Travel Team Tryouts

Tryout Process

We strongly believe that the primary purpose of the Travel Program is to develop the skills and confidence of each and every player to assure their current and future enjoyment of the game. It is our aim to place players on travel teams with other players of a comparable skill level, who then play against other travel teams of similar skill level. It has been our experience that this is the best way to maximize each player’s opportunity to develop his or her skills and confidence. We have found that a player attempting to play above their skill level will often become frustrated and discouraged and find they are struggling just to keep up, hampering their skill development. Conversely, we have found that a player playing down from their current skill level will quickly become bored and find that their skills are not developing further.

The tryout process helps HYSA place players on the “select” team, as well as evaluates skill development of all players. Those players not making the select team will be placed on equally weighted teams with the remaining players, or another rated team depending on the total number of registrants in the age group. Because children mature and develop physically at different times, it is critically important to re-assess their skill development every year to assure that they remain properly placed. Players on current select travel teams must tryout every year.


Travel soccer is a Fall and Spring commitment, with each season running for 10 weeks, including 2 weekly practices. Rosters typically do not change between seasons; however HYSA reserves the right to make changes based on the needs of the program. Travel Teams occasionally have to travel up to 60 minutes to out-of-town games. Holliston travel teams play in the Boston Area Youth Soccer (BAYS) league.  As all travel teams play we ask that they remember they are representing Holliston and they should act accordingly.

We recommend, and encourage, all players to attend both days of tryouts in order to facilitate proper placement of players. To be strongly considered for the top select team, a player should attend both days of tryouts and be registered for the full season, Spring and Fall. If a player does not make a select team, they will still continue in the travel program and be assigned to a non-select travel team.

For those players trying out in the U10 age group, the same applies with the exception that if the player does not make the select team, they will continue to play in the HYSA Intramural Program with other 3rd and 4th graders. Check the age requirements for eligibility for U10 travel.

Every year the Board of Directors of HYSA make decisions about how many select teams there will be based on player registrations. There is a possibility that two Select travel teams (A & B) are created for U10-U14 based on the player registrations. HYSA recommends that all players that are considering playing on a select team tryout.

Tryout Evaluations

The travel team evaluation process focuses on observing skill development in a limited number of activities, in “small sided games” of several players and in “game like” full scrimmages. The emphasis will be on observing what each player does well that can serve as the foundation for further skill development over the coming year. We also try to assess the player’s general “understanding” of the game and how the player “reacts” in different game situations. After the evaluations for each age group have been done, the select coaches and the respective Travel Coordinators, meet to review the assessments of each player. Together they develop a consensus on the proper placement of each player. The Travel Coordinators along with the Coaching Coordinator have final approval of all rosters, and are responsible to ensure that all players have been properly placed.

Player evaluations are conducted under the supervision and direction of current HYSA coaches. Every effort is made to avoid evaluator/player conflict of interests. It is for this reason that Travel coaches do not conduct evaluations for the age group that they are currently coaching. Prior to each age group’s evaluations, the current coaches of those players are asked to complete written assessments of their players. These written assessments are used in conjunction with the tryout evaluations when configuring teams.

Playing Up

Holliston Youth Soccer allows grade appropriate play up. If your child’s date of birth falls beyond the cut off date of July 31st, we will allow your child to “play up” so that he/she can play with their classmates of the same grade when appropriate. When you are signing in your child at tryouts, please let the coordinator know that you are requesting to play up if you intend to do so. This play up request should also have been noted on your registration form when you registered your child with HYSA.

Tryout Schedule

Travel Evaluations will be conducted with each age group having two tryout dates and we encourage your child to attend both dates for your child’s age group. Please check the web page often, as it may change due to weather etc. If for any reason your child can’t make either of the evaluations, you should contact the appropriate travel coordinator to let them know prior to the scheduled tryout date.

Team Notification

An email will be sent to all registered players sometime in July with information regarding placement. If your email has changed please contact one of the Travel Coordinators, which are listed on the HYSA website. If you have any questions concerning the evaluation process, please feel free to contact any board members listed on our website.

Preparation for Tryouts

Register your child for the Fall  – Spring soccer season. To register online visit:

Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the evaluation to sign in and obtain a numbered pinnie vest.

All players must wear a plain white shirt. Please no club or travel uniforms.

Players should bring a soccer ball and water.