WSSL offers the opportunity for players in any division -- from U8 to U19 -- to participate on a tournament team. Players for the tournament teams are selected through a pre-season tryout process. Before considering tryouts, players and their families should determine if they 1) have an interest in playing more competitive soccer, 2) are committed to participating in additional practices and in the tournaments themselves, and 3) are prepared to deal with the additional logistics -- paperwork, fees, travel, passes, etc. -- that are required to enter tournaments.
The WSSL Tournament Teams offer more and more competitive soccer opportunities than the Core Program and somewhat less than the Travel Program. The Tournament Program is an excellent bridge for players who want more, but not as much as Travel offers. It is also a great way for a player to prepare for entering the Travel Program, if that is of interest.
All tournament teams competing against teams outside the WSSL family will be held to the highest possible standards of sportsmanship regardless of the circumstances and that all of WSSL's guiding philosophies will be adhered to strictly in letter and spirit. They are Everyone Plays, Open Registration, Good Sportsmanship, Positive Coaching, Balanced Teams and Player Development.
As part of a tournament team a player must commit to the following:
- Weekly participation on a Core team with weekend practices/games.
- Participation on a second Tournament team (with a new group of players) with a weekly training session with a professional Red Bulls trainer.
- Participation in at least one and up to two area tournaments each season (included in fees). Additional tournaments during the season or in the off season can be arranged by the team directly, as desired.
COMMITMENT: Tournament play requires a deeper level of commitment than recreational soccer. Players who want to be on a tournament team must commit to attending one additional practice each week.
FEES & REFUND POLICY: There are additional costs to participate in the tournament. There is an entry fee associated with tournaments as well as training and uniform costs. The fee for participating on a tournament team is $200 per player in addition to WSSL registration fees for the Core Program. This fee covers professional training (1x week), new jerseys every Fall, a training tee and entry fees for up to two tournaments a season. Needs based scholarships are available. Documentation of need is required. NO REFUNDS ARE GIVEN TO PLAYERS ONCE THEY ARE ASSIGNED TO A TOURNAMENT TEAM.
TRANSPORTATION: You will need to think about transportation to the tournament as most of them are not easily accessible by subway or train. There are likely to be carpooling opportunities, but you will ultimately be responsible for arranging for your transportation.
GENERAL: If you think that your child might be interested in playing on a tournament team, you will need to understand the following:
- Your child must be registered to play soccer in the current season of West Side Soccer League and must be in division U8 (B8 or G8) and up.
- Your child will need to register to participate in a mandatory tryout with other players. NO WALK ONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
- Up to two teams per eligible division will be formed, numbers permitting.
- Any player who accepts a spot on a Tournament team will be charged $200 to join the team and will need to pay prior to attending any training sessions.
- Scholarships are available and will be determined once players are placed on teams.
- All players who try out must be able to participate in the Memorial Day tournament and a Father's Day (Spring) and a Columbus Day tournament and a Halloween tournament (Fall).
- Weekly training will continue throughout the entire season.
- Certain divisions will also play in two matches (one home and one away) against similarly skilled teams from Brooklyn's AYSO Tournament Program.
- For players offered a spot on a tournament team, their acceptance and the $200 payment will be due on a specific date or their spot will be offered to the first available alternate.
- Any player who misses two training sessions will be removed from the team and an alternate will be given a permanent spot. Attendance will be kept for every training session.
- No refunds will be given to any player placed on a tournament team.
- No tournament teams will be formed after the tryout process.
Mandatory Extra Weekly Practices
WSSL will schedule a weekly practice -- in addition to any Core program team practice and game -- for each team with a professional trainer from the New York Red Bulls. Times and fields vary, but are generally in Manhattan, on the West Side and between 3:45 and 7:00 pm. A couple of training times are on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Schedules will be posted on the Schedules page under Weekday Training Schedules.
Each Division will need a tournament coordinator who will work with the Division Head and the League's Tournament Director to select and register for tournaments and to adminster tournament details. Each team will need a tournament manager. Each team will also need one or more parent coaches.
Coaching & Team Training
Professional trainers from the New York Red Bulls will run the weekday training sessions. Parent coaches are invited to attend, but if they cannot make it, the training staff will communicate with them about the curriculum covered, team strengths and weaknesses and strategies for the tournament formats.
Parent coaches will run the team during the actual tournaments and any friendly matches leading up to the tournament. Red Bull trainers will accompany teams to the tournaments, where possible, and will serve as advisors and mentors to the parent coaches.
Parent coaches are required to be trained at the appropriate level for the age group and will be require to attend a minimum of two (2) coach education clinics during each season. Coaches/trainers -- professional and parent -- will be required to conduct themselves in the most sportsmanlike manner possible with the team, the parents, the opponents, etc.
Depending on the number of players per age group, teams may consist of mixed age groups in which the younger players will play in older divisions. It is possible that, for the same reasons, girls and boys may play on the same teams. The professional Red Bulls evaluators will use tryouts to put together teams of similarly skilled players regardless of age or gender who will be able to compete together at area tournaments.
Teams will be formed roughly in line with the configurations outlined below for the number of players + alternates who will train weekly with the team. There will be some variations depending upon the tournament requirements applicable during a given season, and decisions will be made at the discretion of the WSSL tournament leadership team. In all cases, the focus will be on providing a quality experience to as many players as can reasonably be accommodated by the program.
U8 Play 5v5 (6v6, or 8v8 in some tournaments), 8 per team + 2 to 4 alternates for 5v5 & 6v6; 12 per team + 2 to 4 alternates for 8v8
U9 Play 8v8, 12 per team + 2 to 4 alternates
U10 Play 8v8, 12 per team + 2 to 4 alternates
U11 Play 9v9, 13 per team + 2 to 4 alternates
U12 Play 11v11 (9v9 in FD Tourney), 14 per team + 2 to 4 alternates
U13 Play 11v11, 15 per team + 2 to 4 alternates
U14 Play 11v11, 15 per team + 2 to 4 alternates
U19 Play 11v11, 15 per team + 2 to 4 alternates
A Word on Competition vs. Competitiveness
While outside tournaments will offer WSSL teams/players a higher level of competition -- that is inherent in a tournament format of 3 to 4 games played, standings, etc. and the other teams that participate -- the nature of our Tournament teams will adhere to the same practices that Core WSSL teams enjoy. That is, WSSL aims to have everyone play in each game and to uphold the highest level of sportsmanship possible. What will be different are the requirements for participating: an additional commitment to the team and weekly practices. By fielding Tournament Teams, WSSL is trying to give our kids an added level of competition and competitive play. It's an important difference.
Tournament Team Administration
In order to manage tournament teams, the team manager and Tournament Director will use the WSSL website and its InLeague log in function for Tournament Competitions. Through this system, managers can send team emails and manage team ledgers of additional fees per tournament.
The inLeague Tournament Accounting system provides a mechanism for fee collection and bookkeeping designed for tournament teams that have frequent but irregular expenses (e.g. a travel team that has to make referee deposits or pay tournament fees) as well as credits (parent, coach, or region contributions). Although we call it 'tournament accounting,' it can be used for any competition in which fees need to be collected or expenses tracked after players have already been assigned to a team.
Tournament accounting is a ledger-based system for tracking receipts and expenses in which a central administrator (either a competition manager or someone with treasuer, registrar, or webmaster access) may view and administer receipts and expenses for all teams while coaches and division directors can view the ledger and see the running balance for their teams and make check requests as expenses arise.
Activating Tournament Accounting - How & When to Turn it On
Tournament accounting is activated by either a webmaster or competition manager user on a per-competition basis by checking the 'enable tournament payments' option in the competition setup screen. It is not necessary to also mark the competition as a tournament -- even though the accounting system was designed for tournament travel teams (and even though it is named 'tournament accounting') it can be used for any competition, tournament or not.
Fees may be paid by any user in a child's family profile after the child has been assigned to a team belonging to a competition with tournament payments enabled. Parents may make any number of payments throughout the season and the payment page will track the total amount they have paid, both for the competition and for the child. Fees may be configured in the competition manager as static or variable:
A static fee is a fixed amount: all tournament payments made for the selected competition will be set at the amount specified.
A variable fee (specified by entering '0' in the 'Tournament payment amount' field) will permit parents to enter the amount amount to pay for each payment they make.
A brief message may be set for each competition to provide instructions to parents regardless of whether the fee is static or variable.
Tracking Credits & Expenses
Select Tournament Admin under the Administrators menu. The top portion of this page, labeled Tournamnet Receipts and Charges, is a general-purpose input form for credits and receipts belonging to either or both of a tournament player or a tournament team. Payments and payment refunds made on-line via credit card are automatically entered into the appropriate team's ledger, but all other transactions are input via this screen.
The bottom portion of the page, labeled Tournament Teams Accounting, will display a complete ledger for any one team (including a list of players who are assigned but have not made payments) or a full list of transactions for an entire competition.
Issuing Refunds & Re-allocating Payments
A transaction may be edited (and a credit card payment refunded) by clicking on the Amount field for an individual transaction. An administrator may issue a partial or full refund, leave a comment on the transaciton, or re-allocate the transaction to a different tournament team for any other player in the same family.
Making Tournament Payments - For Parents
A link to make a tournament payment will appear next to a child's team assignment in the Family Profile under the 'Post-season Assignments' tab (for tournament competitions) or the 'Team Assignments' tab (for regular competitions).
Making Tournament Payments - For Coaches
Tournament Team coaches have the option of making a 'coach contirbution' to their tournament team or teams from the Team Assignments or Post-Season assignments tab in their family profile. Please note that tournament coaches who have children on their team will have both options, and should be careful to use the appropriate link depending on whether they are making a tournament payment for their child (whose team assignment will have a tournament payment link right next to it) or a coach contirbution for their team, which will always appear at the bottom of the page, underneath team assignments for their children.
Tournament coaches may make check requests from their Team Rosters & Admin page. Coaches may specify an amount to request and provide details for the requested check. Administrators may view a list of check requests and 'process' outstanding requests, which will automatically enter the appropriate amount into the team's ledger.