Team Formation & Balancing

Purpose

The purpose of this page is to provide you with a general overview of the team formation, balancing, and waiting list procedures. Aside from the details in this document, AYSO Region 213 reserves the right, at its discretion and within the AYSO National Rules and Regulations and Region 213 Regional Guidelines currently in effect, to place any player on any team.

Introduction

AYSO Region 213 team formation and team balancing procedures are governed by the overriding AYSO principles of "Everyone Plays" and "Balanced Teams." Team formation and balancing procedures vary by the age group of the various divisions and by the type of team (Primary Program Fall or Spring Season, AYSO EXTRA, AYSO Flex (U16 and U19), AYSO Flex (All-Star) or AYSO Flex (Spring Select). The following table defines both the formation procedure and balancing procedure used for each age group and team type.

Team Type Age Group Formation Procedure Balancing Procedure
Primary Program,
Fall Season
U-5 Master Coach run jamboree with "teams" for games at the end of the session; teams are formed by the Division Commissioner School and nighborhood teams
U6 to U8 Division Commissioner forms teams School teams, with balancing
U9 to U14 Via Computer Program Average Computer Ratings
AYSO Flex (U16 & U19) U16/19 Coach-Driven N/A
Primary Program,
Spring Season
U6 to U12 Spring Commissioner forms teams and may carryover teams from the Fall and/or Winter Recreational Season. School teams & Balancing Adjustments
AYSO EXTRA, &
AYSO Flex (All stars)
All Tryout Process N/A
AYSO Flex (Spring Select) U9 to U14 Coach Select N/A

Formation Procedures

Division Commissioner Forms Teams

In the younger divisions (U5-U8), teams are formed by the Division Commissioner, or his/her designee, primarily on the basis of elementary school groupings.

Via Computer Program

In these divisions, teams are formed via a "snake draft procedure that is programmed in a spreadsheet:
  • Players are rated:
    • Returning players in these divisions are rated based upon their coach rating from the prior season.
    • New (unrated) players are assigned an average rating.
  • Players are sorted by their overall rating. Then,
  • A "snake draft" procedure is follows the player sorting:
    • The first team receives the highest rated player in a given age group.
    • The next team receives the next highest ranked player, and
    • The process continues until each team receives one player. This constitutes one "draft round."
    • When the first draft round is complete, the team that received the last pick of the first draft round receives the first pick of the second draft round
    • The order is then reversed again for round three. This procedure is repeated until all players in an age group are placed on a team.
For example, if there are 100 players in an age grouping, team number one would receive players rated #1, #20 and #21 in the first three rounds. Team number ten would receive players rated #10, #11, and #30 in the first three rounds. In divisions where there are two “playing ages” (for example, U10 traditionally includes both U9 and U10 players), the two “playing age groups” are drafted separately. The team that receives the first pick of the older “playing age” group receives the last pick of the younger “playing age” group, and vice versa. Continuing with the example in the previous paragraph, team number one would receive players rated #1, #20 and #21 for U10 players in the first three rounds, and receive players rated #10, #11, and #30 for U9 players in the first three rounds. Once the “snake draft” is completed, adjustments are made to the randomly generated teams to place a coach on each team. Furthermore, the goal when players are moved between teams to ensure each team has a coach is to ensure equal rated and equal “playing age” players are swapped between teams. Except for parents with siblings in the same division, requests for players to be on the same team or to play for a particular coach cannot be accommodated in this process.

Coach-driven Team Formation

On team with Coach-Driven team formation, teams are formed based upon the availability of a coach. This process is reserved for teams where there are a limited number of players and coaches available such as U16 and U19 Area Fall Rec teams and Spring Rec teams. As players are registered, they are placed on the appropriate team. If enough players for an additional team are registered, a team will be formed assuming a qualified coach can be found.

Tryout Process

The Tryout Process for team formation is limited to the creation of AYSO EXTRA and AYSO Flex (all Star) teams. AYSO EXTRA  teams are formed on the basis of the tryouts held in the spring of each year and are subject to the AYSO EXTRA Tryout Procedures covered in a separate document. AYSO Flex (all Star) teams are subject to tryouts and will be conducted during the regular season - most likely in conjunction with the beginning of the playoff season.

Coach Select Team Formation

The Coach Select team formation process is utilized for Area Q All-Star teams formed in the winter and for Spring Select teams. Obviously, Select teams are formed through a player selection by the coach process. Details of this process are also defined in a separate document. As a guideline,
  • All-Star Coaches select their teams from qualified fall recreational players.
  • Spring Select teams are typically built from All-Star and/or Plus teams.
  • All-Star Coaches who continue into Spring Select play may not “drop” players from their All-Star team who wish to continue playing in Spring Select. More importantly, All-Star and Spring Select coaches are expressly forbidden from holding “open tryouts” for players on these teams. It is our position (Region 213) the process of holding tryouts for All-star and Spring Select teams violates the “Everyone Plays” principle of AYSO since those players not selected from a tryout have no alternative place to play.

Balancing Procedures

School or Neighborhood teams

This balancing procedure is used in younger age divisions, typically U5 to U8. Players at this age are typically permitted to play with the friends from school or their local neighborhood. If there are multiple teams from one school within a particular school, then an effort is made to balance teams. Coaches and/or parents may request that particular players be grouped together. Such requests may or not be honored depending upon the Region’s assessment as to whether a particular team is “loaded” with above average players. In such a case, players may be split up into two or more groups such that they are still grouped with some players and friends from their school, but possibly not all on a single team. If a team is exceedingly dominant in a season (U6, for example) it is typical that such a team will be split up into two or more groups the following year (U7). Commissioners are cautioned to view groups of players from different schools wishing to play together very carefully, as these are often attempts to “load” a team

Average Computer Ratings

The Average Computer Rations balancing procedure is used to evaluate teams drafted via the Computer Program “snake draft”. Once the draft is completed and adjustments are made, the overall rating of the teams is reviewed by the Division Commissioner. The intent is for the average ranking of all players on the team to be as close as possible to the overall average of the players’ ranking in that division. After coaches are placed on each team, and adjustments for siblings are made, adjustments are made by swapping equal “playing age” players in order to bring teams into closer alignment.

Balancing Adjustments

Balancing Adjustments are utilized to adjust teams that wish to continue playing in a supplemental season other than Fall Recreational (such as Winter or Spring Recerational). It is typically applied to Winter and Spring Recreational teams. If a team wishes to continue playing in the winter or spring, and was particularly dominant in the Fall Season, then the Region reserves the right to adjust the roster by moving players onto and/or off the roster in order to achieve the AYSO principle of “Balanced Teams”.