Around 800-900 boys and girls take part in ISFA representative trials and events each season. Inevitably many of these will at some point in the process not be selected for the various national and regional representative teams and this will lead to disappointment, both for the individual players themselves and also for their parents. Occasionally ISFA receives complaints, mainly from parents, about selection decisions and, whilst these represent only a very small proportion of the players involved, they involve a disproportionate amount of time to deal with.
ISFA fully understands the disappointment that results when individuals fail to gain selection and appreciates that parents will invariably feel that their son/daughter should be selected. The statement “my son/daughter was the best player on the pitch” is commonplace. However, it is not possible to select everybody and ultimately these decisions are a matter of opinion and must be made by neutral selectors, free from parental pressures.
In particular ISFA would like to make clear the following:
It is a condition of participation in the ISFA representative programme that schools, players and parents abide by and accept the selectors’ decisions without exception. This is fundamental and most important. If this condition is not acceptable, schools should not nominate the players concerned.
ISFA appoints experienced teachers and qualified coaches to take charge of its teams and make selection decisions. It does not believe it is acceptable that selectors should have to suffer abusive comments, either in person, on the phone or by e-mail in relation to team selection. Where such incidents take place, the player in question will be omitted from consideration from future selection.
The ISFA Representative programme and its teams are the property of ISFA and the Association reserves the right to select whichever players it considers to be appropriate. No player has a “right” to any such selection.
ISFA has on occasions been accused of running its representative programme in order to make money. Whilst it is necessary to ask parents to make a financial contribution to the cost of some events, it should be made clear that much of the programme runs at a financial loss and that ISFA in fact subsidises the programme by raising funds from other sources (eg sponsorship). ISFA’s aim is to organise a high quality programme for the best players in ISFA schools and to keep costs to a minimum for parents. The Association is a “not-for-profit” organisation and, in the event of there being any surplus funds, they are re-invested in the programme.
If schools or parents disagree with the above or find it unacceptable, then they should please not put forward their boys/girls for the programme.