Team Swaps Explained

Information for City/Town Organizations Regarding BAYS MIDSEASON TEAM SWAP GUIDELINES – Grades 3-8 and High School teams in 912 7v7, Grade 10, and Grade 12.

The BAYS team placement process results in appropriate placements for the vast majority of teams. However, despite the fact that BAYS has a placement system that is heavily based on the judgment, input and evaluation of teams by those who know them best–the town organizations–there are times when a team is significantly misplaced. For those teams, BAYS has a mid-season swap process designed to offer relief to the most seriously misplaced teams.

How Does the Process Work?

BAYS Division Directors monitor the competitive results in their assigned sections. After the third week of competition, they begin to review the results to determine if there are any teams that may have been seriously misplaced. If any teams are identified, the Division Director examines the sections above and below that team’s section to determine if there are any obvious swap partners. In most cases, swaps are initiated by BAYS. However, a town organization’s President, Registrar, or Travel Director may also contact the Division Director or appropriate BAYS Grade Director to request that a team be moved. 

Once a team has been identified as a swap candidate, the Division Director will attempt to determine whether a swap is needed or warranted. The Division Director may discuss the possibility of a move with the team coach and the town’s Club President, Registrar, or Travel Director, and will also try to identify a “swap partner." For every team that is moved down, a team must be moved up. A swap cannot be made unless an appropriate swap partner can be found. 

Swapped teams assume each other's remaining home/away schedule, even if that schedule differed from their original schedule. Swaps are made effective as of a particular Game Week. If a game is rescheduled from a game week prior to the effective swap week, it will remain against the original opponent even after the swap takes effect regardless of the calendar date. All of these games versus prior section opponents should be played.

If games from game weeks ON or AFTER the effective swap week are preplayed, they will be replaced on the schedule by games vs. the new opponents and must be played. Some teams may end up playing 11 games in this scenario. Caution should be exercised when processing swaps when only one of the teams has preplayed a game.

Swaps are kept as simple as possible. Most involve two or three teams swapping sections to improve overall competitiveness. All swaps must be approved by the appropriate BAYS Grade Director acting as the swap administrator for all swaps in their area of responsibility.

The following BAYS Grade Directors approve and implement the swaps in the listed areas. If you need to contact them directly, you can reach them through the BOD page

  • Grade Director Grades 9-12 All Divisions: Joe D'Amico
  • Grade Director Grade 8 All Divisions:  Reg Wilcox
  • Grade Director Grade 6 All Divisions:  Dick Penta
  • Grade Director Grade 5 All Divisions:  Barry Elliott
  • Grade Director Grade 4 All Divisions:  Evelyn Somers
  • Grade Director Grade 3 All Divisions:  Henry Brush

When Do Swaps Take Place?

Conceivably, a swap could occur at almost any time during the season. However, the majority are scheduled to be effective in weeks 4-6 of the playing season. 

Are All Teams Eligible to be Swapped?

Again, this process is only intended to provide relief for the most seriously misplaced teams. BAYS will not engage in wholesale modifications to team section assignments except under the most extreme circumstances. BAYS rarely moves teams in Grades 6-8 Divisions 1 and 2, which are MTOC-eligible sections. High School sections also generally do not have many swaps, but they are possible.

If We’ve Won or Lost All of Our Games, Does That Mean That We’ll be Moved?

Winning or losing your first few games or having a very positive or negative goal differential is not enough to make your team a swap candidate. Division Directors recognize that swaps are disruptive and will take all factors into consideration before suggesting that a team be moved. The swap process is not intended to benefit teams looking to fine tune their section assignments. It’s designed to provide relief for completely overmatched teams and to move those select teams that are completely overwhelming other teams in their section.

Swap decisions should strive to be the best decision for the players, to keep the games competitive, and to be fair to all. Sometimes coaches and officials may hesitate to swap, but BAYS initiates swaps for the good of the players, who are NOT having a good soccer experience. 

What if I think my Team Needs a Section Change? 

Let your Division Director know that you feel your team is overmatched or underchallenged. Sometimes goal differential numbers do not tell all of the story and we need the coach to communicate the issue to the Division Director. The Division Director can then be on the lookout for potential swaps to help remedy the situation.

If your team is seriously misplaced, you should also always contact your town organization’s President, Registrar, or Travel Director. Swap requests that are initiated by a team will not be recognized unless they are approved by the town organization. The President, Registrar, or Travel Director should also contact your BAYS Division Director to request a swap on your behalf.

What if BAYS has asked my Team to Swap with Another, but We’d Prefer to Stay in Our Current Section?

Teams that are contacted to participate in a swap should carefully consider the request being made. A change in your competitive section may be good for the players, accelerate their growth, and increase their enjoyment of the game. It also may allow you to make a better decision about their placement for the next competitive season. BAYS tries to craft swaps where both teams agree to the change. However, while you may certainly indicate that you would rather not make the change, you may NOT REFUSE to make the change if your Division Director indicates that it will be made. All section assignments are made by BAYS, and it reserves the right to change a team’s section assignment where it believes that the change will enhance competitive play. BAYS’ decision in this matter is final. 

What Should I do if my Team is Part of a Swap?

  1. Request a revised roster with your new section placement from your Registrar and make sure they have gotten it approved in the Roster Management system by the Division Director for your new section.
    • Use this revised approved roster for all future games, including any make-up games versus a prior section opponent. It is now your official roster. Discard any copies of your prior roster.
  2. Login to and use the blue envelope next to the coach names to contact all teams in your new section, especially your upcoming opponent, to exchange contact information and  confirm your revised game schedule. You should let your new opponents know how field closures are decided and communicated in your town. 
  3. Check your revised game schedule and play the listed games. It will still include games originally scheduled for a game week prior to the effective date of the swap, such as a postponed game against prior section opponents, even if it now falls after the effective swap date. All games against prior opponents should be played and the scores reported to the prior Section Captain. 
  4. Confirm with your town organization's field scheduler and referee assignor that they will make any changes to field and referee assignments as soon as possible.
  5. Let your team parents know that there have been schedule changes that will affect game locations and times. If they used the Synch to Calendar function on the BAYS website to subscribe to the team calendar, that will update dynamically and reflect the new schedule as it gets finalized. If the team is using an external team management app, that will need to be updated manually.

We’ve Been Asked to Participate in a Spring Season Swap, but my Team is Leading its Section. Will the Team Still Receive End-of-Season Awards? 

Awards are only given to section-winning teams in Grades 5 and above during the spring season. Section winners are not given t-shirts during the fall. If your team is asked to move during the spring and on the effective date of the swap it is leading its original section, the team WILL still receive the awards (t-shirts) that it would have received had it remained in and won its original section. Contact the Division Director of your original section by June 1 to confirm arrangements for the shipment of your team’s awards.

When is a Team Swap “Official?”

Swaps will be process in the Effective Game Week chosen by the Division Director. Swaps are “official” when the updates/swaps are reflected on the BAYS website. Contact your Division Director if you have been informed that the swap has been approved but it is not shown on the BAYS website.

How Will I Receive Notice that the Swap has been Approved?

Generally, swap approvals are communicated to the involved coaches, club officers, and other Division Directors by the Division Director who is most directly involved in the swap. Once the appropriate BAYS Grade Director approves the swap request, a system confirmation notice will be sent by the BAYS website to the affected team coaches, section captains, club registrars, field schedulers, referees, and referee assignors. Contact your Division Director with any questions.