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Ottawa Gloucester Hornets


Assessment Process

Ottawa Gloucester Hornets
omprehensive Year Round Assessment Program

We have heard the complaints for years about soccer “try-outs”, many of which are legitimate.  How can a Club, a Head Coach or a team coach make intelligent decisions in the selection of age group players using a process whereby masses of players converge for brief time periods to “scrimmage” for an hour?  Simply put, despite the best of intentions by all, they cannot!

As such, several years ago the Ottawa Gloucester Hornets chose to break away from the antiquated notion of the “spring tryout” and moved to an
ongoing, sustainable evaluation and assessment process for the placement of its players. This process sees comprehensive feedback gathered throughout the year at each age group with the help of as many coaches "in the know" at each developmental level.  Players are assessed at distinctive developmental levels in accordance with the Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model and are moved up or down over the course of their playing careers based on where they are developmentally. This ensures that, to the greatest extent possible, young athletes are playing at an appropriate level of development where they can grow as young athletes, keeping in mind that soccer is an early entry, but late development sport!!

With that in mind, the following factors are used, in whole or in part, in the placement of players for our competitive teams:

  • Player performance (both summer and winter)
  • Summer assessments – with feedback provided to the player along the way
  • Fall assessments – which are also used for the purposes of placement in indoor programs
  • Winter and spring assessments which will include technical and physical testing
  • Continuous in-season scouting by Staff coaches and the Hornets Head Coach
  • Evaluation/Assessments Camps
  • Assessment criteria will include a myriad of factors, including the player’s:
    • Technical Abilities
    • Physical Abilities
    • On field awareness (“Vision”)
    • Developmental Age
    • Fulfillment of team/program commitments
    • Other intangibles (leadership, drive, heart, focus)

New Players to Ottawa Gloucester

Needless to say, players new to the Hornets will, by default, have more weight put on the initial impressions that they make upon the coaches in the spring assessment.  However, should a player have a reference from a former coach that they would like to bring forward as part of the overall process, we would welcome that information.  We do, however, realize that this can be awkward for player and parent alike.

Also, should an age group coach be given the opportunity to see the player play (or train) in advance of the spring sessions (e.g. school soccer), that will also help us in terms of gathering as much insight as possible to help make the right placement for that player.

Spring Assessment Protocols

Please take note of the following in advance of registering your athlete or having him or her show up to an assessment session:

Playing Up
  • As a general rule, Ottawa Gloucester Hornets players will play at their own age group.  As such, all players must register and try out in their own age group.
  • Once registered, where the coaching staff in consultation with the Hornets Head Coach deems a player’s “developmental age” to be in advance of their chronological age, the player’s parents may be asked to consider having that player play “up” for that year.
  • Any individual that is seeking to play outside of his or her age group must contact the Hornets Head Coach and be prepared to discuss the reasons why they are seeking an exception.  Thereafter, the Hornets Head Coach, together with the coaches at both age groups, will address the matter and a decision will be reached that everyone involved feels is in the best interests of the player from a developmental perspective.
"Grand-fathering" a player who has been playing out of his or her own age group for one or more years will be taken into consideration, but will not be automatic.  Once again, our philosophy dictates that all players will be placed on teams that are at their developmentally appropriate level.

Which evaluation session do I go to?

Our goal is to place each player where we feel they will best develop and, more importantly, best enjoy their competitive soccer experience.  We also believe that it serves no purpose to mesh 50 or 60 players of various abilities in one session. As such, based on all of the assessment data we have gathered to date, we will be holding most assessment sessions in a tiered format, namely Tier 1 and Tier 2, with Tier 1 being the higher level.

Please note that this does not mean that a player initially placed in Tier 2 is ineligible for placement on the top team in an age group. Players can be moved from tier to tier, as the coaching staff deems appropriate during the assessment process.

We will do our best to inform all returning Hornets players as to which initial tier they have been placed for the spring assessments. However, as this is often difficult with many late registrations and missing or incorrect emails addresses that we receive, we would ask that you abide by the following guidelines as a returning player.

a) Returning Ottawa Gloucester Hornets that have NOT been contacted: 
If you have NOT been contacted with a placement in advance of your age group’s assessment and played the previous summer season year at the highest level for your age group please come to the Tier 1 sessions.

All other players should initially come to the Tier 2 session.  However, please note that a player may be asked to stay for the Tier 1 session (which usually falls directly after Tier 2 sessions) if the coaches feel they should be looked at with the higher group.

Please note that we will definitely be in contact with those players graduating from Under 9 in the Eastern Ontario Development League (EODL) to provide them with their initial U10 placements.  The EODL U10 age group will have two tiers of play going forward.

b) Returning Ottawa Gloucester Hornets that HAVE been contacted:  If you have been contacted with a placement, show up at that time.

c) Players New to the Ottawa Gloucester Hornets:  If you are new to the Ottawa Gloucester Hornets, please follow this general guideline (unless you have been told otherwise) 
  • If you played the previous summer season year at the highest level for your age group please come to the Tier 1 sessions.
  • All other players should initially come to the Tier 2 session.
  • However, please note that a player may be asked to stay for the Tier 1 session (which usually falls directly after the Tier 2 session) if the assessors feel the player’s assessment should continue, in wholor in part, with the Tier1 group.
Conversely, a player who initially starts with the Tier 1 group may be asked to continue their spring assessment at Tier 2. Please do not show up for a session you have not been asked to come to, as we will not be in a position to assess the player at that time.

 What if I cannot make a session?

If a conflict or illness prohibits a player from making a session please give the Age group lead or Hornets Head Coach as much notice as possible.  Again, given that we are going to a year round process, one missed session should not have as much of a detrimental effect as in a “one off” tryout process.

With that said, if a multi-sport athlete has not been assessed in some time we would ask that you minimize and prioritize what you deem to be a conflict with his or her spring soccer assessment. Much as hockey teams cannot have your son or daughter "try out" with another age group because of a perceived conflict with another sport, neither can we. Exceptional cases may be considered by our Club Head Coach, but they will be the exception to the rule.

What is being assessed?

Although our assessment format will vary amongst different age groups and tiers, for the most part the spring assessments include the following:
  • Technical/Physical Assessments
  • Small Sided Games Assessments
  • Further sessions will be added where necessary

Assessment Day Protocol - Dome Location

Only players FULLY registered will be assessed and considered for team placement

All players will report to the Hornets Nest Clubhouse to be registered.  Once inside, players’ names will be checked off against our registration records and they will be given a numbered pinnie for their assessment.  They will then proceed down to their assigned field to meet the assessors.  As such, no player will be allowed into the Dome without a pinnie. 

  • Please come 45 to 60 minutes early to allow for registration and warm up.
  • Wear a black t- shirt, bring plenty of water, and have a fully inflated ball with you.
  • Please do not bring any bags on the sidelines as we need our entire space
  • Parents will be asked to remain in the “parent” area, which will be identified upon entry into the Dome. This area will always be on one of the fields on the North side (Montreal Road side) of the Dome.
  • Under no circumstances are parents allowed to stand on the sidelines or on the south side of the Dome, nor coach their children in any manner. Simply put, the only adult voices that are to be heard at these assessments are those of the assessors.
  • We would also request that coaches and assessors not be approached for any reason at these sessions with regard to feedback or placement questions.

What if I have a question not addressed?

Should you have any questions or concerns that we have not answered, please contact the Head Coach at