Ottawa Gloucester Hornets
Comprehensive Year Round Assessment Program
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
With that in mind, the following factors are used, in whole or in part, in the
placement of players for our competitive teams:
performance (both summer and winter)
assessments – with feedback provided to the player along the way
assessments – which are also used for the purposes of placement in indoor
and spring assessments which will include technical and physical testing
in-season scouting by Staff coaches and the Hornets Head Coach
criteria will include a myriad of factors, including the player’s:
- Technical Abilities
field awareness (“Vision”)
of team/program commitments
intangibles (leadership, drive, heart, focus)
New Players to Ottawa Gloucester
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.
take note of the following in advance of registering your athlete or having him
or her show up to an assessment session:
"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.
- 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
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
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
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.
you played the previous summer season year at the highest level for your age
come to the Tier 1 sessions.
other players should initially come to the Tier 2 session.
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 whole or in part, with the Tier1 group.
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:
Sided Games Assessments
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.
come 45 to 60 minutes early to allow for registration and warm
a black t- shirt,
bring plenty of water, and have a fully inflated ball with you.
do not bring any bags on the sidelines as we need our entire space
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.