Understanding Player Assessments


Note no try outs for U7/8. We will place U7/8 players by location and year of birth as much as possible.

Try outs will be conducted for the CMSA U9 to U18 players.  Team formation is completed twice annually in March-April and September-October.  Team formation will be based on:

* Player Assessment evaluations

* Ongoing assessment at the level of play in which players compete.

* Team/Coach /Player Evaluations

Please download our document – Understanding Player Assessments to understand the logic behind our player assessment tests, and why we work with Athete Factory.

Players who have registered but who have not paid for, or made alternate arrangements to pay, their registration fees and/or their community membership will not be permitted to be assessed for team placements.


Team Coaches submit Team/Player Evaluations at http://www.calgarywestsoccer.com/team-season-report. The Technical Director will provide the team season reports to all Coaches.

Team Coaches and Technical Staff assesses players on an ongoing basis at the level the player is playing.

Player Assessment

Session 1 – Skills Assessment – Please see the description of the 4 skill tests.

Players are grouped according to Session 1 results.

Session 2 – Small sided games- Independent Evaluators and Club Head Coaches evaluate players.

Players are placed on tentative team rosters. Coaches are appointed. Players are contacted to practice.

Team Coaches are asked to assess their team rosters and request changes if players do not fit into the general level of the team. The Technical Director will be contacted to support the assessment.

Parents and players may request a re-assessment if they disagree with their placement.  Players will be reassessed by the Technical Team and Team Coaches and a decision communicated to the parents/players. This reassessment is final. Parents are asked to fill out and submit a Player Placement Appeal Form found on our website under http://www.calgarywestsoccer.com/player-placement-appeal-form.

The Club reserves an undetermined period of time to adjust team rosters to ensure the proper placement of players. CMSA allows Clubs to move players between teams even after the season games commence. The Club will minimize any such movement and endeavor to limit the time period of roster adjustment; however, this time frame depends on the time between try outs, team formation and the commencement of league games for any particular season.


1. Does CWSC place players in team based groups for the first try out session?

Yes, CWSC wishes to keep core teams together as much as possible. New players into the club of any age groups will be tested through the same objective tests as returning players.

2. Why does CWSC evaluate skills in the first session?

CWSC feels that basic skills are the fundamental starting point to assess individual player abilities.  The 4 tests provide the basis of the fundamental skills needed to play the game of soccer.

3. How do we combine game skills and player skills?

Our evaluation data base uses heavily research weighting scores of the 4 skills and the game situations to arrive at a composite score set against international standards from Germany.

4. Do we place players based on whether a parent volunteered to coach?

Absolutely not, CWSC places players first. Coaches are placed after players are placed. We do not reposition players if there are no coaches for certain teams. We believe parents need to step up to volunteer to coach or assist coach teams. In the rare occasion where there are no parents able to coach, we provide technical assistance to the team in the form of coach development, team support (which can be increased as needed) and coach mentoring.

5.  Can coaches release the team roster directly after the final try out session is completed?

No, the tentative roster is formed based on the final session and where the players ended up (on which field). However, team rosters are not final and coaches are not provided with the official roster until all factors and players are accounted for.  Coaches involved in try out evaluations are also not necessarily the final team coach. Team rosters are not official until they are entered into the CWSC data base and released. Even after team rosters are released, changes may be made.

6. What is the appeal process if a parent disagrees with the player placement?

Parents can submit a player placement appeal. CWSC will then contact the coach of the team the player would like to make, and ask the coach to invite the player to the next practice session, or ask the coach for permission to invite the player to her/his next session. The coach may be asked to assess the player independently, or a Head Coach is asked to attend the session to assess the player jointly. A recommendation is forwarded to the Club and a final decision is made and communicated to the parent/player. This decision is final.


Understanding the Player Assessment Tests:

According to the principles and demands of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) CWSC will obtain objective results for player placement to ensure that we compile long-term documentation about the development of our players. Long Term Player Development means that we will focus on individual players over the whole course of their development path. All players, regardless of level of play, deserve the opportunity to enjoy the game of soccer and develop to her or his potential.  We truly believe that every single player has endless potential to improve given the right training in a fun and stimulating atmosphere.

The new player assessment protocol is designed to start the development pathway for every player at the right level. We will not send a player away because she/ he is “not good enough” for the level of play. It is only a question of time and commitment to reach a player’s full potential.  

Our assessment protocol is based on proven tests for the fundamental abilities and basic game situations of the game of soccer. With the results we will have objective data for our decision to place players into ‘development’ groups/teams.

We will test the basic abilities of dribbling, passing and receiving, agility and speed. There are four tests: slalom dribbling, 20 m fast straight dribbling, agility run and 20 m sprint (U10) and 30 m sprint U12 and up. Passing and receiving will be tested in basic game situations – 3 vs. 1 and 4 vs. 2 keep away. These basic games include another important aspect of the game of soccer – decision making. For all these tests the players will receive points and with the sum of all points we will get a ranking in all age groups, for single tests and an overall ranking.


Test Description 

The tests are performed during the first session of the player assessment.

There are four groups performing the tests at the same time at four stations. After finishing the test at one station the group will move to the next station and so on. Every player will attempt the test twice.

A time is given for each test. The best time is counted. If a player does not perform the test in the right manner it does not count and we will talk to the player after the first ‘round’ to change it for the second round. If the player cannot perform the test for the second time the player will not receive points for this test, and we will have an idea what this particular player has to work on.

Test Descriptions:

Slalom Dribbling 

A player dribbles around eight flagpoles. She or he must cover all of the flagpoles, with the 4th flag on the way there and the 3rd flag on the way back being orbited completely. It is important that the run starts on the left, beside the start and aim flag and the player passes the second flag on the right.

Left foot players must start the dribbling on the right, beside the start flag with the 6th flag on the way there and the 5th flag on the way back being orbited completely.

Timing starts as soon as the player touches the ball forward.

The player should touch the ball with every second step and only with one foot in order to have a controlled dribbling.

20 m fast straight dribbling

The player starts the controlled dribbling beside the start flag and dribbles straight forward, as fast as he or she can, keeping the flag posts on the same side. The time is taken between the two flags. The player must stop the ball after moving over the ‘line’ for the result to count.

Timing starts as soon as the player touches the ball forward.

The player should touch the ball with every second step and only with one foot in order to have a controlled dribbling.


Agility Run

Players must orbit flags over a total distance of 41 m in a given sequence.

Timing starts as soon as the player takes the first step.

For every flag that is knocked over by the player, there will be 0.1 second added. The run is invalid if more than two flagpoles are knocked over.


20 m/ 30 m Sprint

The player starts beside the first flagpole and sprints over the line keeping the flags on the same side.

Timing starts as soon as the player takes the first step.

3v1-4v2 Game Situations 

Players will be assessed in 3v1 and 4v2 game situations for the second sessions of the player assessment. These tests are small-sided games in a restricted area – keep away – and they include offensive and defensive play. Players will rotate between 4 different assessors with a mark given by each assessor.

Marks will be given based on the following offensive and defensive play:

Offensive Play

– start the play as a free kick

– build a triangle to the player with the ball; be in a free
position, ball side

– passing and receiving/ control the ball before passing it, pass
away from the pressure

– follow your pass with one or two steps

– give your teammates time to reach their free spot


Defensive Play

– challenge the ball and not the player only

– pressure the players in ball possession to provoke

– if you have a chance ‘go’ for the ball to gain it

– ‘read’ passes to intercept

– work attitude; don’t give up if you don’t get the ball very soon 


3 vs. 1

This is the basic game situation, building an open triangle to the player with the ball. Whoever receives the ball needs this open triangle again. We play with open touches because ball control is more important than ‘rushing’ the game. The three ‘attackers’ try to keep ball possession and the one defender tries to get the ball or to force the attacker to have mistakes. If the ball leaves the square the player who touched the ball last has to switch position with player in the middle.

This basic game represents the most common game situation and includes ball mastery, decision-making and movement of the ball as well as speed, stamina and mental toughness.

The game starts in a corner as a ‘free kick’. Before the game can start the player with the ball needs two options to pass the ball, one right and one left (We call this an “open triangle” to the player with the ball.). When the ball is on its way to the next player, the player who did not get the ball has to run fast to the next corner to be available for a pass. She/he is the next option for the player who touches the ball next. The player who passed the first ball has to follow her/his pass with one to two steps in order to be available for a pass back (second option).

4 vs. 2

For this small-sided game we add two more players, one attacker and one defender.

With four players we have the opportunity to create more options for the player with the ball because we can build two open triangles to the player in ball possession. The players on the side have always to be one of the options right or left for the player with the ball. The player across the player with the ball has to take the position right in the middle between the two defenders to be able to get the ball if the two defenders ‘close up’ the options on the side. The two defenders can work together to have a higher success rate gaining the ball or forcing mistakes.


Team Selection Process

Team Makeup

It is the philosophy of the Club to provide athletes with as much continuity as possible through their playing experience. In accordance with this philosophy, teams will be assembled by age (by year of birth where possible), to establish ‘cores’ for the following indoor season. This will better establish continuity and consistency within the team environment throughout a player’s development with the Club.


For U6 and U8 Players

No Evaluations. Players will be placed by commitment level and by geography. We will divide by year of birth.


For U10- U18 Players

According to the Player Assessment results and ranking we will place players into the development group/team where they belong based on their year of birth and gender. Players may not “make a team” that they desire, based on test results, however we will ensure that every player receives the same training (number of sessions and quality of training) to support their development.

At times, players may be placed in the ranking in a position that would give her/ him the opportunity to be placed in a Tier 1 or 2/ 3 team but does not want to give the commitment that is required for this level of play. Then we will place the player on a lower Tier team after meeting with the parents and player to discuss commitment levels.

It may also be the case that a player does not get placed on a higher level team.  We believe that all players can reach their desired potential and level of play with further education, and commitment. We will support each player’s development through our “Development Group” based academy training approach.  If we feel a player will benefit from specific training we may also recommend the IPT (Individual Player Training) program.

We know how important it is that we can give every single player enough game time to improve. Depending on the number of players for each age group and gender we are looking to place 12-14 players per team for U10 and U12, and 16-18 players on U14-U18 teams.

Keeper Evaluations

It is critical that keepers identify themselves to the technical staff and age group coordinators. The role (part-time, half-time, full-time) should also be clarified.

Keepers will be incorporated into all small sided games and evaluation activities. At times, this role may be as a player so that we can assess their abilities on the pitch. Keepers may be isolated on occasion with the assessment staff so that we may focus on specific components of their game.

Keepers will be assessed on the following through each stage of the process.
Hands:  Ability to cushion and absorb the ball at varying heights and speeds.
Agility:  Ability to move quickly and efficiently from near post to far post and recover after committing to the ball.
Angles:  Ability to effectively break down the path of the ball.
Diving:  A player’s confidence and ability to aggressively attack the path of the ball in flight.
Distribution: Ability to deliver the ball effectively, make effective distribution decisions, incorporate ability to become additional field player
Communication: Ability to support and direct the defensive unit in a confident and productive manner.
Game Knowledge: Players ability to grasp soccer concepts and think in a composed and creative manner. Game Sense will be greatly established by a player’s presence off the ball.


Keeper Selection Process

The most highly evaluated keeper will go on the top team whether they are part time or full time. In the event that the top selected keeper is a half time keeper, the Technical Team will then select the next best half time keeper. This keeper must be at a level where he/she can also contribute as a player.  We are looking for keepers with equally accomplished out field skills and in goal skills for our top teams.