Travel Program

Travel Program Overview

The Travel program provides a more competitive alternative to our City program and requires a commitment to playing for two seasons. Teams typically practice twice a week and play games on Saturday mornings in Newton or neighboring towns. Many teams also attend tournaments, particularly on Memorial and Columbus Day weekends.

Placement on travel teams is determined by each player’s skill level. Registrants are divided into grade-based divisions and placed on teams that range from division 1 (highly skilled, highly competitive) to division 4 (less skilled, more recreational). No matter what the divisional level, girls enjoy wearing the Newton travel uniform and representing NGS in spirited competition with teams from other communities.

The primary determination for placement is the evaluation prepared by each registrant’s prior NGS coach, and secondarily by her performance in assessment sessions held each spring for the next soccer year. In the event that a player is unable to attend an assessment session, placement will be based solely on the players last coach evaluation, and / or whatever other data is available to the travel committee. There are no “make up” assessment sessions. Our assessments are not “tryouts” — everyone who registers on time will be placed on a team.


League Games

NGS Travel teams play in the Boston Area Youth Soccer league — or BAYS for short. Your daughter’s team could be placed in a section that contains teams from any town that’s a member of BAYS, and you will have one away game per season at each town in your section. The furthest towns in BAYS are approximately 22 miles from Newton. Travel teams play a ten-game schedule with 5 home and 5 away games. Games are typically Saturday mornings, but rescheduled games (due to, for example, rain outs) could be at other days and times.

Standard Age Groups and Game Times

(Not Guaranteed)

Grade 3

10:30 AM

Grade 4

11:45 AM

Grade 5

10:30 AM

Grade 6

11:45 AM

Grade 7/8

9:00 AM

Travel Team Commitment Agreement

Before registering your daughter for the travel program, you are asked to electronically sign a commitment agreement. Please read the agreement carefully and discuss the requirements with your daughter. If there is any doubt that she will be able to fully participate, please consider registering for the City Program instead. It is not fair to teammates and coaches to accept a roster spot if a player and her family are unable to make the necessary commitment.

Note: Players are expected to prioritize their travel team commitment during the soccer season. Athletes who play private club soccer or other sports in the same season should only register for the travel program if they will consistently attend at least one travel team practice per week and make a sincere effort to attend every game.


By registering, I [player and parent] understand that I am joining the Newton Girls Soccer Travel Program for Fall 2024 – Spring 2025. My commitment includes BOTH the fall and spring seasons.

I understand that by committing to my assigned team and to NGS I will be expected to participate in all team activities, including at least one practice per week, league games, and tournaments.

I understand that my teammates rely on me to show up at team activities consistently, on time, and ready to play. By registering for this program, I am promising myself and my teammates to live up to this commitment.

In case of an emergency, illness, or conflict with an important family, school or religious event, I will notify the team manager and / or coaching staff in a timely manner.

I understand that any unexcused or frequent absences may impact my playing time during games, as well as my future team placements.

Player Commitment:

Two Seasons: Teams are formed in the fall and stay together through the spring. Registration for all age groups in the travel program is for two seasons.

Attendance: Players are expected to participate in at least 75% of team activities, including scheduled practices, league games, and tournaments.

Practices: Travel teams practice a minimum of two times per week for the duration of the fall and spring seasons. A player cannot be in the travel program if they cannot regularly attend at least one practice per week.

Fall Games: 10 games on Saturdays in September, October and November

Winter Indoor Training: Optional. Players are encouraged to register for the NGS winter futsal skills program.

Spring Games: 10 games on Saturdays in April, May and June

Tournaments: Coaches, in consultation with their players, decide whether they want to register for special tournaments such as the Natick Fall Classic or the Needham Memorial Day tournament. Participating families will cover those fees. (Financial aid is available.) Eligible teams may also register for the BAYS President’s Cup, which is a single-elimination tournament played during the spring season alongside the team’s regular game schedule. NGS pays the registration fee for the BAYS President’s Cup.


Assessments are only for Travel teams. Rising 3rd – 8th graders are invited to attend an assessment session each spring, usually in late-April or early-May, to help us make placement decisions for the following fall and spring seasons. The schedule is posted on our website several months in advance.

Travel players are placed on teams that range from division 1 (highly skilled, highly competitive) to division 4 (less skilled, more recreational). The primary determinant for which team a girl is placed on is the evaluation from her prior coach. The information gathered from the assessment session is secondary. We know that girls sometimes have a bad day, and an assessment result that is inconsistent with a player’s coach evaluation will be discounted in the selection process. There is no minimum bar that has to be met. All girls of the appropriate age who register for travel before the deadline are placed on teams.

In the event that a child is unable to attend an assessment session, placement will be based solely on the player’s last coach evaluation, and / or whatever other data is available to the travel committee. There are no “make up” assessment sessions.

Registered players will receive an email confirmation several days before the assessment session, including time and place of the assessment. In case of bad weather, check the NGS website to find out if assessments have been postponed.

Newton Girls Soccer goes to great lengths to ensure that every girl has the opportunity to try out for a team and to evaluate all players consistently. This process involves a degree of subjectivity, and because some girls inevitably are not placed on the team that they would like. The philosophy of NGS is that each player deserves the chance to try out for and be placed on a team on an annual basis. Efforts are made to avoid “tracking” of girls and to recognize that a young girl’s skills and motivations change over short periods of time.

The structure of assessments includes a technical warm-up, small-sided games and larger sided scrimmages which will evaluate players in the four pillars of the game – Technical, Tactical, Physical and Psychological. Each of these games is watched by a group of evaluators who are experienced soccer coaches or players and, when possible, are not directly connected or interested in the age group trying out. Also, the evaluators are not involved in selecting the actual teams within the age group, but are assigned to provide an impartial evaluation. These evaluations are coupled with the written evaluations of Spring coaches to be used during the player selection process. Coaches’ evaluations from prior seasons are not used in this process, so that girls start each season with a “clean slate.”

The age group coordinators organize the assessments in a way that will be fun and will lessen anxiety among the girls and their parents. Parents are asked to stay at a distance from the field and to refrain from cheering or making any comments. Any type of assessment involves some level of anxiety, and it is important to have the support of parents to keep things in perspective.

Player Selection Process

In June, after completion of the spring season, the NGS Travel Committee meets to form the travel teams. The first step is the selection of the coaches for the top one or two teams of each age group. The role of the committee is to make sure that each girl is placed on a team appropriate to her skills and to assure that all placements are rational and proper given all the information available on each player.

Please note players will potentially move up and down teams from year to year. Between the ages of 8 – 12 years old we in the soccer world know this period as the Golden Age when players develop their skills and technical ability the most. In addition, a player’s physique and athleticism will also change having an effect on their development.

As parents, the most important thing that you can do is to help to provide your daughter with a positive soccer experience. Support her if she chooses to try out for a team and support the team for which she is selected. Volunteer to coach or be the assistant coach or team manager. If you or your daughter is disappointed with the team selection, please know that these things tend to equalize over time. It is our goal, within the limits of our volunteer organization, to provide girls in Newton with the best soccer experience possible, whether they play travel or intramural on any one of our approximately 100 teams. Please contact the age group coordinator or travel chair if you have questions or comments.


Girls are notified of their team placement during the summer. Coaches are asked to keep team selections confidential until all teams have been formed. At that time, rosters are uploaded to TeamSnap and registrants are notified. The emails usually go out after the Newton public school schedule has concluded for the year. Spring high school team players are notified of their assignment by their coaches in early April.

Roster Size

NGS has an open roster policy — everyone who registers on time is placed on a team. (See late registration policy) Therefore, one of our most challenging tasks is dividing the total number of registered players into teams that have sufficient numbers for practice and games, but are small enough to maximize playing time. To address this issue and create the best learning and playing environment for our girls, NGS has established minimum and maximum roster sizes for each age group that are in line with US Youth Soccer guidelines. Exceptions may only be made with approval from the Travel Program Committee. Coaches do not decide how many players are placed on their teams.

Grade 3-4 (7v7)

Min 11 – Max 13

Grade 5-6 (9v9)

Min 13 – Max 16

Grade 7-8 (11v11)

Min 16 – Max 22

Grade 9-12 (7v7)

Min 11 – Max 13

*Travel teams that are eligible for the MA Tournament of Champions (MTOC) may roster up to 22 players, but only 18 players are eligible to play in each game. For this reason, we usually limit those teams to 18 players.