Team selection is probably the most contentious and possibly divise process that we have and needs to be absolutely transparant and performed as a group NOT as an individual. We need to recognise the senstivities that coaches, parents and players have and therefore not encourage a view of elitism eg. one team is more important than another.
At Barnies, we have chosen to have team selection AFTER registration - this is an important differentiator of our club and should be promoted.
The reasoning behind this process is we do NOT register on ability but on previous membership and the likely contribution of the parent. It helps build our culture and therefore promotes the notion that being part of Barnies is more important than the team played for. Fun for all is our objective and winning is an outcome.
However, we recognise that children need to be challenged and we also want a friendly competitive environment.
To ensure we encourage the development of individual capability, Barnies have adopted the FFV structure of Joeys, Wallabies and Kangaroos. This enables children to be challenged within their own age group rather than move up an age group. It also ensures that players will participate with children of similar ability and thereby ensuring greater inclusion within the game ie. they have a chance of getting the ball.
There is a detailed mechanism already in place for selection and this will be posted on our website so parents understand how their children will be assessed.
In selection, we try to accomodate friendships however this is not always possible. Where there is seperation of friends due to selection criteria eg. if one friend is selected for Joeys and another is selected for Wallabies, and this selection caused the child distress, then a choice needs to be made. We can not promote a Joey to a Wallaby but, provided there are no extenuating circumstances, we can put the friends together in the Joeys. An option may be provided for the Wallaby's parent to have their child play in the Joeys. This becomes the parent's choice NOT a coaches issue.
The team selection needs to be supported by the coaching mechanisms. Coaching can either reinforce elitism or act as the framework for inclusion.