Policy

OUAC policy 2013/14

The aim of this document is to provide to the members of OUAC the basis of decisions which the OUAC committee expect to make in the season 2013-14. It also provides guidelines for those members of the committee who may have to make difficult decisions. It is not a binding document on this year’s committee, but instead it is a statement of intentions. It was not drafted with the intention of guiding the decisions of future committees. It is to hoped that this document will make decision-making processes more transparent to members of OUAC and provide information for future committees, should they wish to consider it.

1. Selection

1.1 General selection

Selection is based on performance in races and consistent appearances at training sessions. Performance in training will not be taken into account in a selection decision. In exceptional circumstances the selector or selection committee may hold a trial to assess an individual’s fitness. In such an event the selection committee will give the athlete or athletes a minimum of four days’ advance notice. Exceptional circumstances may include an athlete of proven ability who has been struggling with injury and / or illness, or a selection decision which the committee feel cannot be made on the basis of recent results (for example two athletes who have achieved exactly the same standard).

1.2 Selection for BUCS

Selection for BUCS is solely at the discretion of the Captain of each gender. The Captains may take advice from whomsoever they see fit. To be selected for BUCS an athlete must satisfy their Captain that they:
1. have the potential to reach a BUCS semi-final or final OR
2. have the potential to reach a BUCS final during their time at Oxford and would benefit from the experience of racing at BUCS OR
3. have the potential to have a significant impact on their event in the Blues Varsity Match and would benefit from the experience of racing at BUCS.
It is felt that the significant resources, both logistical and financial, which taking a large team to BUCS entails, could be better used on training and other competitions. BUCS will now be regarded as an opportunity for the best athletes in the club to get competition practice at a standard suitable for them, and for OUAC to measure itself against other university opposition. An alternative competition (eg a Watford Open) will be used as an opportunity for all members of the club to get competition practice at an appropriate standard, and as an opportunity to build team spirit.

1.3 Selection for the Varsity Match

Selection for the Blues team for the Varsity Match is solely at the discretion of the Captain of each gender. Selection for the second team for the Varsity Match is solely at the discretion of the Vice-Captain of each gender. The Captains and Vice-Captains are encouraged to seek the advice of the squad leaders and coaches of the club; this does not in any way detract from the absolute right of the Captains and Vice-Captains to pick the team based on their own judgement. To be selected for the Blues team for the Varsity Match an athlete must satisfy their Captain that:
1. they are members of OUAC and have no outstanding debts to the club AND
2. they are likely to achieve the best or second best performance possible for the team from an eligible Oxford athlete on the day of the Varsity Match AND
3. their demeanour will reflect well on OUAC.
To be selected for the second team at the Varsity Match an athlete must satisfy their Vice-Captain that:
4. they are members of OUAC and have no outstanding debts to the club AND
5. they are likely to achieve the best or second best performance possible from an eligible Oxford athlete (one who has not already been selected for the Blues team in this year and who fulfils the eligibility criteria provided by the Achilles Club) on the day of the Varsity Match AND
6. their demeanour will reflect credit on OUAC.
OUAC will not select for the second team any athlete who merits a place in the Blues team; for example, if a Captain feels that an individual merits a place in the Blues team subject to the selection criteria 1.3.1-1.3.3, but would score no more than 1 point in the Blues team, but would win the event for the seconds team, the said Captain is under an obligation to pick the athlete for the Blues team.

1.4 Selection for the America’s tour

The President is the only member of OUAC to sit on the selection committee for the Achilles team to tour America. The President’s duty as such is to pick the best possible team, not to represent the views of OUAC. The President’s recommendations to the committee are solely at the discretion of the President and to ensure impartiality shall remain confidential. The President may take advice from whomsoever they see fit. To be recommended for selection for the tour an athlete must satisfy the President that:
1. they will be competitive with the Penn & Cornell and Harvard & Yale teams on the date of the competition AND
2. they fulfil the eligibility criteria as laid down by the Achilles Club AND
3. they will contribute to a strong team spirit with all Achilles team members AND
4. their demeanour on tour will reflect credit on Achilles and OUAC AND
5. they have signed the code of conduct agreed by the Achilles Club.
In the event of places being available after all athletes fulfilling the criteria 1.4.1-1.4.5 are selected, then further athletes will be recommended for selection provided they fulfil criteria 1.4.2-1.4.5 with the following considerations, in order of priority:
6. Likely performance on the day of competitions
7. Versatility, particularly with regard to relays
8. Contribution to Oxbridge athletics
The President shall only recommend for selection an athlete who is likely to achieve at least half blue standard on the day of competition, notwithstanding the provisions 1.4.1-1.4.8. Should there not be any athletes in Oxford or Cambridge in an event who are eligible for the tour and are likely to be capable of achieving the blues standard on the day of competition then the President shall recommend that Achilles takes no-one for this event; instead the extra space will be taken by another deserving athlete as decided by 1.4.2-1.4.8.

1.5 Selection for FEAR

Selection for FEAR is solely at the discretion of the Captain of each gender, who may take advice from whomsoever they see fit. From OUAC’s perspective, the primary aim of FEAR is competition experience, team bonding and the building of team confidence insofar as these factors will benefit our performance in the Varsity Matches. The FEAR team selection will be guided by these aims. No member of the club shall be selected for FEAR if they have any outstanding debts to the club.
1.6 Selection for other events

All competitions not listed above are open to all members of OUAC. In exceptional circumstances, the executive branch of the OUAC committee may agree to limit the number of competitors owing to logistical or financial restraints. In such circumstances the Captain of each gender shall have sole responsiblity to select those athletes whom the Captain feels shall reflect most credit on OUAC.

2. Awarding of Blues

2.1 Full Blues and Half Blues

Full Blues and Half Blues are awarded to a member of OUAC solely at the discretion of that member’s Captain. To be awarded a Blue or Half Blue that member must satisfy the Captain that they:
1. did compete for the Blues team at the Varsity Match in that year AND
2. achieved the full Blue or Half Blue standard as defined at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ouac/statistics/blues.shtml during an official competition during the athletics season of that year. All Blues awarded to track runners for events of 400m or below must be electronically timed, or all hand-timed race times shall be subject to conversion factors as proscribed by the IAAF before any Blues are awarded. The season is between 1st January and 31st August inclusive. The event in which the standard was achieved does not have to be the same event as the event for which the athlete was selected for the Blues team.

2.2 Discretionary Blues and Half Blues

In exceptional circumstances the Captain may award a discretionary Blue or Half Blue. The award of this Blue or Half Blue is solely at the discretion of the Captain; however, in such circumstances it is encouraged that the Captain shall seek the advice of the executive branch of the committee (President, Captains, Secretary and Treasurer). To award a discretionary Blue or Half Blue the athlete must satisfy the Captain that they:
1. won an event in the Blues Varsity Match, showing exceptional dedication to the team and athletic ability AND
2. contributed outstandingly to the team as a unit AND
3. achieved a standard very close to the appropriate Blue or Half Blue standard. It should be noted that Captains who award discretionary Blues and Half Blues must justify their decision to the Achilles Club.

3. Reimbursing athletes for training costs

OUAC shall only reimburse athletes for expenses incurred during training if:
1. this training was open to all members of the club AND
2. there was no reasonable alternative.
The executive branch of the OUAC committee shall have sole responsibility to decide whether a cost incurred meets the criteria 3.1 and 3.2. In the event of a deadlock the President shall have the casting vote.

4. Reimbursing athletes for competition costs

OUAC will pay a contribution (dependent on budget) towards entry costs for those competitions for which:
1. a team is selected i.e. BUCS competitions OR
2. designated competitions for which OUAC does not provide transport to, for example regionals, subject to the discretion of the executive branch of the committee.
A list of designated competitions will appear on the club website. OUAC will pay for transport to other designated OUAC competitions at the discretion of the executive branch of the committee, for example SESSA. Athletes who withdraw from a race with limited notice such that OUAC receive a financial penalty shall reimburse the club for the entry fee and the fine except in exceptional circumstances (for example sudden injury). Athletes who fail to reimburse the club will not be allowed to represent OUAC in competitions until all debts are settled.

5. Club training

As a minimum, OUAC undertake to provide training and coaching facilities adequate to allow:
1. OUAC to win all four Varsity Matches
2. any individual with significant athletic ability and a high degree of dedication to reach the full Blue standard in their event within their time at Oxford.
OUAC will also aim to provide:
3. the best coaching and training resources for its members that resources can provide
4. an environment in which talented and committed university athletes may enjoy training and reach their potential.

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17th May 2014
The Varsity Match

150th Anniversary