March 24, 2017 - The purpose of this statement is to set forth guiding principles that clubs can follow when planning and executing tryouts for the 2017/18 seasonal year.
- At the 2016 AGM, the FYSA membership ratified changes to Rule 401.6 that moved the first permissible FYSA tryout date from the day after Memorial Day to April 1. The rule change was submitted to provide flexibility to member clubs.
- In January, the FYSA Board of Directors (BOD) took the following actions to address conflicts with existing rules:
- Deleted rule 207.8. The rule stated that players were permitted to obtain a release from their current club after the start of tryouts.
- Modified rule 401.5 to allow clubs to contact prospective coaches starting March 1. The prior date was May 1.
Member clubs may advertise planned tryouts. The BOD strongly encourages that clubs adhere to the following:
- Advertising includes marketing your association, team, camp, tryout, or event through the public media, newspapers, radio outlets, social media, mass mailings, etc.
- An e-mail distribution list put together by an individual or association that includes players/families that are registered with another club does not constitute a mass mailing and is prohibited at all times.
- Direct communication by club officials, coaches, and managers with players registered with other clubs to invite players to tryout for a club/team in person via phone, social media, text messaging, or any other method is strictly prohibited.
- The announcement/advertisement should contain, at a minimum, the following information:
- a statement that tryouts are open to all players in the age groups listed
- the name of the club/association must be clearly stated, its business address, and telephone number
- complete dates, times, location, and age groups
- coaching list, if available
- No language can be incorporated which would deny the right or ability of any youth soccer player of the correct age to participate; or which would restrict eligibility for the team to any arbitrary prerequisites such as particular school, church, housing, subdivision, etc.; nor can the advertisement serve in any way, directly or indirectly, to coerce or threaten players to try out for a particular member affiliate's team versus another.
Member clubs are also encouraged to:
- Maintain a list of players that attend tryouts. Tryout attendance will permit the prospective club to contact and make an offer for the next seasonal year.
- Limit direct post-tryout contact with the prospective player. The intent of tryouts is to plan for the next seasonal year.
- Refrain from inviting prospective players registered with other clubs to attend team activities such as practices, games, and social events.
- Refrain from encouraging the prospective player to request release from their current club in order to transfer during the current seasonal year. If the player does obtain their release the current club would have to register the player for the current season to allow them to practice/play with the new team.
- Refrain from having the prospective player guest play with the prospective team. Clubs should abide by the FYSA Rules regarding player contact when requesting permission to guest play. Contact should be initiated with the club first.
Finally, member clubs are reminded:
- No selected player may register and be rostered to a team for the next seasonal year prior to June 10. (Rule 201.6)
- The poaching rule remains in effect. Contact outside of the context of tryouts and follow-ups to tryouts could be deemed poaching.
- The rule was amended to allow clubs greater flexibility. Clubs should hold tryouts at a time that best fits the needs of their club and members.
*The guidance provided herein is not intended to cover all potential scenarios and questions that may arise.