How are sports teams selected?
During my time on the BARLA Executive in 1983/84 I was involved in the International Committee that selected the Great Britain under 19 team to play against France. Selection committee meetings for Yorkshire that I had attended previously had been fairly pleasant affairs. Players were selected following reports from county selectors and the whole process was very thorough and fair. International selection was very different. I drove to my first International selection meeting with Arthur Higgins, another member of the Executive, who had been an International selector previously. On the journey across to Lancashire to a hotel near Oldham where the meeting was to be held, Arthur warned me that we needed to be clear on who we wanted to be selected or we would not get any Yorkshire players in the team. This was despite Yorkshire having won the County Championship! The meeting was a real eye opener as the Lancashire and Cumbria representatives had obviously met earlier and decided who they wanted to be selected. Therefore, when it came to any votes we were beaten by Lancashire and Cumbria voting together. We did get a few players in the squad, but only because we got very angry and threatened to walk out. I was fairly shocked by the way in which men who were supposed to have young players’ interests at heart could ignore their conscience because it suited their purpose. I realised during the meeting that Lancashire and Cumbria also seemed to have agreed who to vote for when the prestigious Managers jobs were discussed. Some of the people on the selection committee seemed to be more interested in the ‘perks’ of the Managers job. The players appeared to be of secondary importance.
Is the selection process different today?
Is it better for representative teams to be selected by one person either the coach or the manager?