What Is Grading Day?
Each year, clubs are required to ‘grade’ junior players to ensure they are playing in the correct competition in the forthcoming season. Oatley FC calls this “Grading Day” and this involves several sessions, split into age groups, with some games and activities that help us arrive at the decision regarding your child. This is run by committee members and headed by our qualified Club Coach, Matt Jones.
Children are split into ‘Beginner’, ‘Intermediate’ and occasionally ‘Advanced’ levels, though in most of the younger age groups there is no ‘Advanced’ competition.
What Is A Beginner or Intermediate Player?
These are the names assigned to junior football fixture scheduling by our local governing body, the St George Football Association. They are “non-comp” at junior levels until Under-12.
We are required to make an assessment as to which children should play in which competition. In nearly all cases this is ‘Beginner’ level, though some children are more suited to playing at a stronger level. Usually we might finish with one or perhaps two Intermediate teams at an age level, and many more Beginner level teams.
When are the Grading Days?
Please check the calendar on our website or keep an eye on the Facebook page for age groups and dates for the Grading Days.
Is It All About Talent With A Football?
No! We are looking for a number of factors that include size, tenacity, athleticism, and of course ball skill. The children selected for Intermediate teams are not necessarily those with the most obvious skills.
Is This Compulsory?
No. You are perfectly welcome not to attend Grading Day, especially if you have a team environment that everyone is happy with and wishes to continue. However, we’d still love to be aware of how children are progressing and please be aware that anyone not attending won’t be considered for the intermediate teams unless under special circumstances.
We Have A Great Player In Our Beginner Team. We Can’t Lose Him/Her!
Understood. But….please consider the best environment for that child to make progress in the game, and that dominant players at Beginner level through size, ability, personality or other reasons may also be holding back the development of other players on that team that may thrive in a new environment with new responsibilities. We also have new children join the club that require placing on existing teams, and we therefore encourage natural movement between ability levels to ensure everyone is correctly placed to enjoy the game to the maximum.
What Happens After Grading Day?
Each age group is assigned a coordinator that volunteers their time to ensure that teams are put together according to ability, parental wishes, school groups and so on. They’ll be in contact with you shortly afterwards with team arrangements. These are fluid, and will likely change before the seasons starts due to various factors. Please be supportive of the coordinator as this is not an easy task, particularly at age groups where field and team size changes that require teams to be changed completely.
We strongly encourage you and your children to attend Grading Day. It’s a fun event playing games against fellow Oatley FC players, and a great reintroduction to football ahead of the season starting again.