County Evaluation Process
Following is an explanation of the tryout process for CAC county basketball. The county has 3 leagues for basketball A, B, and C with the A league being the most competitive, and C being the least competitive. CAC currently has the use of 5 gyms for its program. Each year we have over 700 players participating in CAC basketball for about 75 teams. I mention this because the limited gym time for practice limits how many teams we can place into the county leagues.
Each year we start with a clean slate for the teams, meaning no team members or coaches are predetermined. If a player played on a county team the year before, there is no guarantee that player will make a county team this year. The players are determined by their performance during the 2 days of tryouts. Coaches are determined after the players have been placed on teams.
The evaluators are experienced basketball coaches and usually do not have children playing in the age group they are evaluating. Some of the evaluators coach AAU teams outside of CAC and have no children in the program. They do not know who the child’s parents are or what other sports they play. They are evaluating the player’s basketball abilities.
The goal of county tryouts is to create the most competitive teams to play in the appropriate county leagues. Teams are formed by selecting players that will form a competitive team, so we do not necessarily pick the 10 most athletic players. We do not score each player and then take the 10 players with the highest average score.
For each session we start with some skill stations. These results give the evaluators a general idea of a players basketball skill, but the most important part of the evaluation is how the players perform in the scrimmages. During the scrimmage evaluators are looking for several factors:
1. Speed and endurance – does the player transition quickly from one end of the court to the other
2. Hustle – does he go after loose balls and move without the ball
3. Defense – does he stay with his man and play good defensive position
4. Court awareness – is the player in the right places on the court in different situations
5. Passing – does the player make smart passes
6. Shooting – does the player take smart shots
These factors are not all inclusive and are subjective. Each session we have at least 3 evaluators. The evaluators are asked to select the 10 players that would make the best team. So they are looking for point guards, shooting guards, and big men. In age groups with multiple teams they are asked to list the 10 players for the next best team, and so on.
You will often see the evaluators meet in the center of the court to compare observations. This is one way we try to make sure players are not overlooked. If evaluators have different opinions on certain players, we may create 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 situations to get a better look. We ask the evaluators to come to a consensus on their selections. The goal is to try to make sure every player gets a fair evaluation.
I admit this process is not perfect; we have limited time and a large number of players. We strive to make the tryouts fair by having multiple sessions and multiple evaluators. Please keep in mind that everyone involved in the basketball program is a volunteer and we are doing the best we can.