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Selection Policy for Sport

“EVERY TIME I PICK A TEAM, I FEEL LIKE I HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME” - Gareth Southgate (England Football Team Head Coach)

Why is this?

Well sport is very emotive and all about opinions. Everyone has an opinion on who should be playing and in what position they should be playing, but the only one that matters is that of the coach of the team, who has the best interest of the team at heart.

The Sports Department is very visual and you get an opportunity to watch your children representing the school, which is fantastic. No other subject is on show, none of the teachers are watched taking their lessons, please just remember this.  

Life unfortunately, is about ups and downs sometimes winning, sometimes losing (or learning) as we prefer to say. Resilience is something that is very important in life and sometimes we can become too protective against this.

Ultimately we will do our best to manage the situation at school. It does not matter if your son or daughter has been moved from the A team to the B team or from set 1 maths to set 2 maths. Your child will react to your response, please try and make sure it is a positive one. Even if you do not agree with the decision at that time.

“I have been moved from the A team to the B team”

I think you will get more time and less pressure and I think it will improve your game.

“I have moved from set 1 to set 2”

Great, now you will be one of the best in the class and I am sure you will work better.

Turning what could be a negative situation into a positive one.

Please give the coaches time for the teams to settle down and be assured that as a department we meet after every games session and discuss the progress of the children. We also have to remember that not only do children move down, some move up.

Positions - The Big Debate

It is important that the coaches of each individual team are supported in not only team selection but also in what position they play. In most sports with the goal keeper all the same skills are required in all positions. I fully understand that 99% of the boys or girls all want to play up front and all score goals, but team sport does not work like that. We all understand that it is very possible that your child plays in a different position outside of school and does not fully understand the requirements of a new position. This is our job and it is important for us to educate the children and give them depth of knowledge across as many positions as possible. If you are a forward and you are playing in defence, there is so much you can learn from the experience.

We as teachers and coaches are looking to produce very rounded individuals across the sports we teach. Having a good understanding of the various positions and the variations on skills sets required to play in each of these positions. 

Team Selection

The School’s 1st XI, 2nd XI and 3rd XI boys are generally chosen from Years 7 and 8.  The senior girls will have their own netball fixtures but will be selected to play in a mixed hockey team with the boys (selection as above).  The U/11 hockey and cricket teams are chosen from Years 5 and 6 and the U/9 teams are chosen from Years 3 and 4, with priority given to Year 4.  U/11 football teams are chosen from Year 6 and U/10 football teams chosen from Year 5.  The school will field their most competitive team in each age group and team selection will be entirely down to the discretion of the member of staff supervising that team.  Inevitably there will be children who will be disappointed at their lack of inclusion on a regular basis in the senior teams.  In light of this, the school has introduced ‘C’ and ‘D’ fixtures both in the Christmas and Easter terms.  These teams would consist of children who do not normally represent the school at ‘A’ or ‘B’ team level.  However, the school does try and enable all children to represent the school at some point over the course of the year.  In essence, the school will try to produce the best players in each age group.

Team selection and participation may vary for external competitions, such as IAPS or National competitions.

In addition to inter school matches, St. Andrew’s runs a comprehensive inter House sports programme over the course of the year.  This by its very nature enables more children to play competitively for a team. Where possible, we endeavour to give every child the opportunity to represent their house.

There will unfortunately be some weeks when your child will not be involved in matches. They will be involved in a games programme which can be a double session of games or a games session and an activity session. We do our very best to get as many teams out each week, sometimes we have to fit in with other schools and try to match the teams up equally.

In Summary

Every child in the school is given ample opportunity to prove their worth on the games field and every effort is made to ensure the children are given a fair chance of selection in each sport.  It is important however, that children are not exposed to circumstances that may hinder their development.  This is likely to happen if they are grouped with other children of widely varying abilities.

In essence, St. Andrew’s School will try to produce the best two teams in each age group to represent the school in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams.  Other teams are less competitive and selection is based on giving as many children as possible an opportunity to play.  Overall, it must be stressed that good sportsmanship, and good conduct are more important to the school than purely the winning or the losing.

Ultimately the children are told what the staff are looking for is A&E - Attitude and Effort. If both these are met we will all be happy.