After their remarkable run in the 2015 Mascom Volleyball League, which earned them a second place finish, Police VI were the notable absentees in the list of nominees at this year’s Mascom Volleyball Awards.
Police VI players were conspicuously absent from the list of nominees released by Botswana Volleyball Federation(BVF) last week, as only one of their players was nominated for an award. The player, Uponi Gabobewe went on to win the best Libero award. When giving the possible reasons for Police VI’s exclusion, club head coach Thatayaone Ngwanaotsile said there is a requirement for a representative from the coaches’ commission to record statistics in each and every game of the league in order to rank players at the end of the season.
“These statistics will help determine the best players for the season. Unfortunately, my team played some games without such people. Maybe they can explain better,” said Ngwanaotsile.
He added that the federation’s coaches’ commission has a mandate to make sure that statistics are recorded in all games.
“It’s not the team’s responsibility to do so. It was not our responsibility to handle this matter, there are relevant authorities to do so,” said Ngwanaotsile.
However, the coach said his team has made peace with the matter and is hoping to comeback as an improved team next season.
“We will be going back to the courts very soon to improve where we were lacking last season. What happened in 2015 is buried and we are now looking forward to 2016. We fall to rise again,” he said.
In response, Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) Vice President-Technical, George Kootsene said the selection criterion for the awards is based on the individuals’ performance and not on the team’s position on the log.
“A team like Police VI may be dominated by good players who all perform well, but some teams have that one person who is a game changer and does all the dirty work; the pillar of the team. Such players are likely to lead mostly in statistics and that’s how they win awards,” he said.
Kootsene further said though most of Police VI players were amongst the top five, it was unfortunate that only three made the final cut to the nominee stage. Police VI was represented by three players in the national team at last year’s all Africa Games. It finished second in the 2015 Mascom volleyball league and fourth in the Mascom Top 8 Cup. The 2016 volleyball season is expected to kick start in April without long term sponsors Mascom, which spent a total P8 million on volleyball in the past nine years.