The PAA released a draft grading system to standardise gradings. While some further refinement may be required, NSW will be using this system from 2013 onwards. Consequently, NSW Clubs should ensure player gradings are adjusted to align with this system.
General comment on the proposed System The benefit of the proposed system will be felt most by those graded 5 and below. The increased emphasis on using half points may be minor however as it may appear to have very little bearing on the team a player finds themselves in. While this may be true, where a team is placed in a draw it can be radically affected by as little as half a point. So a team comprised of incorrectly graded players is easily placed in the wrong grade which may result in a hard time for them or a hard time for the other teams in that grade.
There is still some work to be done on the proposed system with regards to juniors who will continue to have a junior and open grade so any feedback or ideas is welcome.
Ultimately, every player and every team deserves the right to be placed in the grade that aligns with their ability.
Additional Points to note about the proposed grading system
Note that in response to feedback regarding that 2 players of similar skill level may perform differently on the field due to their level of vigour and strength the following addition has been made.
As part of the grading process, the grading officer should (after using the grading assessment tool to determine an initial grade) have regard for a players physical strength, endurance and tenacity and consider making a small adjustment in accordance with the following. Note that the following does not allow for a player to be graded below a minimum grading rule)
Low: Player has a lower level of physicality than others and while being able to perform the same skills as an opponent they will not compete with the same level of vigour (hunger for the ball), tempo and strength. (consider reducing rating by 1/2 point) Medium: Player is generally quite competitive in their grade but would not be described as having a must win attitude. They may “hit hard” from time to time but while respected, they would not be considered a formidable opponent at that grade. (leave rating as assessed using grading assessment tool)
High: Player is highly competitive and strong, they will not give up and give the game “everything they’ve got”(Consider increasing rating by 1/2 a point)
Skill Statements where competitiveness is “irrelevant”
Note the some feed back has been received regarding to skill statements at 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 where competitiveness has been described as irrelevant. The concerns raised have been generally in the order of “how can competitiveness not be relevant to someone’s grading?!!” The Answer is that the two skills in question are designed to test 2 things:
1 a players ability to control their horse
2. a players ability to move safely in a game environment. The aspect of “in a game environment” is critical as it reflects a players ability to apply game rules and knowledge. Put another way, if you didn’t know the rules and didn’t have a knowledge of the game how safe would you be in a game at that level?