AUSTRALIAN 8 BALL
OPEN TEAM MANAGERS REPORT
Introduction. The open team was determined through a series of qualifying competitions played during the year and this was finalised approximately six weeks before the championships were due to start. Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances, some players were not able to fulfil their original obligations and their positions were allocated to the next qualifiers. This considerably weakened our team although we still had the players to remain very competitive at state level.
Team. The team registered to play consisted of:
John Spink (Captain)
Travis Crawley (Sydney wildcard entry)
Terry Stevens (Manager Women)
Steve Chapman (Manager Open)
Strategies. A team meeting was held the day prior to the championship beginning for all members to meet each other and to discuss strategies of play. One of the strategies agreed to by all, was that we as a team, would try to perform at our best possible level and that selection to play in each round would be performance based. In other words, if you were performing badly you would become a reserve and another team member would be played. This determination unfortunately, was not adhered to by all, despite my requests and recommendations to do so.
Venue and Operation. The Chan building was quite suitable with food and beverage catering well planned and operated.
The overall operation of the championship was good with the main criticism being the lack of umpires available for those duties. This led to some bad umpiring decisions at critical times because of the inexperience of some of those performing this role. This point was addressed at the Umpires and Rules meeting and will be rectified next year by having each state provide umpiring staff.
Percentages. As statistics became available I compiled percentages on each player. This information was well received by most and I believe served as a valuable guide to one’s performance. This however, was rejected by John Spink who stated that individuals did not want to know how badly they were playing. I continued to produce these pages until I became sick of them disappearing after being presented to the players at the venue.
Performances. As a team performance, I was disappointed. I stress here that most team members were dedicated and gave their all however, some individuals did not want or know how to become part of a team and raise their performance level accordingly. Some players treated the whole experience as one big party and not as a serious representation of your state in your chosen sport. It became obvious that as we moved further into the championship we were not going to be serious contenders for a final three placing. This further gave individuals an excuse to be under achievers and it became even more of a mediocre event.
The role of team manager is reasonably demanding and must be performed at a high level of involvement with all team players and officials alike. Without conscientious effort from the manager many things can go wrong.
If we are serious about producing the best possible team with a strong desire to win, I believe the roles of the manager and the captain must be clearly and concisely documented with all lines of demarcation established prior to attending the championships. This is essential for the smooth running and management of the team.
Additionally, I recommend that all potential state players be tested on world rules and be presented with and agree to our state mission statement and player expectations (yet to be formulated) relating to codes of conduct and performance of players whilst attending national championships.