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Grade 4 Travel Team Guidelines

Grade 4 Girls & Boys are eligible for placement onto travel team per the following parameters:

  • There will be one boy’s and one girl’s travel team that will be selected via evaluations/tryouts to compete in the Essex County Youth Soccer Association (ECYSA) Small-Sided Select Division. Travel team participation requires a higher level of commitment than intramural soccer and players should be committed to being at all practices and games.
  • Grade 4 players that do not wish to be considered for placement onto the travel team, do not need to participate in tryouts and can participate in the Grade 3/4 In-town Program.
  • Not all players who participate in evaluations/tryouts are placed onto the travel team. Grade 4 players that are not placed on the travel team will be placed on balanced intramural teams and play in-town with all other Grade 3/4 players.
  • All players must be registered before tryouts to participate in the evaluation process for placement onto travel team:
    • Players should register into the Grade 3/4 program registration
    • Upload a Current Photo for ECYSA Travel ID card. DYS needs a clear picture of a player's face "think passport photo" for ECYSA ID Cards. If a photo is unable to be uploaded, please email photo to DYS Registrar and make sure to include player's name in email. 
    • Players placed onto travel team will be sent placement notification and be required to pay an additional fee to cover ECYSA registration fees. Families are to provide payment to confirm placement onto Travel Team.

Grade 4 travel team players will play recommended Mass Youth Soccer (MYSA)/Essex County Youth Soccer (ECYSA) “small-sided” soccer division. This means they will play 6 v 6 soccer, including a goalie. The recommended roster size for these teams is 10 players with a minimum roster size of 9 players and a maximum roster size of 12 players. Roster sizes will be adjusted, smaller or larger within this range, depending on team formation within the division.

Grade 4 Travel Team Evaluations (also referred to as tryouts):

  • Players who wish to be considered for placement on the travel team must attend tryouts to be considered for a Danvers Youth Soccer Grade 4 Travel Team. Not all children who tryout will make the travel team.
  • Tryouts will typically include 1 to 2 tryout days within a two week timeframe, to evaluate players so that the DYS Travel Committee can form proper teams for ECYSA competition.
  • Children are strongly encouraged to attend all tryouts sessions so that the Evaluation Team can have an adequate opportunity to evaluate player skills. However, if a child cannot attend a session during this tryout period, he/she should notify the Travel Director in advance of the conflict so that other arrangements can be made. Exceptions may be made for documented conflicts and injuries.

Parents are encouraged to help prepare their child for tryouts by ensuring the player is well rested and hydrated before tryouts. At the end of the evaluation session, don’t forget to tell your child that he / she played well. Remember tryouts can be very stressful for some children, don’t add to the pressure by placing too many expectations on them. Inevitably, some of your child’s friends will be placed on a different team from your child. Try to be supportive and remind your child that he / she will make new friends with his /her teammates. Many lifelong friendships got their start on the soccer field. The main objective of the tryout process is to evaluate the players in a focused environment for travel team placement. The team is to be comprised of players of similar ability with higher developed skills and dedication level. Experience has shown us that an individual player will achieve the most success and make the most developmental progress over the course of the season if that player is competing at the proper level for his / her ability.
What Happens During the Evaluation/Tryout Sessions?

Each player will be assigned a tryout pinnie with a unique number at each of the tryout/evaluation sessions. These numbers are used to make it easier for the coaches to identify players during tryouts and have no other purpose or significance. Players should also bring a water bottle and a size 4 soccer ball. Jewelry is strictly prohibited. While parents are welcomed to watch tryouts, it is requested that parents do so from a distance and not interfere with or distract the players by shouting instructions, encouragement or criticism. Even positive encouragement can be a distraction to the other players on the field.

Players will be evaluated both individually and in small group activities. Then, if time permits, the children will play in a 6 v 6 game. In the scrimmage, players will play a 3 v 3 or 4 v 4 game lasting for 10 minutes then rotations will take place. During the tryout / evaluation sessions, players will be evaluated on tactical and technical aspects of the game as presented in the DYS Travel Tryout Evaluation Process. 

As the players try out, they will be continuously evaluated. At this age level, there will be several different evaluators with various coaching backgrounds. A scoring and ranking system will be used to evaluate the athletes. The numbers resulting from this system will be used strictly as guidelines when selecting teams. Once the process is complete the confidential results will be given only to members of the Evaluation Team. Evaluations at any level will not be released. Tryouts at this level will last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours for each of the sessions.
Each athlete will be observed by an evaluator in the same areas mentioned above. Directions will be given to an athlete to perform a particular exercise so that his/her skill can be measured. Again, each child will be confidentially scored and ranked. T

Tryout Evaluation Scoring System: Tryout evaluators will consist of Grade 3/4 Girls and Boys Coordinator, DYS coaches who do not have a child in the age group, and independent evaluators. The scoring system for returning players will be weighted toward the results of the group and individual assessments conducted during tryouts but will also take into account player commitment and attitude as well as input from previous coaches player evaluations. For an athlete who did not participate in Danvers Youth Soccer during the previous spring season, the Scoring System will be as follows: 100% of the overall weighting will be based on the results of the group & individual assessments conducted during tryouts.

Once the tryout period is completed, the Travel Director and the DYS Travel Committee will meet to review their findings and conclusions. During the placement process, the Travel Committee will consider the tryout evaluation of each player, the coach’s evaluation of the player, the child / athlete’s desire to play, to learn soccer, and the player’s ability and commitment to DYS.  Additionally, coaches may be invited to be part of the team placement process.
Once the Travel Committee has made its decision, the parents will be notified. Notification will generally take place within two to three weeks from the date of the last tryout session.  It is important to be mindful of the fact that travel teams are re-formed each year based on the each years tryout evaluation data.  

Selection of Coaches: Grade 4 Travel Coach is chosen by the Travel Committee after team selection is completed. Once the teams are formed after completion of tryouts, all interested coaches who have applied will be considered for assignment to teams. The Committee appoints one coach per team. Assistant coaches are not determined until after the Travel Committee appoints the coach.
Coach’s responsibilities/authority include, but are not limited to:

·                     Abide by DYS’ mission and conduct policy.

·                     The right to select his/her assistants and team manager.

·                     To give input in the selection of players when requested.

·                     Establishment of team rules and penalties, and enforcement of same.

·                      May release a player from his / her team with Travel Committee and Board of Directors approval.

·                     Determine the selection of team tournament participation and special events.

GAME PARTICIPATION:  It is Danvers Youth Soccer policy that all Grade 4 Travel Team players must play at least 50% of the total game time during all-regular season league games and travel tournaments. This does not necessarily mean that the athlete must play 50% of the minutes of each game, but rather an average for each of the soccer seasons. However, coaches are encouraged to play all athletes equally and as much as possible with the exception of injury or fatigue. The only other exception to this rule will be in the case of disciplinary action. Should an athlete miss a practice without a valid excuse, be excessively tardy to practice on multiple occasions, become disruptive during practices or games, or develop a “bad” attitude the trainer/coach or manager may, at their discretion, take away playing time. The athlete will be given prior notice of this possibility - See DYS Code of Conduct Policy.
CONFLICT:  Needless to say we all live very busy lives. Our children participate in many activities with sports being only one of them. Conflicts arise. During the fall and spring seasons athletes often engage in more than one sport at a time. Danvers Youth Travel soccer games are once a week (except in the case of make-ups) and generally played on Saturdays. Other sports are played several times a week. When conflicts occur we encourage you to talk to your coach ahead of time. 
articipation & Commitment):
Parent participation and commitment are an important part of our Danvers Travel Program. Parents will have the responsibility to provide transportation for their children to and from practices as well as games. Games are played on Saturdays (unless a make-up game is scheduled for a weekday). Away games can be as close as Middleton and as far away as Gloucester. Tournaments generally take place on holiday weekends such as Columbus Day and Memorial Day.  Parents’ support for their child’s team and DYS are necessary for this volunteer organization. Parent duties range from snack duties at games to Board members as well as volunteering for selected duties at our Danvers Invitational Soccer Tournament. It is expected that each parent/family volunteer a minimum of 3 hours during the Danvers Invitational Tournament in May.