Ghana Athletics Association releases selection criteria

Over the last few years, Ghana Athletics has committed to developing selection criteria for senior national teams each year.

The primary bases for the selection standards are the recent relevant performances from the previous season associated with the international competition in question; i.e., for an Olympiad or World Championship, world rankings will serve as the basis for developing the selection criteria, whereas for the Commonwealth Games, it will be the ranking of Commonwealth athletes.

Likewise, selection criteria for the African Championships or the All-Africa Games will be based on African rankings from the previous year.

The criteria will ensure that all events receive equitable treatment. As in past years, additional criteria include qualifying standards set by the international body fielding the competition (IAAF, CAA, etc.) and additional Ghana Athletics requirements. These Federation criteria may include but are not restricted to participation in specific competitions (e.g., National Circuit Championships, Grand Prix, etc.), which will be expressly clarified to athletes.

Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (August 5-22): The selection criteria for the 2016 Olympic Games beginning August 5, 2016 will be based on the published IAAF standards; see APPENDIX A.

Meeting the 2016 Olympic Games entry standard will guarantee athletes’ selection pending availability of funding, disciplinary certification, and proof of fitness. The qualifying period for the Olympic Games is May 1, 2015 to July 11, 2016.

Qualified athletes, and particularly those whose qualifying performance was obtained in the 2015 calendar year or early in the 2016 year, may have to produce a performance close to the qualifying standard within seven weeks of departure for the championships to receive final confirmation.

African Championships in Durban, South Africa (22-26 June): The selection criteria for the 2016 African Championships are hinged on the 2015 ranking of African athletes; the ranking list is developed such that each country only has three athletes on it.

The Federation has announced two sets of qualifying standards; see APPENDIX B. The A-standard is pegged at the 8th best performer in Africa in 2015, and a lower B-standard pegged at the level of the 16th best African performer of 2015.

Adjustments to these standards, where there were only a few African performers in 2015 and where they conflicted with the CAA standard are explained in the footnote to the Appendix.

The qualifying period for the African Championships is January 1, 2016 to June 1, 2016. Qualified athletes, and particularly those whose qualifying performance was obtained early in the 2016 year, may have to produce a performance close to the B-standard in the six weeks prior to the naming of the team, to receive final confirmation.

The team will likely be selected in the three weeks prior to the competition, and qualifying after the team has been selected will not guarantee an athlete a spot on the team.

General Requirements
a. Athlete must be a Ghanaian citizen by the final team announcement date.
b. Athlete must achieve the approved qualifying standard within the qualification period.
c. Athlete must prove fitness and comply with the GAA Competitive Readiness Requirements.
d. Athlete must receive disciplinary clearance from the GAA.

Recognised Competitions
Performances must be achieved at the following competitions:
a. Organized by or approved by IAAF
b. Organized by IAAF Area Associations
c. Organized by IAAF Member Federations
d. Competitions in Ghana sanctioned by the GAA
e. CAA Inter-Country or Regional Competitions
f. CAA-sanctioned Area Championships
g. NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA competitions

Acceptable Performances
Hand-timed performances will not be accepted in the following events:
a. 100m, 200m, 400m, 100m/110m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles and 4x100m Relay
b. Wind-assisted performances will not be accepted, although they may be used to prove fitness
Eligibility Pool
All eligible athletes achieving the Olympic Games entry standard or, the “A” or “B” qualifying standards for African Championships will be placed in the eligibility pool.

Attaining the Olympic Games entry standard or the A-standard for the African Championship guarantees an athlete selection (pending the availability of funding, disciplinary clearance, and proof of fitness) for the respective competitions.

For the avoidance of doubt, given the availability of funding and an athlete’s fitness and good discipline, attaining the A-standard guarantees passage to compete at the relevant competition.

It should be noted that the B-standard is a relaxed standard used primarily to support the Federation’s developmental goal of preparing the “next generation” of Ghanaian world class athletes. To that end, the B-standard will be employed, primarily but not exclusively, to support the development of pipeline prospects (i.e., young potentials, relative newcomers, etc.) with positive or promising career horizons ahead of them.

Attaining this lower B-standard DOES NOT guarantee selection. Selection of B-standard qualifiers will be based on additional criteria including the following: number of A-qualifiers in the same event (not more than three athletes in an individual event can be presented at most competitions), consistency of performance, current/recent form, participation in national programs, etc.

Without prejudice to the developmental goals associated with the B-standard, B-qualified athletes will be ranked according to their best performances. The top three (3) A-standard eligible athletes in each event who have also satisfied the other selection criteria will be selected onto the team.

If two or fewer athletes in any event qualify by the “A” standard, B-standard qualifiers will be ranked, with the best being selected to make up the number in the event, dependent on funding, fitness, and discipline.

Finally, B-standard qualifiers may have to also be ranked across events to determine the most qualified athletes. For example, if funding constraints dictate that only 6 additional athletes can be selected to join the team of A-standard qualifiers, then the top 6 B-qualifiers, ranked across events (and with the prior stated B-standard selection criteria), will be selected. In the absence of any A-standard qualifiers in an event, up to three (i.e., 0-3) B-standard qualifiers may be selected for an event.

Relay team selection: The Federation retains the prerogative to revert to its traditional policy of not selecting a relay team, unless at least three of the prospective team members have qualified for individual events.

Any tie will be broken in the following priority order:
a. Head–to–head results (in same competition and in same heat/flight)
b. 2nd best performance
c. Most recently achieved performance

Training Camps
The Federation may mandate that athletes attend preparatory camps, and retains the right to exclude athletes from selection or drop them from the team if they refuse to attend mandatory camps without the express permission of the Federation. Athletes will also be expected to demonstrate their competitive readiness particularly when their qualifying performances are from the previous year or from early in the current season. Such qualifiers will be expected to liaise with the Federation as early as possible to be given some indication of what further expectations there may be of them.

The Federation fully appreciates that top-level competition and training is synonymous with the risk of injury; in other words, injury is part and parcel of training at the highest level of sport. The purpose of this section is not to discourage athletes from reporting injuries, but rather to ensure that Federation is aware of all potential performance-limiting injuries prior to competition.

Athletes who are injured or ill after selection and cannot perform at a level approaching the “B” qualifying standard for a given competition owe Ghana the responsibility of not wasting precious national resources when they cannot compete optimally.

Thus, it is required that injured or ill athletes report immediately to the Federation, who will determine, in consultation with medical staff, whether the athlete can be competitive at the competition for which they have qualified.

Thus, being injured or ill will not automatically disqualify an athlete. Final inclusion decisions by the Federation will incorporate the medical recommendations. The Federation may arrange a trial for an athlete recovering from an injury or illness at the request of the athlete if there are no available competitions for the athlete to prove fitness.

However, it is the responsibility of the athlete who is injured to make the necessary arrangements including travel costs. The request and trial must take place before the deadline for final team selection.

The location of such a trial will be determined in consultation with the Federation. The required level of performance for the latter (injury) situation will typically be the same as that for proving general fitness.

The Federation reserves the right to sanction any athlete who, after being selected to the team, develops an injury but fails to notify the Federation, and subsequently puts up a sub-par performance at a competition because of the undisclosed injury.

Athletes should keep in mind that the primary goal of the Federation is to field the most capable Ghana national team possible for competition. Failing to report an injury and thus performing poorly when an alternate athlete could have done much better is tantamount to undermining the national interest.

The Federation has determined that the honor of representing Ghana should be reserved strictly for athletes who demonstrate good judgment and discipline, as these enhance team harmony, cohesion, and performance. Poor judgment and lack of discipline include, but are not limited to, the following:
1) Any action of gross disrespect against fellow athletes or officials.
2) Any action that may bring the name of Ghana into disrepute.
3) Any action that is inconsistent with the Federation’s fundamental principles of respect, equity, and fairness.
4) Abusive actions (verbal or physical) against fellow athletes and officials
National resources will not be spent on athletes who demonstrate poor judgment and discipline. Consequently, eligible athletes will only be selected after disciplinary clearance from the Federation.

The Federation recognizes that national athletes have their individual coaches whom they spend the bulk of the year working with. Consequently, it is in the best interest of the Federation (and the athlete) to have a collaborative relationship with these coaches. Athletes selected for national duty shall submit to the Coaches or Technical Coordinators of the travel team or national camp; thus, athletes must at the outset of the camp, share their training and competition schedules for the duration of the preparatory period leading up to the competition with the Federation, as this will facilitate coordination of individual and national goals. Those who do not submit their plans must subject themselves strictly to the training regime of the team’s coaches, failing which they may be de-selected from the team.

2016 Olympic Games Entry standards

Check here
Women Event Men
11.32 100m 10.16
23.20 200m 20.50
52.20 400m 45.40
2:01.50 800m 1:46.00
4:07.00 1500m 3:36.20
15:24.00 5000m 13:25.00
32:15.00 10,000m 28:00.00
2:45:00 Marathon 2:19:00
9:45.00 3000m SC 8:30.00
13.00 100mH/110mH 13.47
56.20 400mH 49.40
1.93 High Jump 2.29
4.50 Pole Vault 5.70
6.70 Long Jump 8.15
14.15 Triple Jump 16.85
17.75 Shot Put 20.50
61.00 Discus Throw 65.00
71.00 Hammer throw 77.00
62.00 Javelin Throw 83.00
6,200 Heptathlon Decathlon 8,100
1:36:00 20km Race Walk
1:24:00 50km Race Walk 4:06:00
Top 8 at IWR + 8 from Top Lists 4x100m
Top 8 at IWR + 8 from Top Lists
Top 8 at IWR + 8 from Top Lists 4x400m
Top 8 at IWR + 8 from Top Lists 6
2016 African Championships Qualifying Standards
A Standard Women B Standard Women Event A Standard Men B Standard Men
11.37s 11.61s 100M 10.16s 10.37s
23.28s 23.79s 200M 20.50s 20.74s
52.20s 53.05s 400M 45.41s 46.02s
2:01.50m 2:03.93m 800M 1:46.00m 1:46.57m
4:07.00m 4:17.61m 1500M 3:26.20m 3:36.86m
15:32.44m 16:28.00m 5000M 13:25.00m 13:27.38m
32:20.95m 34:00.0m 10000M 28:00.00m 28:26.30m
2:45:00m 2:47:00m Marathon 2:19:00m 2:21:00m
9:45.00m 10:19.93m 3000SC 8:30.00m 8.32.05m
13.27s 13.64s 100MH/110MH 13.60s 14.06s
56.56s 58.37s 400MH 49.40s 50.16s
1.80m 1.75m High Jump 2.25m 2.13m
3.80m 3.60m Pole Vault 5.20m 5.00m
6.49m 6.25m Long Jump 7.90m 7.76m
13.40m 13.16m Triple Jump 16.55m 16.03m
15.83m 15.05m Shot Putt 20.18m 17.64m
53.78m 50.72m Discus 54.74m 51.76m
60.99m 56.57m Hammer 63.39m 60.34m
51.89m 50.78m Javelin 80.40m 71.99m
5,407pts 5,001pts Heptathlon/Decathlon 7,315pts 7,157pts

The GAA’s A and B standards are the adjusted 8th ranked, the 16th ranked 2014 African performances, respectively; where there are less than 40 African performances on the pre-adjustment 2014 rankings list (i.e., before the deletion of 4th and higher rankers from countries), the A standard is adjusted to the 5th performance, and the B standard to the 10th performance.

Note that the B standard is primarily used to support GAA’s developmental agenda. For a more complete interpretation of how the standards above will be applied, see the GAA 2015 Selection Policy.
All A standards that turned out to be higher than the Olympic standard have been revised downwards to the latter, so that none of the African Championship standards is higher than the Olympic standard.

Although we do not anticipate that a subsequent revision will be necessary, a final adjustment may have to be made once the CAA qualifying standards come out; if the CAA standard is higher than our B-standard, the latter will have to be raised to the level of the former. It is logical that the CAA standard cannot be higher than our B-standard, because people must at minimum make the CAA standard to participate.

Source: Ghana Athletics Association

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