The NSWTA has undertaken a review of the current make-up of the NSWTA Elite 8 teams. The decisions were made with a view of what is best to ensure that NSWTA is supporting the national elite competition with actual elite players and coaches. A situation that we cannot currently provide for, nor have done for a number of years now despite best efforts.
The process to come to a determination was as follows;
-The Elite 8 Reference Group (E8RG) reviewed the current position of the NSWTA Elite 8 teams in relation to performance, acceptance and buy in by participants, current selection process, internal and external factors effecting participation, ability to provide quality coaching, players supporting the concept and feedback from participants in previous years. This was to establish where the NSWTA is in relation to meeting the goals of both the NSWTA Strategic plan and the concept and aspiration of what the national elite completion is meant to represent.
-Following this initial review a preliminary position was formed and presented by the E8RG to the Board for discussion and feedback.
-The E8RG then met with a focus group of Elite 8 players and coaches, as well as taking feedback from those not able to attend the meeting, to gain their insight on the preliminary position and gauge opinion on the way forward for NSW, keeping in mind both the NSWTA Strategic Plan and what the national elite competition is designed to represent.
-The E8RG then formulated a final position and presented that recommendation to the Board for Board consideration and determination.
The Board looked at the recommendation and in the most part agreed with the E8RG findings and unanimously accepted that from a NSWTA perspective we must move to three (3) teams and furthermore change the selection process that is currently utilised. The decision was not taken lightly nor without significant discussion and consideration. The Board spent a lot of time discussing the merits of the case put to them by the E8RG around the realignment affiliates to two city teams and the recommendation of their linkage to the current Scorpions and Mets regions. They totally supported the notion that a direct pathway via the affiliate representation is important to future success and buy in from participants.
The Board certainly understood the case put by E8RG in relation to their preferred option and how this would be viewed by the national body. The did however also view that they have an obligation to be able to meet the concept of the national elite competition and agreed with the recommendation of the E8RG and the position of the players and coaches themselves, all of whom agreed that four (4) teams is not sustainable to produce the quality of player and coach that the competition deserves and requires.
The two (2) significant outcomes of the review move the NSWTA away from the previous four (4) entities to a three (3) team entity set up. It also has abolished the draft system which was seen as one of a number of inhibitors to player buy in, to a model that is aligned with affiliate representative pathways, rather than Regional based pathways.
It is the Boards decision to support the E8RG recommendation of moving to three (3) entities and remove the draft in place of the recommended selection process. The Board determined that the two (2) city based entities would be new entities rather than identified as two (2) of the current three (3) city based regions and that this be in position for 2018.
In moving to this new set up 2017 will be a transitional year. Therefore the current team make up, being the NSW Country Mavericks, NSW Rebels, NSW Scorpions, and NSW Mets will remain next year. Significantly however they will be under a new selection process as arrived at by the review.
That selection process completely removes the quarantining and live draft element of selection, in favour of the affiliate aligned section process. That said in the transitional phase incumbents will be able to identify if they wish to remain available for their current team. If not they will be considered in relation to which region their current representative affiliate.
The process for selection with the Elite 8 teams for NSW moving forward and still keeping the premise of the Elite 8 being the best of the best in mind, will be as follows:
-Country origin and/or country players can only be originally selected in the Country team.
-From 2018 the two (2) City teams will have a priority pick over affiliate representative players (not country origin) from within their catchment. For 2017 the three (3) City based teams will have a priority pick over affiliate representative players (not country origin) from within their region. Incumbent players would be given the option of remaining with their current team if they desire and were picked.
-From 2018 all players will have the option to list their preference, which will be considered but not guaranteed.
-Draft selection process is removed.
-Coach and selectors of all teams will meet with the E8RG on same night post State Cup to present possible teams. That is all teams present 16 players to the E8RG together.
-At this point the possibility for players to be traded/loaned exists. That is if a player is left out by a team, and it is viewed that the player/s were thought to be better than a player/s currently listed in another team, then they could trade that player/s in. This would be deemed a “loan” player and not then an incumbent player for that team going forward.
-All teams would name their 17thplayer to E8RG on the night
-Should a Country shadow player be adjudged to still be in the best players they could be available to city based teams under the loan system. That is for that year they could play for a city based entity but still be available to country the following year.
-E8RG would be the control point for this process to ensure that the best of the best principle for the Elite 8 is followed.
-Following the finalisation of teams, the E8RG would then name the next four players in each position. This would form the replacement pool for the teams to use if replacements are required.
Where to from here for players and coaches?
All players wishing to participate in the Elite 8 in 2017 must register online via the following link. This registration must be completed by November 25th 2016. click here