(Updated Jan 1, 2014)
At the beginning of each new football season, junior players (if required) are graded into teams in different divisions based on ability level. The grading process gives all players the opportunity to demonstrate their talents to a variety of unbiased selectors thus giving all players (irrespective of the team they played with in the previous season) a chance to play in the highest division in the new season. The Club holds this as important in providing equal opportunity to all players.
Young player’s abilities can change dramatically during a 12-month period. A player who is graded into an “A” team in one season must try out again in the following years to win a position in the “A” team. This is the best format to maintain equality of opportunity.
Care must be taken to cater for those who have average ability (or less) but still love the game. It adds to their enjoyment if they are playing with and against players of similar or equal ability. This gives each child the chance to fully participate, enjoy the experience and develop to his/her full potential as a player. Past experience has shown that it is frustrating for any individual to play in a team which is clearly above or below their level of ability. Grading must help all players of all abilities.
The Committee has the care and, to some extent, control of the Club and its members/players. It is the Club (rather than individuals) that enter teams into various competitions.
The grading policy is designed to address a number of player and club needs, some of which invariably conflict. The fundamentals of the grading policy are designed to ensure:
- That a clear process for the grading of new and existing players is provided each year.
- The possibility of bias is minimised by using an appointed grading manager to be the arbiter of the trial process.
- All players have the maximum opportunity to play in a competitive environment, appropriate to their skill and ability.
- Players learn from their peers and develop an appreciation and love of the game.
- The club can field competitive or 1st teams in each age group.
- There is a clear pathway for players to progress within the club from under 6’s to over 40’s.
- Support of a club culture that takes priority over individual team culture.
- Players, coaches and parents alike, have FUN, enjoy the season, and return to the club year after year.
3.0 PLAYING PHILOSOPHY
3.1 SMALL-SIDED GAMES (MiniRoos – formerly SSG)
At the MiniRoos level the emphasis is clearly in favour of fun, participation, social interaction and learning. Since small children do not regard winning with quite the same fervour as older children, MiniRoos match results are never recorded. It is expected that team officials and parents will not let their own ambitions spoil the enjoyment that the children gain from playing the game of football. Although these principles dominate our approach to sub-junior sport, the club also recognises that this is the best time for football players of the future to learn the basic skills. For this reason, the club encourages MiniRoos coaches to attend recognised FNSW coaching courses.
3.2 JUNIOR TEAMS (GRADED TEAMS)
As players progress through their teenage years, the game becomes more competitive and winning assumes a higher priority (relative to younger players). To accommodate these changing attitudes all junior graded teams are progressively allowed greater flexibility in the areas of team composition and playing time, although this does not mean that winning should be at the expense of the club’s values.
3.2.1 CONDUCT, PARTICIPATION and PERFORMANCE
The club believes that all junior graded teams should be competitive and we therefore endeavour to appoint only experienced, qualified coaches. However, the primary objectives are to encourage and educate players and teams rather than placing emphasis on winning individual games and producing league champions.
Although it is recognised that a player’s ability may begin to partially determine playing time, all registered and financial players who regularly attend training sessions must be given “ample and fair” playing time. “Ample and fair” playing time is defined as approximately one half of a match. With the continuation of the interchange player rule, there is no reason why players should not have ample playing time in all matches.
4.0 GRADING SELECTION PANEL
Responsible for co-ordination of the grading process.
Assist the Grading Manager in assessing players’ skills. The nominated person should have a good knowledge of the game and the skills required in order to differentiate player skill levels. Persons nominated to coach in a particular age group are able to apply to be age graders. Age graders can be appointed on the day of grading by the BJFC executive. In the interests of obtaining a broad overview of player standards in a specific age group all selectors are encouraged to observe as many matches as possible of that age group over the course of the preceding season.
Provide help with the grading session to co-ordinate players, equipment and paperwork. No experience necessary.
THE GRADING COMMITTEE
Shall be determined by the BJFC executive committee. The grading co-ordinator will invite returning coaches to assist.
5.0 COACHING/MANAGER NOMINATIONS AND ROLES
Coaches and Managers interested in volunteering for the following year are able to nominate from the completion of the current season. Coaches and Managers are welcome to coach any division, but as grading will take three weeks, they will not know which team their child will be selected in. Therefore a final allocation of coaches and managers will occur once grading has been confirmed. All coaching and managing appointments are at the discretion of the executive and committee when required.
6.0 GRADING PROCESS AND TIMETABLE
Grading is compulsory for all players (U12 or older) where there are more than 16 players in an age group and is held according to age group over two sessions (where possible). The grading process shall commence as soon as the Committee has completed registrations and the likely number of teams in each age group has been determined. Grading dates and times will be notified during the registration process.
If a new player does not attend grading, they will automatically be graded into the lowest division and provided an opportunity to re-grade prior to the season commencement if it’s determined that their skill and ability is of a higher standard than the lowest division.
All players must be graded and play in the age group in which they are registered. The only exceptions are:
- If the age group has a surplus number of players beyond the coach’s requirements and the age group above can accommodate those players; or
- If in the previous season, a player was granted permission to play up an age group, that player may elect to do the same the following season.
Exceptions are at the discretion of the grading committee and in consultation with the players and their parents.
Each player being graded is to be individually assessed in accordance with the Grading Criteria. All grading is to be based on the Football NSW curriculum where possible and can be found at http://www.footballnsw.com.au.
The assessment not only takes into account skill, but also attitude and work ethic.
At the conclusion of the grading process, the Grading Committee shall meet to review and discuss the formation and allocation of individual players to each team.
Where practicable, any members of the grading committee shall not undertake an active role in the grading of their own child. External assistance should be sought, in such cases.
At no stage will BJFC provide a guarantee to any individual player or parent to place children in a team that they believe would be best for their own personal gain or based on their belief of what may be best. The club philosophy is to grade players through the club system via an experienced team. The panel will ensure all players receive fair and equal opportunity. Should players or parents be unhappy with grading decisions, they can go through the BJFC dispute resolution process where a review will occur to investigate any player or parent dissatisfaction.
No player will be guaranteed placement in a particular team. Player and parent expectations may differ with selectors and BJFC will not allow players or parents to discuss an individual player’s ability or preferences with individual selectors. Upon confirmation of teams from our selection panel players or parents have 24hrs notice to lodge a complaint should there be any disputes. A written letter addressed to the BJFC executive committee is required, which will be reviewed and responded to within 7 working days.
Players are placed into teams, according to the likely best fit between the player’s skill and abilities determined through the grading assessment, personality/attitude and the requirements of the team.
The grading process begins at the completion of each season. All coaches will be required to complete a confidential team analysis to evaluate the individual skills and abilities of all players within their team. Coaches have the advantage of seeing how players develop throughout the season so they are able to assess 16 week’s of play rather than a few end-of-season games or trials. Coaches also provide the best assessment of a player’s reliability, work ethic and attitude.
Key elements of the assessment are:
- Assess the player’s performance throughout the year, against a range of pre-defined criteria
- Where possible, core players will be placed in the same team in the following season. However this cannot be at the expense of a player from a lower grade or a new player who is of greater ability.
- Identify whether the grade the player is currently participating in is appropriate for his or her level of skill and ability, or if they would benefit from playing in a different grade.
Confidentiality is to be maintained at all times. The assessment of any individual player should not be discussed with anyone else (except that player and/or their parents/caregivers).
All completed assessments are to be forwarded to the grading manager for use in the grading process the following year. A central database is to be compiled of the completed assessments for each age group. This is to be used to commence the grading process at the start of the following year.
In summary, all players must be graded to ensure that they are placed in a team consistent with their demonstrated level of skill and ability. This ensures we maximise the fun and enjoyment of playing the game of football for every player.
Once assigned to a team, players will train with their respective coaches.
Ideally, all teams in an age group will train at the same time to allow interaction between teams as the coaches see fit. However, this is not always possible as training times are dependent on the schedules of each individual coach.
Coaches shall meet regularly and are encouraged to discuss their team’s and player’s capabilities.
During the season, players may move between teams but only as allowed for by the Football South Coast “Rules of Competition” and as deemed necessary by their coaches.
The coaches in any age group should act for the benefit of all players in that age group and not just for the members of their team.
In the best interest of the players and the club, the BJFC committee may act outside of this policy in the forming of teams. This may occur in special circumstances and will be at the discretion of the BJFC committee.
8.0 QUESTIONS, APPEALS & SUGGESTIONS
Should you have any questions or queries regarding the grading process, policy or results please forward your information request via email to the Club Secretary, clearly marked to the attention of the Grading Committee.
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Where & when am I playing?
Balgownie Junior Football Club Incorporated ABN: 91 822 455 631
Clubhouse: Para Street, Balgownie
Postal address: PO Box 157, Fairy Meadow, NSW 2519