About Tryouts 2016

Every May the North Allegheny Soccer Club holds tryouts for the “D4” teams for age groups U10-12 for the following Fall and Spring seasons.  Kids don’t have to try out to play soccer in our club, only to play in more competitive divisions.  We charge a slight fee to be able to compensate the professional trainers attending to work with the kids.  Below I’ll describe the tryouts and how our league is structured, but if you just want to go to the tryout registration you can just proceed to this Google Form.

Tryouts Design

Starting in 2015 we adjusted from having just two tryout evenings to also include two clinics functioning in the same structure as tryouts.  This worked fairly well so the kids got more training while they got used to the tryout drills.  It also let us work out the kinks so that our evaluators got better scores for all of the kids during the actual tryouts.  Each clinic and tryout event is split into two sessions so we can accommodate roughly 75 kids per session, usually U10 boys and U11-12 girls in the first one, then U11-12 boys and U10 girls in the second session.  The kids rotate between three stations, spending roughly 20 minutes at each.  There is one for 1v1 and 2v1 drills, another for small sided games (4v4 and 3v3), and a third station for some shots on goal and goalie work.  Kids are scored based on observations of the evaluators of their ball skills, defensive capabilities, quickness, and attitude.  Those scores are balanced with evaluations by their coaches from spring to establish rankings to determine how many teams we can put together that can compete at the D4 level.  Kids not making the D4 teams still have plenty of opportunities to play on our D5, D6, and recreational teams.

We have a Google Form for registering.  $30 is due when you arrive at the McKinney Pavilion where you are issued a clean, numbered pinney for your child to wear during the clinic/tryout and only needs to be returned when all of the events have been finished, where you will receive $10 back for returning it to us for use in future events.  This is an improvement over past tryouts where there were lines each time.  This design means it should only be the first event where getting there extra early is really required.

About PA-West Levels of Play

Division 4 in PA-West is a more competitive environment for teams located anywhere in PA-West, from Erie, past Altoona, to parts of West Virginia.  Divisions 3, 2, and 1 can only be reached by succeeding at the D4 level first.  Most teams that do are part of “Cup” clubs.  Those “Classsic” teams typically compete on Saturday afternoons, practice four nights a week, travel to various tournaments, and cost much more to participate in as a result of the additional resources needed such as paid coaches.

The North Allegheny Soccer Club is considered a community club in the PA-West North District.  We have “In-house” divisions for kids “U5-U10” and participate mainly in Division 5 & 6 travel divisions for ages “U11-19.”  All kids that wish to play soccer and register in time will be placed on a team.  Indeed over a thousand kids play each spring and fall wearing our gold or white jerseys as either in-house players on Saturday mornings or on travel teams on Sunday afternoons.  No matter what the age, we seek to place kids on teams where the level of play is challenging and they can improve their skills while learning life lessons in teamwork, a commitment to training, and treating others with compassion.  Nearly all of our volunteers are parents of children playing on their own teams where kids witness first hand the positive aspects of people involved in their own community.

These tryouts are to ensure the kids are placed in levels of play where they are fairly challenged.  Kids participate in other activities over time and have differing natural athletic talents and investments in soccer-specific training over time.  Creating separate levels of play attempts to prevent discouragement and boredom at opposite ends of the talent spectrum.  We will not please all of you in our attempts to create our teams to provide a good soccer experience for your child.  I do ask that you let us know if you think we have gone awry of what we claim to provide and perhaps volunteer to help us make the club a valuable asset to the North Allegheny community.

More info on the concept of “travel soccer” can be found in my previous “Why Travel” blog post.

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