ASA awards – towards an established practice
The waterpolo season came to an end in September. Cups were presented to all winning teams in the different categories on the day when the competitions were decided.
Many consider this to be very appropriate since presentation of prizes which follows immediately after the deciding matches makes for colourful celebrations.
Special occasions for distribution of trophies held later on specific days can never be warm and celebratory unless the process of deciding winners demands more time and given procedures in arriving at a decision.
Player of the year and similar awards, such as the monthly honours, are cases in point.
Boards are set up to decide who the winner should be, with specific criteria being the terms of reference on which decisions are based.
These critera are pre-established and so it should not take too long for the ASA to announce the winners.
The fact that there are only two categories, the premier and the first division, should make it even easier for the winners and runners-up to be announced.
Certainly, it should not take almost two months after the end of the playing season for the ASA to announce the winners.
Unfortunately, such delays may smack of bureaucracy at best or inertia at worst.
The rumour mill has long dis-closed who the first three-placed of the top category are. However, the ASA has not yet issued a press release announcing this.
Apart from the waterpolo fraternity and members of the media being oblivious of what criteria is used in deciding the winners, they are also not aware whether there is a timeline which is not completely detached from the playing season for these winners to be announced.
Would it be too much to expect the association to clarify these facts?
Moreover, why should there not be awards for players in the junior categories as well, and good conduct prizes?
This will certainly help to incentivise the younger players and raise the standards of their behaviour.
A leaf should be taken out of the ASA Swimming Board in this respect where soon after the end of the season top swimmers are awarded trophies in each category according to a points system, with an aggregate shield going to the top team.
Likewise, that of other asso-ciations, particularly the Malta Football Association, when it comes to top-scorers, best players and fair play awards in different categories on the basis of specific terms of reference.
In this way activities relating to individual awards are organised in a more comprehensive and streamlined manner, in line with established practices.
The ASA can certainly move forward in this respect.