Thunderbolts Netball Club Logo

Thunderbolts Grading Policy

Thunderbolts Grading Policy

Thunderbolts Netball Club has been established since 1990 and has grown to be one of the largest Club in the Redlands. We are committed to the development of players, coaches and umpires and we encourage play that fits with the spirit of the game- being fair and competitive, whilst having fun in a safe environment. As such grading will be guided by the following principles:

Grading Principals

Grading is the process of establishing the number and composition of the Thunderbolts Netball Club teams to compete in the Redlands Netball Association competition.
  • Players will be placed in a team which will enhance their enjoyment of the game,
  • Players will be placed in a team / grade which is appropriate to their skill level,
  • Players will be placed in a team which will enable them to attain desired skills,
  • Teams will be selected to allow for a good balance in terms of players preferred playing positions.

Specific grading processes available to Thunderbolts Netball Club

  • Previous Season’s Coaches Evaluation. This is a strictly confidential short written report by the Coach to the Coaching Co-Ordinator at the end of the season covering such topics as skill, fitness, attendance, team work and attitude. This information is confidential
  • Practical Grading day. Thunderbolts will advertise to all members the dates and times of practical grading days. These occur at the beginning of the season after general registration. Thunderbolts will employ independent assessors as well as experienced players and coaches to assess each player in their nominated positions. At times, they will assess players in non- nominated positions, depending on prospective team formation and to allow other players to be graded in their preferred positions.
  • Grading Committee – The Thunderbolts Netball Club grading committee will consist of the current Club President, Secretary, Registrar and Coaching Co-Ordinator who fulfils the role of Grading Co-Ordinator. The Grading Co-Ordinator will oversee this committee and the grading process. The Grading Committee will make the final decision on each graded team.
  • Paper Grading. This is when the Grading Committee assesses teams or individual players based upon previous coaches evaluations, observations and graded playing experience from the practical grading day.

Grading and Team Configuration

Teams are put together based upon the grading of individuals skills, requested positions, development needs and fitness levels. Be aware the Grading Committee considers the best mix of players including the number of defenders, mid court players, shooters and attack players to ensure the competitive composition of the team. Whilst the Grading Assessors grade players in their nominated positions, it is for the Season Team Coach to determine the positions played by individual team players throughout the season considering the development of individual player’s abilities, player’s skills and importantly the needs of the team to play competitively.

Size of Teams

In all other cases Thunderbolts Netball Club will strive (depending on the number of player registrations for a particular grade) to have teams no greater than 9 players.

Practical grading

Who needs to attend practical grading day?

U8, U9 and U10 Age Teams – Thunderbolts Netball Club does not practically grade age 8, age 9 and age 10 teams. Requests for specific team placement of age 8, age 9 and age 10 players should be made to the Thunderbolts Netball Club in writing at the time of the registration of the players. Requests for specific team placement will only be agreed to where it does not compromise an even distribution of players across the teams. Players in the under 11’s age group through to Cadets divisions are to attend practical grading days. The grading timetable will be made available closer to the dates scheduled. All sessions are compulsory. If a player is unable to attend they must notify the club at before the scheduled dates. Thunderbolts Netball Club will accept the registration of a complete team which must also have an appointed coach. The team is required to attend the practical grading session to assist the Grading Committee in establishing if the Thunderbolts Netball club grading principals are being met for all teams. If the grading principals are not being met this may result in changes to the registered team. The Grading Committee will also ensure that the team is placed in the grade which is most appropriate to their skill level. Any player who chooses not to attend their nominated practical grading day will be placed in a team at the Grading Committees discretion. They will only be considered for a Division 1 team where there is a genuine vacancy in that team. This also applies to players who register with the Club after grading has occurred. Any player who hasn’t paid their registration fee will not be allowed to take the court for grading due to insurance requirements. Players registering late cannot be assured of a team and may be put on a waiting list.

Where does practical grading happen?

Grading trials will be held at the Redlands Netball Association courts- Pinklands Sporting Complex at Thornlands

What do I need to wear/bring with me?

Players need to be at the courts at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their session. This is to allow time to sign in, have a number written on their legs so the graders can easily identify them on court and to warm up. Don’t forget plenty of water and to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for strenuous physical activity (no short denim shorts please). Representative players are asked not to wear their rep gear to grading.

How does practical grading work?

Players list two positions they’d like to trial for on their registration form. On practical grading day’s a number of 10 minute games are played to allow everyone to have their two turns. It is a very busy day for our grading assessors so we ask players to stay in the vicinity of the netball courts (in the shade), gather promptly when asked and listen carefully for their name to be called. If the club is able, it will appoint up to 3 independent assessors as well as experienced players and coaches to assess each player in their nominated positions Players will be assessed for their requested position/s but may also be asked to play in other positions. Sometimes our grading assessors see potential in a player in another position and sometimes a gap needs to be filled due to absence or the demand for certain positions. While every effort is made to give players time in their two requested positions sometimes this is impossible because of the number of girls wanting to trial in the same position. Players will always be given an opportunity to trial in the nearest position if we are unable to meet the original request (that is, if lots of players want to trial in GA some may have a turn in GS). Girls may only spend a small amount of time in their preferred positions as some players are quite easy to grade i.e. the graders can quickly identify their skills in that position. This does not mean they haven’t been given an equal opportunity to be placed in an appropriate team. During the practical grading sessions the following will be taken into account:
  1. Footwork
  2. Speed and agility
  3. Ball handling skills
  4. Attacking skills
  5. Defending skills
  6. Fitness
  7. Versatility
  8. Perception and Cognition Skills
  9. Sportsmanship and attitude
Alll players wishing to play up an age are to grade in their correct age group and also the grade they wish to play up in. Requests to play up will be considered but need to be given to the Grading Co-Ordinator and/or Club Secretary in writing prior to grading. In considering the request the Grading Co-Ordinator will take the following into account:
  1. The needs and abilities of the individual player,
  2. Numbers available to make up age teams and
  3. The competitive nature of the teams affected.

How do I find out which team I’m in?

Teams will be announced 1- 2 weeks after grading. Please do not contact the Club or Grading Co-Ordinator prior to this to see what team you are in.

Grading Disputes

Thunderbolts Netball Club recognises that players and parents/guardians of players disagree at times with the grading decisions made. If a family member consider that their child has been unfairly treated in the grading process they must submit their concern in writing to the Club Secretary and/or Grading Co-Ordinator. Members of the grading Committee will reconvene to consider the complaint and will advise the family of their decision. If the player or parent/guardian of the player is still of the view that the grading process is not fair then the matter will be referred to the Executive Committee to be dealt with at its next meeting and to be resolved as it sees fit. Thunderbolts Netball Club is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all volunteers including our Grading Convener, Committee Members, Grading Assessors and Coaches. Any form of abuse or harassment of volunteers as a result of disputed grading decisions will not be tolerated.