We’ve gotten a number of questions from parents, mostly, about “team formation,” which is what the clubs call it, and tryouts, which is what most normal persons would call it. But, either way, we’re not the total experts. Parents and kids who have been through it are the experts. But we know a few things that parents and kids should know, and here it is.
First. Unless you (or your daughter) have been asked back to your 2017 club or some other club and have what you understand to be a 100 percent iron-clad guarantee that there is a spot for you, unless that describes your situation, you better think about going to some open gyms and some tryouts, including your existing club.
Second. Get on the stick. The first open gyms are this Saturday, August 5. (For the record, open gyms are generally in August, tryouts are in September.) But, don’t let the distinction between open gyms and tryouts fool you. An open gym is a tryout, as far as that goes. Girls will get offered spots on teams at the open gyms, and if teams fill up in August, then those September tryouts won’t be so meaningful, will they?
OK, so that’s the basics. Unless you have an ironclad deal, you need to decide really within the next few days to the next week (one week) what teams you’re going to tryout for, and then go to the earliest events you can beginning with the open gyms.
Here are the clubs that have published information about team formation, open gyms and tryouts as of today, Wednesday, August 2. We’re not going to publish the entire list of open gyms and tryouts, go to the individual club Web sites for that. But we can give you some generalities.
First of all, NT is holding open gyms this year. As far as we’re aware, they haven’t done that the past several years, if ever. At this time in previous years, their Web site said something like, Tartan does not have tryouts, we populate our teams by personal, private invitations. Well, obviously, they’re still doing that, but they are also holding open gyms, looking for additional talent that they might otherwise have overlooked.
Their open gyms will be on Sundays, August 13, 20 and 27, 5-7 p.m. at Minnetonka HS. Contact Gerard Coury with questions. His contact info is on the Tartan Web site.
I will repeat. If you played for Tartan this past summer and you want to do so again next year, but you don’t have a private invitation and an ironclad guarantee that there’s a spot for you, you better go to Tartan’s open gyms and, frankly, you probably ought to be thinking about a couple other clubs you might want to visit as well.
The Fury, who pretty much invented the fall tryout period (clubs used to do team formation in the spring), is holding a bunch of open gyms at Chanhassan HS from Saturday, August 5 to Sunday, August 20 with some week nights also included in between there. Check the Web site for details.
Then the tryouts are Saturday, September 9, at Chaska HS. Wait, 7-8 open gyms and one tryout? That’s right, so that tells me they expect to get most of their business done at the open gyms. Contact Nick Storm for details. Again, his contact info is on the Web site.
I will repeat. If you played for the Fury this past summer and you want to continue to do so, but you don’t have what you would consider an ironclad guarantee that they have a space for you, then you should go to the Fury open gyms and, again, you might want to consider a couple other clubs to visit as well.
The Stars have open gyms from Tuesday, August 8 to Tuesday, August 15, with some weekend times in there, too. Their tryouts will be September 9, 10, 12 and 13, but you now know that their rosters will be half filled in August. So don’t dawdle.
And, I will repeat. If you played for the Stars this past summer and you want to continue to do so, but you don’t have what you would consider an ironclad guarantee that they have a space for you, then you should go to the Stars open gyms and, again, you might want to consider a couple other clubs to visit as well.
The Metro Stars will be fielding teams from the 6th through the 9th grade next year, nothing higher. The open gyms and/or tryout dates are not yet posted on the Web site. Ellen Wiese will coach the 7th graders, Andy Berkvam the 9th. They did not field 5th through 7th grade teams last year so they don’t have returning 6th through 8th graders, so these tryouts might not be quite as cutthroat competitive as some, though I’m sure the Metro Stars hope they are.
The Suns have published only two tryout dates for Saturday September 9 and Sunday September 10 at Cooper. The times are TBD.
Some might call the above “the big five” clubs, others might disagree. But I’ll say this. They’ve got tryout information published on their Web sites. The only other club I found with tryout information published online is PREP. They are having a tryout or an open gym, I forget which (but you now know that it doesn’t make too much difference what they call it), on Wednesday, August 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 at the Ronald Davis Community Center in Golden Valley.
Good luck to all. And, get on the stick!