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Organizing Middle School Tryouts

Mar 6, 2018
Small school, pretty decent talent through 10 players. 6th through 8th grade.

How many players do you keep? 12?, 14? (no mandate from school) Will have ~18 to 20 trying out.

How would you organize this?

In the past we've broken into groups, evaluated hitting, fielding/Throwing, base running, and catching fly balls over the course of 3 days.

I've seen others just run a normal practice for a couple days and then scrimmage.

What has worked for you to help separate players from non-players?
Apr 20, 2015
We have 14 on our MS team. Any more would be unmanageable unless you have an A and B and both can play games

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Dec 10, 2015
Chautauqua County
14 is the max and make sure everyone plays. cuts are based on what you see with your own two eyes and what you can envision with your mind's eye. so, yes, throwing, fielding, and A/C - attitude and coachability.
Mar 6, 2018
Thanks for the feedback. Yes I was thinking 14 max but 12 is a much easier number to manage.

We definitely look for those that have the ability to help down the road versus those with little upside.
May 17, 2012
I would keep them all unless they can't actually catch/throw/hit.

This is middle school. If you keep 18 you won't finish with 18. Between injuries and other activities it will work itself out.

If this were any other team other than middle school I wouldn't keep such a large number. If you keep 12 you will be in trouble by the end of the year.
May 6, 2015
how much help will you have? a lot depends on this. if it is just you, I would do 14 max. if you have a couple of people helping , maybe take them all, with the understanding the last 6 or so are practice players, assuming they are not a liability in practice (ie seem like they will be able to understand drills, not risk of injury , etc.). never know what you might develop
Mar 6, 2018
I will have 1 other person helping and a lot of days will have 2 others helping. We kept everyone last year...mistake and the better players suffered for it. We started with 18 and managed to hold on to them all until the last game of the year and we lost 2.

There is such a divide between the top and bottom. We had girls on the team that will never make players and trust me I'm as optimistic as they come. Some without an ounce of talent, others with a little talent but no desire whatsoever....asking to sit out after playing one inning in the field. That says a lot.

The hard part is that I have been around most of them through the local rec leagues for years and hate to see any cut. But there is no way I can endure what I endured last year. We will have around 10 that can clearly play and know the game. I'm thinking add 4 more with potential and grow them together.

Is there anything wrong with taking 14 and just letting the others know to work hard in the off season and try again next year.

Best case would be to have an A & B team but we do not have enough pitching or coaches to go around.
May 6, 2015
like I said, only take everyone if they can keep up (not necessarily ability wise, but comprehension wise, ie what the drills are, and how to do them) and are not safety risks if you have 4 girls running a drill without direct supervision (you and your help might be otherwise engaged). IF there is no drive there, that is a certain cut, figured if they were trying out they had drive.

Also, if they simply want to be part of a team, can you use a student manager or two? teach them to keep score, remind players of batting order as they come in from field, etc.
Jul 14, 2018
DD's MS team carries 14, with two student managers and three 'practice' players, who are invited to practice with the team but don't get uniforms and don't play in any of the actual games. The coach cut 4-5 girls who had a very low skill level.

DD is part of a large group of sixth-graders that have been playing travel for a while. To the coach's credit, she's recognized that the younger girls are the most talented and they have been starting over the returning players. They've often gotten pulled after two or three innings -- with the big difference in MS talent levels we've had a few 18-2 blowouts.

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