Grading and Team Placement

At FFNC, we run a series of grading sessions to help us place players in teams that are well-balanced (in terms of positions) and have players who are of similar ability.

FFNC teams play in the Perth Netball Association (PNA) competition and PNA ask us to grade all players from year 5 and up. All teams in year 5 and up in the PNA competition are placed in divisions that match the teams ability against the other opponents as best they can.

PNA will 're-grade' after the first few rounds of the season if there are teams that look like they are in a division too high or too low for their combined ability.

For this reason, taking into account friendship groups when placing players in teams becomes harder and harder to manage as the player gets older and their skills develop. Friendship groups for years 5 and 6 and not a priority (but are considered) when we do our team selections.

Pre-Grading (Year 7/8 New Players)

We usually get a big intake of new players from this age group, as players from surrounding primary schools look for a club to play for through their high school years. This takes some planning, so we like to see the players for what we call Pre-Grading sessions during November (when the players are still in year 6/7). These are not 'trials' - if the player participates in pre-grading, priority will be given to them for team placement.

Pre-Grading requires quite a bit of time to plan and run the sessions. If players don't turn up to the grading sessions, it is terribly inconvenient, hence we require a $100 non-refundable deposit to confirm your commitment to the sessions and desire to join the club. The deposit will be applied to your season registration fees.

SIBLINGS of current members who will be a New Player in year 7/8 must go through the EOI process to participate in Pre-Grading.

Players are expected to attend ALL scheduled Pre-Grading sessions.

Players attending the Pre-Grading sessions will be formally invited to play for FFNC when the season registration opens in early December.

Grading (ALL Players Year 5-12)

All players from year 5 and up will need to attend the Grading sessions held during February, including the year 7/8's who attended the Pre-Grading sessions in November.

Only players who have been invited to register for the season and have completed their registration, along with the relevant payments, can attend Grading.

Only players who have attended Grading will be placed in a team. If players express their interest to play with FFNC after the grading sessions via the EOI form, we will invite players to register only as suitable places becomes available.

Players are expected to attend all scheduled Grading sessions

Grading Sessions - What to Expect

For both Pre-Grading and Grading, a very similar process is followed:
  • The player must be registered (either via EOI for Pre-Grading or Season Registration for Grading)
  • Arrive at the designated time
  • Register player attendance at the desk (for EVERY session)
  • The player will be given a Leg Number which will be drawn on both legs using a black marker pen
  • Players will be directed to a court number for warm up and short games

What to Wear and Bring
  • Players are required to wear plain white T Shirts (a print on the front or back is OK, as it will be covered by the bib) and dark shorts
  • Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated
  • Parents are not required to stay for grading, but are most welcome to

What do the Graders do?
  • We use a mix of club and independent graders to observe the players and make notes of ability and skills
  • Players are asked to play in their 2 preferred positions and assessed on these
  • Players may be asked to play a different position if we need to fill the court - this is noted on the grading sheet
  • Graders will mark the player for each game they play - these marks help us determine who is of similar ability

Team Placement

Each netball team must have a minimum of 7 players and a maximum of 10 players. The ideal number of players to have on a team is 9 players, which is what we aim for. During COVID restrictions, we were forming teams of 10 to accommodate isolations.

For more detail, FFNC have policies covering Team Selection and Division/Category Placement.

NetSetGO (Years 3 and 4)
When we put the NSG teams together, we always try and place the player with at least one friend (nominated on the registration form).

NSG players are typically new to netball, so ability and positions are not considered when doing team placements.

All year 5 players at FFNC will be placed in a Junior Year 5 team rather than an NSG Year 4/5 team.

Junior Year 5
This will be the first year that the player will experience being 'graded'. Friendship groups are not a high consideration when putting the year 5 teams together, although we will consider where appropriate.

In this age group, we need to be grouping the players together with similar abilities based on the grading process, but still considering a well-balanced team based on the preferred playing positions of those players who have been playing through NSG, but still allowing for players who have little to no netball experience.

Junior Year 6
By this stage, the Year 6's should be starting to gravitate towards specific playing positions that they are comfortable in and feel like they perform well in. Players are developing their skills and at this age there can be quite a disparity in ability, as there will be players with 3-4 years of experience and others with only 1 year of experience.

Team placements in this age group will reflect the following:
  • Grading notes
  • Feedback from last years coach
  • Maintaining a well-balanced team (positions)

Junior Year 7/8
In this age group, PNA combine year 7 and 8 players, so it is possible that a player may be placed in a team with all year 7's, all year 8's or both year 7's and 8's.

As this year group tends to have a big intake of New Players to the club of all abilities, current members may find themselves placed in a team with New Players and Current Members. We do not separate New Players from Current Members.

Team placements in this age group will reflect the following:
  • Grading notes
  • Feedback from last years coach
  • Maintaining a well-balanced team (positions)

Junior Year 9-12
In this age group, PNA combine year 9, 10, 11 and 12 players, so it is possible that a player may be placed in any combination of these.

Quite often, teams have 'played together' for a number of years, and if the team is a successful and well-balanced unit, we will try and keep them together if it suits the players. However, players come and go, and their abilities change too, so we will place them in a team that is best suited to them.

Team placements in this age group will reflect the following:
  • Grading notes
  • Feedback from last years coach
  • Maintaining a well-balanced team (positions)
  • Possibly keeping a team together
  • Consultation with the player and family if the players abilities are a much higher level than the team they usually play in

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