For players in 3rd Grade and older we offer a competitive Travel program, with teams playing in the Boston Area Youth Soccer (BAYS) league against other local towns. BAYS is currently made up of 55 towns, and falls under the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association.
3rd Grade Travel is a Spring Only Program. 4th-8th is Fall and Spring
The BAYS Travel program runs in 2 separate seasons (Fall & Spring) of approximately 10 weeks with separate registration for each season for players and coaches.
Commitment The BAYS Travel program is a competitive program for the most skilled and committed players in Needham. Players are selected via a tryout/team selection process, and are expected to commit to the team for both Fall and Spring seasons (where applicable), with the expectation that the player is regularly attending practices and games for their team.
7th/8th Grade In 7th/8th Grade all NSC players are placed on BAYS Travel teams (combined age group). Players are still placed via the same selection process, but some of those teams are at a more recreational level. For players selected for higher tier teams, the same commitment is expected.
Click the headings below to learn more about our BAYS Travel program
The BAYS Season
For Grades 3-8, the BAYS season consists of:
2 weeknight practices*
3rd-6th Grade: typically, but not always 6-7.30pm practices
7th-8th Grade: typically, but not always 7.30-9pm practices
3rd Grade is a Spring only program. In the Fall, all 3rd graders play in our ‘in-town’ NSCCL program
10 Game Season, 5 home games in Needham and 5 away games.
Up to 2 Tournaments per year e.g. Columbus Day/Memorial Day (optional, and decided by individual team/coach)
*Some of our recreational level 7th/8th Grade teams will have a mixture of team practices and combined clinic style practices with professional coaches from New England RevolutionAcademy.
Number of Travel Teams
Each year, we select the following Travel Teams with the aim of fielding the strongest possible teams at each age group:
Players per Roster
1 each gender
Fall & Spring
2 each gender
Fall & Spring
2 each gender
Fall & Spring
3 each gender
Fall & Spring
6-7 each gender (all players)
* MTOC eligible (BAYS division 1 or 2) 7th/8th Grade teams are limited to 18 players. Other teams may carry more.
Coaching A BAYS Travel Team
Our BAYS Travel teams are for the highest level players in the club, and as such our aim is to select coaches for the teams that will help nurture those players and assist in their development.
All coaches are volunteers.
Travel Coach Selection ProcessFor Top Team:
Coaches register as normal, but ensuring they do so before the early Travel Coach registration deadline (see below for deadlines).
An NSC Coach Selection Committee will meet before tryouts to review potential coaching candidates.
In accordance with club by-laws, the committee will use information collected in registration (including, but not limited to: coaching experience, coaching licenses, playing experience or background in the game) to “slate” coaches in order of most to least qualified.
All slated coaches are invited to watch tryouts to take their own notes, and encouraged to get out and scout players during current season.
Following tryouts, Committee will review all relevant data to ensure the top slated coach’s child is a viable selection for the Travel team.
1st slated coach is confirmed before the selection meeting (if the coach’s child is deemed not a viable selection for the top Travel Team, the coach is asked to defer to the next slated coach).
Travel Coach Selection Process For Other Teams: following on from the above process
Coaches for B, C, etc teams are selected from the slate.
As above, prior to selection meeting, committee will review relevant data to ensure the child of any slated coach is a viable selection for Travel.
Coach of B Team, C Team, etc is expected to be fluid up until the selection of teams at the selection meeting. For example, if the 2nd slated coach’s child is chosen for the ‘A Team’, the 3rd slated coach will move up the slate.
Tryouts/Travel Team Selection
When are tryouts/selections held?
Spring each year, to select teams Travel teams for the following Fall-Spring year, for Grades 4-8. e.g. Spring 2019, to select teams for Fall 2019-Spring 2020 year.
Fall each, to select Travel Teams for the following Spring, for Grade 3 Only. e.g. Fall 2020 to select 3rd Grade teams for Spring 20201.
Tryouts dates and time slots are announced each year.
Tryouts are not mandatory to make a Travel team, but attendance is recommended.
Players register as normal, but players wanting to be considered for Travel teams should do so before the early Travel registration deadline (see below for deadlines).
During the season, Coaches of current teams (NSCCL and existing Travel teams) complete an evaluation for their team, submitted to the Director of Coaching.
Following tryouts, data is collated by the evaluators and submitted to the Director of Coaching.
Ahead of selection meetings, slated coaches (see above for coach selection process) are invited to meet with the DOC to review all player data.
Slated coaches are encouraged to attend games during the current season to scout players in action and start to get an idea of possible candidates for selection.
A selection meeting is held, with slated coaches and all current NSCCL & BAYS coaches in the relevant age group(s) encouraged to attend. At the meeting data is reviewed, and coaches have an opportunity to provide feedback on players they have worked with or played against.
Boys/Girls Directors collect final chosen rosters (along with 1-2 alternates) at the end of the meeting and submit to club registrar, who ensures players chosen are all registered correctly and of appropriate age group for the team.
Once confirmed by the registrar, Head Coach of ‘A Team’ reaches out personally to each selected player asking them to confirm their commitment to the team and formally accept the roster spot. Should anyone decline, coach will move to their next alternate.
Above process is then followed on by any “B”, “C”, etc teams coaches where applicable.
Once roster spots are all confirmed, email notifications are sent to all players to inform that selected have been notified. Any players not selected for Travel will be placed on teams in our ‘in-town’ NSCCL program (3rd-6th grade players).
All coaches and any other attendees at selection meetings are instructed to keep all data, discussions, and any information about selected rosters/players strictly confidential until official announcements are made by the club.
7th/8th Grade Teams:
7th/8th Grade teams are selected via the same process as above. However, all players/teams in this age group are selected to Travel teams of varying levels.
What Happens At Tryouts?
Each age group session is 90 minutes, organized by Director of Coaching along with our Travel Director and Club Administrator/Registrar.
Players should bring a soccer ball, and wear appropriate soccer clothing (including shin guards and cleats). Players are asked NOT to wear any existing Travel uniforms or club team uniforms.
Players should arrive early (15 minutes before start time) where they will be checked in and assigned a numbered pinnie to wear for the tryout.
Once checked in, all parents are requested to stay away from the field of play to allow players/coaches space to play/evaluate freely.
The on field evaluations are lead by Director of Coaching, Matt Murray and professional independent evaluators from the New England Revolution Academy staff, with experience and expertise in working with players in the age group, to provide unbiased, objective evaluation.
Each tryout session will see players rotate around 5 different skill stations, with players scored 1-5 on 2 topics per station, for a total score out of 50.
Stations: 1v1 station, passing/possession station, finishing station and 2 4v4/small sided game stations.
After tryouts scores are submitted to Director of Coaching to be collated ahead of the selection meeting.