After the two team selectors are confirmed (5 hours or less before the game), I will create a separate WhatsApp group chat for the two team selectors to discuss and agree on line ups in private.
I will refer team selectors/captains to relevant parts of this thread.
As they may be otherwise engaged at the time, team selectors do not need to discuss and agree on line ups immediately upon being confirmed. At first instance, they can agree on a mutually convenient time to do so. This can be any time up to one hour before the game.
The aim is to have two evenly matched teams, with each team selector in charge of one team.
It is useful to know the players, including their strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies, including which players combine well together, or don't play well together, or what circumstances bring out the best (or the worst) of a player. The information for new or newer players will necessarily be limited. I will provide what information I can, including links to reports on games that the player in question has previously played in, and referring the team selector to that player's introducer, or other players who have played with that player before. Players are encouraged to disclose any relevant factors about themselves, especially any factors, such as previous or recurring injuries, earlier physical exertions, or loss of fitness, which may affect their form or position on the day.
It is more important for both teams to have a similar balance of stronger and weaker players, then for each team to have a similar balance of attacking and defensive players. Players need to be adaptable. We are not highly trained professionals, who can only play in one position. Even highly paid professionals can be required to to play in unfamiliar positions. "Stronger" and "weaker" is relative to the pool of players for a particular game. A stronger player in one game may be a weaker player in another game.
It is useful to keep new or newer players with their introducer unless either expressly states it is not necessary. As I expect new and newer players will feel more comfortable being on the same team as their introducer, it is about being welcoming of new and newer players, and being accommodating. Matching the two teams can usually be achieved by how the remaining players are divided. Some players may feel they are new only for their first one or two games. Others may not want to be separated from their introducer until they have played 50 or more games!
As previous experience of our games can make a lot of difference, it is also very useful to split the regulars and newer players fairly evenly between the 2 teams. Players coming back after long lay offs or injuries should also be split between the teams.
In practice, it is impossible to have perfectly even teams. One team may well be perceived as weaker or stronger. Ultimately, the aim is to keep the difference as marginal as possible or to reduce the difference as much as possible, so as not to detract from a closely contested or competitive game. Our games have players of mixed abilities. Provided players meet our basic standards, the players in each game may have a wide range of skills and abilities. Evenness is best achieved by both teams having a similar blend of stronger and weaker players.
If one or both teams are built around a group of friends, the remaining players should be split between the two teams in such a way as to make the teams as evenly matched as possible. It should be borne in mind that a team with players who are very familiar with each other or complement each other is likely to have a strength over and above their individual strengths. If is not possible to make the two teams fairly even, then it is advisable not to use such groups of friends as the basis for the two teams (unless the group agrees to play with a handicap, such as the other team having an extra player from the waitlist, or, if there are no players on waitlist, the players being split in such a way so that the other team has 2 players extra).
The aim is to reach a consensus on two evenly matched teams. There are various methods that the selectors can consider. These are set out in the Annex below.
One team selector should not merely concede to the other team selector's requests merely to cut the process short or to avoid disagreement. Each team selector represents the other players on his team, and is entrusted to exercise objective judgment in assessing and deciding on line ups.
I will not express any views on the proposed line ups if I think the two team selectors are sufficiently familiar with the bulk of the players. If I accept that either or both team selectors are not sufficiently familiar with several of the players, I may suggest line ups to the two team selectors, and they can either accept my suggestion or make changes.
The whole process should not take more than half an hour. If the two team selectors find themselves unable to agree after more than half an hour of discussions, I suggest they each put their last proposal to me, and I will say which of the two appears fairer to me.
When the line ups are finalized, the team selectors should also agree on colours, one team is red and the other is white.
If there are changes in personnel before the game commences, for example, due to a late replacement, or two additional players joining the game to take us from the minimum number to the maximum number, team selectors need to consider whether to make any changes in the line ups. It is therefore essential that all players bring both colours.
As I only suggest line ups if I think I am more familiar with the players than those playing, where I suggest line ups, team captains should not make changes to the line ups before the game without discussing the change with me, for where I suggest line ups with team captains, I remain ultimately responsible for the line ups before the game starts.
As stated under "Team selection" above, each team will comprise of both stronger and weaker players, and players who are more attacking or more defensive. Team selectors/captains will have to take these into account in deciding team organization, formation and tactics.
Players are expected to be adaptable. As the games are also meant to be social, there should also be a large degree of flexibility and accommodation in how any particular player is deployed. A player's preference should be taken into consideration, but more importantly, his capabilities. It is also important to know if a player prefers to be on the left, right or down the middle. Asking a naturally left sided player to play on the right side is like trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole, unless the intention is for the left sided player to regularly cut in from the right. There's also no point having a player who can't tackle in the centre of defence, or a 50 year old cover an entire wing. Although players should be adaptable, and may be able to develop new skills and abilities or re-discover old ones over time, it's not going to happen overnight.
In particular, team selectors/captains are responsible for implementing the rules that "Unless a player has an injury or physical impediment that prevents him from playing in goal, the players in each team take turns in goal" and "Unless a player volunteers to spend more time in goal, everyone should spend a similar amount of time in goal". As health and safety is of primary importance, the player concerned has the final say on whether he has an injury or physical impediment that prevents him from playing in goal. If the selector/captain doubts the genuineness of the impediment, they can raise it with me or on the report thread.
If any player does not co-operate with a team selector/captain, please let me know. Conversely, if any player feels that a team selector/captain is making unreasonable demands of him, he can let me know as well.
Flexibility and accommodation extends to making changes during the game. If one team is dominating the game and take a big lead in the first half of the game which appears unassailable, or one team is a player short due to uneven numbers, a no show, a late withdrawal, an injury to a player, a player having to leave early, or a temperamental player walking out of the game, or a team is significantly weakened by an injured player who continues to play in a limited capacity, team selectors/captains need to consider what changes to line ups and formations are necessary to keep the game competitive. The onus is greater when the scoreline is or approaches one that is grossly one-sided, as defined in the Appendix below. Where the team taking a big lead is largely a group of friends who don't want to be separated, one other player from that team switching over so that the other team has two players extra remains an option, as discussed in the section above.
During a game, the two team selectors/captains also have the final say on the application of the Playing Rules & Principles. If the team selectors/captains cannot agree, the issue should be discussed on the report thread after the game, and may be followed up on the appropriate announcements and developments thread. Any residual dissatisfaction after the game can also be discussed on the report thread for the game.
Often, a team that is perceived as weaker wins or avoids defeat by being well organized. Better team selectors/captains do well in the longer run. Previous experience as team selector/captain helps. Ultimately, it is about making the most of the player resources available to you, by deploying and organizing the players in your team effectively.
Accordingly, each of our games has become essentially a contest between team selectors/captains. There is a half-yearly prize for the most successful team selector, as determined by GIFFA parameters. Currently, team captains who are not elected selectors are not included.