SMOG Netball Club 

Trials & Selection Policy 2024

As of January 2024


The purpose of the trials is to provide players with the opportunity to play for the SMOG netball club at the appropriate level in order to create a fun, supportive environment for all players in order to be the best netball club in Wellington.  

Selector Obligations and Role

Selectors will be impartial and act in good faith and will endeavour to place all trialists in the most appropriate team. SMOG does acknowledge, however, that both selectors and trialists are only human. If selectors have properly considered the competencies outlined below, and have exercised their judgement and discretion in good faith, the selectors have fulfilled their obligations under this Policy. 

Selectors will be confirmed each year by the Club. They will generally include the coaches of respective teams and an independent selector (someone who has not been closely involved in the week-to-week coaching or managing for SMOG in the previous or current season). 

The trial coordinator for 2024 is Emily Black (Club Captain). 

Illness and injury 

If a potential trialist is unwell or injured, the SMOG committee and executive, in collaboration with the relevant coach, may endeavour to place a potential trialist in an appropriate team based on previous experience and netball references. While SMOG will attempt to find a ‘good fit’, we cannot promise that players will be placed in a team that they have previously played in. 

SMOG also reserves the right to place players who cannot attend trials in a team based on previous experience and netball references. SMOG also reserves the right not to place a non-trialist in a team where the decision maker/s lack information about the non-trialist's previous experience or skills. 

Trial Format

Trials will take place in March 2024. Each trial ‘category’ will have 2 x two-hour trials and every trialist will have at least two games and the opportunity to request a trial in a preferential position. The trial coordinator will endeavour to allow every trialist to play in their preferred position. 

Selectors will evaluate trialists based on the competencies outlined below. Selectors will assess trialists and assist with the formation of teams, but the trial coordinator, SMOG Committee and SMOG Executive reserves the right to make final decisions on the team placement of any trialist. 

Generally, the respective coach of a team will act as a selector and will have significant input into the final selection of their team members. 

Trialist expectations

All trialists are expected to attend all relevant trials in order to be placed in a SMOG team. If a trialist cannot attend all relevant trials, they must notify the trial coordinator (via prior to the commencement of the trials and have an adequate reason (as deemed by the trial coordinator) for not attending. 

It should be noted that if a trialist only attends one trial, it limits the selectors’ ability to assess the trialists’ skill level, fitness, and compatibility with other players on court. 

It is also expected that trialists will share, prior to the trials, if they are intended to trial for multiple clubs. This will not have any relevance to the selection process, but it may result in a discussion about club preference prior to teams being announced. SMOG endeavours to be the preferred netball club in Wellington and is keen to have active feedback loops with trialists and players to make that happen. SMOG also endeavours to announce stable teams, and avoid post-trial player movement between teams where possible.


SMOG selects on merit.  The selectors will be provided with the following selection guidance, but SMOG is confident in the subjective decision-making ability of our selectors in relation to netball skill and acumen. They will consider skill base, performance consistency, decision-making, fitness, work ethic, discipline and flair. 

Other factors that may be considered include: 

  • Netball compatibility with other potential teammates 

  • Positional balance within the team

  • Succession planning

  • Balance of experience within the team

  • Previous performance for SMOG 

Other attributes can also be considered by the selectors or trial coordinator. This may include (but is not limited to): willingness to volunteer (e.g. umpire trial games), willingness to play out of position and team compatibility. 

Self-entered teams

Please note that SMOG does accept self-entered teams and they will be graded based on the aggregate skill of the team and the SMOG committee and/or executive reserves the right to have the final decision regarding grading. Members of self-entered teams in a Premier or Premier Reserve grade will attend trials to ensure that the aggregate skill of the team matches the level expected of the team number allocated. 

Premier teams

The Premier teams are selected on merit and will be made up of players who wish to play at the highest level and are willing to commit to the training and fitness levels that are required. These teams will be made up of players with proven maturity, as well as those who are upcoming talent, in order to maintain an appropriate balance of skills and experience. 

Premier reserve teams

The Premier Reserve teams will also be selected on merit and will be made up of those players who were unsuccessful at premier trials, and players who chose to trial for premier reserve teams. Self-entered teams may be among these teams and will be graded based on the average skill of the self-entered team. Premier reserve grades are competitive and the appropriate commitment to training and personal fitness is required. 

Senior teams

These teams will be selected on merit from players who were unsuccessful in the Premier Reserve trials and those who elected to trial for Senior teams. It is important that these teams are selected to ensure that players have a safe and enjoyable season. 

Trial Attendance and Trial Fees

Please contact one of the committee members at, via the SMOG Netball Club Facebook page or indicate on your trial registration form if you cannot make one or more trials. 

If you register your attendance and do not attend (without explanation), you will not be placed in a team. 

If extenuating circumstances arise that mean you cannot attend trials (including, but not limited to, illness, injury, bereavement), the Committee and/or selectors will have discretion as to whether you are placed in a team.  You may be asked to provide written proof of circumstances (e.g. note from health practitioner). 

Trial Fees

Trial fees are $20 and due prior to trials.  Trial fees are non-refundable and form part of the full fees for the season.  More information is available on our website.  

Naming of teams

Teams will be named on the SMOG website and notified via social media (Facebook).  We aim to do this within 7 days of the last trial date for each grade.  Where squads are named for Premier grades, individual team naming may be delayed.


If a player withdraws after trials, their position in the team will generally be backfilled by the next highest ranked player of that position/area of the court. The position may also be filled by a non-trialist if that person has an adequate reason for not attending trials (as determined by the SMOG Club Captain) and the coach of that team has determined that they are of appropriate skill level. If they withdraw after the season starts, discretion of the coaches and the committee/executive will be applied.

Your trial fee will not be refunded if you withdraw from the Club after trials.  

Dispute Resolution

If a player feels that they have been selected in a team which is not at their ability level and this is severely impacting on their enjoyment of the game, a request to have a selection review may be made.  This request should be sent in writing to

Complaints will be resolved on a case-by-case basis but SMOG will endeavour to provide a response within 14 days. The complaint may be discussed by the SMOG Committee, SMOG coach/es, and the selectors. 

Contact SMOG Netball Club Facebook page