1. Team balance is important. Consequently, we will try to ensure there is on each team

a) A centre, who can get the rebounds and be an intimidating force under the basket
b) Forwards, who can get rebounds and make strong offensive and defensive moves near the basket; and
c) Guards, who are better ball handlers

As a consequence, if there are a number of good Cougar guards in an age division, one of the better guards may play in a lower division to ensure there is balance with all teams in the division.

 2. The player's record for attending practices and games is a consideration. Not attending practices and/or games is frustrating for coaches and team members. Reliable players will be given preferences.

 3. Player availability for training is a consideration. The after-school activities kids have these days is unbelievable. A player's training availability is often a determining factor in the team to which they are allocated.

 4. Skill level is more important than social criteria. While Cougars and the Hawthorn basketball Association are not as serious as say Magic Basketball, Cougars believes it is only fair to grade skill level higher than "playing with mates". Issues that may affect the player's development are regarded as more important. This may involve placing a player in a more skilled team to allow the player's development to progress. Conversely, placement in a less skilled team may allow a player the chance to develop in a less competitive environment. In the past, Cougars has tried allocating teams on the basis of "playing with the mates", but we have found it just doesn't work - it just isn't fair. Kids with a better skill level invariably get placed in a lower division if there is too much focus on "the mates" philosophy. 

 5. The player's confidence level is taken into account. Cougars' sees some players with a high skill level but, for varying reasons, their confidence is down. So we may place that player in a lower division where their superior skill level will result in higher confidence and a return to a higher division. 

 6. A player's ability to operate in a TEAM environment and to work WITH the coach is a grading consideration. 

 7. Finally, life isn't always fair. However, it is how one reacts to perceived unfairness that moulds the strength of character that helps determine happiness and success in life. A famous example is Michael Jordan, who was not selected to his school's basketball team in his second last year of high school. He was devastated, but neither he nor his parents complained. Young Jordan asked the coach what he needed to do to make the team. He then practised with a passion - and the rest is history…..