Pathway Selection Policy
Pathway Selection Policy
Purpose of Policy
This Selection Policy sets out how netball athletes are selected by Leeds Rhinos Netball (LRN) into our Performance Pathway Programmes and competition Squads. This Selection Policy applies to Athletes being selected by LRN to the following:
1. Programme Squads (U21, U19, U18, U17 & U16 Performance groups)
2. Competition squads (U21, U19, U17 & U15) for the NPL League, NPL tournaments, UK School Games (or similar external competitions).
**No Athlete has the right to expect that they will be selected for any LRN Competition Squad simply due to their previous inclusion in either of the Academy Programme or Competition Squads.
Performance Mission & Objectives
LRN aspires to produce players for Leeds Rhinos Super League team, England Roses, and to win NPL competitions. To achieve that goal LRN must develop more top-flight Athletes who can function as a top-flight team. This aspiration provides the beacon to guide all performance activity and decision-making, including the management of the selection to, and development of Athletes within LRN’s Performance Programme.
In line with LRN’s performance mission set out above, LRN’s primary objectives are, therefore, to select Competition Squads capable of winning all matches, especially those within EN events, including: (a) U21 Netball Performance League (U21 NPL); (b) U19 Netball Performance League (U19 NPL); (c) U17 Netball Performance Foundation League (U17 NPFL); (d) U21 NPL Tournament; and (e) U19 NPL Tournament; (f) UK School Games or similar competition for an U15 team.
Selection for non-EN competitions may be made on the basis of providing development for future championship success to Athletes within LRN’s Academy Programme.
To be eligible for selection into the Academy Programme and Competition Squads, an Athlete must:
a) Be eligible to play for LRN in the NPL Leagues and Tournament (as determined by the EN regulations applicable at the time).
b) Not be currently serving any sanction for any violation of any relevant anti-doping laws and/or regulations.
LRN will establish a selection panel for selecting Athletes into:
• The Performance Pathway Programme(s)
• Competition Squads
The Membership of Selection Panels is set out in the section below. Each Selection Panel will apply the following principles in the course of carrying out any Selection Process
1. This Selection Policy employs an open, transparent and equitable process that gives all Athletes a fair chance to challenge for selection.
2. Selection will be based on merit and the need to achieve the objectives set out by the Director of Netball and/or Pathway Head Coach.
3. No Athlete has the right or expectation to on-going selection for LRN’s Academy Programme or any Competition Squads, at any time.
4. Each Selection Panel has the right to determine, at its sole discretion, when it will reselect Athletes into the Academy Programme or any of the Competition Squads.
5. Athletes will be subject to de-selection if they breach any relevant England Netball or LRN policies or regulations.
6. Selection panel members will declare any conflicts of interest when being allocated to a selection panel for a Performance Pathway group.
7. In selecting for a team sport, consideration will be made to the combinations of Athletes in the Academy Programme and Competition Squads, the balance of any Competition Squad and the ability of Athletes to play in more than one position, alongside each Athlete’s individual skill level.
1. Athlete performance at designated selection events will be observed live, and assessed independently and against the selection criteria set out. Selection events may be invitation only or an open trial advertised on the website and social media channels. The Director of Netball and/or Pathway Head Coach will decide which method is appropriate to achieve the objectives of LRN set out in the Performance Mission and Objectives section above.
2. Following completion of all the designated selection events, the relevant Head Coach will consult with the Pathway Head Coach, and take into account any relevant input from LRN’s sports science and medical team deemed necessary to make informed Athlete nominations for selection.
3. The Nominated Athletes will be those that, in the expert opinion of the Director of Netball, Pathway Head Coach and/or relevant Age Group Head Coach are most able to achieve the objectives of LRN set out in the Performance Mission and Objectives section above.
4. The relevant Head Coach will meet with the relevant Selection Panel to discuss the Nominated Athletes and provide the opportunity for the members of the relevant Selection Panel to check and challenge and ensure Athlete selection decisions are evidence based taking into account the selection criteria
5. Any individual Athlete’s inclusion in LRN’s Academy Programme or any of the Competition Squads is decided on a majority vote by all members of the relevant Selection Panel
1. All Selectors, including the Chairs, will be appointed based upon competency for the role, with an annual review. This may link and overlap with the roles Director of Netball, Pathway Head Coach, and the relevant Head Coach.
2. Selection Panel members will be appointed by LRN Director of Netball and/or Pathway Head Coach.
3. Selection Panel members will be allocated to age group, and should/will have completed England Netballs ‘Athlete Identifier Workshop’. Only those who have completed the course, will be a lead selector in the designated selection events.
4. Selection panel members will declare any conflicts of interest when being allocated to a selection panel for a Performance Pathway group.
5. All Selection Panel members, through the Chair of Selectors, are accountable to the Director of Netball for ensuring that this Selection Policy and all associated procedures are applied in a fair and appropriate manner.
Appeals can only be submitted by a non-selected (or de-selected) Athlete on the grounds that:
1. The selection process outlined in the Selection Process section above (or de selection process outlined in the Injury & Replacement section below) has not been adhered to; or
2. The selection (or de-selection) process adopted for that Athlete failed to take into account relevant information, which was available at the time, which the relevant Selection Panel under the Membership of Selection Panels section below did not consider.
An Athlete may request an appeal on either of the grounds listed in this section above by submitting a written request to the Director of Netball. Any appeal shall be made within two working days of the Squad announcement. At the time of lodging an appeal request, an appealing Athlete will be required to pay a deposit of £100 to LRN. Should the appealing Athlete’s appeal be successful, the deposit will be re-paid in full to the appealing Athlete.
Appeals should be made following the “Leeds Rhinos Netball: Appeals Process” attached.
Announcement & Notice
1. Athletes will ordinarily be notified of the outcome of their selection event within 5 working days of the relevant Selection Panel meeting.
2. Announcements may be posted on social media channels after this date.
3. Athletes have the right to withdraw their place within the Leeds Rhinos Performance Pathway programmes up until 8th October 2023 due to offers from other Franchise Performance programmes.
4. Feedback will not be available after selection/non selection into Performance Pathway programmes.
Competition Squads for NPL, NPFL matches, tournaments and other events:
a) Notification to Athletes will ordinarily be announced, and may be posted on social media channels, within 5 working days of the relevant Selection Panel meeting.
b) Feedback will be available after selection decisions around competitions.
Athletes selected to the Academy Programme or any of the Competition Squads agree not to make any announcement to the media or public in any form (including personal websites or social media sites) regarding their selection until after LRN have announced selection decisions to the public, or given expressed permission to do so.
Injury & Replacement
An Athlete may be removed from the Academy Programme or any of the Competition Squads in the event of:
b) non-compliance in training, c) a breach of responsibility d) a violation of the codes of behaviour
At any stage following the selection announcement to the Competition Squads and prior to the relevant competition, an athlete may be recommended for de-selection by the Director of Netball, Pathway Head Coach, and/or the relevant Head Coach (under the Membership of Selection Panels section) due to:
1. Failure to reach LRN’s performance expectations in training or competition.
2. An inability to compete to the best of her ability due to an injury and/or illness.
Prior to removal, the Athlete in question and her parent/guardian will be presented with the opportunity to attend a meeting with the Pathway Head Coach and/or relevant Head Coach. Written justification must be provided for all removals. Decisions on these matters are open to appeal under the appeals process set out in the Appeals section above and the “Leeds Rhinos Netball: Appeals Process” attached.
Likewise, at any stage following the selection announcement to the Competition Squads and prior to the relevant competition, a re-trial may be recommended by the Director of Netball or Head of Performance Pathway due to:
a) Failure of the team to reach LRN’s performance expectations in training or competition.
Prior to a re-trial, the Athletes in question will receive written justification for the decision. Decisions on these matters are open to appeal under the appeals process set out in the Appeals section above and the “Leeds Rhinos Netball: Appeals Process” attached.
Once Athlete selections have been confirmed, all selected Athletes (including the reserve(s) must agree not to withhold any information on training fitness, injury status or illness that could affect training or competition at any time until the point of the relevant competition. All selected Athletes must declare any medications they are taking, in particular the use of any restricted medications, and submit these to the relevant Head Coach, Physiotherapist, and/or primary carer set out in this Selection Policy below for medical approval.
Assessment of inability to compete to best of ability
At any stage following the selection announcement and prior to the relevant competition, should there be any doubt over ability of a selected Athlete to compete to the best of her ability due to an injury and/or illness, the following procedure will be adhered to:
1. The athlete will be requested to see a Physiotherapist (at their own expense) or to see the club Physio, availability dependent, to undergo a medical examination to determine her fitness to participate, which at this stage will be determined based on an assessment of whether or not the injury and/or illness is such that the Athlete is physically unable to compete or is a risk of causing medical harm to herself, or endangering other competitors, officials or spectators.
2. If the Athlete passes the medical examination carried out by the physiotherapist and/or LRN has concerns over whether or not the Athlete is able to compete to the best of her ability due to an underlying injury and/or illness the Athlete will be required to undertake the designated ‘Fitness Test’ and achieve the same scores that they have previously achieved on testing.
3. In the event that an Athlete fails to complete the ‘Fitness Test’ to the required standard, the Director of Netball, Pathway Head Coach, and/or relevant Head Coach may recommend that the selected Athlete be de- selected and replaced with the reserve. The decision is open to appeal under the appeals process set out in the Appeals section above and the “Leeds Rhinos Netball: Appeals Process” attached.
Whenever selecting Athletes for the Academy Programme or any of the Competition Squads, the relevant Selection Panel (under the Membership of Selection Panels section below) shall apply the What It Takes To Win (WITTW) principles. The panel will also consider ‘other factors’ listed below within their final selection decisions.
Other factors considered
Other factors considered will include:
1. Coachability: understands expectations, can apply learning and make changes in a positive manner
2. Demonstrates ‘team’ qualities and ‘fit’ within the team culture and ethos
3. State of fitness, health and wellbeing
4. Positional balance within team
5. Succession planning
6. Number of fixtures on the annual calendar
7. Current form or performance of existing team members
8. Balance of experience and youth
9. Nature of the competition the team is being selected for
10. Whether an Athlete’s performance and/or contribution has been affected by extenuating circumstances such as illness, injury, bereavement, parental leave, work/study commitments or similar which have temporarily compromised their form and/or recent contribution.
Consideration may also be given to any other such factors that the Selection Panel considers in its sole discretion to be relevant and appropriate to the overall assessment of a particular player.
Membership of Selection Panels
Where a large number of athletes are trialling on multiple courts, a team of selectors may be used to gather information against the selection criteria and present this information to the above people for consideration.
Feedback will only be provided to athletes that have previously been in a LRN programme and unsuccessful in selection the following season.
Insofar as is permitted by law, LRN and its authorised agents do not accept liability for any loss or damage occurring as a result of the selection process. This shall not affect any statutory rights that are available and this shall not limit or exclude any liability that may not be excluded or limited by law.
If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of this Selection Policy or any related terms and conditions, then LRN, at its sole discretion, may exclude any Athlete from participating in the selection process.
This Selection Policy shall be governed by English law and, subject to the operation of any appeals as set out in the Appeals section above and the “Leeds Rhinos Netball: Appeals Process” attached, the parties submit to arbitration as set out in the “Leeds Rhinos Netball: Appeals Process” attached.
Any questions or queries on the process need to be directed to Liana Leota or Francine Hall at: Rhinosnetball@therhinos.co.uk