While waiting for Jangles to finish using the BUB's microwave so I could make some popcorn to eat while watching old ULTI-mates videos, I decided to see what was happening on the AFDA website. What I discovered was an interesting article relating to the World Games Selection Process http://www.afda.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=1327&task=view&Itemid=
The article is in response to a blog post by well known Ultimate player and ginger Tiger Webb http://forcereturn.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/australian-exceptionalism.html
Tiger's post questions the selection process for the World Games Squad, in particular the late addition of Mike Neild and Jonno Holmes, as well as issues with transparency and trust in the Selectors.
The AFDA article written by 3 Selectors goes into reasonable detail in addressing Tiger's concerns and explaining the rationale behind their selection decisions. All well and good.
The interesting point that I took from all of this, that was alluded to by Tiger but not addressed by the AFDA post, is how impartial selectors are and can be when, as stated by Tiger, "all the personnel involved tend to be friends, armchair commentators or fellow players - and usually all three".
I want to state now that by no means am I implying that the selection process of this team, or any rep team for that matter, is unfair or biased and favours the selectors friends/family/team-mates. I have trust in the selection process and the selectors.
It does bring up the question however: How impartial can a selector be if they have a pre-existing relationship with some of the people they are potentially selecting?
Selection panels in Ultimate are often current players who have played with many of the people trying out before and are also often friends with them as well. Does this mean it's harder for new players who don't have a history with the selector to be picked? Especially if the selector takes into account previous playing experiences of the player?
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this issue. The ideal situation in my opinion would be a panel of selectors who have minimal ties with any of the players trying out. This is the case in many professional sports, where selection panels are often made of ex coaches, administrators and players, who have not been directly involved in playing the game for a number of years. I realise that often in those examples the selectors do have friendships with current players as oft happens in professional sport, however they are usually removed enough from the game to be considered impartial.
Do you think this should be the case for Ultimate team selection panels? Or is there simply not enough depth in the sport to find a panel who could be considered completely impartial?
Let us know what you think in the comments.