What you need to know and do for IPT selection

Many players want to be selected by NJSA to play in the inter-provincial tournaments in June each year.  Here is what you need to know and do to be eligible for selection.

Written by CJS coach and squash parent, Adele du Rand.

The road to IPT (inter-provincial tournament) team selection can be confusing and overwhelming for new parents and players. So in this post, I want to explain exactly what you as a parent need to know and what the player must do to be eligible for IPT selection.

When my child first started playing in tournaments, it was very confusing to try and understand the criteria and what needs to be done.  I remember how confusing and overwhelming it was to learn everything there is to learn about tournaments and IPTs.  I am going to try my best to make the explanation as easy as possible to understand.  And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to chat with us – we are here to help you.

First, let’s start by understanding what the IPTs are.

What is the IPTs?

IPT is short for Inter-Provincial Tournament.

This is a team-based tournament where teams from different provinces play against each other to determine the best team.

The reason why this is such a big deal is that the players who are selected to play receive full Northern Gauteng provincial colours – this is for the u13, u14, u16, and u19 age groups.  It also means that the players may receive recognition from their schools (half or full colours for sport, depending on the school’s criteria).

The IPT for the u11 age group is not considered a tournament, but rather a festival.  It is called the Angela Difford Festival.  No final team positions are declared at the close of the festival.  However, what is great, is that players who are selected to participate in the festival qualify for provincial half-colours, and depending on their schools’ criteria may receive recognition for that.

What must a player do to be eligible for selection?

This is a very important question and one that needs a detailed explanation.

Be on the NJSA Ladder

The first requirement is that a player must be on the NJSA ladder.  To be on the NJSA ladder, there are a few things that must happen.  First, a player must start playing in any of the NJSA tournaments.  NJSA hosts five tournaments during each season, and a player only has to play in any one of these tournaments to be placed on the NJSA ladder.

NJSA sends out the information on tournaments on the NJSA Parents WhatsApp group (click here to join the WhatsApp group), and CJS also communicates upcoming tournaments on the various CJS groups and the CJS newsletters.

Most tournaments are managed through an online system called SportyHQ (www.sportyhq.com).  When you enter your first tournament, you will be prompted to create a profile for your child on SportyHQ.  We have created a step-by-step guide on how to create a player’s account and profile on SportyHQ – click here to see the SportyHQ Step-by-Step Guide.

Membership fees are all paid

Second, is that the relevant membership fees are paid.  There are two membership fees that are important here.

First, is the NJSA membership fee, which is payable by 1 March each year, and then the Squash SA membership fee which is payable by 1 April each year.  These membership fees are managed through an online system, Sporty HQ, and it should automatically prompt you to pay these fees.

If your child is in the u11 age group, you do NOT have to pay the Squash SA membership fee.  If you have registered the account on SportyHQ and it prompts you to pay the Squash SA, please contact Gerda Dreyer on 081 400 5208 to override this payment.

Play in the compulsory NJSA Closed Tournament

The NJSA Closed Tournament is played in May each year.  This tournament is a MUST for any player who wants to be considered for IPT team selection.  It is a requirement by NJSA.  So please make sure you enter your child to play in this tournament.

But what happens if your child falls ill or obtains an injury and cannot compete in the NJSA Closed Tournament?

It is very important that you immediately take your child to a licensed medical professional to assess the illness and/or injury and to provide you with a medical certificate if your child is unable to play in the tournament.  Please submit this medical certificate to the NJSA committee as soon as possible – email njsa@northerns.co.za.  This way, you don’t lose the participation requirement.

However, if you are playing other sports (such as hockey or rugby) during that weekend of the NJSA Closed, you will not receive the credit for participating in the NJSA Closed.  Other sports are not considered acceptable reasons for not participating or completing the NJSA Closed Tournament, and your child will not be eligible for IPT team selection.

Play in 3 more tournaments (u13, u14, u16 & u19)

NJSA also requires that a player must compete in at least 3 more tournaments.  And these are not just any tournaments.  It must be tournaments that are sanctioned by NJSA.

  • One of these tournaments must be any of the other NJSA tournaments, such as the NJSA Start of Season, NJSA Ranking, NJSA Closed Round Robin, or NJSA Open Graded.
  • One of these tournaments must be an “external” tournament, meaning that it is a tournament in another province.  Luckily for us, Eastern Gauteng and Joburg Junior are external tournaments, so you don’t have to travel too far to meet this requirement.  Just make sure that at some point you enter one of the tournaments hosted by Easterns Junior Squash or Joburg Junior Squash.  Of course, you can also enter any of the tournaments hosted by any of the other provinces – as long as it is NJSA sanctioned.
  • The third tournament can either be another NJSA tournament or another “external” tournament.

I need to highlight here, that the higher a player’s position on the ladder, the more likely it is that the player will be selected for the IPT team.  So it is important to play in NJSA tournaments so that a player can improve his/her position on the ladder.

We have compiled a detailed explanation of everything you need to know about tournaments – please click HERE to read it.

Where are the IPT’s held?

The IPT’s are hosted in different cities each year.    Cities include Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg, East London, Bloemfontein, Gqeberha, and George to name a few.

Also, the different age groups play in different cities. So, if you have two children that are in different age groups, it is most likely that they will be playing in different cities.

What does the IPT fee include?

The IPT fees are payable by the parent/parents and include the following:

  • Travel (air fair when applicable, vehicle hire),
  • Accommodation,
  • All meals
  • Tournament fees
  • A tournament gift (such as a T-shirt or water bottle)
  • Travel and accommodation for the team manager.

The IPT fees exclude the following:

  • Team kit (tracksuit and clothes) and these items must be purchased as well.
  • Pocket money (for each team member to purchase snacks and drinks at the venues, or for any extra activities that the team may want to do).

Who selects the IPT teams and how are they selected?

NJSA (Northerns Junior Squash Association) has a committee that selects the teams for the IPTs.

One of the most important factors for selection is the player’s position on the NJSA ladder.  Obviously, the higher a player’s position on the NJSA ladder, the more likely they are to be selected for the IPT team.

But it is not just the top 5 or top 10 players who are selected for the IPT teams.  It may happen that NJSA enters more teams into the IPTs, and then more players are selected to play in the ITPs.

It is for this reason that we encourage all players who want to be eligible for IPT selection, to play in the NJSA Closed and make sure that they tick off the other requirements as well (membership fees are paid and other tournaments are played).

Please note that we as CJS have no involvement in the IPT team selection.  The number of teams that are entered and who are selected for the IPT teams is done by the NJSA committee.

What is a Chairman’s Challenge?

It may happen that during the process of team selection, there are players who end up evenly matched in the head-to-head to results, or that they haven’t played a head-to-head match.  The NJSA committee may then ask these two players to have a special match, which is called a Chairman’s Challenge, to determine the higher-ranking player.

It may also happen that a player has been unable to play for a while due to a more serious injury or illness.  The NJSA committee may also ask this player to play a Chairman’s Challenge to ensure that the player is match-fit and ready for the IPTs.

Any more questions?  Talk to us

That is the information in a nutshell.  Of course, you may have more questions, so please reach out to me or Maryna and we’ll gladly explain, as it is important that you have the information.