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2011 USA Wheelchair Rugby Team Selection Criteria Announced

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Wheelchair Rugby
I.          Selection System
A.                Team Selection Philosophy: USA Wheelchair Rugby seeks to select the combination of players most likely to collectively win the gold medal at the 2011 IWRF America Zone Championships.
Team Composition: The wheelchair rugby team to the 2011 IWRF America Zone Championships shall have a maximum of twelve (12) players. Each eligible player shall be classified according to the degree of his/her disability (0.5= most severe): 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, or 3.5. The team can have four (4) players on the floor at any time, the sum of whose classifications shall be not greater than eight (8). Thus, the team shall comprise players from a variety of disability rankings.
Eligibility: Candidates must be citizens of the United States and must hold a valid U.S. Passport at the time of team selection. Candidates without a valid U.S. Passport at the time of team selection must show proof of application for a passport and a projected timeline. Candidates must hold an IWRF International Classification or a U.S. Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) classification (0.5 – 3.5) in order to participate in the team selection camp.
B.                 Selection Process: 
I.        The selection process shall have three stages:
1.      Player review and invitation
2.      Training Team Selection Camp
3.      Final Team Selection
II. The Selection Committee shall be composed of:
1.      USA Wheelchair Rugby Head Coach
2.      USA Wheelchair Rugby Assistant Coach
3.      USA Wheelchair Rugby Assistant Coach
4.      Athlete Representative (not in contention for the team)
5.      USA Wheelchair Rugby Program Manager
C.                 Selection Criteria:  The Head Coach and the Program Manager shall coordinate the Player review and invitation process. The Selection Committee shall participate in each stage of the Team Selection Process at the Tryout Camp.  
I.          Player review and invitation
a. Player review will continue through the end of September 2010 (including the USA National team and USA Force season, the USQRA Club season and USQRA Player Development Clinics). Invitations will be sent out by October 19, 2010. Review of players for invitation (steps b.i and b.ii below) will be based on ball acquisition and retention skills, passing skills, defensive effectiveness and tactical decision-making observed in game situations observed during the USQRA 2009 – 2010 season, USQRA player development clinics and the 2010 USA Wheelchair Rugby and USA Force Seasons (camps and competitions).
b. Player review shall have two components
i. Initial invitation of no more than forty (40) athletes will be sent out on October 19, 2010.
·     Initial Invitations
o    2010 USA Wheelchair Rugby Team
o    2009 USA Wheelchair Rugby National Team
o    2010 USA Force members
·     Secondary Invitations
o    Athletes evaluated through USQRA club play and developmental clinics and based on classification and need as determined by the head coach.
ii. Players not named on the initial or secondary invitation list and who have competed on a registered USQRA club team, for at least 3 full seasons, may request, in writing, a review for invitation. Such requests must include a videotape of an entire game in which the player had significant playing time. A letter of support must also be sent by the player’s head coach. This letter must be sent directly from the head coach, not from or through the athlete. Requests, letters of support and tapes must be received by the USA Wheelchair Rugby Program Manger on or before November 1, 2010.
c. All supplemental invitations from accepted protests (step ii above) will be issued by USA Wheelchair Rugby on or before November 8, 2010.
d.The final list of Tryout Camp participants will be notified by November 15, 2010.
              II. America Zone Championships Training Team Selection
a. All invited players (C.1 above) wishing to be considered for selection to the 2011 America Zone Championship team must participate in the tryout camp at Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama, Wednesday December 15 – Sunday December 19, 2010. Lakeshore Foundation Olympic and Paralympic Training Site will support all invited athletes with ground transportation, housing, food, and on-site support. Candidates must confirm participation with the USA Wheelchair Rugby Program Manager by November 1, 2010 (Accepted protest candidates must accept invitation by November 12, 2010). All candidates must provide their own transportation to the camp.
b. At the tryout camp, all candidates shall participate in all drills, tests, and scrimmages.
c. Each candidate will be tested and timed as well as observed in drills, and scrimmages. The Selection Committee will evaluate each player using the skills sheet in Attachment A.
d. The selection committee will use the evaluations on Attachment A to rank candidates with the same or similar numeric classification while also considering positional play.
e. The selection committee will develop a roster of players that will enable the USA to field a variety of eight point or less lineups in order to maximize the team competitiveness in a variety of situations. 
f. The selection committee will create a roster based on the above process as well as rankings, skills, and player diversity (classification and positions).
g. The Selection Committee will announce the America Zone Championships training team of up to 19 athletes at the conclusion of the tryout camp, on or before December 19, 2010.
h. The Training Team will train as a group until the end of the August Residential Camp.
i. Athletes invited to participate in the team selection camp who cannot attend or fully participate in the camp due to illness, injury, or family emergency may be selected to the training team of up to nineteen (19) if:
1. The player was selected to the 2010 World Championship team, the 2009 USA National team, the 2010 USA Force Team and the player has demonstrated significant improvement/potential, based on the selection committees’ opinion, in the judged qualities.
III.      Final Team Selection
a. Based on the above criteria, performance during the summer training season and the level of expected competition, up to12 athletes will be selected to travel to the 2011 America Zone  Championships in Bogota’ Columbia by the end of the August Residential Camp (August 28, 2011). 
II.        Discretionary Selection
A.                Subjectivity: The sport of wheelchair rugby is not a measured or timed event. In the selection of athletes who will compete together as a team, it is impossible to make selection decisions based solely upon objective criteria. It is the belief of USA Wheelchair Rugby that selection criteria set out above, which includes subjective components in the evaluation of performance and ability, will result in the selection of the very best athletes to comprise our team.
III.       Required Documents
The following documents are required to be signed by an athlete as a condition of selection to the 2011 America Zone Championships Team (these documents will be distributed at the Tryout Camp).
A.    USOC Code of Conduct
B.     USA Wheelchair Rugby Code of Conduct
IV.       Publicity/Distribution of Procedures
These procedures will be posted on the U.S. Quad Rugby Association and Lakeshore Foundation websites. Procedures will also be available in hard copy by request from the USA Wheelchair Rugby office at Lakeshore Foundation.
 V.       Mandatory Training
Athletes selected to the America Zone Championships training team will be required to participate in all activities listed in order to remain in contention for the National team that travels to the IWRF America Zone Championships in Bogota’ Columbia. The tentative schedule, as of this publication, is as follows (all training camps are held at Lakeshore Foundation Olympic and Paralympic Training Site in Birmingham, AL:
·     April 27 – 31, 2011 – training camp
·     May 24 – 29, 2011 – training camp
·     June 23 – 26, 2011 – training camp
·     July 28 – 31, 2011 – training camp
·     August 18 – 28, 2011 – training camp
·     Dates TBD - Summer Competition
·     September (TBD) – America Zone Championships – Bogota’ Columbia
VI.       Anti-Doping Requirements
Athletes must adhere to all WADA and USADA anti-doping protocols, policies and procedures. This includes participation in - in and out of competition testing as required by WADA and USADA.
VII.     Replacement Players
1. If an invited athlete chooses not to participate in the team selection camp, vacancies up to 40 athletes will be filled based on accepted protests received by the stated deadline and at the head coaches’ discrepancy. 
2. Replacement of athletes on the America Zone Championships team
                        a. If prior to the team’s departure from the United States for America Zone Championships an athlete selected to the team withdraws his nomination (in writing to the USA Wheelchair Rugby office at Lakeshore Foundation) or if he sustains an injury or illness that will keep him from returning to competition form by the start of the America Zone Championships, the coaching staff shall name a replacement from among the alternates. Determination of return from illness or injury shall be made by the Head Coach with input from the team Athletic Trainer. Disability classification (0.5-3.5) and positional play will be the primary considerations.
VIII.     Athlete Ombudsman
If you have questions regarding your opportunity to compete that are not answered by USA Wheelchair Rugby, you may contact the USOC Athlete Ombudsman: John W. Ruger by telephone at (888) ATHLETE, or by e-mail at
XI.     International Disclaimer
These procedures are based on IWRF rules and regulations as presently known and understood. Any change in the selection procedures caused by a change in IWRF rules and regulations will be distributed to the affected athletes immediately. The selection criteria are based on the latest information available to USA Wheelchair Rugby. However, the selections are always subject to unforeseen, intervening circumstances, and realistically have not accounted for every possible contingency.
October 20, 2010 — 3:00pm