SMS Travel Program Tryout Policy
*Updated as of May 2016

**A copy of this policy is available for download in Adobe Acrobat format HERE.


Revised: May 2016


The St. Mary’s Soccer Travel Program will conduct open tryouts each May and/or June.  

Open tryouts are defined as:

  1. All players must participate in the tryout process and receive an evaluation to be eligible for a travel team roster spot.
  2. Returning players are not guaranteed a roster spot on the rising age group team. They too must participate in the tryout process to be eligible for the travel team roster.
  3. SMS does not favor any one high school in the selection of players.
  4. The intent of the open tryout process is to roster the best players available in each age group to form the best teams possible.

Travel teams are selected for a seasonal year (Fall and the following Spring).  SMS adheres to all Maryland State Youth Soccer Association guidelines and the policies of the leagues in which our teams participate. Supplemental tryouts may be held as needed and approved by the SMS President and SMS Technical Director to fill vacant roster spots.


General Process: SMS will conduct tryouts in an environment designed for player safety while fostering quality evaluations. All players will be evaluated based on predetermined soccer attributes demonstrated during tryouts. Travel team selection will be announced following travel team tryouts. Any request for a tryout waiver based on medical necessity must be approved by the SMS President and or the SMS Technical Director. Specific aspects of the SMS Tryout process are listed below.


  1. All try-outs will be posted on the St. Mary’s Soccer website (
  2. Additional advertisement may include:
    1. Flyers
    2. Open house
    3. Social media such as Facebook and/or Twitter
  3. General tryout information will be displayed on the club website (


  1. All players participating in travel team tryouts must register for the tryouts.
  2. The preferred method of registration is online via the club website (
  3. Registration forms are also available on the club website (
  1. These forms are to printed, completed and turned in at registration.
  1. Additional forms are available at registration.
  2. Each registration form must be signed by the player’s parent or legal guardian as well as the player.

Tryout Fee

  1. SMS charges an administration fee for travel team try-outs. This fee will be determined by the Executive Board and announced on the club website (
  2. The fee is waived for the U09 age groups.

Player Tryout Number Assignment

  1. Each participant will be assigned a specific number to be worn during tryouts.
  2. This number may be in the form of a t-shirt/jersey (which the player may keep after try-outs) or player penny (which must be returned after each tryout).
  3. The number assigned must be worn for each try-out session the player participates during the try-out period.
  4. If the player loses the assigned numbered t-shirt/jersey there will be an added charge to replace that t-shirt/jersey.

Dress / Equipment

  1. Players should wear soccer appropriate clothing.
  2. Clothing with zippers or pockets will NOT be allowed.
  3. Appropriate shoes are required. No metal cleats or shoes with a toe cleat are allowed.
  4. No team, club, or state specific attire will be permitted.
  5. All players must wear approved shin guards.
  6. No jewelry (rings, watches, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.) may be worn during tryouts.
  7. Each player must provide their own personal water.

Tryout Skills Sessions

  1. Each tryout will be consistent with the age that is trying out.
  2. Tryout sessions will include:
    1. Dynamic warm up
    2. Skills activities
    3. Small sided games
    4. Full sided games ( provided there are enough players)
  3. Full sided scrimmages with another age group may be utilized.
  4. Goal Keeper Specific sessions may also be utilized. Goal keepers must also participate in all field skill sessions as well.

Evaluation Process

  1. All players are evaluated by a panel of coaches assigned by the SMS Technical Director, SMS Travel Vice-President or Designee.
  2. All players are evaluated via the approved SMS Travel Player Evaluation Form.
  3. Each player is evaluated against five (5) pre-set evaluation criteria as selected by the club and an additional two (2) evaluation criteria as selected by the team Head Coach.
  4. Each player is evaluated on a 7 step scale ranging from Definite Travel Player to Not a Travel Player.
  5. Each player will be evaluated by the Head Coach or his/her designee and an evaluation panel of SMS Travel Coaches.
  6. The SMS Technical Director or designee may also select guest evaluators based on their coaching credentials to serve on a player evaluation panel.
  7. The Head Coach or designee evaluation score will count for 25% of the total tryout score.
  8. The evaluation panel scores will account for the remaining 75% of the tryout score.
  9. Each player evaluation selection is entered in the evaluation data base and is assigned a numerical value by the Evaluation software program.
  10. All players are rank ordered according to their average evaluation score.
  11. The average evaluation score is used by the selection committee to determine which players are offered roster spots.
  12. The Selection committee is made up of the SMS Technical Director, SMS Travel Vice-President, Team Specific Head Coach and an additional Travel Coach as selected by the SMS Technical Director or SMS Travel Vice-President.

Tryout Out “Up” Process

If a player wishes to tryout “up” or one age group above his/her appropriate age group, the following process will be followed:

  1. The player must first try-out on age.
  2. The player’s on age evaluation score must rank them in the top players of that age group. Top players is defined as:
    1. U09 & U10- top 4 players
    2. U11& U12- top 5 players
    3. U13 and above-top 7 players
    4. If the player is within two places on the above criteria after the first tryout, they may be allowed to tryout “up” but must reach the stated criteria by the end of the second on age tryout.
  3. The player’s scores will be reviewed by the SMS Technical Director and SMS Travel Vice-President or designee.
  4. The player will be notified if they will be allowed to try-out up based on their scores. Once the player is notified of the status of their request to tryout up, that decision is final.
  5. If deemed eligible, the player may then try-out for the next older above age group.
  6. The player must then score as follows to be eligible for a roster spot consideration:
    1. U09 & U10 – top 7 players
    2. U11 & U12 – top 8 players
    3. U13 and above- top 11 players
  7. If there is a “B” team in an age group, only on age players are eligible for “B” team consideration.
  8. An exception to this process will be made if a returning underage player is ranked by the Head Coach of the “up” team as:
    1. U09 & U10- top 7 players
    2. U11 & U12 – top 8 players
    3. U13 & above – top 11 players
  9. If a player tryouts out “up” at a supplemental tryout, that player must tryout on age at the next annual tryouts. The scoring criteria above must then be met for that player to continue with the “up” team.
  10. Players having completed the TRYING OUT “UP” process and having been selected / accepted for a travel team roster spot may continue to try out for their rising travel team without re-completing the Trying Out “UP” process again.

A/B Team Process (Premier/Classic Teams)

SMS may form two teams and seeks to do so at the “youngest age groups”. The “youngest age groups” are U09, U10, U11 and U12, to include both boys and girls teams.

The following must be applicable to allow for two team formation:

  1. Ample numbers of children attend publicized tryouts
  2. The SMS Director of Coaching or his/her designee assigns all evaluators for these defined age groups, where we expect the possibility of having both a Premier & Classic team.
  3. For evaluation consistency, the same “evaluators” (when possible and practical) are to be used at each tryout for a specific age-group/gender.
  4. The SMS Technical Director will strive to evaluate all players in age-groups/genders where there may be two teams.
  5. The selected Head Coach of the age group must be willing to become Age Group Head Coach with responsibility for both premier and classic teams. That Age Group Head Coach will provide direction to Assistant Coaches who may run practices and/or games in his/her absence.
  6. Appropriate, qualified Assistant Coaches must be available and committed to each team. These coaches can be identified either before, or after the tryout process
  7. All players considered for Classic teams must be on age-group (none playing up).

**NOTE** This is waved for the 2016-2017 tryouts for returning rostered classic players due to USYSA AGE Range Changes effective Fall 2017.Only these specific players are grandfathered.

  1. SMS encourages both teams to use USYS guest player passes when allowed by NCSL, WAGS, CMSSL or BBSL.

NOTE: No additional teams will be formed outside of publicized annual tryouts

Selection Process

  1. Ranked evaluation scores are reviewed after the last tryout by the designated Head Coach of each specific team, the SMS President, the SMS Technical Director and an appointed selection committee coach.
  2. The Head Coach is encouraged to make offers to at least the top 80% of the allowable roster size for their age group:
    1. 10 minimum for a roster of 12 players
    2. 11minimum for a roster of 14 players
    3. 15 minimum for a roster of 18 roster players
  3. The remaining possible roster spots (20%) are at the Head Coach discretion upon approval of the selection committee.
  4. Up to an additional 4 players above the initially approved players will be identified and approved by the selection committee so the Head Coach may offer roster spots at his/her discretion if any of the initially approved players decline roster spots.
  5. The Head Coach should make initial contact with selected players via phone, 1-on-1, or email.
  6. Players offered roster spots are given 48 hours to respond to the selection offer or the roster spot may be offered to another evaluated player.
  7. Selection notifications will be posted on the club website ( following the last tryout.
  8. If a player rejects an offer to play on the “A” team, the players name will return to the eligible pool for any “B” team selection.
  9. Offers to any "Classic" team players will not be made until the “Premier" team has finalized their roster.
  10. If a player trying out “up” one age group rejects an offer from the older team Head Coach, he/she may be offered a roster spot by the “on” age Head Coach, at his/ her discretion.
  11. A player may be offered a roster spot after the first tryout if the following criteria is met:
    1. The team did not have a full roster the preceding season or the team’s roster is expanding due to age group rules.
    2. The player scores in the top rated players in that age group
    3. The player was not a rostered player to that team in the previous seasonal year.
    4. The player offer is approved by the SMS Travel Vice-President or SMS Technical Director or designee.


  1. Any dispute as to team selection must go through the SMS Travel Vice-President.
  2. The SMS Travel Vice-President will consult with the SMS Technical Director and any additional coaches as he/she sees fit.
  3. The SMS Travel Vice-President will respond in a timely fashion to any and all questions, concerns or disputes related to travel team selection.
  4. The SMS Travel Vice-President will notify the SMS Executive Board of any dispute resolutions or waiver requests.
  5. If there is a dispute regarding the SMS Travel Tryout process, the Rules and Discipline Committee will be asked to make a final ruling