Grading Guidelines

Aims and Objectives

Hampton Hammers Netball Club (HHNC) is committed to ensuring team grading is conducted fairly and effectively, and in the best interests of the Club and its players.

The intent of these guidelines is to:

  • Establish teams of similar skills and abilities
  • Allow teams to play in a suitably competitive environment
  • Allow HHNC to be represented in all ages and grades (A to E)
  • Allow the opportunities for individuals to be eligible for SANDY representation

HHNC also acknowledges that players enjoy playing with friends. It is therefore envisaged that most players should be able to be placed in a team that includes at least one, if not more, friends of similar ability. HHNC also recognises that playing outside these friendship groups is a great opportunity to meet new friends.

The policy will ensure that:

  1. For grading purposes, every child is treated as an individual club member, irrespective of previous team, grade or club.
  2. Every child has an equal opportunity.

Note: If a child played the previous year, their coach for that year will have submitted feedback on each member of that team. In the circumstance that there are players new to the club, more court time may be allocated to them to allow for more accurate grading to occur.

Grading of Each Age Group

Under 11sPlay by competition rules but do not accrue competition points nor play a final series.

Players in this age group will be graded via the process described in the grading policy. As the U11 competition is seen as a non-competitive learning environment a greater emphasis is placed on:

  1. Skills development
  2. Age
  3. Friendships/school groups

Under 13s and Under 15s  - Play by competition rules and accrue competition points and play a final series.

Players in these age groups will be graded via the process described in these guidelines.

Under 17 and Open Age groups

Since 2012 players moving into the Under 17 and Open age groups have not participated in grading. This decision is reviewed annually. As decided by three members of the committee, usually the President, Head Coach and the Registration Secretary, players are placed in teams on the basis of:

  1. Previous season’s team
  2. Individual requests

Players Playing Out Of Their Age Group

The general policy of the Club is that all players play within teams of their own age group (U11, U13, U15, U17 or Open). (Age is calculated as of 31st December of the playing season other than for U11s which is April 30 of the playing season)

However, on occasion, there may be exceptions to this rule.

During grading, should the Graders identify a player of exceptional talent for whom a team of similar ability does not exist within their own age group, then that player may be offered the opportunity to play in a higher age group.

In addition, should the Club have insufficient player registrations in adjacent age groups to form full teams, players may be requested to play up an age group in order to form a team of composite age. In such instances, the players asked to play up an age group will be selected based on them being of similar ability to the other players in the team in which they will be placed.

A player may request to be graded in an older age group in order to play with players in the same year level at school. Such a request is only to be denied if the Club has insufficient player registrations in that player’s correct age group to form a full team without that player, or too many players in the older age group.

Grading Days

An individual official Grading Day will be scheduled by the Club for each Under 11, Under 13, and Under 15 age group on a series of Fridays in November. In the case of bad weather a back up date may be scheduled.

For relevant club members and any people on our waiting list the Grading Dates will be advised in advance via email.

It is recognised that not all players may be available on their scheduled Grading Day, and therefore, a second Grading session may be scheduled at the discretion of the Committee.

Depending on numbers attending, two (2), three (3) or four (4) independent graders will be appointed to grade players on the day, with outcomes to be provided to a Team Formation Committee. Advice may also be sought from the coaches of previous teams. Members of the Team Formation Committee will be invited to attend the Grading Day.

The bulk of the time allocated to Grading sessions will be spent on determining skill levels by rotating the players through a series of netball training drills. This will be followed by a session of actual on-court play.

Players shall nominate when registering which area of the court they prefer to play in - goals, midcourt or defence. However, this does not mean that when placed in a team they will play in this area of the court. Players may also be asked to trial in other positions, either to make up a team, or because the Graders would like to see how they perform in those positions.

For a number of reasons, it may not be necessary for all players to play an identical number of quarters during the game session.
Graders will judge players on fitness, skills, performance, teamwork and attitude.

Grading Criteria

In assessing the overall skills of a player within an age group, the Grading Committee will take into account:

  • Ball Handling Skills
  • Attacking Skills
  • Defending Skills
  • Perception/Cognition Skills
  • Sportsmanship and Attitude
  • Footwork
  • Speed and agility

The outcome of the grading sessions is to develop teams of A, B, C, D or E standard for each age grade for submission to SANDY. There is no guarantee that SANDY will accept our team grading.

A player must make every effort to attend their Grading Day. If a player does not attend this Grading Day and there is no further scheduled grading session, then placement into a team for this player will be based upon:

  1. Coach’s Evaluation (for existing players)
  2. Observation by Head Coach and/or Team Coaches during the last 6 weeks or so of the previous season (for existing players)
  3. Observation by Head Coach and/or Team Coaches at the nominated training session prior to the start of the season.

Coach’s Evaluation

At the conclusion of each season, the coaches will be surveyed on the team performance, player performance and suggestions for improvements.

Team Formation

Three individuals, one of whom shall be Registration Secretary, will be appointed to the Team Formation Committee. There may be separate Team Formation Committees for each graded age group.

If a child of a Team Formation Committee Member is being considered that Committee Member shall stand down for that vote.

Players will be placed in teams on the basis of:

  1. Grading performance
  2. Coach’s Assessment (unless new to the club)
  3. Court Position Balance and Backup
  4. Other than for the top team in each age group, friendships
  5. Sportsmanship and Attitude (including at training).


  • A & B Grade – are usually players in the 2nd year of the age group
  • D & E Grade – are usually players in the 1st year of the age group
  • C – a mixture of both.

When forming teams, the aim shall be to achieve strength and balance in each team.

Any changes to team formations after teams have been finalised, due to the departure of a player or for any other reason, must be ratified by the Team Formation Committee.

No player or parent shall approach any member of the Team Formation Committee and must not attempt to influence the grading and team formation process.

Ideally nine (9) players will be selected per team however, due to numbers registered and the number of teams we can registered being capped at 19, some teams may have eight (8) (minimum allowed by SANDY for registration of a team) or a maximum of twelve (12) players.

Top Team /A Team in each Age Group

Whilst dependent on the number and skills of the players in a given year, SANDY have an expectation due to the size of the club, that HHNC would be able to form a team to be graded in the A grade in both U11 and U13 age groups.

As the standard of play at this level is markedly higher, it is considered that to develop the skills of the players at this level and to enable them to effectively compete against other teams in this grade, an experienced Coach will be required.

Consistent with the objective of player and team development, players at this level will also be expected to be committed at training sessions, which may be more intense than at lower grades. Friendships may not be a consideration when selecting players for this team.

The Hampton Hammers Netball Club will endeavour to provide suitable coaches for all teams and they will be encouraged to attend coaching programs.

Announcement of Teams

Once the grading process has concluded, the Team Formation Committee will form up to 19 teams by the middle of January. Players will be informed via an email from the Registration Secretary in late January of their team, their coach and possibly their Team Manager.

Team Placement Appeals

Whilst it is hoped that players and parents appreciate the difficulty of grading and accept the decision of the Team Formation Committee an appeal may be made.

Any appeal must be made via email to the Registration Secretary as representative of the Team Formation Committee. The final outcome will be formalised by the Executive Committee.

Late Registrations

Any late registrations will only be accepted by the Registration Secretary if:

  1. the player would be of a suitable age and level of ability to play in a team that has eight (8) or nine (9) players and
  2. lives in or goes to school within Bayside Council’s boundaries.