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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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My League is proposing a tryout Division for 2018 for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Divisions.

Currently there are about 18 Orgs that make up the League that follows a Format that places teams in D1, D2 or D3 over the years. Tryouts are currently illegal.

I was curious for those that do tryouts if you can direct me to your Leagues website on how they do tryouts. Or if you have a document you can share that lays out all the details.

We just need a starting point with the hope that another League that already does this has worked out the bugs.

Thanks in advance.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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My League is proposing a tryout Division for 2018 for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Divisions.

Currently there are about 18 Orgs that make up the League that follows a Format that places teams in D1, D2 or D3 over the years. Tryouts are currently illegal.

I was curious for those that do tryouts if you can direct me to your Leagues website on how they do tryouts. Or if you have a document you can share that lays out all the details.

We just need a starting point with the hope that another League that already does this has worked out the bugs.

Thanks in advance.

AYL's rules:

"Each team at the 4th grade and above NFC Division in the upcoming new season may
have voluntary Try-outs during the months of February, March, and April each year. If a
team opts for Try-outs, that team will be committed to be placed in the NFC Division of
play for the upcoming season. The Try-outs can be on a team by team basis or on a
Club basis at the individual Club’s discretion. The Try-outs must be posted in advance
on the Club’s website. Try-outs can include full contact and can involve other members,
players and coaches, of the team if desired. Individual team Try-outs can have two
different dates each month during the months of February, March, and April to ensure
completion. Club based Try-outs can have six different dates during the months of
February, March, and April to ensure the successful completion of the Try-outs. Tryouts
can be held at outdoor fields or other locations at the Club’s direction and at the
Club’s discretion as to costs to accomplish these Try-outs. Clubs/Teams are strongly
encouraged to provide formal feedback to players trying out so that the players not
selected can have closure."

I think that would be a good idea. Try out teams are automatically designated D1. If a team is moving up from D2 (played in the C-Bowl), then they are allowed to hold tryouts to improve their team. Anyone "cut" can enter the draft at D2 or D3 (their choice). For teams dropping down, any player who wants to try out for a D1 team must be allowed to do so. D2 and D3 continue to be blind drafts. D1 teams are drafted "fantasy football style", with the HC of each D1 team picking his players. Place a limit (3 players?) on pre-draft placements (coaches' kids) and off you go.

This solves a LOT of problems for our league. Separates "competitive" from "developmental". The ones left our are the smaller orgs who will struggle to compete with the numbers. Another consideration is to get some guys together, especially those who have seen a lot of different situations and try to proactively identify problems, loopholes, cheating, etc.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Thanks Lar. Spoke with Ernie this morning and told him I would ask around for some format ideas. 5 Orgs are getting together to push this thru and Ernie is their Rep. They are even considering that some of the Orgs can coop and create one team from both GM and GA, for example.

I know some of the coaches here coach in Chicagoland so it would be interesting to see how they do it as well since they are a large League like us.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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CoachDP
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So what are the try-outs for?  Do they determine cuts, or do they determine athletic ability for a player's placement with a certain team?

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Topic starter  

So what are the try-outs for?  Do they determine cuts, or do they determine athletic ability for a player's placement with a certain team?

--Dave

I have no clue but it is a path I hoped they would never take.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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So what are the try-outs for?  Do they determine cuts, or do they determine athletic ability for a player's placement with a certain team?

--Dave

They would be to allow D1 coaches to select their team based on their criteria. If a player is cut from D1, they will still be allowed to play D2 or D3. I'm not aware of any kid who has been turned away from any org in our league. Not saying it's never happened, but there's supposed to be a place for everyone.

D1 in our league is already crazy. Allowing/encouraging tryouts just turns on the lights and puts the process above the table. I totally get all of Mike's concerns. However, everything that Mike is concerned about is already happening . . . illegally. Make it legal, but take care of the kids who don't make the "top" teams.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
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D1 in our league is already crazy.

How so?

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Thanks Lar. Spoke with Ernie this morning and told him I would ask around for some format ideas. 5 Orgs are getting together to push this thru and Ernie is their Rep. They are even considering that some of the Orgs can coop and create one team from both GM and GA, for example.

I know some of the coaches here coach in Chicagoland so it would be interesting to see how they do it as well since they are a large League like us.

Based on hockey tryouts, here's how I would do it:

Start of by getting a general idea of how many D1 teams you want to field. Let's say AMFA thinks they have the talent to field 3 D1 teams.

Pick those coaches and ask them what they want to see in tryouts.

Pick a group of coaches with no dog in the fight to run tryouts. D1 coaches observe from a distance, but do not take part in the tryouts other than to give instructions/corrections to the coaches running the tryouts. Tryout coaches will run the drills, etc. that the D1 coaches want to see.

Pick a "tryout committee" composed of coaches with no dog in the fight. You can even bring in coaches from other clubs if you trust them. It works in hockey because it's a close knit community. No one is going to try to screw a rival by cutting a superstar or by taking a MPP. That committee judges the tryouts as if they are picking their own team. They can talk among themselves, but can't talk to the prospective D1 coaches.

Let each D1 coach pick their starters plus the number of backups at each position per each D1 team. So in this case with AMFA intending on fielding 3 teams, they are picking 3 players at each position. Of course, coaches will pick their own son and that should be allowed. Set a limit on AC's kids. Maybe 3, 4 or 5.

Once each D1 coach has his list of starters plus 2 backups, they get with the tryout committee to compare notes. Tryout committee is there to question the blatant mis-picks. Discuss, compromise, let the D1 coach state his case for his "weird" pick . . . whatever. Just whittle the D1 pool down to 66 players (22 per team).

Set a minimum and maximum roster size for each coach. (18-25, for example)

Now, let the D1 coaches pick their son and AC's sons. These picks count as draft picks and for each one, they lose a pick in the draft.

Next, the D1 coaches start picking their team. Pick a random order 1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3 and so on. Once a coach has reached his minimum roster size, he can stop picking. They can continue to take players if they feel the players will help the team.

Post the results as soon as possible and notify the kids who weren't selected that they will be assigned a D2 or D3 team in the Fall.

In hockey, I've seen a couple of methods. One guy makes a list of skills that he covets and grades a kid 1-3 or 1-5 on each skill. Another guy puts a plus for every good play a kid makes and a minus for every bad play. That guy will actually take a kid with a bunch of minuses over a kid with fewer marks because in his mind, the latter kid isn't in the game.

My first season with Kent, a D1 tryout was held. Kent and I took the "leftovers" and no one was butt hurt about not making D1. IMHO, those kids ended up having a much better football experience than the D1 kids.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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How so?

--Dave

In a nutshell, a lot of coaching decisions are made that aren't in the best interest of the players.

I couldn't tell you where the pressure is coming from, but there is external pressure to win. Some guys handle the pressure well, but most guys . . . well you can probably guess how they react. I would never fault a guy for wanting to win and doing everything legally that he can to win. However, a good moral compass is extremely important so you don't end up doing those things that are legal, but wrong.

As Mahonz put it, D1 is no fun. I've never coached D1 in our league, but as a more than casual observer, I can say that it doesn't look very fun. Of course, I'm speaking in generalities. There are always exceptions.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Some guys handle the pressure well, but most guys . . . well you can probably guess how they react. I would never fault a guy for wanting to win and doing everything legally that he can to win. However, a good moral compass is extremely important so you don't end up doing those things that are legal, but wrong.

--Well, you know the old saying: Sports and competition bring out the worst in people.  (Maybe it's not an old saying.  But it should be.)

As Mahonz put it, D1 is no fun.

--I can understand that.  As I accumulate more time in this, the less enjoyable it becomes from a competitive standpoint.  On the other hand, what's kept me interested is that I enjoy the relationship-development aspect with the players more than I ever have.  But competing successfully is what drives me to be better at this.  There's so many short-sighted jerks out there who are all about cutting corners for the purpose of self-promotion and their own ego in pursuit of the bright, shiny trophy.  That's why when I walk away from this, I'll walk away completely.  I won't even keep my pinky in it.  I'll have more fun things to do....

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 23063
Topic starter  

In a nutshell, a lot of coaching decisions are made that aren't in the best interest of the players.

I couldn't tell you where the pressure is coming from, but there is external pressure to win. Some guys handle the pressure well, but most guys . . . well you can probably guess how they react. I would never fault a guy for wanting to win and doing everything legally that he can to win. However, a good moral compass is extremely important so you don't end up doing those things that are legal, but wrong.

As Mahonz put it, D1 is no fun. I've never coached D1 in our league, but as a more than casual observer, I can say that it doesn't look very fun. Of course, I'm speaking in generalities. There are always exceptions.

Correct. D1 is really no fun and creating tryouts should make it even less fun. Divisions in general does create some parity but it also classifies kids.

For the readers.....in our League you dont declare a Division. You earn it starting as second graders and continue earning it thru the 8th grade season. The only way to move up a Division is to out preform all other teams in your Division. The only way to maintain your status within a Division is to never suck. No problem in theory but some feel that the only way to get better or to maintain is to press the players and the Rules to limits I dont agree with.

In D1 the pressures to "belong" outweigh the Spirit of youth sports IMHO.

I remember running Jamborees and talking to a few of the tryout coaches from an opposing League. They hated the format but had to "work it" or step out. Is that really what youth sports is all about anymore? Its seems so.

Our 2017 8th grade team won the D2 Championship. We scrimmaged the D1 Champs 3 or 4 times. If we played them in a game last year....we lose by 40. Had we played the D3 Champs in a game last year...we win by 50. YET....as second graders we all played one another in very tight games. What happens with these team in-between all those years is what disgusts me.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Correct. D1 is really no fun and creating tryouts should make it even less fun. Divisions in general does create some parity but it also classifies kids.

To be honest, I have a very limited perspective on this. AYL Panthers: Tryouts for D1. D1 coach wanted Jake in the worst way, but he was playing on my team and I was coaching with Kent on the D2 team. Jake could care less what division he was in. D1 kids would razz our players from time to time, but I don't think it bothered our boys because our boys thought they were just as good. Jake was from out of district, so he didn't have to listen to this in school every day.

AYL Spartans: there might have been tryouts, but Dan and I picked up the castoff D2 team. Not one of those kids had any interest in playing in a higher division. I don't recall anyone feeling bad about being in D2. I'll ask Dan as he had 2 kids in D2, one of which moved up to D1.

Hockey: Jake was only cut from 1 team in his entire career and it was because he was a year younger and the parents of the older kids influenced the decision. Quote from the coach: "Tryouts aren't always about selecting the best player." Jake found another team and when we played them, Jake scored 8 goals on them. So I don't have the perspective of someone who routinely gets cut. I'll reach out to some of Jake's friends and get their take on it, now that they're all 18/19 years old.

What's happening in to the kids from 2nd to 8th? We both know the answer to that. AMFA has all the pieces in place to fix this. Great Pres, tons of good coaches, close knit community . . . yet there's a ton of parity. For every Firehawks/Trujillo story, there are 5 train wreck teams.

There's a culture problem and the solutions aren't that difficult. I've offered to mentor any struggling coach in 3 different JMFA orgs, including AMFA. I've never even heard back from the man in the big chair. Not that I'm some kind of guru, but I think I can keep a few guys from stepping in crap. Well, the big piles anyway. No one finishes a season without a little crap on their shoes.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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To be honest, I have a very limited perspective on this.

Well...you are about to live it.

Next year we need to finish as a top 10 team to get placed in D1 the following season. 4 wins should do it.  We can do that with one hand tied behind our backs.

Thereafter we need to to lose 6-8 games to drop out of D1. That would be nearly impossible. Even our Little Red Headed Stepchild Outlaws team won 5 games every season while in D1.

Then our team is going to get blown up and turned into a Super Tryout Team once these kids hit the 6th grade.

Which one of us will be in charge of cuts? Im thinking we let some other Cowboy take the Super Tryout Team and we take the castoffs and go have some real fun in D2 or D3.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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jrk5150
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I have some experience with tryouts in basketball.  That's a little easier since you can both drill and scrimmage and get a decent read on players.  You rarely make a HUGE mistake there.  Football is harder if you cannot put kids in pads.

I think if I was doing it for football, I'd do something similar to what Lar mentioned.  Depending on the number of kids, I'd probably want to go for at least 3 days before making the picks to get a good read on the kids.  I'd want the kids at least hitting pads/dummies in the 2nd/3rd day.  Depending on the rules, if I could I would get them in pads for at least one or two days to try to get a read on kids hitting. That's the one big variable in football that I'm not sure exists in other sports.  A great athlete who won't hit is significantly inferior to a decent athlete who will light it up.

But I will say, over the 13 years I've been doing this, that hitting the pads will get you a good chunk of the way there.  I've had workout warriors who were duds when it came to hitting, but for the MOST part, the kids that will light up the bags/dummies don't turn into duds when they strap it up and hit each other.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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There's a culture problem and the solutions aren't that difficult. I've offered to mentor any struggling coach in 3 different JMFA orgs, including AMFA. I've never even heard back from the man in the big chair.

Common, common, common issue.  Everyone says they "need to get better" but when the opportunity comes along to do so (in your case gifting them your time, experience and expertise), they don't take advantage of it.  Laziness?  Stupidity?  Pride?  Who knows, but as Alec Baldwin said in "Glengarry Glen Ross," "A loser is a loser."  Truer words were never spoken. 

Most blind men can't see because they choose not to.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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