Vitality Netball Superleague side London Pulse have taken an innovative approach to their trials for the 2020/21 season by hosting them online.
The new process includes an objective video-testing phase as well as a physical trial and is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.
These virtual sessions include five online evaluations including strength and conditioning (S&C), ball skills, shooting, attacking, and defending.
All triallists are required to partake in four of the five segments while the ball skills and S&C components are mandatory. Worksheets and video demonstrations for each evaluation are provided.
Participants can conduct these virtual trials in their own time and take part by submitting video evidence during the submission process. The virtual trial process lasts until midnight on 28 August 2020.
All submissions will be watched by London Pulse Selectors and, if the club is unable to host a physical trial, data from these virtual trials will be used in order to determine Pulse’s NPL Long Squads and the 12 London Pulse Hubs.
The creative approach directly combats the difficulties of the social distancing measures enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic and is hoped to have further benefits as well.
London Pulse CEO and Director of Netball Sam Bird said:
“I have been involved in pathway trials for a long time now and I’ve been keen to devise a system where selectors get a much better look at those trialling.
“This new process enables triallists to know what skills are being assessed and gives them time to practise, and can join trial sessions to help them do so. Selectors also get a good look at each athlete’s core skills before they see them play meaning that, when the athletes play, the selectors already know them.
“We believe this creates a fairer, transparent process which supports the athlete and enables us to select more accurately. I’m so proud of the staff that have made this happen.”
The virtual trials will hopefully be followed by physical trials in London on 12-13 September 2020.