In previous years, schools would decide who to send to trials. Trials would take place over a couple of weeks with large numbers of players with varying skill levels. Schools would send representatives who would form part of the selection process.
This year, 2019-2020, sees a new selection system implemented. This will increase the selection of the most skilful players as well as balanced teams. We are aware that many players have other sporting commitments too, however, to improve our selection process we need to start at the HP programme and skills assessment of players.
Players are invited to form part of the High-Performance Programme (HP) which runs over the 4th and 1st terms of every year. Invitations are based on participation in previous Boland teams and a schools’ motivation for a player to be included.
The HP programme (2019-2020) was run by Boland Hockey this year as opposed to outsourcing it to Maties. Various 2020 IPT and Regional coaches were involved which allowed players’ development, skills, attitude and growth to be closely monitored.
Initially the programme takes place in the various Hubs. Here players are accessed by coaches on a variety of skills. Individual feedback is sent to each player at the end of the 4th term. The Hubs then come together towards the end of the 1st term where coaches grade players. This grading, based on the players likelihood to be selected for an IPT A, B or Regional team, together with the HP assessment on skills, will be used to invite players to IPT trials.
In addition, coaches of the 2019 IPT and Regional teams gave feedback on each player, their strengths and weaknesses as well as general tournament feedback. This information will also be used when final team selections are done.
At this stage Primary School players do not have an existing HP programme, but plans are in place to implement it this year.
Players will be invited, to attend IPT trials. This will decrease the number of players at trials and increase the quality of the trials. Players with a realistic chance of making an IPT or Regional team will be invited.
Upon registration, players will be asked whether they are available for IPT and or Regional teams. In the past players have withdrawn once teams are announced and this weakens teams dramatically and causes selection challenges. Players that withdraw will be excluded from the following years’ selection process.
Players who have any outstanding accounts with Boland Hockey will also not be allowed to participate in trials unless a repayment plan has been made with firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a panel consisting of the various IPT A and B team coaches, regional coaches, HP manager, HUB leader and an external selector at all IPT trials. Each age group will also have a dedicated convenor allocated.
After the conclusion of trials, teams will be selected based on HP assessments, grading, previous tournament feedback and trial performance. This will aid in selecting the best players over an extended period, not just on trials performance but including skills and growth.
Players may be moved up or down in teams during the first practice weeks. This will allow coaches to fine tune teams, check fitness levels of players and ensure that teams are balanced.
- Tournament preparation and practices
Once squads/teams are announced, each team will have a manager that will be the link between the parents and Boland Hockey. Practice times, dates and venues will be set out. There is a lot of paperwork that the various tournaments require e.g. unabridged birth certificates, stamped by schools with a recent photo, not older than 3 months etc.
The various tournament dates are listed at the end of this letter. Regional tournament dates and venues are not yet available.