Neston Sports

Selection Policy

A. Objectives

  1. Selection is conducted by the Selection Panel.
  2. The duty of the Selection Panel is to construct, with the players available, the most balanced teams, playing the best standard of Hockey that they can.
  3. Selection will be based on the below factors, with particular regard to merit, the requirements of the Club, the individual Teams, and the development of talent.
  4. The Selection Panel will endeavour to be as fair and reasonable as possible, without compromising what it considers to be best for the Club and the Teams. It is important that Members recognise that if they are asked to move up or down a team it is intended to be in the best interests of the Club.
  5. Competition for places is welcomed as a tonic to the Club, and should inspire players to seek to improve their fitness levels and attend training regularly.
  6. It is reasonable for the Club to expect everyone to want to make selection into a team, and to expect everyone to endeavour to make selection into a team.
  7. It is reasonable for the Club to promote the development of committed young players and to see their inclusion into appropriate teams.

B. The Selection Panel

  1. The Selection Panel will consist of the Team Captains, Head Coach, Team Coaches and Team Managers. The panel will be chaired by the Club Captain.
  2. All members of the Selection Panel should endeavour to attend the weekly Panel meetings, or provide a report with their recommendations to the relevant Team and Club Captain in their absence.

C. Availability

  1. It should be recognised that Availability and Selection are not the same thing. Selection procedure can only begin once accurate information regarding player availability is gathered.
  2. Members will be required to inform their Team Captain or Coach of their availability. This should be done using Google Forms.
  3. It is the responsibility of each individual player to ensure his / her information and availability status is kept up to date. A player who fails to confirm availability with the Team Captain or Coach before the Panel meeting will be regarded as unavailable.
  4. It is NOT expected of Captains or Coaches to pursue individual players to establish their availability.
  5. Players are advised that failure to confirm availability in a timely manner may mean that an individual player risks missing out on selection for their regular team, or perhaps at all, on that date.
  6. (The Selection Panel may choose to accept an alternative mode of communication in extenuating circumstances).

D. Selection Procedure

  1. The Club Objectives will be continually reviewed by the Selection Panel throughout the season, bearing in mind the needs of other teams, such as promotion and relegation chances.
  2. Selection will be decided from the 1st XI Teams downwards, with the best match-fit players selected. It is expected of players to acknowledge the need for the Club to put the requirements of its highest teams first. Quality of selection within higher teams should not be compromised to assist lower teams unless by prior agreement with and approval by the Selection Panel having regard to specific Club Objectives.
  3. All Panel members should work together to offer opinion and input from what they observe of players, with the teams then selected accordingly. The Team Captains will select their full, final team with regard to input and advice from all Panel members.
  4. Where a team has the benefit of a specific coach or manager who attends the team's matches, final selection will be by the Coach for that team.
  5. Any significant disputes between Panel members will be mediated by the Club Captain. If necessary, the Club Captain will give a final decision on matters in dispute, having regard to the Club's Objectives.
  6. In the event that Panel members are dissatisfied with the Club Captain's decision, the dispute may, in exceptional circumstances, be escalated to the Club Chairman, on discussion with the Club Captain.
  7. The teams will be selected early each week by the Selection Panel. The person responsible for final selection (either the Coach or Team Captain) will inform players which team they have been selected for as soon as possible. Where necessary, confirmation of teams will also be communicated to players on the morning after their training session. This enables flexibility to cover for injuries and unforeseen disruptions following training, whilst allowing players to plan accordingly for the match.
  8. It is recognised that occasionally changes within teams may be required at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. illness / injury). The Club Captain should be notified immediately of any subsequent decisions or attempts to amend Teams after team confirmation. The changes will be handled by members of the Selection Panel and will be communicated with the individuals involved directly.
  9. Players are encouraged to discuss their selection with their Team Captain, who will raise any concerns with the Panel.
  10. Areas of dispute will be settled by the Panel chaired by the Club Captain.

E. Movement between Teams

  1. All players should be aware that selection will take place with the aim of improving the overall level of club hockey and providing development opportunities for all.
  2. It is expected that NHC players will be willing and available to play for whichever team for which they are selected, providing adequate notice is given. Failure to do so will be taken as the player making themselves unavailable for any team both that week and the following week.
  3. Movement within the teams should become an accepted part of selection and players should not expect to be guaranteed a place in a particular team. This should be borne in mind when players return from injury or other lengthy absences.
  4. New players to the club should start at an appropriate level decided by the Selection Panel.
  5. If players are to be promoted from a team the higher Team Captain or Coach will inform them of that decision.
  6. If players are deemed to be selected for a lower team then they should be selected for the next senior team.
  7. It is the responsibility of the Team Captain or Coach who de-selected the player to inform him/her of the decision and the reasons why it was taken. Ideally, the decision will be communicated in person or via telephone, unless agreed otherwise with players. This must happen before the teams are confirmed and should not form a discussion point during training itself.
  8. Discussions regarding selection should take place in advance of training where possible.
  9. Captains should be positive and emphasise the strengths that the player can bring to their new team and areas where there is room for improvement. If requested, an action plan of how to increase their chances of returning to a higher team will be given.
  10. Players should understand that it is often easier to develop areas of weakness at a lower team's level.
  11. The Team Captains or Coaches will expect players to respect their decisions. The player should accept their role in their new team with a positive attitude.

F. Team Structures

It is the Club's intention to take, whenever possible, a predetermined number of players to each game as follows:


1st Team – 15 players
2nd Team – 14 players
3rd - 8th Teams – 13 players


1st Team – 15 players
2nd Team – 14 players
3rd - 5th Teams – 13 players

It may be necessary to create a new team. This can only happen once the number of players demanding hockey EVERY WEEK reaches a critical number to make the new team viable and sustainable. Until this critical threshold is reached, each team may be asked to take a larger squad along to matches.

G. Selection Criteria

Paid up membership (within the guidelines set by the Club Treasurer) and up-to-date match fees are a pre-requisite to Selection. Exceptional circumstances, non or late payment should be explained to the relevant Coach or Captain to be deemed effective. Silence does not constitute acceptance of non-payment.

Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Performance in both training and matches;
  2. Commitment to availability on Saturdays. (Note that if players are unavailable for particular matches due to the timing of the game then arrangements should be made for them to play in the next senior team down, if at all possible);
  3. Attendance and effort at training;
  4. Prompt/ pro-active/ reliable communication as requested by the Club or Captains;
  5. Punctuality;
  6. Fitness levels;
  7. Experience and Skills;
  8. Ability or potential to play at the level of the team;
  9. Enthusiasm, respect and positive attitude;
  10. Willingness to learn, be flexible, and to adapt;
  11. Position the team requires filling. (i.e. best players for any chosen system);
  12. Potential to develop / improve;
  13. Discipline in terms of playing ability, respect for the umpires, opposition team-mates, Coaches, Managers and Captains.
  14. (Also see Disciplinary Procedure / Code of Conduct)
  15. N.B. All players are expected to conduct themselves on and off the pitch as ambassadors for NHC.
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