How Do We Form Teams?

Probably the biggest single benefit in AYSO – and yet the biggest cause of concern for some parents – is our approach to team formation. A founding tenet of AYSO is to (re)form Balanced Teams each season. In fact, it is a firm rule that no player can be with the same coach/team from year to year – except for the coach’s own child. The goal is to mimic that neighborhood playground method of picking up sides so as to make the game as close and competitive as possible. Only then is it the best and most positive learning experience created for all. Balanced teams do not stop once the teams are formed and released though. The head coaches are as much a part of implementing this goal during the season by playing all players equally (in time) each game and throughout the season, by avoiding run-ups in the score, and by adjusting their coaching style and strategy to keep the game competitive and fun for all.


Like most AYSO regions, we have a single person who oversees forming a balanced division. This is the main, initial role of the Division Head (DH). The DH is aided by a computer program built into our registration system that has recorded statistics about each player from previous years or from parent declarations. This is why it is important not to create a new record during registration. Many factors are taken into account and we try and balance the skill, age, grade, height and school spread of each team.

We reserve the right to adjust teams after the season has begun if necessary in order to balance teams. We draft teams to be equal, but teams can become unbalanced if, for example, a strong player drops out after teams have been assigned. 

Friend/Coach Requests

Every year WSSL receives numerous requests concerning team assignments. These requests are simple to make but they are not easy to grant.

WSSL generally does not accept requests, except in the case of twin siblings.

Further, WSSL does not accept conditional registrations, such as a registration conditional on a player being on a particular team, or playing at a particular time or with a particular player. 

Where possible and practical, we try to honor ONE friend request. The friend request (entered in the Sibling/Friend field during online registration) can only list the name of one other player in that same division and gender. THE REQUEST MUST BE MUTUAL - the other player must also list your player in their friend request. The best time to make this request is during the registration process by entering that information in the registration notes section.

If you did not make the request when registering, you can add it (before the refund deadline for each season) by logging into your wssl in-league account. Under “Player Registration” click on your child's name. “Edit Registration –Spring 2020” menu will come up with your child's name. Go to the “Comments” box (under Payment Data on the right towards the bottom) and enter your ONE request. Then click “Update Registration” bar on the bottom (if you forget this, your comments will not be saved). Your preferences should now be saved on the system. You can double check by exiting and re-entering your child's profile. 

Co-Coaching Requests

If you are an assistant coach who wants to work with a particular head coach, please also enter this in the same place you enter a friend request as described above. While we try to honor these requests, they will also replace any friend request for your child (meaning we will only try to accommodate wither the friend request or the co-coaching request - not both). Again, please keep in mind that even if you are co-coaching, if both children are very strong players, the likelihood of us being able to honor the request is lower.

Problems with your child's team placement? 

Your first point of contact should be the Division Head for your child’s division. What he or she will do is to move your child off his/her current team and place him/her on the waitlist. The player will be inserted onto the waitlist based on the player’s registration date. You should only request to be moved off a team if there is absolutely no way your child can participate with that team. We cannot guarantee your child will be re-placed onto a team if the balance cannot be subsequently met. Parents and coaches must not seek to arrange adds, drops, or trades of players between teams on their own. The Division Head is the only person who can make such arrangements.