Grading at Aspley Devils Netball Club is completed across two tiers. The first being grading of individuals undertaken at club level and the second being grading of teams undertaken at the association level.

About Grading

As a competitive club, Aspley Devils Netball Club relies on a grading system to ensure players are placed in a team that best matches their skill and ability. This allows players to maximise opportunities to develop and improve their netball skills across all levels of playing ability.

Grading at the club level also helps the club to nominate teams at the association level for placement into divisions. Downey Park Netball Association uses a paper-based grading system to review team nominations. A grading meeting, attended by representatives from all netball clubs is then held to confirm team placements into divisions.

Most competitive netball clubs will use some system of grading - whether it be paper-based or playing-based.

Importantly, the use of a grading system is vital to provide a fair and even competition which ultimately leads to greater enjoyment of the sport.

Grading Attendance

Attendance at the scheduled grading time and days is mandatory for all players turning 11 years and over. 

If a player is absent from grading, the player may be invited to attend an alternative grading session.  The player's previous playing experience, coach's comments and other evidence may also be used to determine the grading of that player.

If no suitable alternative grading time can be agreed (or for late registration players), returning players will be 'paper-graded' and placed into a team at the discretion of the Grading Committee, based on previous knowledge of the player and in consultation with their last coach (where possible). New players will typically be placed in the lowest division team of their age group. This placement is then subject to review and confirmation by the Grading Committee in the first three weeks of the team training (or longer if required).

Players must notify the Club if they cannot attend a scheduled grading session

If you cannot attend a scheduled grading session, you must notify the Grading Committee via the nominated representative. It is important that you notify the Grading Committee if you cannot attend the session as trial games are carefully prepared prior to each session and it is difficult to make changes during the grading session.

Grading Process

While netball is a team game, to be selected into a team, players must trial as an individual. Graders are aiming to select the best possible players and combination of players for each relevant competition grade, recognising the capabilities of players in different age groups. While grading trials are an opportunity to observe the skills of players prior to the start of season, selectors also consider the potential for skills development with further coaching during the season.

During the registration process, the club requests information from the player regarding preferred playing positions and previous playing history. This information is used to assign playing positions for grading trial games.

For junior players, particularly in age groups where playing positions are still developing (for example 11, 12 and 13 years), players are generally considered for a team based on other areas of assessment such as ball handling, netball understanding and potential to improve. For senior players, playing position is considered more critical to the overall assessment. 

While playing positions are still considered important, the Grading Committee may also use other criteria to make a final assessment. A combination of squad training, skills and drills, and trial games are used for grading and this varies for each age group.

Grading Committee

Following registrations, all players are required to attend grading, where the Grading Committee will ensure all players are graded into teams based on their age, ability, skill level, attitude and commitment. 

During the previous season, all players are observed by the members of the Grading Committee during their normal Saturday fixtures to assess how they perform during a real game situation. At the end of the season, coaches are asked to submit a report to the Grading Committee giving details of each player's ability, strengths, weakness and commitment. This information will be used to assist the Grading Committee for the following season.

New players to the club will benefit from a Grading Committee that consists of both young coaches and very experienced coaches and committee members.

Teams from previous seasons may not remain the same as players develop at different rates, new players join our club and some may not return. The number of teams and players in each age group may also change. Therefore it is important that everyone attends grading and gives it their best effort.

What is the Grading Committee looking for?

When grading a player, the Grading Committee will generally look at the following key performance areas to make their assessment. This is adopted from the Netball Australia Selectors Resource manual. The level of proficiency in these skills is adjusted relative to the age of the player.

Key performance areas (age-adjusted)
Individual movement skills
  • Good footwork and change of direction
  • Acceleration and deceleration
  • High work rate
  • Balance and control with and without the ball
  • Speed, agility, endurance and elevation
  • Athletic ability, body control and coordination
Ball skills
  • Good basic ball handling skills under pressure
  • Good pass selection options under pressure
  • Selection of ball delivery finesse and 'touch'
  • Accuracy of pass
  • Catching ability (two hands and one hand)
Attacking skills
  • Ability to read play and make appropriate decisions
  • Effective use of space
  • Timing
  • Vision
  • Player utility (i.e. can they play more than one position)
Defending skills
  • Good one-on-one defending
  • Good team defending
  • Defence of a pass
  • Defence of a shot and rebounding (for a circle defenders)
  • Ability to read play and make appropriate decisions
  • Recognises and adapts to attacking/defensive strategy changes by opposition
  • Creates and influences on-court strategies
Netball knowledge
  • Court craft and ability to read the game
  • Flair and creativity
  • Ability to combine with other players
  • Involvement in the game
  • Knowledge of the rules and adjusts to umpiring decisions
  • Position specifics
  • Accuracy of shot
  • Consistency of performance
  • Temperament, competitiveness and intensity
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Coachability - understanding and application of coaching direction
  • Commitment and reliability
  • Ability to accept responsibility of actions
  • Does the player listen?
  • Do they re-act?
  • Social and team skills

Preferred Playing Positions

It is important to nominate your preferred playing positions during the registration process. If you have not supplied this information, you may not be trialled in your preferred position.

Notwithstanding this, players will be rotated around into multiple positions during the grading process. There are a couple of reasons for this (see below). While we will strive to give players adequate time in each of their nominated positions, this may not always be possible. We urge players to not be disappointed if they feel they did not receive enough court time during the first week of grading as all playing time is reviewed for the following week.

It is important to note that while players may nominate a preferred playing position for grading, Coaches are responsible for all decisions about team selection once the season commences.

Some examples of the reasons why players are moved around in different positions are provided below.

Filling in

When the Grading Committee is not aware of a player's absence, there may be a vacant position left in a trial game which needs to be filled so the game can be played. Sometimes players are asked to volunteer to fill-in for the game even though it may not be their preferred position.

Balance of the game

In some instances, the trial game may be unbalanced (for example, if one team is scoring more than the other team and other players do not have an opportunity with the ball) so other players may be introduced or positions swapped to increase the strength of the other team.

Player comparisons

During the trial games, some players are deliberately played in a position in order to gain a comparison between two or more players. This is useful where two players are of a similar skill level and a decision must be made between the two. It can also be used to put players under game pressure by matching them with an opposition player that is evenly matched for their skill level.

Player combinations

Sometimes before a final team selection is made, player combinations need to be reviewed in a game scenario. This is particularly important for goalers and defensive players. It is also important for goalers and the mid-court to be working well together. Therefore some players may be placed in certain positions so that the Grading Committee can see how well player combinations work. It also helps to uncover new player combinations if a player has not nominated in a certain position but performs well.

Grading Appeals and Feedback

If a player is not happy with a decision of the Grading Committee, based on their playing skills, they may lodge an appeal requesting a review of the decision.

Appeals based on a particular player being placed into a team with friends will not be considered as grounds for an appeal.

Appeals must be made in writing to the President, within 7 calendar days of Teams Announcement. All appeals will be responded to after an investigation has been completed. This decision is final and binding.

The Grading Committee must not be contacted directly in relation to grading. If a player would like to request feedback on their grading, a request must be made in writing to the President, within 7 calendar days of Teams Announcement.

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