Player Placement Information

Placements’ is the process of evaluating players in a controlled setting and placing them in the appropriate level where they will thrive and develop. We are rebranding this process as we feel ‘Placements’ is not the most suitable term for soccer at the community club level. Placements wrongly imply ‘success’ and ‘failure’ and cause undue stress on young players, evaluators and parents. The aim of this process is not to ‘cut’ some young players and ‘reward’ others. The aim is simply to assess where they are compared to their peers and place them on a team where they will be challenged at the appropriate level, so they can continue to train and play and enjoy the game without stress as they grow and develop. BSA takes great care to ensure that the evaluation process is fair and impartial. We also make every effort to ensure that every player receives a positive developmental experience during the Placements process. The process is not an exact science and sometimes very difficult decisions have to be made in finalizing rosters. Parents may disagree on the placement of their children and are entitled to ask for feedback. However, we ask parents to wait 24 hours before contacting the club following Placement outcomes. We have created this information document to explain the Placements process

Evaluations Process: 

The process of evaluating our players involves utilizing a variety of tools. Firstly, we schedule sessions where we have players display their skills through a combination of games and drills, with an emphasis on small-sided games. In the first session, players will be split into teams and scrimmage for most of the session. This allows the evaluators to assess the overall ability of each player and to create a shortlist of the players who will be invited back for further evaluations. The games format will range from small-sided games like 4v4 or 6v6 to larger games like 9v9 or 11v11. The small-sided games format, with less players on the field, means the players will get a lot of touches on the ball which helps us evaluate their skill under pressure from defenders. The larger games like 9v9 or 11v11 allow the evaluators to see how the players cope with the larger spaces and more players around them from a technical, physical and tactical perspective. As the groups are shortlisted, we may use specific drills, like passing and possession exercises, fitness tests and 2v2 competitions, to test the players’ abilities more closely before we select the final rosters. The placement process is fluid and is based on the specific groups and what the evaluators need to test; therefore, some sessions will involve more drills while others will involve more games. The process also varies among different age groups.

Evaluation and Selection Process: 

The club’s Technical Lead plus a minimum of two independent evaluators assess each player on a combination of criteria. The evaluation team meets to finalize the team rosters through a guided discussion led by the Technical Lead, using the scores generated by the assessors as the initial indicator. The Technical Lead exercises final say on all team rosters. Team lists will be posted on the club web site within 48 hours of the conclusion of the final session.

Selection Criteria: 

The evaluators consider the following criteria when making evaluations: 

1- Technical Ability: the player’s proficiency in the core technical aspects of the game – passing and receiving, ball control, shooting, dribbling, and defending. Goalkeepers are also evaluated on their shot stopping, footwork, reactions, positioning, distribution and awareness.

2- Physical Ability: the players’ ability to physically cope with the demands of the game – fitness, agility, balance, coordination, speed, and strength. 

3- Tactical Ability: awareness of space and movement and understanding of the basic tactical principles of the game. 

4- Mental Ability: the players’ ability to concentrate and work hard – focus, inner drive, competitiveness, desire to learn and improve, attitude on and off the field, and interaction with teammates and coaches. 

5- Past Experience: how the players fared in their previous seasons and the level they played in the past are also factored into the evaluation. 6- Future Potential: difficult to assess but is factored in when evaluating young players. Some players are temporarily limited due to a slower physical development rate or their age, but show a higher than usual aptitude for the game in the technical, physical and mental areas. On the other hand, some players temporarily have an advantage due to early physical development.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can try out?

Any player who meets the age requirements for a team may try out for that team. They must also be registered with BSA for the upcoming season.

How many placements is every player guaranteed?

Every player is guaranteed at least one placement session. The second placement session is by invite only. In some cases, rosters will not be finalized until further evaluations at the placements for the level directly below the team being selected. Players not selected for a division are automatically invited to the placement for the next level below.

Could my child attend placements for an older age group?

It is the policy of BSA that players shall placement within their age groups. It is preferred all players also play within their age groups. Requests to play up an age group must be submitted to the Technical Lead for consideration.

Are parents allowed at placements?

Parents' role at placements is limited. Following checkin, parents, including parent coaches and team managers, are asked to remain off the field during placement sessions. Experience suggests that this reduces the anxiety for players and allows them to better concentrate on demonstrating their skills.

What if a player is unable to attend a placement due to injury or travel plans or schedule conflicts?

Players who know they will miss the original placements should contact the Technical beforehand to arrange a makeup placement. The makeup would be done at the next available opportunity for which the player is available:

During the placements for the division below the team they are being considered for if the player can attend those sessions.

If they also miss those placement sessions, their makeup can be arranged during the first practice they can attend for the team they are being considered for, if there are still spots left on that team at the time of the player’s availability to try out. If they were deemed fit for the team after their makeup placement, they would be added to the roster. If they were not, they would be placed on a team in a lower division if there were spots left on those teams at that time.

Is a player guaranteed to make the same level they played the previous winter, or is there a chance they will be moved down to a lower division?

Players are not guaranteed to play at the same level they played in the previous winter for two reasons:

Typically, more there are more players for the summer teams than winter teams, which increase the competition for spots on competitive teams.

Some players develop as expected, some faster than expected and some develop slower than expected over the previous winter season. In some cases, a player will be moved up

a level from their winter team if they need to be more challenged or down to a level more suitable to their current levels of development.

Our goal is to have all players play at the appropriate level for their development, which can change from season to season.

Can parents see the evaluation records after the placements?

The club does not share the details of the other players’ evaluations with parents or how their son or daughter scored compared with other players at the placements.

Can parents request to see their own son or daughter’s evaluation sheets?

Evaluation sheets are not designed to be separate for each player. Scores are recorded on one master sheet for all the players at the placements. Therefore, the club does not disclose the actual evaluation sheets, but can discuss the evaluation with the parent or the player if requested through the Technical Lead.

What happens after the teams are posted?

After placements are finished and team lists are posted, a team coach will be assigned by the club’s Technical Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. The team coach will then contact the players on the team with details about their practices, games, jerseys, and other logistics to get their season started.

What is the training plan after teams are selected?

In April and May, all teams will practice on turf fields around the HRM. They will be assigned weekly practice times, which will be communicated through their team coaches and the club’s web site. In June, all teams move to grass fields around the Bedford area and will have set weekly practice times from June until the end of August.

Is there a separate placement process for goalkeepers?

No. Goalkeepers are typically assessed within the regular placement session. Goalkeeper trainers may be brought in to assess goalkeepers if needed.

Where can I find the club’s full placement policy?

The club’s placement policy is listed on the BSA web site at Player Placements Policy

“Placements” Information


If a parent has a question or concern about the placement process after a session, whom should they contact?

We ask that you wait 24 hours following the placement session and 24 hours after the lists are posted before contacting the club’s Parent Liaison

Parents: with your support, we hope to make this process a positive experience for all players. Our program is focused on the development of players and everything we do is in the players’ best interest. BSA will strive to make the coming season the best possible experience for our Bedford players.