Evaluation Days - Information for U7 players!

Here is what you need to know to transition from In-House to Travel soccer!

Updated Thursday May 23, 2013 by Amherst Youth Soccer Association.

The transition from in-house to travel soccer can be intimidating for players and parents alike.  Unless you have an older child that has gone through the process, the amount of information - and misinformation - about what comes next is enough to make some parents want to avoid the process all together.  To that end, AYSA wants to provide parents of CURRENT U7 players a quick FAQ that will hopefully answer many of the questions you may have.

Now, we know it won't answer all questions.  Instead, use this FAQ as a starting point to make you feel better about the process and to begin the conversation with your coaches, friends and the AYSA Board in order to get as much information as possible so you can make the best decision possible for your family.

We use Evaluation Days to get a good look at where these players are as they head into a more organized soccer experience.  The dates for these evaluations were:

U7 BOYS - Wednesday, May 15th from 6:15-7:30 at Township Park
U7 GIRLS - Tuesday, May 21st from 6:15-7:30 at Township Park

More details about these evaluations were communicated via email.  These evaluations are scheduled on regularly scheduled in-house nights for your player and we are hoping everyone can make it.

Something we want all parents to remember and be clear on.  This is NOT a try-out.  A try-out implies there are certain kids that will 'make' a team and others that will be 'cut'.  EVERYONE will have the opportunity to play soccer in the fall.  What we are trying to do is make sure we allow kids to be positioned with teams based on their ability at the present time.  We hold these evaluation days at the end of every spring session, allowing for kids to have the opportunity to find the situation that fits their skills the best.  

After reading these FAQ's please feel free to reach out to our Boys and Girls Travel Director's:

BOYS - Drew Biedenbach(dbiedenbach@yahoo.com)
GIRLS - Chris Kelly(ctkelly3@ymail.com)

We will also be hosting informal Q&A sessions on the following days:

Boys: 5/1 @ Township Pavilion 5:30
Girls: 5/7 @ Township Pavilion 5:30

AYSA wants to make this transition and evaluation process as easy as possible.  Hopefully the FAQ's below will help with that!

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1. What is the purpose of player evaluation day?

This is our fourth year of holding a player evaluation day at the end of the U7 in-house season. After this season, your child will be placed on teams based on their abilities. We purposely call this a player evaluation (as opposed to a tryout) at this age and design the process to be a no-pressure opportunity for coaches and impartial evaluators to get one last opportunity to determine where we think the children would be a best fit.

2. What are the options after in-house soccer ends?

There are three different leagues that AYSA participates in. The Lorain County Soccer League (LCSL) is a recreational league that plays the majority of their games on Saturdays. In most age groups, LCSL teams are all placed in one division. If there are enough teams, they are sometimes divided into a division 1 and division 2 based on the team’s past performance. The Northern Ohio Girls Soccer League (NOGSL) for girls and American Amateur Soccer League (AASL) for boys are more competitive soccer leagues that play most games on Sundays. It is often referred to a “travel soccer”, while the LCSL is often referred to as “rec soccer or County”. In the eyes of Ohio North Soccer, both leagues are travel soccer (4 home games and 4 away games in other communities). While NOGSL/AASL are more competitive than LCSL, it should be noted that NOGSL/AASL offers varying levels of competition – divisions 1-4.

3. Do I need to decide what league I want my child in prior to player evaluation day?

No. After the player evaluation day, AYSA’s director of girls/boys travel soccer will email you with the evaluators’ recommendations of where your child would be a best fit. If the evaluators feel that your child should play NOGSL/AASL, but you prefer that they continue with recreational soccer and play in the LCSL, that is perfectly okay.

4. If my child is not interested in playing NOGSL/AASL, do they still need to attend?

Yes. All U7 players that plan on playing soccer in the fall need to attend player evaluation day. This will allow AYSA to determine how many children will be participating in each league and how many teams and coaches are needed. For LCSL, it will also give us the opportunity to group them into equally competitive teams.

5. How will the NOGSL/AASL teams be divided?

After many years of trial-and-error, AYSA has decided that teams should be grouped by ability. This means that the 9-10 highest rated players will be placed on one team. The next 9-10 rated players will be placed on another team. In a normal year, two new NOGSL/AASL teams are created. Some years we only produce one, while other years may produce three teams. We also know that children develop at different rates. We will hold a similar evaluation day at the end of every spring season to make sure like-abilitied players are continuing to play together and to give players an opportunity each year to move to a team that suits their abilities.

6. Is the player evaluation day the main factor in determining who is chosen for the NOGSL/AASL teams?

No. Coaches’ input is the #1 determining factor. The coaches have watched the girls play and develop for the past 1-3 years and their input is most valuable. These coaches have been provided an evaluation form to be filled out prior to evaluation day to allow for their input before the process, then will be involved in final determinations regarding teams. Player evaluation day gives the coaches the opportunity to watch without coaching and to share their ideas with each other.

7.What is dual-carding?

Some children that are placed on NOGSL/AASL teams choose to also play in the Lorain County leagues for extra touches and/or because they just love to play. Being rostered on two different teams is called dual-carding. There is an extra $20 registration fee to dual-card. Dual-carding is on an as-needed basis. For instance, if we do not have enough players to make a LCSL team, we may ask players from the NOGSL/AASL team to dualcard. The goal of AYSA is to make sure anyone that wants to play soccer has the opportunity.

8. Is player evaluation day an annual event?

Yes and No. We hold an evaluation day at the end of each spring season, but moving forward only players that wish to play at the NOGSL/AASL level need to attend. All NOGSL/AASL teams are mandated by AYSA to hold annual tryouts so that everyone is given an opportunity.

9. What is the commitment difference between the two leagues?

There is not much difference in commitment levels. Both leagues play 8 games in the fall and 8 games in the spring. Teams in both leagues typically practice twice per week. We expect our NOGSL/AASL players and coaches to be committed to year-round soccer. That could mean playing in some tournaments over the winter, participating in indoor soccer sessions and attending various training. AYSA has plans to make soccer available to everyone interested during the winter months.

10. What if my child is new to Amherst Soccer.  Can they be evaluated?

YES!  If you are new to the area, or new to soccer, you can definitely come to an evaluation day.  The U7 dates above are for boys and girls born between 8/1/2005 - 7/31/2006.  Evaluation days for our older age groups are being held on June 9th and June 23rd.  Information about those evaluations will be coming at a later date.

11. Is there a cost difference in registration between LCSL and NOGSL/AASL?

No. Both leagues have the same registration fee – except for the extra fee for dual-carders. Players in all travel leagues will purchase uniforms and any tournaments, winter sessions, etc. will be the responsibility of the teams. AYSA encourages teams to hold fundraisers to help with the costs.

12.  What about Club Soccer?  Does playing for a Club team affect my status in AYSA?

Starting this fall, OYSAN - our governing body in Northeast Ohio - is instituting a new rule regarding players competing on multiple 'competitive' travel teams. Players will only be allowed to play for one competitive team. NOGSL/AASL teams, as well as Club teams,are considered 'competitive'.  Parents, therefore, will need to make a choice on which direction they want their kids to go.  LCSL is considered recreational and is not affected by the rule.  Club games are played on Saturdays, however, making it nearly impossible for players to play on a Club team and LCSL team at the same time.

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