Rec Team Formation
How Are Teams Made?Updated Monday August 25, 2014 by Steve Reilly.
Through our Weymouth Youth Soccer In-town Recreational soccer program, kids are given the opportunity to play soccer, make friends and enjoy the experience of playing a sport. It is a program with a true sense of community, where many new friendships are formed for both players and families.
Based on the recent influx of emails with requests for player placement on particular teams, it seems to be the right time to review some of the details involved with the process.
The primary, number one detail to keep in mind is the Weymouth Youth Soccer is a VOLUNTEER organization. We love what we do. We give a lot of our time to this program. We do the best that we can in all aspects of the program.
It was mentioned recently at a coaches meeting that as of that date, through online submissions and direct emails, we had received over 500 requests for particular team placements. That is nearly half of the players in the program! Since that meeting, we have received MANY more requests. We have even received emails that tell us that we are doing our “jobs” wrong, and that we do not operate in the interests of the children.
We understand that as parents, you want what is best for your kids. That’s exactly what we want to. However, in a volunteer program with approximately 1,100 participants, we need to be realistic about what we can provide and how we go about it. First and foremost, we need to be fair to EVERYONE. If we honor a request for one person, shouldn’t we honor the same request for everyone (if we are being fair)? Certainly everyone can agree that meeting 500+ requests would be a logistical impossibility for a volunteer organization. There is simply not enough time, nor would it work out anyways.
Here are some of the requests that we receive (in no particular order):
“My child needs to be on a team with ___?____, for carpooling purposes”
“My child really likes coach____?____ and needs to be placed on that team”
“My child goes to ______school and needs to be with his/her classmates”
“My child doesn’t know anybody on the team and needs to be moved”
“My child has another activity on Monday nights and the coach practices on Mondays, so we need to be switched to a different team”
“As working parents, our schedule is very busy and we can’t get our child to practice at the time that our coach has scheduled. Do you have a team that practices 5:45 to 6:45 on Wednesdays?”
“My child is a very good player and needs to be on a team with better players and a better coach”
Each one of these requests may seem simple enough, but multiply each one by 100 and you’ll understand what we are up against. Again, we are volunteers and if we honor one request, aren’t we obligated to meet them all, to be fair
OVERVIEW ON HOW TEAMS ARE FORMED
There are many parameters and variables which go into the creation of teams, most of which have been in existence since the program was established in 1978.
All of these factors only apply to registrations that are received before the registration deadline. These rules do not apply to late registrations
The first factor is geographic location. Through an overlay based on population, the town is divided into 4 districts.
We attempt to place all players on teams formed from players form their district, creating a greater likelihood that they will play with classmates and friends.
We then need to determine age group and roster size for the registrants and attempt to divide the players from each district into even teams. Some have more, some have less. It NEVER works out evenly.
Next we look to assign coaches. Some districts are abundant with coaches, some have none. Then we place the assistant coach (with child) with their head coach. Not all assistants are from the same district as the head coach.
Next to be placed are the Sponsors children. We appreciate the support of our sponsors and place their children on the team they are sponsoring (unless it’s an open sponsor). Some districts are abundant with sponsors. Some are not.
Next, we need to be sure to place siblings that are within the same age group on the same teams. This includes twins.
We then need to make all of the adjustments based on these parameters. This is where the fun begins. If the numbers don’t work out evenly, we may need to combine districts. If we don’t have enough coaches, we may need to combine districts. If the sponsors aren’t even, we may need to split districts (we are not going to move just the sponsored player due to his parent’s generosityJ)
There are other things that we also must consider; some of which are very serious and personal in nature. None of which will be discussed here.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the process and what we go through in forming teams. We realize this may not be perfect, but as stated, we do the best we can. We know this does not work out for everyone, but it has worked pretty well for nearly 35 years. We know every player has a coach they’ve really liked. We want all kids to have that same experience. We also know some kids have had coaches that weren’t a good fit for their child. As a league, we prefer to see some player movement from team to team. Every child has a fair chance at playing for the different coaches. This is why we don’t reassign players to the same coach every season. It would be great for the kids that really like their coach, but what about the others that didn’t have the same experience?
We are always open to suggestions, so if you have a better way to do this, please forward your thoughts.
We encourage everyone to approach each season with an open mind. Make new friends (players and parents). Be supportive of your child, even if the team is not the one you had hoped for. Help us to make this the best experience possible for the players of Weymouth Youth Soccer.