KPSA Fall Player Placement Procedures
This paper provides background information on how our teams are put together and addresses some questions that inevitably come up as a result of placements.
Players' placements are based on their scores from the June evaluation sessions. An average score is accumulated from all scores achieved. Scores are then sorted from highest to lowest average. Based on the number of players registered, we determine how many teams we will register and how many players will be on each team. From that determination, a cutting line is identified and players are placed on a team based on their score and the cutting line.
In order to provide the greatest degree of consistency and fairness to the process, we try to avoid making any adjustments to placements after scores are averaged. We recognize that the process is not perfect and that sometimes there are circumstances worth considering other than the hard number score. However, we have found that anytime we try to make a human adjustment in order to make something perceivably more fair for one person, it ultimately causes a ripple affect which has a tendency to make things less fair for someone else.
For that reason, we don't make adjustments unless there is some extraordinary circumstances or evidence to do so, and it can be done without bias or adversely affecting someone else's results.
Coaches are not designated until after we've finalized the rosters. (So no player is placed on a team based on where their parent is coaching.)
In spite of all of this, it is not unusual for a few players to feel that they were not properly placed. In most circumstances these are incoming 7th graders. Here a few things to keep in mind: The biggest concern usually comes from a player that may have been on their town's A or B team and is now on a lower team with KPSA. This result is not unusual when you consider that we field more teams, that the players are coming together from three towns (not every A team is equal) and that about half of our players are incoming 8th graders that played for us last year.
Experience indicates that even the best incoming 7th graders are nervous at evaluations and may not perform as well as they are capable. This is understandable when you consider that the new 7th graders are by and large unfamiliar with most of the other players being evaluated (as opposed to the 8th graders who have many more friends trying out since they were in the program the previous year). They also tend to be a little more apprehensive since they are playing on a bigger field with greater numbers for the first time.
In order to mitigate this to the greatest extent possible, we run both individual skills and group scrimmage evaluations and endeavor to get 12 scores for each player. We also start from zero each year. A player is not placed on a team just because that was the team they were on the previous year. A player that was on a lower team as a 7th grader has an equal opportunity to get on a higher team as an 8th grader as everyone else. Many organizations simply move players up based on team openings. In such circumstances if you're on the C team one year the best you can do the next year is to be on the C or B team.
One other note that seems to be unique to this year. Very seldom do 8th graders place on a team lower than they did as a 7th grader. This year that occurred, which is very unusual. We think the reason is that we have more players registered this year than ever before - which means we have more teams. And the teams are slightly smaller than last fall (16 players compared to 19 players). The result is that a player that was ranked 38th out of 90 last year and made the B team could be ranked 38th out of 96 this year and be on the C team.
After every season we have the coaches provide a written evaluation and ranking of their players. We use these to assess how well players were placed based on the June evaluation. Again, our process is not perfect (and we're always looking at improvements). But the end of season assessments indicate that we have a very high success rate at getting players placed appropriately. We attribute this to all of the points made above - individual & scrimmage evaluations, multiple scores, consistency to the numbers, and avoidance of anything that can be perceived as favoritism or placement based on "who you know."
If you still have any questions or concerns, or if you have constructive recommendations, please contact us.