Grading Policy

Grading Policy
Immediately after player registration days, the club begins the grading and selection process. The process differs depending on the age group involved.
The committee do their best to ensure that teams playing for St Ives:-
 – Have appropriately skilled players
 – Have appropriate numbers

We are required to grade all our players or teams and this includes social players.  We must provide NSFA with an accurate assessment of each team’s ability and this can only be done if players are accurately assessed. 
In some age groups  ( especially U8s – U13s) we require two grading sessions usually conducted over two Sundays in February. (may be some midweek sessions involved due to weather)

Under 6s and Under 7s team formation
Emphasis is on new player enjoyment and learning how to play.   We focus on forming squads based on a combination of school groups and social requests. Whilst we try to group players with friends and school mates there are many variables to consider that makes it impossible to guarantee all requests.    Therefore, team formation remains at the discretion of the Committee.  Squads are graded together to determine strength and experience.  We are required to provide NSFA with a ranking of all squads so they can be placed against squads of similar ability from other clubs. The ideal squad size in U6s and U7s is ten as this allows for 8 players on the field and two reserves.  The games are short and the players are learning the rules.  Forming larger teams does not benefit the players, however, consideration can be given to have up to 12 players per team depending on circumstances.
Players are NOT individually graded.

Under 8s  – Under 11s  Grading
Grading a large number of players has its challenges for all clubs. We are first and foremost a football club and our aim is to ensure each player is able to enjoy their games and develop their football skills at a level that is appropriate for them with players of a similar level.  The social aspect of football is important,  however, it is not the club’s role to place a priority on matching existing friendships.  We acknowledge that new friendships and experiences are an important part of childhood. It is not the role of the club to prioritise each player’s individual social requests when forming teams.  It is the policy of SIFC to give priority to grading before playing with friends in these age groups. Grading for each age group will take place in February.

Players of any level will enjoy their experience better if they are with players of a similar standard. There is no benefit in placing players of vastly different skill levels into the same team.  This does not allow weaker players to develop as in most cases they end up with less time on the ball. Similarly, better players do not get the opportunity of playing with players of like ability.
Players are required to attend 2 grading sessions in February at which times players are graded and then ranked.  Players who are ranked in the top two teams will be offered a position in our CoDE program with the Brazilian Art team.  Players not wishing to participate will be placed into the next highest team and the position will be offered to another player.

 U8-11 players not selected for the top 2 teams will be placed in teams based on a mixture of skills, schools attended, friendships, previous team etc, subject to overall team number limitations and committee discretion. We have a requirement to ensure that teams contain players of roughly the same ability and we are required to provide NSFA with accurate grading levels for all Mini Roos teams, not just the top two.
Play with requests:  Requests to play with one or two other players can be submitted for consideration but will not be the committee’s primary focus when forming teams.
Teams ideal size: Teams will be formed mindful of the ideal size rather than maximising opportunities.
Under 12-18s  
Where numbers are greater than that required to form a single team, players will be graded.  Placing players with friends is not the first priority but may be considered.  If we only have enough numbers to form one team the players must still attend grading to enable us to nominate a division for the team.

Players asked to play up an age group 
The Executive Committee may ask a player to play in a higher Age Group to maintain appropriate team numbers. If parents do not agree they may request a full refund within 3 days of team announcements.

Player placement and Team Eligibilty

To be eligible to be considered for team players must be registered and have paid their registration fees. Teams nominations are due at NSFA mid-February and teams are based on the number of registrations in our system.

Club policy is to offer positions on a first come first in basis. We do not hold spots open for unregistered players nor do we consider verbal requests to join a team. Priority is to find spots for registered and financial players.

Players registering late will be placed on a waitlist for the first available spot.
Team formation remains at the discretion of the Committee.

Players must register in their correct age group. Decisions for players to play up an age group are at the discretion of the committee. If players wish to be considered for a development position in an older age group they must attend the grading sessions for their correct age group as well as for the higher age group.  Decisions to be offered a development position in the higher age group will be based on results and the effect on other players in both age groups at the Committee’s discretion.