ITA DOC 1.1 – National Player Selection Policy

ITA DOC 1. – PATHWAY TO PLAY TOUCH FOR IRELAND
ITA DOC 1.1 – National Playing Squads Selection Policy
Intended Audience – ITA Members

INTRODUCTION:
The ITA recognizes that selection in a representative team is the pinnacle of a huge amount of hard work and training. ‘Selection’ as defined in this policy is the process undertaken to ensure the best available players are chosen to represent Ireland. This policy is designed to ensure that all teams representing Ireland are selected under a fair and equitable process for all players.

1.0 SELECTION OBJECTIVES
1.1 To select athletes that will form teams to achieve the best possible results for Ireland in World Cups, European Championships, Home Nations and other International matches/events.
1.2 To select athletes for development events that have the best chance of contributing to major tournament success in future.
1.3 To employ an open, practical and fair selection process that gives all athletes a chance to challenge for International selection.
1.4 To develop selectors and to guide the selection process in Ireland.
1.5 To have all teams selected using the selection process.
1.6 To have coaches take an active role in the selection process.

2.0 ITA PLAYER ELIGIBILITY REGULATIONS
2.1 To be selected into an Ireland Team, Players must be current financial members of Ireland Touch.
2.2 It is compulsory for all players to attend the Squad Trials.
2.3 Selection Registration to be completed with Ireland no later than one full week prior to the event.

3.0 PLAYER DISPENSATION
3.1 Any player unable to participate at the Ireland Trials must submit a ‘Player Dispensation’ form to the Technical Panel one week prior to the event.
3.2 Verbal notification for ‘Player Dispensation’ will not be accepted unless under extenuating circumstances.
3.3 ‘Player Dispensation’ Forms will be reviewed by the Technical Panel who will submit a recommendation to the Selectors/Coaches concerned.
3.4 Acceptance of dispensation does not automatically place a player into any Ireland Team.

4.0 FIT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
For FIT (Federation of International Touch) eligibility criteria for representing a country at international level in Touch, please see relevant ITA Pathway to Play for Ireland – Doc 1.3.

5.0 PLAYING DIVISIONS
5.1 Open Division – Players selected into these divisions may be of any age. (Mens, Womens & Mixed)
5.2 Age Divisions– Players selected into these ALL Age divisions will be in accordance with their date of birth.
5.3 If a person chooses to play in a divisional age group outside their division by age, that person will be considered for the division they play and will not be considered for their correct age division.
6.0 SELECTION FRAMEWORK
6.1. The relevant Trials/Selection dates will be published in advance and available to athletes from Ireland Touch by email or other form of communication.
6.2 Player assessment and the selection of Ireland training squads is to be conducted by approved Selectors and Squad Coaches under the governance of the Technical Panel.
6.3 The Selectors and Squad Coaches, under the governance of the Technical Panel, are responsible for establishing the strategic selection criteria for identifying Ireland squads and teams. This will include the number of trials which need to be attended, the retention of existing squad players, continuity and development.
6.4 The Technical Panel has final sign-off on selection criteria and all selections of training squads and teams.
6.5 Analysis of individual player abilities will be governed by the respective Coach’s written specific team requirements submitted prior to the event commencing.
6.6 Touch is a team sport. Whilst athletes can do a great deal to develop in an individual environment, ultimately that athlete has to be able to realise their potential and perform within a team. Acknowledgement is made that in selecting for a team sport, combinations of athletes, the balance of a squad and the ability of athletes to play in more than one position are also considered alongside individual skill level.
6.7 All players must adhere to Ireland Touch codes of behaviour as outlined in the Ireland Touch Players Agreement.
6.8 Player’s conduct, including conduct from previous tours, may be taken into consideration during the selection process.

7.0 TEAM FINALISATION
7.1 The Selectors in conjunction with the Coaches will oversee the implementation of the selection process and finalisation of all Ireland Teams.
7.2 Ireland Squads + Shadows will be finalised at the conclusion of the designated trials. Squad/Shadows generally to consist of the top 16 players, followed by the next 4 players. In some cases, Squads may train with slightly larger numbers. In such cases, the Squad will be reduced to 16 + 4 shadows no less than one calendar month before the Tournament in question.
7.3 Athletes will be notified of their selection or non-selection as soon as possible with an agreed method of communication.
7.4 Confidentiality of all Ireland-selected players must be strictly adhered to by all Selectors and Coaches.
7.5 Final Ireland Squads will be ratified by the Chairman of Selectors prior to their release.
7.6 The Coach of each squad will be available to discuss the selection results with affected athletes. Non-selected athletes have the option for discussions to be witnessed by another Ireland Touch Selector and documented.

8.0 PLAYER REPLACEMENT
8.1 Any selected player that withdraws from the selected player list is to supply written notification of their withdrawal to their respective Squad Coach, and/or the Technical Panel immediately.
8.2 The Selectors will co-ordinate a replacement player (from the list of extras supplied) through discussions with the Squad Coaches.
8.3 Should a replacement decision be unable to be finalised/agreed between Selectors/Coaches, then the Technical Panel will be asked to make the final selection decision.
8.4 Players from the original selected player list will not be replaced unless all previous selected shadows have been taken up into the team.
9.0 REVIEW PROCESS
9.1 An athlete may request a review of any given selection decision by submitting an email request for a review, including the grounds for a review, to the Chairman of Selectors within 3 days of the announcement of the relevant selection decision.
9.2 The review will be undertaken by the Chairman of Selectors and the Technical Panel within 7 days of receipt of the review request and may at the Chairman of Selectors/Technical Panel’s discretion include a meeting with the relevant athlete or Head Coach.
9.3 The Chairman of Selectors/Technical Panel shall have an unfettered discretion either to uphold or amend the original selection decision as a result of the review and will communicate the decision to the relevant athlete(s) and Squad Coach as soon as reasonably practicable.
9.4. The decision of the Chairman of Selectors/Technical Panel is final and binding on the athlete being an exercise of discretion in the matter of selection. It is not a disciplinary or ‘judicial’ finding and as such is not subject to appeal.