AGSA 2024 EVALUATION PROCESS

PLAYER EVALUATIONS:

AGSA is a District association within the Calgary Minor Softball League, Softball Alberta and Softball Canada.
Softball Canada has categorized players by Age “Category”. Further classification for competition has been set forth by Calgary Minor as “Division” and by Softball Alberta as “Provincial Categories”.

Placing players on teams based on their ability is imperative and required by CMSA. AGSA will hold player evaluations when there is more than one team in a category.

    • Evaluations will be mandatory and held the week of March 4th – 14th, 2024.
    • Players will be required to play in their evaluated division.
    • Categories:
      • Each Age Category: U9, U11, U13, U15, U17, U19 or U17/U19 combined also referred to as HS (High School).
      • The Category a player is placed will be determined by the age the individual will turn within the current season’s
        calendar year
        and is automatically determined by birth year when they register.
    • Evaluators
      • For U9: evaluators may be past/current coaches or other knowledgeable individuals chosen by the Coach and Player Coordinator, if required. Evaluators will be chosen and designated to evaluate each age category based on their knowledge, experience, or training. Evaluators must be fair and consistent for each category/group. Evaluators will not be allowed to evaluate their child’s category.
      • For U11-U19, evaluators must be 3rd party knowledgeable individuals chosen by the Coach and Player Coordinator. Past/current coaches or other knowledgeable individuals, if required, may be chosen by the Coach and Player Coordinator when 3rd party evaluators are not available. Evaluators will be chosen and designated to evaluate each age category based on their knowledge, experience, or training. Evaluators must be fair and consistent for each category/group. Evaluators will not be allowed to evaluate if they have a child or family member in that category.

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  • COMPETITION LEVELS:
    • U9 Junior – Players that are still learning fundamental skill and Field IQ. They will enjoy a fun, relaxed
      experienced based on learning and laughter.
    • U9 Senior – Players show knowledge of some fundamental skills, basic Field IQ and are responsive
      and attentive to coaching. They may also show more focus, motivation or strength compared to their
      peers. Players will be challenged and enjoy an introduction into competitive play.
      • U9 is a modified form of standard rules of play and teams only field 6 defensive players vs.
        traditional fastpitch which fields 9 defensive players.
    • Division 3 (U11 to HS) – players may require less commitment or a shorter season for various reasons. They may have a modest skill level compared to their peers and are just learning to set goals to take them to the next level. They may also prefer a social recreational environment to learn at their own pace. We encourage coaches at this level to enter tournaments to give their players extra game opportunities. We hope that Parents/Guardians will be willing to support and fulfill any additional commitment, volunteer hours or costs at the Coaches discretion.
    • Division 2 (*U11, U13 to HS) – players will enjoy an intermediate level of play, with a moderately extended schedule. They may have met some goals to improve their skill set and are eager to acquire more with less pressure. They may be seeking a higher division but require an additional year of growth (physical/mental/skill) to adequately compete. These athletes will be challenged to grow and encouraged to attend more focused training if seeking higher competition. Parents/Guardians should be prepared to undertake additional volunteer hours at the team level, commit to additional tournaments, and navigate additional costs.
    • Division 1 (*U11, U13 to HS) – Players are committed to a more robust program with an extended schedule, additional practices, and events. They have good communication and strive to be responsive, self motivated, respectful, disciplined, persistent and resilient. They have acquired skills beyond their peers (or show rapid comprehension). They continue to set goals and plan to train hard to achieve them. Parents/Guardians are prepared to navigate additional costs for travel/practice facilities/tournaments. They are eager to support the team, and the coach, by fulfilling a large amount of additional volunteer hours while having a can-do attitude.
      • *The U11 Category for all divisions will NOT have an extended season.

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  • PROVINCIALS CATEGORY GUIDELINE:
    • U9 Senior/Junior: Provincials are not offered at this level.
    • U11 (Any team from any Division is allowed to compete)
    • Division 3: Provincial Category “D” or “C”
    • Division 2: Provincial Category “D” or “C”
    • Division 1: Provincial Category “C” or “B”

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  • EVALUATION PROCESS:
    • General Skill Evaluations will be held for each Category. Players will be scheduled by their birth year/category.
    • Evaluations for U13-U19 Division 1 placement will be held in September annually. Evaluations for all other levels will be held in March annually.
    • Player Evaluations are MANDATORY.
    • Players who wish to be evaluated for pitching or catching must indicate this in the sign ups. These players are scheduled for an additional evaluation before the regular evaluation.
    • Players that would like to be evaluated but have a conflict in scheduling will be placed on a team at the discretion of the Board with input from past and/or current AGSA Head Coaches.
    • If a division 1 team that was evaluated in September does not have enough players, the AGSA Head Coach may seek players from the March evaluations.
    • If a player requests to be evaluated for Division 1 and was unable to attend the scheduled evaluations in September:
      • The AGSA Head Coach for the intended team will be given the option to evaluate the proposed player but is not required to do so.
      • If a new player is evaluated by the coach and meets the requirements for the team, the player will be an addition to the roster and no other players may be displaced.

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  • PROCEDURE FOR GENERAL SKILLS U9-HS:
    • The Coach and Player Coordinator and Support Coaches will guide the players through a series of drills to challenge their skills of play: Throwing, Catching, Fielding and Hitting. Evaluators will also be observing player attributes: demeanor, communication, motivation, focus, persistence, resilience, etc.
    • To provide the best evaluation experience for ALL players and evaluators, the following should be considered:
      • Players should be transferred urgently and appropriately to another group/category/division if there is a
        safety risk.
      • Evaluators should, at all times, ensure players cannot view their forms.
      • Evaluators may request to rewind any drills, should they require a 2nd look to confidently issue their
        score.
      • Evaluators should do their best to observe only. They may at times encourage players that are struggling due to nerves to help put them at ease. They may also make requests to their group with the intention of scoring responsiveness or other player attributes.
      • Players should not assume that any verbal communication from an Evaluator such as “Good Work” is an indication of their score.
      • The Coach and Player Coordinator at any time may stop and instruct the players further, offer encouragement or
        discipline as they see fit.
      • Parents/Guardians may NOT join evaluation sessions. Evaluations are a fast-paced environment where any additional noise/distraction/obstacles may impact the performance of the session.
      • AGSA values setting up our players for success and will tailor the experience based on level. Lower Divisions and younger ages may have a more relaxed environment with a lot of verbal encouragement from Support Coaches and Evaluators.
      • The Coach and Player Coordinator may at anytime ask a player to leave if their behaviour is unacceptable. Swearing, Bullying, Gloating, Interrupting/Distracting or any unsportsmanlike behaviour will not be tolerated and will impact score. Support Coaches and Evaluators MUST tell the Coach and Player Coordinator if they witness this behaviour.

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  • PROCEDURE FOR PITCHERS U9-U19:
    • Pitching Evaluations for each Category are generally scheduled immediately before the General Skills Evaluation.
    • Pitchers will only be offered one (1) session to be evaluated.
    • Each pitcher must provide their own catcher (family member/teammate/friend). It is highly recommended that
      pitchers choose a catcher that is capable.
      Catchers under 18 must where a fielding mask.
    • Pitchers will be given an opportunity to warm up, and then called to evaluate. Evaluators will consider many
      factors, here are a few examples:
      • Mechanics
      • Pitch Placement
      • Velocity of Fastball and Change Up
      • Other Pitch Competency (Change-up, Drop, Rise, etc.)
      • Composure
        • *Pitch count is at the discretion of the Evaluators to confidently issue a score, each pitcher is unique
          and their allotted pitch count may differ.

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  • PROCEDURE FOR CATCHERS U11-HS:
    • Catcher Evaluations for each Category are generally scheduled immediately before the General Skills Evaluation.
    • Catchers will only be offered one (1) session to be evaluated.
    • Support Coaches will lead them through a series of drills and Evaluators will consider criteria such as:
      • Agility
      • Throw Accuracy
      • Framing Ability
      • Blocking Ability
      • Strength
      • Motivation
      • Determination
      • Responsiveness

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  • OBSERVATION AND REVIEW:
    Evaluators will observe players and complete the AGSA Player Evaluation Booklets. Evaluation scores are to be kept confidential. No Evaluator is permitted to share this information outside of the Evaluation Process. This is intended to protect the integrity of the process, reduce gossip, and avoid conflict.

    The Coach and Player Coordinator will review the results and have an open discussion with a board member committee to guide their decision process. Member history including Field IQ, consistency, commitment, overall behaviour and other criteria not easily discernible during evaluations will be considered in the Coach and Player Coordinator’s recommendation for placement.

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  • PROCESS OF INDIVIDUAL PLAYER PLACEMENT, TEAM SELECTION &
    DESIGNATION:
    • Scores from all sessions including General Skills, Pitching and Catching, and review for completeness and accuracy will then rank each player based on their best session in each area.
    • The Coach and Player Coordinator will present their results and recommendations to the Board Evaluation Committee. Together, they will use their experience and best judgment to determine final placement. The factors they will consider (not in a specific order):
      • Player Evaluation Ranking by Position
      • Player Attributes
      • Field Placement
      • Competition Level
      • Team Formation
      • Roster Structure & Size
      • *Player History
      • Team Harmony, Culture & Commitment Level.
        • The Selection committee, at their discretion, may allow the designated AGSA Head Coach to choose players from a narrowed selection.
    • *AGSA would like to convey that we understand each player may have personal or environmental factors that
      contributed to their player history. We also believe not all mistakes or conflict should follow a player into their
      next season. However, we must also recognize the negative impact one player (or their parent/guardian) can
      have on an entire team. It is our duty to review all information available and we are obligated to base our
      decisions on what will benefit the majority of our members. Decisions impacted directly by player history will be
      thoughtfully deliberated.
    • Level of Play Designation: Once a Team Roster is decided, the Coach and Player Coordinator along with the Board Evaluation Committee will determine level of play and division category for CMSA. This designation will be based on overall team skill level, potential for growth and/or commitment level of the team.
      • Calgary Minor along with AGSA strives to put forth a Division 1 team for each age category of play.
      • It may also be evident that two teams in the same category have a similarly skilled roster and commitment level. If so, they may choose to compete in the same Division.
      • Calgary Minor, during the season, may decide a team will be better suited for a different division based on their win/loss record and will revise their game schedule/division accordingly.

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  • ROSTER SIZE:
    • Each roster size will be determined by level of play, with an emphasis on expected commitment level. This can vary season to season. The guideline for U9 is 8-9 players. We try to structure a roster of 12-13 players from U11-U17/19 and will not form a team with fewer than 10 players.
    • AGSA Head Coach(s) for teams with a reduced commitment level may prefer a larger roster to ensure adequate attendance for game nights, especially in the high school division.
    • The goal is to balance team sizes and optimize playing time, while including as many athletes requesting to play, as possible. AGSA believes Roster sizes significantly above this guideline (without reason), are not what is best for player development and enjoyment.

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  • PLAYER NOTIFICATION:
    • The Placement, Team Selection & Designation Process can be lengthy, however please know the Selection Committee will make this a priority. We request the upmost patience during this time. Individuals will receive an email with their team information from their Head Coach as soon as possible after their team is formed.
    • The AGSA Head Coach will contact each player to welcome and confirm their commitment to the team.
    • Teams will be formed by oldest age category to youngest, and by highest division to lowest.

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  • FRIEND REQUESTS:
    • Friend Request (U9-U19): AGSA honours the value an existing friendship can bring to players who join a team together. Generally they will show more confidence while having immediate support from a teammate. We do our absolute best to honour friend requests. However, friend requests are at the discretion of the selection committee and there are some situations where we will not be able to accommodate. The most likely example is a difference in skill level. We evaluate and place our players with similar skill level so that our players have the most rewarding experience. A player placed on a team that exceeds their current skill level or knowledge can be intimidated, lose confidence or pose a safety risk. A player placed too low, can become bored as they will not be able to be challenged fairly. The great news is that softball is a very inclusive sport and players make fast friends on their team that they will form new bonds with. We hope parents can encourage their child to give it some time and not allow a refused friend request become a barrier for their child.

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  • VOLUNTEER POSITIONS:

    In order to run our program successfully we require many parent volunteer positions to be filled during evaluations:

    • Only Certified Coaches and Players are allowed in the gyms.
      • Parent Positions: Player sign-in and apparel sales.
      • Coaching positions: Drill helpers. All coaches must have their RAMP registration and Police Check before they can help in the gym. Email coach@airdriegirlssoftball.com for more information.

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  • EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS for Indoor Gyms – U9 – U19:

    • Equipment should be purchased before Evaluations
      • All Players MUST have their own CSA approved batting helmets with dual ear flapsfastened chin strap and attached face mask.
      • All Players MUST wear a jill/cup.
      • All Players MUST have a fastpitch softball glove.
      • All Players MUST have clean, non-marking runners.
      • Players may bring an ASA approved bat.
      • Players are asked to wear comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle.

      **If practicing for a back catching position, players will be required to cover their knee/shin pads with thick hockey socks. Please bring these with you. 


Additional Requirements Ahead of Evaluations:

  • All U7 – U19 players are required to register with Softball Alberta’s RAMP for affiliation and insurance – click here for more information.

  • Please submit your players proof of age, either a copy of your player’s birth certificate or health card, to registrar@airdriegirlssoftball.com