) are recently allowed to participants in Soccer Maine’s travel leagues only to the extent that they participate on a U9 team. They are not permitted to participate on U10 or above teams.

 

The MmSC strives to meet three distinct, complimentary goals when forming teams and roster players.

  • The primary underlying goal of MmSC during the formation of teams is the maximum development of the soccer player, the athlete, and the person. The MmSC Board of Directors believes that players will develop at a faster rate when they are optimally challenged. Therefore, the MmSC strives to field teams which are as skill-balanced as possible, based on evaluation metrics.
  • The secondary goal of MmSC is to field the most competitive team possible in the (result) oriented age brackets as per the designation of SoccerMaine (U-12, U-13, and U-14). This goal is set in addition to the primary goal of player development. Technical development in the opinion of the MmSC Board of Directors will foster a higher rate of advancement and improve the level of soccer played by each player and each team as competitive ages are reached. Each MmSC team shall be placed in a competitive division where applicable per SoccerMaine so that appropriate challenges for each group can be met.
  • The third goal of MmSC is to foster well balanced teams in the (non-results) oriented age brackets per the designation of SoccerMaine (U-9, U-10 and U-11). In addition to the primary goal of player development, MmSC believes that all players in these age groups develop soccer skills much quicker when an atmosphere of team building coupled with technical skill development is promoted. The focus here is more of a Team Balance vs. a Skill Balance.

If the MmSC Board of Directors sees a significantly low evaluation score, it reserves the right to counsel parents and players to consider additional experience at an alternative soccer program level before pursuing travel soccer in the future. This approach will help to insure that each player, regardless of where they play, enjoy a rewarding and skill development focused experience in soccer.

Players will be rostered per the following guidelines:

U-13 & U-14

SoccerMaine retains the right to combine age groups to ensure the viability of the league. For example, if there are not enough Under-13 players, they might be combined with an Under-14 age group.

As per SoccerMaine and US Youth Soccer guidelines, competitive, (results) oriented play is the standard at these age groups. MmSC emphasizes player and team development. All efforts shall be made by the MmSC Board of Directors to field a minimum of (1) Champions Cup Team (Division 1). If in the opinion of the Board and Coach, this is not in the best interest of the players, the team shall be designated to Classic Cup level (Division 2) to ensure optimal player development.

MmSC shall follow SoccerMaine guidelines limiting rosters to (18) players maximum. The MmSC Board of Directors retains the ability, with input from the Coach, to field a team with fewer players if there is significant variation of player evaluation outcomes in order to field the most competitive team possible. The maximum roster limit outlined by SoccerMaine does not serve as a mandate. If there are (18) or more players who evaluate; the team created shall be a maximum of (18) players based on evaluations. A roster limit of (14) players minimum shall also be established. An ideal team size is (15) players. At these levels there may be cuts with players referred to an alternative soccer program for continued growth and development. Alternatively, when appropriate, as determined by the coach with MmSC Board of Directors approval, a player may be asked to practice with the MmSC team as a (player in training) while pursuing additional playing opportunities at an alternative soccer program.

Players shall be assigned and rostered in a pure rank order system. Goalie evaluation shall be similar (in rank order) as a stand-alone ranking. Each team should have on their roster, a minimum of (2) goalies’. In the event that more than (1) team can be created, each team shall be assigned based on the evaluations, to include goalies. This rank order shall be calculated utilizing player evaluation scores, and input from the most recent coach where applicable.

If (2) or more teams are created they shall be of equal size if possible. The above process shall continue until all players have been rostered (A-team, B-team, Composite-team (U-14), etc…) or referred to an alternative soccer program. Coaching shall be geared towards further refinement of individual technical skill, advancement of the tactical aspects of the game, and promoting approaches and behaviors which enhance each player’s enjoyment of the game and their club experience. These are (results) oriented levels, and additional focus shall be placed on match play outcome.

*U-13/U-14 Composite

If after both U-13 and U-14 have fielded age appropriate teams, any additional U-13 and U-14 players not yet assigned to a team shall be considered based on tryout evaluation scores for a U-14 Composite team. That U-14 Composite team is required to have at least 50% of the players on the roster be age appropriate.

It is therefore MmSC’s intent that if there are not enough remaining players to form additional teams within the U-13 or U-14 age groups individually, those remaining players shall form a composite U-14 team. This team shall be formed based on the tryout scores (rank order) of those remaining players (U-13 & U-14) combined. This rank order shall be calculated utilizing player evaluation scores, and input from the most recent coach where applicable. The Ideal team size is (15) players, not to exceed (18) players. After the composite team has been formed there may be cuts, with players referred to an alternative soccer program for continued growth and development. Alternatively, when appropriate, as determined by the coach with MmSC Board of Directors approval, a player may be asked to practice with the MmSC team as a (player in training) while pursuing additional playing opportunities at an alternative soccer program.

U-12

Per SoccerMaine and US Youth Soccer guidelines, competitive (results) oriented play begins at this age bracket. MmSC emphasizes player and team development. Efforts shall be made by the MmSC Board of Directors to field a minimum of (1) Champions Cup Team (Division 1). If in the opinion of the Board and Coach, this is not in the best interests of the players, the team shall be designated to Classic Cup level (Division 2) to ensure optimal player development, player enjoyment of the game and their club experience.

MmSC shall follow SoccerMaine guidelines limiting rosters to maximum of (14) players. The MmSC Board of Directors retains the ability with input from the Coach to field a team with fewer players if there is significant variation of player evaluation outcomes in order to field the most competitive team possible. The maximum roster limit outlined by SoccerMaine does not serve as a mandate. If there are (14) or more players who evaluate, the team created shall be maximum of (14) players. A roster limit of (11) players minimum shall also be established. An ideal team size is (12) players. The above process shall continue until all players have been rostered (A-team, B-team, Composite-team (U-12), etc…). At these levels there may be cuts, with players referred to an alternative soccer program for continued growth and development. Alternatively, when appropriate as determined by the coach with MmSC Board of Directors approval, a player may be asked to practice with the MmSC team as a (player in training) while pursuing additional playing opportunities at an alternative soccer program. Players shall be assigned and rostered in a pure rank order system. Goalie evaluation shall be similar (in rank order) as a stand-alone ranking. Each team should have on their roster minimum of (2) goalies. This rank order shall be calculated utilizing player evaluation scores, and input from the most recent coach (where applicable).

The above process shall continue until all players have been rostered or referred to an alternative soccer program. Coaching shall be geared towards individual (technical) skill development and enhancement, further understanding of soccer concepts (tactical development), and promoting approaches and behaviors which enhance each player’s enjoyment of the game and their club experience. As this level is (results) oriented, additional focus is placed on match outcome.

U-11

This group falls under the (non-results) oriented designation per SoccerMaine and USYouth Soccer. Assignments shall be made in order to create teams of similar skill level. In the event that the number of registered players allow for the creation of more than (1) team, roster formation shall be based on even distribution of the players based on the evaluation scores between the (2) or more teams. The evaluation scores will be used to create teams as close to balance as possible. MmSC shall follow SoccerMaine guidelines limiting the roster at this group to (14) players. A roster limit of (11) players minimum shall also be established, with an ideal team size of (12) players. The (2) or more teams created will be of equal size if possible. The above process shall continue until all players have been rostered (team-1, team-2, Composite-team (U-12), etc…) or referred to an alternative soccer program. Coaching shall be geared towards individual (technical) skill development and enhancement, further understanding of soccer concepts, and promoting approaches and behaviors which enhance each player’s enjoyment of the game and their club experience. It is important for players and parents to recognize that the Board cannot guarantee continuity of a single team from one year to the next. Based on the number of players who register and evaluation scores at a minimum, it is highly likely that the composition of any single particular team will change, particularly in the U-11 age group.

*U-11/U-12 Composite

If after both U-11 and U-12 have fielded age appropriate teams, any additional U-11and U-12 players not yet assigned to a team shall be considered based on tryout evaluation scores for a U-12 Composite team. That U-12 Composite team is required to have at least 50% of the players on the roster be age appropriate.

It is therefore MmSC’s intent that if there are not enough remaining players to form additional teams within the U-11 or U-12 age groups individually, those remaining players shall form a composite U-12 team. This team shall be formed based on the tryout scores (rank order) of those remaining players (U-11& U-12) combined. This rank order will be calculated utilizing player evaluation scores, and input from the most recent coach (where applicable). The Ideal team size is (12) players, not to exceed (14) players. After the composite team has been formed, there may be cuts, with players referred to an alternative soccer program for continued growth and development.

Often the U-11 and U-12 age groups represent a particular challenge with regards to creating teams. This is the result of roster size moving from 6v6 play to 8v8 Play for U-11 and the number of players registered. Players and parents in these age groups should be aware that with fall evaluations players in the U-11 and U-12 age divisions may be evaluated as a single group when consideration is made for the development of a Composite Team.

U-9 and U-10

Per SoccerMaine and US Youth Soccer guidelines, this age bracket is (non-results) oriented; therefore, assignments shall be made in order to produce teams of similar skill level. In the event that the number of registered players allow for the creation of more than (1) team per age group, roster formation shall be based on even distribution of the players based on the evaluation scores between the (2) or more teams. Evaluation scores shall be used to create teams as close to balance as possible – in other words in a series of games between the teams, the level of play and the game outcome should be very similar. MmSC shall follow SoccerMaine guidelines limiting the roster at this group to (12) players maximum. A roster limit of (9) players minimum shall also be established, with an ideal team size of (10) players.

Skill levels at the U-9 and U-10 shall be geared towards the enhancement of individual technical skills, introducing and expanding basic concepts of the game of soccer, and promoting approaches and behaviors which enhance each player’s enjoyment of the game and their club experience.

As the team composition at these age groups is designed towards balance, the possibility that a returning team may be broken up exists. This scenario is the result of the number of players registered and the desire of the Board to ensure that all players receive the most appropriate, rewarding, and developmentally focused soccer experience possible.

Tryouts

Prospective players will be expected to participate in yearly try-outs. The try-out format will consist of a series of stations designed to target specific skills as well as participate in a scrimmage where skills will be looked at in the context of a game. Players are required to try-out for their age-specific groups. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall select a player review committee of not less the three (3) members and not more than seven (7) members. The committee shall be of an odd number selection (3, 5 or 7) strong to be made up of prior coaches, the MmSC Coaching Coordinator and/or designee from the Board of Directors and independent non-parent evaluators shall be used to rate players at all tryouts. The independent evaluators shall be disinterested persons that have experience with soccer at the age appropriate level being evaluated. A person may not be an evaluator if a family member is participating in the tryout. Upon completion of the tryout sessions the tryout results will be summarized. A weighted score shall be generated for each player. The Coaching Coordinator along with the independent evaluators and Registrar shall collaborate and determine team placement. The Coaching Coordinator may consult other Board of Directors members and/or prior coaches (non-parent) to help determine team placement. The Board of Directors reserves the right to review any player evaluations and determine team placement.

Tryouts shall be conducted in a fair and equitable manner affording each player the opportunity to demonstrate his/her talents. Players shall be evaluated on various skills, which may include:

  • Ball handling, shooting, passing, defending, trapping (receiving) and headers.
  • Athletic ability, speed, endurance, power, strength and agility.
  • Tactics (speed of play), quick decision-making with and without the ball.

The tryouts may consist of some soccer specific technical activities and age appropriate scrimmages. Players can choose to be evaluated as both a goal keeper and a field player if they choose. Separate evaluations may be performed for goal keepers.

The policy of MmSC is to use tryouts and evaluations as the basis for selecting teams on an annual basis. MmSC does not keep teams together over the years for the sake of keeping teams together, but rather formulates teams each year according to the skills and talents brought forth by the players who tryout in any given year.

Playing Up

As a general rule, it is the policy of the MmSC Board of Directors to formulate teams that are fully age appropriate. There are situations where a player may be considered for roster assignment with the next age bracket (playing up). These include but are not limited to:

  • Skill Based – a player who possesses the required technical skill set to play in an age group above their own may be asked to advance; with Board of Directors approval.
  • Sibling Request – a player with a sibling in an older age bracket may be considered for advancement. The decision to advance a player shall be a multifaceted process based on collaborative efforts with input from the most recent Coach where applicable, consultation with the family (player and parents), evaluation of tryout scores, accepting current Coach Recommendations, and Board approval.
  • Shortages on any U-10 through U-14 team due to players dropping out of team play. An emergent need to bring up players from lower age groups to bolster the requesting team ranks may be necessary. The MmSC Board of Directors shall consider all requests for specific players to play up for the remainder of the soccer season.
  • August 1st through October 15th (Classmate Play Up Request)

Due to the July 31 cutoff date, there will be certain players whose birthdates technically place them in an age group below that of their classmates or peers. These players may request a so called “Grade Appropriate” play up. Every effort is made to allow players to remain with their peers assuming the overall numbers allow and assuming the player is capable of playing at the higher age group based on tryout scores. Any player who falls into this “grade appropriate” category, and desires to play up to an age group higher than where their birth date places them so they are with their classmates must request this action on the MmSC (Grade Appropriate) Age Waiver to Tryout with Classmates form. Play up requests shall be reviewed individually and must be approved by the MmSC Board of Directors. Play up requests shall be subject to the following criteria:

  • When requesting a move from a non-competitive age group to a competitive age group; (Ex: U11 and U12). Tryout scores shall be compiled within both age groups and help the BOD determine the play up waiver request.

Decisions made regarding playing up are for one year only and will be reassessed annually.

Advancement into a team which is already at the maximum number of players shall be considered and determined by the MmSC Board of Directors. If the Board concurs with the advancement, a waiver requesting a team size adjustment will be required in accordance with SoccerMaine requirements.

Spring Season

No tryouts will be held in the spring.

By February 15 of each year, any person who has coached the previous fall shall contact each of the players from his/her fall roster to determine the number of players interested in spring league play and send that list to the Registrar. He/She shall also inform the Coaching Coordinator of his/her interest in coaching the same team for a spring season.

For any roster that is not at the maximum size, MmSC will accept new players in the spring season. New players will be directed to the Registrar who will maintain a list of players that are interested in playing in the spring but were not on the fall roster: the “spring wait-list”. Coaches are welcome to encourage new players to play on spring teams; however, they will not be added directly to his/her roster. The spring wait-list may comprise both MmSC members (from fall registration) and non-members (new players who want to play spring soccer on an MmSC team).

Spring teams will be formed using the following procedure:

  1. Coaches that wish to return will coach the same team.
  2. Players returning from the fall season will stay on the same team.
  3. If a coach does not wish to return, the Coaching Coordinator will attempt to locate a replacement coach.
  4. If no replacement coach is found, the returning players will be placed first on the spring wait list.
  5. Players will be added to a team roster from the wait-list in the order that they were received until the maximum team size is reached.
  6. If there is more than one team in an age group, new players from the wait-list will be added:
    1. First, to the team with a roster size below the minimum before any are added to a team at or above the minimum size,
    2. Second, alternating on each team until the team(s) reaches the minimum roster size.

Should a situation arise such as a request to form an entirely new team for spring play, the BOD shall discuss the request/situation and make a decision. In doing so, the BOD will be guided by the philosophy that in the spring our goal is to find a place for ALL who wish to participate.

Coaches whose team played at the U-10 or U-12 age levels the previous fall may request BOD approval to play up an age level for the spring season. This option allows players to experience playing on a larger field, with more players on the field, and with rule changes that will be expected of them during the upcoming fall season.

The MmSC Board of Directors recognizes that there is no way to allow for all possible variations when creating a Team Formation Policy. As such, the MmSC Board of Directors reserves the right to utilize its best judgment and discretion when formulating rosters and assigning players in a fashion that maximizes the potential for individual player development. The intent of the policy is to maximize player and team development across the technical spectrum and good sportsmanship play will remain the guide post for actions of the MmSC Board of Directors.

The MmSC Board of Directors shall review this Working Document each year and make changes which it believes shall best serve its constituents.