Website Manager

Tophat Soccer Club



NTH Academy Tryout Information for Rising 8U Players (Red Shorts)

This information is offered to help you understand the Academy Program provided by our affiliate, NASA/Tophat (NTH).  This is  a question and answer format based on the numerous enquiries we have had in the past.  Academy players are selected during tryouts which will be held in late May.  Keep in mind that there are limited spaces, so you must be prepared for whatever happens regarding the tryout.  The information below applies to those players who are chosen for the new Academy team.  Please note that the Academy Program is administered by the NTH staff that will run the tryout.  If you tryout and do not make Academy, we will hold your spot in the Little Hatter program which is administered by the Tophat Soccer Club.  You can always email us if you have further questions.


1.         Who will be coaching my Hatter?

       The academy coaching team is led by Ted Colburn, [email protected], 404-509-2750

       Your Hatter will also work extensively at practice and will be coached on game day by the other amazing academy coaches

2.         Wow, academy soccer is complicated, who really keeps things moving?

Your parent volunteer team managers!

       They will be assigned after tryouts are complete

3.         Who is on my Hatter’s team?

       Your Hatter will be a member of a 20 to 28 player pool

       Rosters will change weekly and your Hatter will have the chance to play with many different teammates during the season

4.         How do I sign up?

       Registration will open on Academy signing day (early June).  Go to the NASA/Tophat web site at to register.

5.         How will I receive information? 

       Email will be the primary method of distributing information - keep those smartphones close!

       Contact Information – Your new manager will set up a communication system at the appropriate time.

6.         When will my Hatter get her uniforms?

       All new Academy players will order their uniforms online.  Instructions will be provided by your manager. 

       Uniform Sizing –

      o   We will will announce when Academy players can go to the office to try on sample uniforms to confirm sizing

      o   Take the time to get the correct sizing - avoid heartache later (imagine an 8 year old in tears when it does not fit and she cannot play)

7.         My Hatter can’t wait for soccer to start, what will she do all summer?

       Summer Training – Starts early June, Monday thru Thursday each week (excluding the week of July 4); morning and evening sessions; see Nasa/Tophat web site for time and cost information:

       Team Camps -
Session I – TBD
Session II - TBD | times on website @ NASA/Tophat.  This camp is mandatory and the cost is included in registration.

8.         When does Fall practice start?

       Regular Practice – Two days a week from 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Tophat, beginning early August. 

       Optional Training – Two days a week from 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Tophat; Cost is $150; expect optional practices will start after Labor Day

       Friday Clinic - Friday from 4:30 - 5:30 @ Tophat; expect the cost to be $150 and that it will start after Labor Day

       For all practices:

o   Hatters generally arrive 10-15 minutes early (don’t be last or worse, late) to get the socializing out the way, stretch, tie shoes, ect.

o   Hatters wear their practice t-shirt, their uniform socks and shorts, shin guards (under the socks), have a size 4 soccer ball and a water jug

9.         My Hatter can’t wait for competition, when do the games start? 

       Season starts early Sept., the new Academy players will probably not play in pre-season tournaments

10.       Who decides my Hatter’s roster assignment for each game or tournament?

       All player roster decisions are made solely by the coaching staff

11.       When will the regular Fall season start?

       Expect games each Saturday (occasional Sunday), beginning Saturday, early September and continuing through mid November. 

o   No soccer Labor Day weekend

        Expect the Fall regular season tentative schedule to be published in late August / early September

o   Caution - the schedule can and will change and most importantly rosters vary from week to week

o   It is very hard / impossible to predict when your Hatter will play any particular weekend until the final schedule and rosters for that weekend are published.  The goal is to publish schedules and rosters for the following weekend by Tuesday night each week

o   Don’t ask, we will publish the information as soon as it is ready

        Bottom line - flexibility is important in soccer, stretch often

12.       When will the Fall season end?

       Mid November

       P.S. - soccer never really ends - stay tuned for information about winter training and the following Spring  season

13.       Wow, all these games and travel - who pays for all this fun?

       Your Tophat Registration Fee covers costs associated with the regular Fall and Spring seasons (i.e. games, fields, referees, coaching, practices, etc.)

       Tournament costs (info only, not applicable to first year Academy) are NOT included in Tophat registration fees - rather, the team is responsible for these expenses

o   Costs are allocated for each event on a per player basis based on rosters, rain or shine

o   Costs vary for each event, in particular whether it is local or out of town - we have budgeted an aggregate of $275/player(estimate) for the Summer/Fall Tournaments.  If needed, we will collect additional funds if costs are greater than expected (e.g., because we participate in additional events)

o   Player balances are carried over from season to season, year to year

14.       What if my Hatter has a conflict and cannot participate in a practice, game or tournament?

       The academy program is competitive and players are expected to attend all practices and games apart from certain family events, mandatory school functions and Church functions.  Nevertheless, the Club recognizes that things come up and conflicts do arise.  For games and tournaments, you will receive periodic email requests to indicate your Hatters availability.  Once regular practice begins in August, if your Hatter will not be at a training session, you can email the team managers at least a day in advance, other than in the case of sickness, and they will let the coaches know.

15.       What are the expectations for my Hatter on Game Day?

       Your Hatter should be rested and hydrated for each game.  For example, a sleepover the night before a morning game is not a good idea nor is a pool party before an afternoon game.  Have your Hatter at the field ready to warm up 45 minutes prior to game time.  Your Hatter should be in the correct uniform set as instructed in the email for that game; in addition, your Hatter should always have ALL her other uniform pieces, including jerseys, shorts and socks, in her bag with her at all games in case a uniform switch is needed.  Your Hatter should always have her ball and adequate water at each game.

16.       The weather looks iffy, how do I find out if practice or a game is cancelled?

   Tophat field status updates are sent directly to your email or by text message to your cell phone!  Be sure you are signed up to get these messages.  For events away from Tophat, team management will typically provide weather hotline / web site information for the venues where we are playing in the weekly email with rosters and the schedule.  In all cases, the weather hotlines / web sites are the best sources of field status information.  Team management will do their best to send an email to the team if an event is cancelled, but there is no reason to inquire, if they have pertinent information they will publish it they are able to do so.  Also, note that soccer is played in the rain and freezing cold - cancelation decisions are based on field conditions and threating weather (e.g., lightening) - you and your Hatter should be prepared for current and expected weather conditions.

17.       What can I do to help?

       It takes a village to pull this all off for the girls

       On the NTH Academy Contact Information spreadsheet, you can indicate if you are willing to help out on game days with paperwork etc.         Thanks in advance for agreeing to help out!

18.       What are the expectations for me as a Hatter parent? 

       Practice is not a spectator sport - enjoy your 1.5-hour break.

o   Parents do not cross the trench.

       Discussions with coaches - If you need to chat with a coach, please reach out via an email or call the coach to arrange a convenient time to meet or discuss the issue

o   Do not corral a coach after practice or a game

o   Logistical questions should be directed to team management

       Game Day

o   Support all the girls and, most importantly, no coaching from the parent sideline

o   Stay on the parent sideline, do NOT go over to the bench with the players and coaches except in the case of an emergency (let management know if you need help determining what that means)

       Tournament Week – execute the event waiver and release!

o   Each tournament requires parents to execute a tournament waiver, often electronic but sometimes we’ll need your actual signature

o   Please follow management’s directions and respond promptly (i.e., immediately is appreciated) to the waiver requests

o   Each tournament has check-in deadlines and you don’t want to be the reason the team cannot play because paperwork isn’t complete!

       Have Fun - there is really nothing like the Academy years and we are blessed to have the best program in the country for our girls - blink and it will be over

o   Be flexible, embrace the chaos and enjoy watching your Hatter grow with the game