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Monroe Township Soccer Club (08831)


Try-Out Information

Travel Try-Out Procedures

All policies and issues not expressly addressed in this Travel Tryout Procedures may be addressed and resolved at the discretion of MTSC’s EVP of Travel and Board of Trustees. 

This policy is effective April 2015


Club Division Team Tryout Procedures

There are three (3) types of tryout procedures. Each type has different goals and requirements:

• U-8 to U-13

• U-14 and above

• Premier Elite Teams


There are four (4) main steps in the tryout process:

• Pre-Tryout Information Gathering

• Tryout Evaluation Process

• Coach/Manager and Team Selection

• Team Offers


Tryout Procedure Philosophy

The purpose of the MTSC Club Division team tryout process is to form teams with players who have similar soccer ability and commitment level

To accomplish this, the “Club” will have annually conducted and advertised tryouts for all returning and new teams, thus allowing the youth residing within and outside the township of Monroe an opportunity to compete for a position on a travel soccer team.  All tryouts must be open, fair, transparent, and without bias.  The goal being to form teams based on age and gender with players who have similar skills, athleticism, ability, determination and commitment for the expected competitive level of the team.

Please note that the following procedures are for ALL teams.  These procedures define the process of how travel teams will be formed. 

Tryouts are open to all players that are age eligible and fall between the dates for that given age group.  In the past, tryouts were held in mid- May for the next coming year.  Tryouts will now be conducted for ages 8 through 14 in the middle of April.    

**Please note that for any team U15 and higher, tryouts will not be deemed necessary and the existing coaches/teams will conduct try outs for potential players via invites to scheduled practices and trainings.


The following procedures will be applied to tryouts for ALL teams:

  • Team tryout eligibility is based on gender and NJYSA age group definitions (Appendix A). 
  • Tryouts will be coordinated by an outside training organization or trainer in town that are not familiar with that team and do not normally train them, as well as the age group’s current head coach and the VP of Travel or the EVP of Travel.  
  • Specific tryout activities will be issued by the Director of Coaching and the VP of Travel and are to be followed by all age groups at their tryouts.
  • Advanced online registration for tryouts must be done at  If a player does not register online for the tryout, in-person registration may occur at the time of the tryout.  Registration for tryouts is free of charge.
  • All tryouts take place at Monroe Soccer Complex or Daniel Ryan Field.  Directions can be found on the MTSC website. 
  • All tryouts will be held for two days.  Players are required to attend both tryout days.  Should a child become ill, suffer an injury or have a family emergency, please contact the VP of Travel or the EVP of Travel.  If a player is sick or injured, a doctor’s note will be required to excuse them from tryouts.  (See exceptions below).
  • The duration of the tryouts is approximately 1 1/2 hours each day.  Parents must stay at tryouts, but away from the designated tryout area - parents may not drop a child off and leave the tryout area.
  • There should be no cheering or individual coaching during a tryout.
  • All players must wear shin guards and cleats and bring a ball and water.    
  • What to wear: If you are currently part of a Travel team, you can wear your Club provided Grey training shirt and black shorts.  If you are not, we recommend black shorts and a neutral shirt, i.e. - a white or black shirt without any design on the front. 
  • Just because a player played on the first, second or third team the year before, does not mean that’s where they will play during the upcoming year. 
  • A sequential number will be provided to every potential candidate at the start of the try out for that given age bracket.  This number will be used as the identifying character for that player throughout the selection process.  Although trainers and raters may know some players, this is the fairest method, leveling the playing field for ALL players.
  • The tryout format will consist of small-sided and in some cases, full-sided games.
  • All teams must conduct an open tryout each year.  
  • A returning player will not be allowed to tryout if he or she has:
    • not completed the tryout registration form
    • any outstanding debts to the Club or an in-Town team.



For new teams, a rating system will be utilized that is scored and ranked by an unbiased trainer.  This will account for 100% of the ascending rank for that new incoming age bracket.  Raters are selected for each age by the EVP of Travel and the VP of Travel.

The EVP of Travel or the VP of Travel will collect the ratings from the trainer’s evaluation at the end of each age’s tryout session and only they will handle the calculated sheets.  No other members of the Club will be able to see this.  Travel Division Directors will then meet with the Director of Coaching and each Head Coach after to discuss team selection.


If a child misses one of the two nights, this may affect the outcome of the tryouts, especially if the tryout session they DID attend was substandard, thus forcing a single day’s ratings to determine the player’s position within the Travel Program.  If a player cannot make both tryouts with their age group and a valid excuse is approved to the EVP of Travel and/or the VP of Travel, they may be allowed to attend one tryout with an older age group.  This must be approved in advance.  The player, at a minimum, must participate in at least one travel tryout to be considered for a travel team, although attending both tryouts is highly recommended and encouraged.

The only exception to the above rules will be injury or illness.  A player who is injured or sick and cannot participate in one or both Travel Soccer tryouts must produce a doctor’s note, noting the nature of their injury, and inability to participate.  

If excused, please see below for the method that will be used to determine their status on a particular Travel Team.

If a player misses both tryouts due to an excused injury or illness, the players travel rating will be assigned as follows:

• The player cannot be considered for Top 8 regardless of the team played on the previous season

• If player was a first team player the previous season, they can be considered for a first team as a coach’s pick. This player will not push another player out of the 9 through 14 spots (See Travel Team Selection Process for more details)

• If player was not a first team player the previous season, they cannot be considered for the first team, but can be considered for a second team as a coach’s pick. 


If a player misses one tryout due to an excused injury, illness or other approved excuse, the players rating will be assigned as follows:

• The rating from the one attended tryout will be carried over exactly to the second tryout

• If the player was a first team player the previous season, they can be considered for the Top 8.

• If the player was not a first team player the previous season, they cannot be considered for the Top 8, but can be considered as a first teams coach’s pick.


If a player was not formally excused because of injury, sickness, religious observance or an extenuating circumstance and did not participate in at least one tryout, that player will not be able to participate in the upcoming travel season on the first team.


Club Team Player Selection Process

The Monroe Township Soccer Club has historically used ratings to determine a travel team.

Players will be rated and selected based on a combination of:

1.     Try-Out Ratings conducted by independent raters:  100% of the overall rating

2.     Pre-Tryout Ratings submitted by the head coach, current trainer and assistant Coaches, to be used as a reference and data point to support or dispute any major discrepancies of the independent raters.



In the small sided age groups (U8-U11), minimum 10 and up to 14 players would be selected to play for that age brackets first team, and the next 10 and up to 14 players would be selected to play for that age brackets second team.  If there are enough players, a 3rd team will be formed.


In each age group for small sided play, the top 8 rated players will be selected for the first team. In the case of a tie for the 8th spot in the ratings, all players will be chosen for the first team.  In the event, there are 4 or more players tied at that 8th spot, then the first team Manager will have to decide which players he will choose.  Players 9 through 14 will be the next eligible players to be chosen for the first team by the select first team Manager.   These first 8 players must play on the first team.

Once the first team Manager completes their roster selections, the 8 highest rated players remaining would be selected for the second team. Remaining players 9 through 14 would be the next eligible players to be chosen for the second Team.  The same selection process would apply if there are enough players for a third team.

The players ranked 9 thru 14 are interchangeable between both Travel Teams in each age group. Therefore, after the tryouts and ratings are completed, players 9 thru 14 are to be discussed among the Travel Division Director and each Team Manager from their age-group, to determine the 5 “best fit” for players 9 through 14, as determined by the tryout ratings. 

The following system will be used to assess players:

  • Raters will be present at both days of tryouts. 
    • Raters will be comprised of either a paid outside independent organization, trainers involved with the Club, coaches with adequate experience, lifetime members or former coaches, none of whom will have a connection with the age group.
    • Neither the current Elite or Premier team head coaches or assistant coaches, are permitted to rate the players during the tryouts. 
    • ONLY the head coaches may be present on the field during tryout.  No assistant coaches will be allowed on the field.  You will be asked to leave if this rule is violated.
    • Rating forms will be distributed by the EVP of Travel and/or the VP of Travel and will be collected at the end of each day of the tryout.  Ratings will then be compiled by the EVP of Travel and/or the VP of Travel and kept in a secure location.


  • Pre-tryout ratings will be collected for all current MTSC travel players.
    • Head coaches, current trainers and assistant coaches of current teams will be asked, prior to tryouts, to rate all players based on a season’s worth of performance.
    • This will be a forced ranking style rating from 1-12, etc.
    • These ratings will take into consideration skills, performance, attitude, attendance at training, sportsmanship and other factors.
    • Pre-tryout ratings will not be used for incoming U8 players or players who did not participate in the Monroe travel program in the previous year. 
    • Players not subject to pre-tryout ratings will be rated 100% based on try-out ratings.


  • Goalkeeper candidates will be assessed at tryouts.
    • Goalkeeper tryouts will be held during field tryouts.
    • Players interested in playing keeper will be asked to participate in keeper-related drills.
    • Should a player try out for keeper and make the team, the coach has the right to play him/her at that position at least 50% of the time. 
    • Separate ratings for goalkeepers shall be made by the evaluators and will not be factored into the player’s field tryout rating. 
    • Full-time goal keepers are welcome on full-sided teams. However, full-time goal keepers are discouraged at the small-sided age levels (U-8 to U-11). Therefore, small-sided tryouts will not attempt to isolate and assess full-time goal keepers.


The ‘Make up’ of a First Team will consist of the following:

  • Small-sided teams: Between 12 and 14 players from the top 20-ranked players.
  • Full-sided teams: Between 14 and 18 players from the top 25-ranked players.


The player selection process will adhere to the following procedure:

  • Players will be notified of the results by the following Monday after tryouts conclude, starting with the First team in each age group followed by the Second team and then any subsequent team. 
  • Head coaches must contact all players who tried out and notify them via phone call and an acceptance letter, whether they made a travel team or not.  The First team coach is responsible for contacting those current players who tried out and did not make either team.
  • When making offers to players, it is important that the coach/manager provides the parents with an indication of his/her plans for the team in the upcoming year and how the team will function including playing time, leagues, tournaments, cost, etc.  General guidelines for different travel team categories can be found in the travel section of the club’s website.
  • The head coach of the First team, and subsequently the head coach of the Second team, will NOT receive the player ratings.  Only the 8 they must choose and the next 6 they may pick from.
  • Once a coach receives the list, they have 2 days to make their calls and selections. They will then submit their proposed roster to the VP of Travel for approval.  Once the roster is confirmed, the respective coach will be instructed to contact the selected players.
  • The First team will make its selections first. The Second team will be selected from the remaining players. If there are enough skilled players for a third competitive team, then it may be formed, but this is at the discretion of the EVP of Travel and MTSC’s Board of Trustees.
  • Any players who the coach wishes to skip must be justified and approved by the EVP of Travel.
  • Once the First team coach gives the names of the remaining players to the Second team coach, the second team coach has 2 days to make their selection, submit their selections to the VP of Travel for approval and notify players. 
  • If the First team coach wants to choose a keeper who is not ranked among the top 20 for small-sided play and the top 25 for full-sided play, approval must be obtained from the EVP of Travel and the VP of Travel.
  • Once parents have been notified, players have 72 hours to accept or decline a position.  If after 72 hours the position has not been accepted or declined, the coach may select another player.
  • A player qualifying and selected to play on the First team will not be allowed to revert to the Second team. Any player who wishes to appeal this decision must file an appeal via e-mail with the EVP of Travel or the VP of Travel.
  • No specific information regarding player ratings should ever be shared with parents or other members of the community, due to the sensitive nature of such information.
  • No player may be cut from a team during the seasonal year.
  • If the first team coach makes an offer to a player from the second team, that player will have to accept the offer or not have the option of playing on the second team, unless it is agreed upon by both Coaches and the VP of Travel.  This will avoid parents deciding the outcome of teams by refusing spots on the first team. 
  • Coaches exceptions:
    • Head coach gets ONE non child exception
    • Head coach gets ONE Board Appeal exception
  • Once finalized, all coaches/managers must submit their rosters for the next year to the VP of Travel as a last step in the process.

Out of Town Players

Out of town players (OTP) are permitted to try out for First team teams only, based on the following criteria:

  • A resident of Monroe is defined as anyone living in Monroe Township, as well as residents of Jamesburg, since they do not have full-service youth soccer programs.
  • In order for an OTP player to be included on a First Team, the player has to be an “Impact Player.” Impact Players are defined as those players who ranked in the top 5 for small sided teams and the top 7 for full-sided teams in overall try-out ratings (including coach’s pre-tryout rating, where applicable). 
  • All existing teams U8 and older as of the spring 2015 season will be grandfathered to their existing team composition of OTP players. However, if a grandfathered team loses an OTP player in the future, another OTP player cannot replace that player if it exceeds the established quota.
  • OTP Second team players’ that are part of a roster as of March 1, 2015 in the U-9 and higher age groups will be grandfathered as is. For example, if an OTP player is a First team player before 3/1/15, they are grandfathered as such past that date. However, if the OTP player is not selected to the First team after 3/1/15, they are not able to join a second team.
  • If a player was a Monroe resident on August 1 of the first season they registered on a Travel Team, and is no longer a resident due to the family moving to another town, he/she will be grandfathered as a Monroe resident.
  • “Resident” status will NOT be applied to players who attend school in Monroe but do not reside in Monroe or to any players who have been involved with the Club, but do not reside in Monroe.  In each of these cases, the players will be considered to be out of town players.
  • No OTP may be taken by any Second team, unless that team cannot field enough Monroe resident players.  This may be done only with the approval of the EVP of Travel or VP of Travel.  Once an OTP player has been accepted on to the Second team, they will be considered residents for their tenure on that team. 
  • No OTPs can be brought onto a team midseason or between the Fall and Spring seasons without the specific approval of the EVP of Travel.
  • For small-sided teams, out of town players will be permitted to tryout.  However, in-town players qualified to play for a team being formed, will be given preference for a roster spot on such team they are qualified to play on.  Players must attend a tryout to be considered for a roster spot.  At least half of the players on a roster must reside within our communities without requiring approval from the EVP of Travel.
  • Out of town players are permitted on full-sided teams. At least half of the players on a roster must reside within our communities without requiring approval from EVP of Travel.


Age Group

First Team

Second Team

U8 (Roster up to 14 players)



U9 – U11(Roster up to 14 players)



U12 – U14 (Roster up to 18 players)



U15 and older (Roster up to 22 players)



 * Requires approval from EVP of Travel

Playing Up

Players are permitted to try out for the age group above their designated age group under the following circumstances:

  • There will be no trying out up for the U8 age group.
  •  For small-sided teams, players trying up have to rate in the top 3 players during the try-out process of their own age (including coach’s pre-tryout rating, where applicable).
  • For full-sided teams, players trying up have to rate in the top 5 players during the try-out process of their own age (including coach’s pre-tryout rating, where applicable).
  • The EVP of Travel or the VP of Travel must be notified at least 7 days in advance of the tryout if a player will be trying out up. 
  • No younger players can be moved up and brought onto a team midseason or between the fall and spring seasons without the specific approval of the EVP of Travel.


Formation of B team with non-age appropriate players

Offers will not be made to kids that are not age appropriate, unless there are no other age appropriate children in that bracket that may lose a spot and it does not hinder the formation of any team in the age bracket for the player trying to play up.


Second Teams

  • If an age group has a team that qualifies and is accepted for the Second team, the previous Second team shall be considered the First team if they compete at a MNJYSA Flight 2 level or higher at U13 and younger.  At U14 and older, this decision will be made on a case by case basis.  All policies set forth previously regarding First and Second teams shall then apply to these teams. 


Coaches Selection

MTSC is committed to providing the best coaching possible for all teams at all levels. 

Coaches will be selected using the following procedure:

  • All applicants must submit an application to the VP of Travel by end last day of the Try Out process.  The application is available at, click on forms on the left side then open MTSC coach application. 
  • MTSC Coaching Application .  Failure to submit the application by the deadline will disqualify the application.  An exception to this rule can be made only with the majority approval of the Board of Trustees. 
  • No coach is permitted to be the head coach of more than two travel teams.
  • Existing team coaches will be reviewed on a yearly basis through a combination of measures, including but not limited to a parents’ satisfaction survey, practice/game coaching observations by the EVP of Travel, VP of Travel and/or Board members, an interview with the Coach’s Selection Committee when applicable, as well as other observations and feedback, etc.  MTSC reserves the right to replace coaches based on the recommendations of the EVP of Travel, with the approval of the Board of Trustees.
  • All volunteer parent team managers and/or volunteer coaches for the upcoming year are chosen after the players for a team are selected.


Coaches will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Child Skill Level
    • The child of the First team coaching candidate must rank in the top 15 for small-sided play and top 20 for full-sided play.  Special circumstances may warrant exceptions to this rule and require the approval of the EVP of Travel.
  • Coaching History
    • The candidate’s history as a coach is taken into account.  This history may be ascertained via direct observation or through other measures.  The coach’s history in the Club will be taken into account.
  • Coaching Experience
    • Coaching candidates with significant playing/coaching experience may have an advantage over less-experienced candidates.
  • Dedicated Time
    • Coaches who have given significant volunteer hours to coaching, league administration and other club activities may have an advantage over those who have not volunteered their time
  • Coaching License
    • A minimum of an “F” license and Rutgers Safety Certificate are required, as is the MTSC background check that must be done by all MTSC coaches and trainers.  Higher-level licenses are encouraged and valued.
  • Parent Feedback
    • Parent feedback regarding active coaches in the Club is a determinant in coaching selection.


  • If there is more than one candidate for a specific age group, he/she will be interviewed by a Coaches Selection Committee, which will make a candidate recommendation to the EVP of Travel, who can then recommend the coach’s appointment. The Board of Trustees will make the final approvals.
  • The Head Coach will recommend up to 2 assistant coaches among the parents of the chosen players to the EVP of Travel and/or VP of Travel. The EVP of Travel will use the above-mentioned guidelines to approve or reject the recommendation.  Assistant Coaches may be subject to Board of Trustees approval.


Any changes made to the procedures laid out in this manual must have the approval of the EVP of Travel and approval of the Board.


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