A few parents have inquired about how grading works, and why we don't keep the exact same teams every year. Please refer to the below. 

Every year, Titans Netball grades all Junior players based on our Grading Policy.  

 

As a club, we are forced to change our teams every year

Each year, we are forced to change our teams, based on:
1 - We get many new players joining the club which need to be put in teams
2 - A few girls leave Titans so we are short numbers for some age groups
3 - Representative Players (not development) must play two divisions higher then they normally would (ie 12's play in 14A's)
4 - Grading purposes with St George - For example, If a team wins B grade, they will be put in A's the following year so we would have to make the team stronger for a stronger competition, ensuring the team has a competitive year in their new division.
5 - Ability - Some players are new to netball in one year, and may be placed in a lower grade team. The following year, they may have the potential to develop further, only if they are in a team of the same ability. 
6 - A team may be made up of 13/14 year olds in 2017, but in 2018 some players will be in the 13/14 years age group, whereas other players will be in the 15/16 years age group.

 

Purpose of Grading

The purpose of grading is to grade girls based on their ability, to form multiple teams in each age group so each team have a successful year with enough shooters, defence and mid-courters. Usually, in Titans Netball Club we are lucky enough to have at least two teams per age group, allowing us to create, for example, an A grade team, and a B grade team.

This ensures all players have fair court time each week and are the same level of their team and their competition. This allows each individual player, to enjoy netball better. 

 

Playing with Friends

We do understand that friendships have been formed within our club, and outside our club, eg School. This is why before grading day each year, we do accept requests from players to play with one other friend. However, if friend 'Olivia' would like to play with 'Amy' and Amy is graded in the 13/14A team, however Olivia is graded into the 13/14D team, both Olivia and Amy will be placed in the 13/14D team. The reasoning behind this is the following:

  • It is unfair for the 13/14A team who may be 12 and 13 representative players, to have a less experienced player on the court
  • It is also unfair to 'Olivia' to play in a 13/14A team, as playing in a team well above her level may result in getting less court time, and may not touch the ball.  
  • It is also unfair to 'Sarah' who may miss out on playing in the 13/14A team, just because Olivia wants to play with her friend Amy.

Every year, we do have players who are graded away from their friends, however at the end of the season, they normally enjoy their new team more, as new friendships are made and they are now a stronger player which allows them to get the ball more, thus allowing them to enjoy the game more. Requests to play with friends can only be with one other friend (e.g. not a group of 5 players) and must not be a representative or development player. At the time of registration, on our Club Website it does state the following:

"Junior requests from both players need to be in writing at registration stating reasons and will be considered by the committee providing they are of a similar ability. Stronger players always enjoy the challenge of harder, faster competition and do not develop to their potential if graded lower to be kept with a friend. Please bear in mind that netball is a graded, competitive sport after the age of 10 with representative opportunities."

 

 

Grading Players based on what team they played in the previous year

It is unfair for all players, to look at players based on what team they were in the previous year. At grading, we aim to ensure all players have an equal opportunity to be selected in the highest possible grade they are able to play at. When grading, we do not look at who was previously in what team last year because

  • New players to our club - Some girls move from another club, or another area. At Titans Netball Club, we welcome all players. Meaning, If a player from QLD wants to join our club and has the experience to be in a 15/16A division, we will put her in that team. It is unfair for the new player to play in the 15/16B division, based on the fact she wasn't with Titans the previous year
  • Players who have developed over the previous season - 'Mary' joined Titans Netball Club in 2016, having never played netball before - we placed her in the 9C team. Mary plays at school, night competition and has also improved immensely over the 2016 Season. At 2017 Grading, the selectors recognise that Mary has the ability to develop her skills further in our 10A team. This means Mary will improve as an individual, giving herself more of an opportunity to develop and be selected for the 11s Representative team in 2018. 
  • Late Registrations - Some players join our club, after grading has been completed. This means, 'Kelly' may have called up in the third week of February, a week after grading has been completed. Therefore, she was placed in the 12C team, when really she could have been in our 12B team. Unfortunately, as she was not at grading and our numbers have already been done, we could not move her up to the 12B team. The following year however, when grading takes place we want to give Kelly the opportunity to trial for all teams in the age group, not just her last years 12C team.
  • Players who leave our club - 'Katrina' was a shooter in our 13/14A team, however has decided she does not want to play netball again in 2017. Katrina's old team came 5th in 13/14A's last year, meaning they will stay in the same division again this year. It is unfair for the remaining 7 girls, to play without a shooter the whole year. This is why at grading day, we may place a different shooter in this team, a player who could have been in the 13/14B team.
  • Positioning - We want all of our teams to have shooters, defence and mid courters. Players may recognise throughout the year, they are a stronger defence then they are as a mid court player. This means, we then have to grade the player as a defence player.

 
 
But I thought Netball was about friendships and building team spirit?
Yes, Netball is a game based on team building and spirit, which we encourage.. however we create new teams each year and encourage parents and players to accept their new teams. Each year, we change teams based on the above information. We urge parents to understand that we didn't remove one or two players from a team, however we create a whole new team.

 
 
My daughters team won the grand final, but are being split up the following year?
Some teams may take out the division they are placed in, and we may split up the team the following year. We understand that parents and players may feel this is unfair but we do this for the best interest of the players. When grading teams, we have to think of how St George will grade our teams. If a team takes out the 12B division, they will be forced to move up a grade when St George makes the divisions. Therefore, if we keep the same 12B team (or at least 5 players of the 12B team), the team will be entered into the 13/14A division. The 13/14A divison is highly competitive with 12 and 13 year representative players. If we keep the same '12B' team, they will not have a competitive year. 

 
 
Will a team ever stay the same?
In the younger age groups, teams will remain similar. You will find that your daughter may be placed with at least one player who she played with the previous year. In saying that, there are a few teams that do stay the same. When players whit the age of 15/16 years, we do tend to keep the same teams heading into the senior division. 

 

 

Why do we do this?
Titans Netball Club is a non profit club. Our aim is for the girls to enjoy themselves while playing netball, getting fit and making friends. Our club does not profit in any way on how we make the teams. We grade our teams based on the fact that we believe that by grading our teams, players enjoy themselves more and our club has greater results. In 2017, our club entered 17 competition teams. 14 out of 17 teams qualified for the final series, with 11 finishing in the top 2. We believe the only way to achieve this is if all teams are graded. Titans Netball Club also had the most premiership teams which is an amazing result - considering that we are not the largest club within the association. 

 
 
Based on experience.
Based on experience, we find that the players themselves are happy to accept their new team after their first training session. We encourage that all parents support our decision and encourage their daughter to accept their new team.