GUIDELINES & PROCEDURES
Information for the Co-Ed U10 teams Information for the Girls GU10 teams
Before a child/athlete is permitted to participate in the tryout process,
he/she must properly register with the Pirates. The registration process
includes completing the online Registration Form and paying the regular
Registration will generally occur starting in June/July for the upcoming Fall Season and again in December/January for the upcoming Spring Season. Upon
completing the registration process and before the season begins, the
coaches will receive a copy of who has registered and paid. No athlete
will be permitted to participate in practices or tryouts without being
properly registered. Parents are strongly encouraged for organizational
purposes to pre-register.
The purpose of the Portsmouth Pirates Travel Soccer Program is to foster
organized soccer at a more competitive level. In so doing we provide the
opportunity for the more dedicated and committed Portsmouth child athlete
to develop into the best soccer player they can become by playing against
children of similar ability from across the State of Rhode Island. The
Portsmouth Pirates will form as many quality U10 travel teams as possible
(provided there are enough children, head coaches, and parent volunteers).
In order to accomplish this goal the athlete is expected to play two (2)
seasons of soccer - fall and spring and should play in at least one (1)
winter season of indoor soccer. The Pirate Competitive Soccer Program is a
commitment in time for both the parents and child/athlete. Your dedication
as a parent volunteer is almost as important as the dedication of your
child/athlete in making this program successful. A player’s attendance at
practice sessions and games is vital to the player’s development and
over-all performance of his/her team.
In addition to teaching soccer skills and team play, good sportsmanship is
an important part of our Program. Both the athlete and his/her parent must
abide by a “Conduct Code” that exhibits the requisites of good
sportsmanship. Another policy in which the Pirates have adopted is called
the “Zero Tolerance” Policy. The Zero Tolerance Policy is present at all
times to protect our referees. Both the Pirates “Conduct Code” and “Zero
Tolerance” Policy can be found on the Pirates web site at http://www.pysa.com/pirates/conduct.htm and should be reviewed prior to
the beginning of the soccer year.
Coaching/training for the Fall season begins in late August or early September
and will continue through mid-to-late November. Coaching/training will
resume again for the winter season in early January and will continue
in mid-to-late March and ends in early-to-mid June. During the Fall and Spring seasons,
most teams typically practice/train for 1-2 hours 2 times per week. During
the winter season, most teams practice/train once per week. The duration
and frequency of the practices is left to the discretion of the coach.
In addition to playing 16 league games, 8 in the fall and 8 in the spring,
teams will participate in travel tournaments. Each U10 Travel Team usually
participates in at least two (2) such tournaments, including our own
Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in June. Some of these tournaments not
only attract teams from Rhode Island, but also teams from throughout the
Northeast. Tournament play has been a very rewarding experience for our
athletes. In the past, teams have participated in tournaments in Danvers,
MA, Natick, MA & Barrington, RI. The decision as to which tournaments our
teams participate in is made by the coaches & the Pirates Board.
Please keep the following objectives of the Pirates Travel Program in
To enable our children to have FUN playing competitive soccer;
To teach the attributes of good sportsmanship toward teammates and
To provide an ongoing program of high quality for Portsmouth’s more
dedicated and committed youth soccer players so that they can become the
best players they are willing to work toward;
To provide continuity by requiring each player and each Team to play two
(2) outdoor seasons per soccer year (Fall and Spring); and
To make it more likely that our children will continue to play
competitive soccer at higher levels in our Travel Program.
PYSA (Portsmouth Youth Soccer Association) offers a recreational in-house
program in the summer for those players looking for a non-competitive
TEAM FORMATION AND THE U10 TRYOUT PROCESS
Travel soccer goes by age, not grade. For the U10s during the upcoming
season, your child’s birth date must be within the specified time frame listed on the registration page for U10. The “U” stands
for “Under” and means that all players must be “under” that age as of
August 1st before the beginning of the seasonal year. Under no
circumstances is a player allowed to play “down” a level. Occasionally a
younger player will play “up” a division.
The Portsmouth Pirates field U10 teams in both a Coe-ed (Boys/Girls)
division and a Girl’s Division. Female athletes have the option of trying
out for either the Co-ed teams or for the Girl’s teams.
The usual number of teams can range from as few as (3) to as many as (4 or
5) in this age group. Teams are typically grouped as “A” (most
competitive) to “B4” (least competitive). The word “competitive” here, at
the U10 level, refers to the child/athlete’s desire to play soccer and
Athletes will play “small-sided” soccer in the U10 division. This means
they will play on a smaller field and will play 6 v 6 soccer: six players
playing against six players (per Fall 2006 SRI format change). The
recommended roster size for U10 teams is 10 players with a minimum roster
size of 9 players and a maximum roster size of 12 players. Roster sizes
will be adjusted, smaller or larger within this range, depending on team
formation within the division.
All U10 athletes must attend tryouts to be considered for a Pirate Travel
Team. Depending on the number of children trying out, it is possible that
some children who do tryout will not make a team. Tryouts will include
several sessions, typically 3 to 4 within a two week timeframe, to
evaluate players so that the Evaluation Team can form proper teams for the
Children are strongly encouraged to attend all tryouts sessions described
above so that the Evaluation Team can have an adequate opportunity to
evaluate player skills. However, if a child cannot attend a session during
this tryout period, he/she should notify their respective Age Level
Coordinator in advance of the conflict so that other arrangements can be
During the tryout sessions, all players should wear their Pirates shirts (
returning players should wear their game uniform shirt with their name on
the back, first year players should wear their red U8 t-shirts, and
players who have not played with the Pirates prior to this year should
wear a regular t-shirt ), shorts, shin guards and soccer shoes. Players
should also bring a water bottle and a size 4 soccer ball. Jewelry is
While parents are welcomed to watch tryouts, it is requested that parents
do so from a distance and not interfere with or distract the players by
shouting instructions, encouragement or criticism. Even positive
encouragement can be a distraction to the other players on the field.
Parents are encouraged to help prepare their child for tryouts by ensuring
the player is well rested and hydrated before tryouts. At the end of the
session, don’t forget to tell your child that he/she played well. Remember
tryouts can be very stressful for some children, don’t add to the pressure
by placing too many expectations on them. Inevitably, some of your child’s
friends will be placed on a different team from your child. Try to be
supportive and remind your child that he/she will make new friends with
his/her teammates. Many lifelong friendships got their start on the soccer
field. The main objective of the tryout process is to place the players
onto Travel Teams, where each team is comprised of players of similar
ability and dedication with the most talented and dedicated players being
placed on the highest level team. Experience has shown us that an individual player
will achieve the most success and make the most developmental progress
over the course of the season if that player is competing at the proper
level for his ability.
Once the tryout period is completed, the respective Age Level Coordinators
and their Evaluation Teams will meet to assess their findings and
conclusions. During the assessment process, the Evaluation Team must
consider the tryout evaluation of each player, the coach’s evaluation of
the player, the child/athlete’s desire to play, to learn soccer, and the
Once the Evaluation Teams have made their decisions, the parents/children
will be notified. Notification will generally take place within one to two
weeks from the date of the last tryout session.
What happens during the tryout /evaluation sessions? Each player will be
assigned a tryout number which will correspond to either their Pirate
uniform number ( to be worn throughout the tryout period ) or a number
that will be affixed to their t-shirt ( to be given to the player at the
first tryout session and worn throughout the tryout period ). Players will
be identified by that unique number during the course of the
tryout/evaluation sessions. These numbers are used to make it easier for
the coaches to identify players during tryouts and have no other purpose
Players will be evaluated both individually and in small group scrimmages.
Then, if time permits, the children will play in a 6 v 6 game. In the
scrimmage, players will play a 3 v 3 or 4 v 4 game lasting for 10 minutes
then rotations will take place. During the scrimmage process, “Ball
Handling” (group passing, receiving, volleying, and juggling), “Positioning” (field awareness), “Kicking”, “Transition Speed”, “Tackling”
and “Communication” with team-mates (team-play) will all be evaluated.
As the players tryout, they will be continuously evaluated. At this age
level, there will be several different evaluators with various coaching backgrounds. A
scoring and ranking system will be used to evaluate the athletes. The
numbers resulting from this system will be used strictly as guidelines
when selecting teams. Once the process is complete the confidential
results will be given only to members of the Evaluation Team. Evaluations
at any level will not be released. Tryouts at this level will last approximately 1.5 to 2.0 hours for each of the
In addition to group play, an individual assessment will be conducted at
the “Skill Field”. Each athlete will be observed by an evaluator in the
same areas mentioned above. Directions will be given to an athlete to
perform a particular exercise so that his/her skill can be measured.
Again, each child will be confidentially scored and ranked.
Tryout Evaluation Scoring System:
The U10 Co-ed Tryout Evaluation Team will consist of the U10 Co-ed
Coordinator, all interested coaches (TBD) and independent
The U10 Girls Tryout Evaluation Team will consist of U10 Girls Coordinator, all interested coaches (TBD) and independent evaluators.
The scoring system for returning players will be weighted toward the
results of the group and individual assessments conducted during tryouts
but will also take into account player commitment and attitude as well as
input from previous coaches.
For an athlete who did not participate in the Pirate Travel Program during
the previous spring season, the Scoring System will be as follows:
100% of the overall weighting will be based on the results of the group &
individual assessments conducted during tryouts.
Selection of Coaches:
The U10A Coach is chosen by the Board in June and they are considered
the Age Level Coordinators for the Program.
Once the teams are chosen after tryouts, all interested coaches must
apply for the “B1” or “B2” teams etc. The Board appoints one coach per team.
Assistant coaches are not determined until after the Board appoints the
Coach’s responsibilities/authority include, but are not limited to:
The right to select his/her assistants, team manager, and players.
Establishment of team rules and penalties, and enforcement of same.
May release a player from his/her team with Board approval.
Determines the selection of league tournaments and special events.
It is Pirates policy that all U10 Travel Team players must play at least
50% of the total game time during all-regular season league games and
travel tournaments. This does not necessarily mean that the athlete must
play 50% of the minutes of each game, but rather an average for each of
the soccer seasons. However, coaches are encouraged to play all athletes
equally and as much as possible with the exception of injury or fatigue.
The only other exception to this rule will be in the case of disciplinary
action. Should an athlete miss a practice without a valid excuse, be
excessively tardy to practice on multiple occasions, become disruptive
during practices or games, or develop a “bad” attitude the trainer/coach
or manager may, at their discretion, take away playing time. The athlete
will be given prior notice of this possibility.
Needless to say we all live very busy lives. Our children participate in
many activities with sports being only one of them. Conflicts arise.
During the fall and spring seasons athletes often engage in more than one
sport at a time. Pirates Travel soccer games are once
a week (except in the case of make-ups) and generally played on Sundays.
Other sports are played several times a week. When conflicts occur we
encourage you to talk to your coach ahead of time.
As noted earlier under “REGISTRATION,” before any athlete can tryout they
must register with the Pirates. Payment is due prior to the start of tryouts.
Indoor soccer (Winter season), is typically played at the Multiplex Soccer Complex
in Somerset, Massachusetts, and has an operating fee that is based on a set price
divided by the amount of players and will be due during late fall. There will also
be a Spring Season fee due at registration in December/January. Pirates offers
financial assistance to those in need by way of confidential scholarships available
by contracting the President of the PYSA/Pirates.
Participation & Committment:
Parent participation and commitment are an important part of our Pirates
U10 Travel Program. Parents will have the responsibility to provide
transportation for their children to and from practices as well as games.
Most games are played on the weekends (unless a make-up game is scheduled).
Away games can be as close as Middletown and as far away as Burriville.
Tournaments generally take place on holiday weekends such as Columbus Day
and Memorial Day and often involve an overnight stay.
Parents’ support for their child’s team and the Pirates are necessary for
this volunteer organization. Parent duties range from snack duties at
games to Board members as well as volunteering for selected duties at our
Portsmouth Invitational Soccer Tournament. It is expected that each
parent/family volunteer a minimum of 2 hours during the Portsmouth
Invitational Tournament in June.