Mosman Football Club - FAQ about Grading
We had a few questions (asked many times !!) about grading at Registration Day so we thought it would be useful to send out a Q&A on the subject:
Q: Why does the club grade players?
The Club strongly believes that all players benefit from playing with and against other players who are roughly similar in their skill levels. If we don’t perform grading then the more skilful players won’t be challenged to improve their skills and will never fulfil their potential. They would also dominate the games to the detriment of themselves and their team-mates. For the less-skilful players or players who are playing for purely social reasons, it is also beneficial to be graded. It can be intimidating to play with players who are obviously more skilful and is not a great confidence booster. This can result, for example, in players concluding it is easier for them to let the “stars” have the ball all the time.
If the teams aren’t graded it is also very difficult for the coach who may have players with different goals (for example, competitive v social goals) and/or skill levels, to prepare a training program that will engage and motivate all these different players. This can lead to players becoming bored and disillusioned leading to a negative outcome for all.
Most importantly we want them to enjoy themselves. Training to their capacity and becoming more skilful, at all levels, leading to winning more games (or losing less perhaps) is a positive outcome with a positive impact on the kids.
Finally, the rules of the Manly Warringah Football Association mandate that teams will be graded after the U9s, with good reason. If we didn’t grade the teams then there would be a lot more lopsided results, and it’s never good for the kids or the competition to have a series of scorelines of 10-0, whether you are winning or losing. Another way to look at it is that it’s not fair to other clubs to enter ungraded teams into lower level Divisions where we could win all the time.
Q: Will the grading process be fair?
We do our best to grade independently, fairly and objectively, with no favours for anyone. Over the last couple of seasons we have put a lot of effort into improving and refining our management, our approach, and our grading process. As part of this evolving approach First Division coaches (who coordinate the grading for their year) have had to formally apply and be selected through an independent selection process already this year.
We request that all parents appreciate that we are trying to implement rigorous, independent and objective grading processes, and we ask that you respect this and assist us where you can.
Q: What if we just want to have fun?
We hear this quite often, but we believe that kids have a lot more fun if they are playing in a group according to their ability. They can choose to play in the social teams if this suits their goals in choosing to play football. (We would still hope that by being placed in a suitable level, they will win games and have more fun at this level.) If any child wishes to play in a social team as it suits their goals for the season, this is fine with the Club also. We do however, want to be sure that we have explained the options adequately to ensure players and parents are given enough information to make an informed decision and understand the process the Club has introduced to provide a better playing experience for all players.
Q: Can we just play with our friends?
We try to keep players with their friends and schoolmates where we can, but obviously this is not always possible if they are graded at different levels.
Q: What if we just don’t want to be graded?
If you have considered the options carefully and still don’t want to be graded then the club will not force you. However, this will mean that you are likely to be in a team that is “graded” into a lower Division. (Note that U9s are an exception. In this transition year from Social to Graded teams players that want to play in a non-graded social team with their friends and do not wish to participate in grading can do so, but we still encourage everyone to try out for grading.)
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