The purpose of this document is to provide you with a general overview of the team formation, balancing, and waiting list procedures. The various team formation, team balancing, and waiting list procedures are also defined in this document. Aside from the details in this document, AYSO Region 213 reserves the right, at its discretion and within the AYSO National Rules and Regulations and Region 213 Regional Guidelines currently in effect, to place any player on any team.


AYSO Region 213 team formation and team balancing procedures are governed by the overriding AYSO principles of "Everyone Plays" and "Balanced Teams." Team formation and balancing procedures vary by the age group of the various divisions and by the type of team (Primary Program Fall or Spring Season, AYSO EXTRA, AYSO Flex (U16 and U19), AYSO Flex (All-Star) or AYSO Flex (Spring Select). The following table defines both the formation procedure and balancing procedure used for each age group and team type.

Team Type Age Group Formation Procedure Balancing Procedure
Primary Program,
Fall Season
U-5 Master Coach run jamboree with "teams" for games at the end of the session; teams are formed by the Division Commissioner School and nighborhood teams
U6 to U8 Division Commissioner forms teams School teams, with balancing
U9 to U14 Via Computer Program Average Computer Ratings
AYSO Flex (U16 & U19) U16/19 Coach-Driven N/A
Primary Program,
Spring Season
U6 to U12 Spring Commissioner forms teams and may carryover teams from the Fall and/or Winter Recreational Season. School teams & Balancing Adjustments
AYSO Flex (All stars)
All Tryout Process N/A
AYSO Flex (Spring Select) U9 to U14 Coach Select N/A

Formation Procedures

Division Commissioner Forms Teams

In the younger divisions (U5-U8), teams are formed by the Division Commissioner, or his/her designee, primarily on the basis of elementary school groupings.

Via Computer Program

In these divisions, teams are formed via a "snake draft procedure that is programmed in a spreadsheet:
  • Players are rated:
    • Returning players in these divisions are rated based upon their coach rating from the prior season.
    • New (unrated) players are assigned an average rating.
  • Players are sorted by their overall rating. Then,
  • A "snake draft" procedure is follows the player sorting:
    • The first team receives the highest rated player in a given age group.
    • The next team receives the next highest ranked player, and
    • The process continues until each team receives one player. This constitutes one "draft round."
    • When the first draft round is complete, the team that received the last pick of the first draft round receives the first pick of the second draft round
    • The order is then reversed again for round three. This procedure is repeated until all players in an age group are placed on a team.
For example, if there are 100 players in an age grouping, team number one would receive players rated #1, #20 and #21 in the first three rounds. Team number ten would receive players rated #10, #11, and #30 in the first three rounds. In divisions where there are two “playing ages” (for example, U10 traditionally includes both U9 and U10 players), the two “playing age groups” are drafted separately. The team that receives the first pick of the older “playing age” group receives the last pick of the younger “playing age” group, and vice versa. Continuing with the example in the previous paragraph, team number one would receive players rated #1, #20 and #21 for U10 players in the first three rounds, and receive players rated #10, #11, and #30 for U9 players in the first three rounds. Once the “snake draft” is completed, adjustments are made to the randomly generated teams to place a coach on each team. Furthermore, the goal when players are moved between teams to ensure each team has a coach is to ensure equal rated and equal “playing age” players are swapped between teams. Except for parents with siblings in the same division, requests for players to be on the same team or to play for a particular coach cannot be accommodated in this process.

Coach-driven Team Formation

On team with Coach-Driven team formation, teams are formed based upon the availability of a coach. This process is reserved for teams where there are a limited number of players and coaches available such as U16 and U19 Area Fall Rec teams and Spring Rec teams. As players are registered, they are placed on the appropriate team. If enough players for an additional team are registered, a team will be formed assuming a qualified coach can be found.

Tryout Process

The Tryout Process for team formation is limited to the creation of AYSO Plus teams. AYSO Plus teams are formed on the basis of the tryouts held in the spring of each year and are subject to the Plus Tryout Procedures covered in a separate document.

Coach Select Team Formation

The Coach Select team formation process is utilized for Area Q All-Star teams formed in the winter and for Spring Select teams. Obviously, Select teams are formed through a player selection by the coach process. Details of this process are also defined in a separate document. As a guideline,
  • All-Star Coaches select their teams from qualified fall recreational players.
  • Spring Select teams are typically built from All-Star and/or Plus teams.
  • All-Star Coaches who continue into Spring Select play may not “drop” players from their All-Star team who wish to continue playing in Spring Select. More importantly, All-Star and Spring Select coaches are expressly forbidden from holding “open tryouts” for players on these teams. It is our position (Region 213) the process of holding tryouts for All-star and Spring Select teams violates the “Everyone Plays” principle of AYSO since those players not selected from a tryout have no alternative place to play.

Balancing Procedures

School or Neighborhood teams

This balancing procedure is used in younger age divisions, typically U5 to U8. Players at this age are typically permitted to play with the friends from school or their local neighborhood. If there are multiple teams from one school within a particular school, then an effort is made to balance teams. Coaches and/or parents may request that particular players be grouped together. Such requests may or not be honored depending upon the Region’s assessment as to whether a particular team is “loaded” with above average players. In such a case, players may be split up into two or more groups such that they are still grouped with some players and friends from their school, but possibly not all on a single team. If a team is exceedingly dominant in a season (U6, for example) it is typical that such a team will be split up into two or more groups the following year (U7). Commissioners are cautioned to view groups of players from different schools wishing to play together very carefully, as these are often attempts to “load” a team

Average Computer Ratings

The Average Computer Rations balancing procedure is used to evaluate teams drafted via the Computer Program “snake draft”. Once the draft is completed and adjustments are made, the overall rating of the teams is reviewed by the Division Commissioner. The intent is for the average ranking of all players on the team to be as close as possible to the overall average of the players’ ranking in that division. After coaches are placed on each team, and adjustments for siblings are made, adjustments are made by swapping equal “playing age” players in order to bring teams into closer alignment.

Balancing Adjustments

Balancing Adjustments are utilized to adjust teams that wish to continue playing in a supplemental season other than Fall Recreational (such as Winter or Spring Recerational). It is typically applied to Winter and Spring Recreational teams. If a team wishes to continue playing in the winter or spring, and was particularly dominant in the Fall Season, then the Region reserves the right to adjust the roster by moving players onto and/or off the roster in order to achieve the AYSO principle of “Balanced Teams”.

Wait List Procedures

Based upon AYSO’s principle of “Everyone Plays”, all players who register with the Region by the registration cutoff date are guaranteed a spot on a team in the upcoming season [do we want to place a disclaimer here regarding the possibility some kids may not play if not enough volunteer coaches are available? I have picked up teams over the last 2 years because there were kids who registered on time and didn’t have a coach.]

Players registering after the cutoff date are placed upon a team if there is space available. At some point after the registration cutoff date, the registration for a particular division is closed and additional players are added to a “waiting list”. The cutoff date for each division will vary from year to year and from division to division depending upon the number of teams scheduled to play in the upcoming season, and the number of open roster slots.

The number of teams in a division is managed carefully to avoid playing with an odd number of teams if possible, since this results in “bye” weeks during the season. Players are placed on the waiting list with priority based upon the date their pre-registration is received by the Region, not the date that players are pre-registered in eAYSO. In the case of pre-registrations received by the Region on the same date, the Registrar may utilize, at his/her discretion, the earlier of the mailing date or the earlier of the eAYSO pre-registration date in order to prioritize the waiting list.

In all divisions, the Regional Registrar is the authority as to the prioritized waiting list. Division Commissioners do not have the authority to maintain a waiting list for their division. In no case may a coach who is short players on their roster identify a specific player candidate and have them send a pre-registration in order to be added to the coach’s team. All new players who are added to teams after the cutoff date for that division must be added to the waiting list via the Registrar, and then assigned to a team by the Division Commissioner.

The Region reserves the right to “bump up” players on the waiting list whose parent or guardian are willing to meet volunteer commitments for which the Region has a need. This is most commonly used when a coach is needed in a division, and a waiting list player’s parent is willing to coach a team. The Region reserves the right, at its discretion, to offer a playing spot to any player on the waiting list.

Another disclaimer here… we also reserve the right to move players between teams prior to the start of the season to preserve team balancing when a player on the waitlist is added. In other words, you would never form another team from just the kids on the waitlist – you would want to do your best to place them on existing teams and remove players from these teams to place them on any newly created team.

Questions regarding team formation, team balancing and wait list procedures should be directed to the Regional Coach Administrator.