Sunday 10 July 2022

Qualifying for Protea Colours

The SA Protea Team that attended IESF's World Championships in Jakarta.

With the end  of  the year fast aproaching, it is that time of the year again when many Registered Players look towards qualifying for selection to an official Protea Team in the disciplines (Board Games, Card Games, Esports, and Wargames) for which MSSA is the custodian.

Why does MSSA use National Team Trials to select Team Esports South Africa?

It is common knowledge that everybody's standard of play changes from year-to-year. Not only that there  is a natural growth in new gamers who enter the scene and a natural 'drop-off' of gamers who leave the competitive scene due to changing work and family commitments.

Thus annual trials are held to accommodate the above changes. Through such system a highly competitive  system  is too maintained wherein gamers are able to fight for their positions as a position in the team is only held for one calendar year. 

May anyone enter National Team Trials?

It must be remembered that the team  selected by MSSA to officially represent South Africa is  an official sports team that officially represents South Africa and is thus awarded Protea Colours.

As such MSSA is required to follow due care and follow proper procedure in awarding such colours to its teams.

As such there are qualifying criteria to qualifying for the National Team Trials (NTT), being:

  • Such player wishing to participate in NTT must be affiliated to an affiliated member club, and
  • Such player must have won a MSSA Regional Championship, or
  • Such player must have finished in the top three places, or in the top 20% (whichever  is greater), at a provincial and/or national championship, and
  • Such player is already a member of the  national team and has met the terms of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a signed copy of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a valid passport, and
  • If such player is  still a minor, such player must have a signed affidavit signed by both parents as well as an Unabridged Birth Certificate, and
  • Due to the advent of COVID-19, such player is required to have proof of vaccination.

Is the team selected immediately at Trials ?

The captains of the teams are immediately selected at Trials. The selected captains then sit with MSSA and the Team Manager to select the team. Once the selection is completed and all the procedure has been followed, then the team is announced.

May Team Esports South Africa belong to an existing clan/team?

The short answer is yes. A player will only be selected to represent South Africa if he is a member of a club affiliated to the MSSA, so that is really not an issue! The membership that the the team member has does not just disappear when the player is selected for national duty.

Is the national team allowed to enter private tournaments?

MSSA allows all of its National Team Members to enter any competition that they want to  as members of their club. 

Players only play as the national team upon request by the MSSA. 

However, the National Team Member must, and can, only represent a club that is currently affiliated to the MSSA. Thus, for example,  a member of the National Team, who is affiliated to Club A, which is a member of the MSSA, that means he cannot play for any club that is not affiliated to MSSA. Should a club that is not a member of MSSA indulge in ambush marketing by claiming that he is a member, MSSA will expect the player to publicly renounce any such claim.

Why do the members of the official Protea national team need to sign a contract?

All members who are selected to, and join, a national team are given a contract to sign. If the athlete has not yet reached the age of majority, the legal guardian signs the contract. 

Essentially, if the rules are broken, there may be a financial implication as well as a disciplinary implication. Depending on the severity of the breach, action may be taken by the International Federation concerned, or by the National Federation. 

Does the National Team have to abide by a Code of Conduct?

Indeed it does! 

The Code of Conduct that a team has to follow is an amalgamation of what the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the National Federation expects. Obviously the player representing South Africa has to hold him/herself to a higher standard than the average gamer as so much more is expected of the team member. This way all the parties concerned, the sponsors, the MSSA, the relevant international federation, and the gamer are protected. The Code of Conduct is not onerous, but largely based on common-sense and expected courtesy.

In short, it is how you would expect someone to behave if they were representing you!

Is there a difference between officially representing SA through MSSA as opposed to any other sport?

There is no difference between officially representing South Africa through MSSA to any other sport. The Protea Colours that are awarded are the same Protea Colours as awarded to  any other sport.

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