Introduction: This document is intended to bring more clarity and understanding to Butler United’s philosophy on the selection of coaches and their appointment to BUSC teams. This is not intended to be a tool against coaches, but rather a means of managing expectations and creating a predictable landscape for current and future coaches. Ideally, guided by this document, coaches can plan for tryouts with less uncertainty and families/players will be more comfortable and aware of those plans.
Individuals interested in coaching a Butler United team in the following seasonal soccer year must state their intent to the board prior to the May board meeting, in preparation for the upcoming tryouts. This notice should include all relevant information, such as coaching/soccer experience, intended level of play, etc. New coaches must meet with the board for an interview. Following the May meeting, the board will convene to select coaches based on numerous factors, to include player retention/development, seniority, experience, record, and reputation. If there are multiple coaches and an expectation of sufficient player interest to support multiple teams, the board will indicate the “level” of team the coach is assigned to, such as Purple, Grey, or White. For age groups in which board members intend to coach (or have players participating in), those board members will not be involved with coaching selection/assignment. Coaching assignments, age groups and team levels will be made public at least two weeks prior to the first night of tryouts. Once announced, any change requests must be made to the board (prior to any public announcement of proposed changes) and will be approved by the full board on an exception only basis. Player selection priority at tryouts will be given first to a Purple coach, then Grey, then White with the following expectations:
- All coaches in each age group must hold tryouts together so that every coach has an opportunity to evaluate every player trying out in their age group
Coaches must be professional with one another and must strive to create a collaborative relationship with the other coaches in their age group – the players are the priority
- The priority is to make the strongest possible Purple team from all players trying out. This determination is made by the Purple coach, with assistance from the board as necessary
- The next priority is to ensure participation by as many players as possible. When there is a sufficient number of players to form multiple teams, the respective coaches must work together to attempt to form as many teams as possible
- Combining these two priorities means that team selection must be a give and take between coaches and also players, requiring professional communication and collaborative cooperation. Some examples/thoughts/instances:
- 30 players in one age group want to play 11v11 for a Butler United age group. The coaches should attempt to form 2 teams of about 15 players instead of loading one team with 18 players and leaving only 12 for the other
- If a player is very likely to be a bench player on the Purple team, but could be a key player on the Grey team, the coaches should carefully consider what is best for the player and have open conversations with the family. Guest playing up with the Purple team is always an option
- If there are two goalies trying out and two teams, it would be better for all involved if each team had one goalie
- Player choice is always the final answer. We will never tell a player they can accept only the offer from team X or they can’t play for BUSC.
- Offers must be made following all the restrictions of relevant leagues, additionally:
- When making offers, coaches should be explicitly clear on the age group and level of the team they will be coaching at ALL times.
- The coach’s evaluation of the player pertaining to the fit of the player on the team and anticipated participation level should be conveyed
- Players that were previously/currently rostered on a BUSC coach’s team may always be offered by that coach the first night of tryouts
- For players without current affiliation with a BUSC team/coach, the Purple team coach has the right to make the first offer, but must do so in a timely manner while communicating intent with other coaches
- Offers may never be made with an ultimatum or with any restriction from entertaining offers from other BUSC teams, either in the same age group or the players age appropriate group (if trying out “up”)
- Every player that attends a BUSC tryout deserves to hear from a coach directly, either in person or by phone, whether they made a team or did not make a team. This contact must be made within a week of tryouts. Every effort should be made to reach the player/parent directly, but if that does not work out, at the very least an email needs to be sent.
- Players should be made aware of the opportunity to play age appropriate and coaches need to communicate this to parents
- All players need to be made aware of their appropriate age group and notified if they are trying out for an older age group
- If a player is trying out for an older team and the coaches in that age group have ANY doubts on whether the player will make a team playing “up,” they need to ensure the player is seen by coaches from the age appropriate group during the second night of tryouts (or supplemental tryouts if necessary)
- During tryouts, age appropriate coaches should always be welcome to communicate with players in their age group concerning age appropriate play, even if they previously played up for a BUSC team
- Choosing to play age appropriate must not be discouraged or disrespected, we must all remember the players best interest is primary
- While the occasional player playing up is not a significant issue, the practice can have a snow-ball effect down through younger teams. As a club, we should not be bolstering the bench of an older team at the detriment of younger teams and the players
- As a club, we must always be clear and transparent with the player and their family
For coaches and teams that are interested in playing for BUSC after tryouts/during a seasonal year, it must be understood that players and coaches are joining the club and will fall under all club policies at subsequent tryouts (see above). The following details must be considered:
- A team that was formed in such a way as to circumvent BUSC tryouts will not be accepted
- The coach must meet with the board for an interview prior to being accepted
- The fit of the team with current teams/coaches in the club will be considered, especially for teams within the same age group
- Ideally, teams will be as age appropriate as possible. The intent for players to play age appropriate will be conveyed to the team