One of Rounders England’s key roles is to put in place a pathway for everyone who participates in Rounders, whether as a player, coach or umpire, so that they can develop their knowledge and skills of the game. The structure of the pathways has equal importance at all levels and underpins the development of our sport.
Rounders England has a developing player pathway which can be entered at any stage, but commonly people (13+) begin by accessing a start up rounders opportunity, for example a festival or a short rounders activity programme. From this they can progress to playing in a team, often in a league structure. Opportunities exist to progress to the performance level regionally and nationally, the pinnacle being selection for the Talent Squads.
Rounders England develops opportunities that align to the player pathway, with a focus on those placed within ‘programme’ and ‘team’ that lead to once a week participation. This aligns with our aim to increase adult participation in Rounders.
Our ‘Blueprint for Development’ shows how our various programmes link in to levels 1 to 4 of the player pathway, and contribute to the ‘rounders backbone’, which is regular play in programmes and teams.
Rounders England have a straightforward approach to training coaches from grassroots to elite level. There is a coach pathway which maps the journey from a new coach undertaking his or her first training course right through to taking the top qualifications needed to manage the Talent Squad.
The Rounders umpire pathway maps the journey from a new umpire undertaking his or her first training course right through to taking the top qualifications needed to umpire an international match. This is a straightforward approach to training umpires from grassroots to elite level.
There are four levels within the umpire pathway. Each of the strands are progressive and each provide a more in-depth understanding of umpiring. Courses are available throughout the country.
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The Rounders England Talent Squad is open to women and girls only. The Talent pathway offers aspiring players a unique and exciting journey into the world of competitive rounders.
The first step in this exhilarating adventure begins with the possibility of receiving a coveted Golden Ticket at a Rounders England event or development day. Await an invitation to attend a regional hub training session. Players who demonstrate exceptional potential at a regional hub training session may find themselves on the next level of the pathway – being offered a playing contract for the year and assigned to one of the regional hubs, each strategically located in the Northwest, Northeast, or Midlands. The regional hub becomes a focal point for intensive training sessions from experienced coaches, fostering a sense of camaraderie and skill enhancement among the chosen athletes.
The journey doesn’t end at the regional level. Participants are then propelled into the realm of inter-hub competitions and external contests, where they proudly represent their regional hub on a competitive stage. This exposure not only hones their skills but also instils a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship.
The culmination of this transformative journey sees a selection of standout individuals from the hubs proudly represent the England Squad in fixtures throughout the season. This not only provides a platform for players to exhibit their prowess on a national stage but also fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment as they wear the England jersey.
The Rounders England Talent Squad pathway is more than a series of steps; it is a transformative experience that nurtures talent, instils discipline, and fuels the passion for the dynamic sport of rounders.