Provincial Schools Trials: Guidelines
Every child in the country must have the opportunity to qualify to play for a province. Under no circumstances may discrimination occur against home scholars, players attending a school that does not offer tennis as an extra mural, players not attending a provincial squad or any other squad whatsoever.
A player plays for the province where he or she attends school. If a player is home schooled, he/she will play for the province where they live.
It has to be kept in mind that this is a high performance tournament. The rules state that a team consists of 6 boys and 6 girls. At least two boys and two girls must be players of colour. The normal selection process must take place. If there are two boys and two girls who are players of colour in the team on merit no extra PDI players have to be included. If this is not the case, the number 6 player and then the number 5 player must be replaced by the best player of colour in the province.
Due to the complexity of our provinces the method by which trials are conducted might differ from province to province. Provinces like Gauteng (North/Central/East), Western Cape (WP/SWD/) etc. are often easier to manage than a province like Eastern Province that stretches over hunderds of kilometers. The Schools Board suggests the following:
An open tournament is played. Every player qualifying to play for the province must have an opportunity to enter. Normal TSA rules apply. At least the last 8 have to play for position. The winner of the tournament will be number 1 etc.
Certain tournaments should be identified. These must be communicated to all players. The results of these tournaments will be used to select the team.
The KZN model. Players are divided into groups. Matches take place in a round robin format. Top positions go into a final group where final play-offs take place.
The Schools Board strongly advises against the exclusive usage of TSA rankings. Numerous examples exist where players with lower rankings eventually played in top positions for the province and were even selected for the national schools team. It is also not advisable to have open challenge matches, Once the team has been selected, stick to the team. Avoid including players who are not part of the trials.
It is important that every province communicates the chosen format to every one involved. The decision must be taken at an AGM. Individvuals cannot change the rules. Provinces are welcome to send their format to me to be published on the schools web site.