With the recent release of our Class of 2025 Top 150 Player Rankings we want to share some information about our selection process to help people understand how we rank players and answer some of the looming questions about why one player is ranked, and another is not.
The Class of 2025 is now the 6th class of players we have ranked. The first was the 2018s with players like Erin Matson and Leah Crouse. Each time we complete a new round of rankings, we have more and more information to consider. With this increased access to information, selections get harder and it also now takes more for a player to stand out and make the list. Just because you are an all-state player, or a nexus selection, or a top player in your area, that doesn’t necessarily set you apart anymore. Almost all of the players on our lists we’re considering check more than one of those boxes.
So how do you get ranked? There is no exact formula we follow or steps a player must take to be ranked (although we have a couple of recommendations below). An explanation of our process may help you gain an understanding of how these lists are formed and provide some guidance on how an athlete can put themselves in the best position to be considered.
Here is our process.
We start collecting data on athletes as soon it’s available. Nexus selections tend to be the first time an athlete will come onto our radar. We have an extensive player ranking spreadsheet with tabs for each class. Right now, the youngest classes we’re tracking are 2027s and 2028s on our “youngsters” list. Every time new information and selections are released- we add a column to our spreadsheet. We compile this data for years for each class. For the Class of 2025, our first point of data is the 2019 National Futures Championship. The first recommendations we received for this class are from 2021.
Here is a list of some of the things we track:
- Nexus Regional selections
- Nexus National selections
- AAU Junior Olympics selections
- Stars & Stripes Game selections
- Junior National Camp selections
- Junior National Team selections
- Junior National Team tour rosters
- Indoor Junior National Team selections
- All-Region & All-American selections
- All-Region nomination information
- Major awards like All-State
- High School National Invitational All-Tournament Teams
- MAX Field Hockey player profile
- National Player Combine profile
- Recommendations from clubs, coaches, parents, anyone
- College Commitments
- Personal player profiles
- Highlight Videos
- Word of mouth
- Feedback from top college coaches
Throughout the year, we’re adding all of this data to each class of players. As we start working on a specific class, we sort through it all. The top players tend to rise to the top, especially for the top 50-80 players or so. Beyond that is where it is starting to get harder and harder.
We look at what the level of play is in the area the player is from, the level of their High School team, the performance of their Club team in that age group. Again, there is no set formula, but these are all things we consider. A player playing for a Top 10 High School Varsity program is going to be playing with top level players and competing every day at that level. That is worth something, and potentially more than a player scoring 30-40 goals in a weaker conference or area.
While an athlete doesn’t have to play for a Top 25 High School or Club, or do Nexus, or be an All-Region player, or participate in the National Player Combine, or do x, y, or z, they do need to prove themselves somewhere on a regional or national scale. They can’t just have a recommendation that says they are a Top 50 player and be plugged into the Top 50 list. We need some sort of “proof.” Our motto for the events we’ve added: “Prove it on the Field.” It doesn’t have to be at one of our events, you don’t necessarily have to do Nexus, and you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars attending this and that, but you do have to prove it somewhere, somehow. And that may be a really good highlight video. We watched 100+ highlight videos for the 2025s.
Following is the profile of the Top 150 players named for the Class of 2025 to give you an idea of the breakdown.
Class of 2025 Profile (Total 150 Players)
Junior National Team Members: 17
Junior Indoor National Team Members: 11
Junior National Camp Selections: 29
Nexus Championship Selections: 92
Nexus Championship Alternates: 2
AAU Junior Olympics Selections: 51
Stars & Stripes Game Selections: 34
Athletes that play for Top 25 High School Programs: 36
Athletes that play for the Current Top 25 U16 Club Programs: 71
Athletes that attended the NPC: 20
Athletes that have MAX Field Hockey player profile: 106
–Total 2025s that have a MAX Field Hockey player profile: 431
We are not able to provide individual feedback to why a player was or wasn’t ranked and why they were ranked where they were. It is all relative to the class as a whole. What we can say is:
- Create a MAX Field Hockey Player Profile. It is free and easy. You can put all of your High School, Club, USA Field Hockey accomplishments on there. You can also link to your highlight video or other Player Profile where you may have even more info.
- Create a good 3-5 minute Highlight Video. In real time (no super speed or slowed down). Make it clear who you are and show your play at a high level event.
- “Prove it on the Field” – sign up for Nexus, the National Player Combine, something where you will compete at the highest level with top players from outside of your area.
- Have a high-quality recommendation submitted by a coach who knows you well and knows how you compare to the top players in the country. It does not help to have your mom/dad, aunt, junior high, rec coach, etc. all send recommendations. More is not better, quality is better.
At the end of the day, while we know Player Rankings mean a lot to people, the reality is, they are not everything and certainly do not make or break an athlete’s future. And yes, we may miss someone or someone may end up deserving to be ranked higher (or even lower). Prove it on the field. Keep working hard and chasing your dreams. Just because you didn’t make the list this time around or think you deserve to be ranked higher, keep working hard and prove us wrong. We look forward to it!