As Scots around the country celebrate St Andrew’s Day, athletes in three sports aiming for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have further cause for celebration with the announcement of the selection standards required for nomination to Team Scotland.
Athletics, Rugby 7s and Wrestling are the first sports to agree the sport specific standards required for consideration, as Team Scotland aims to build on the momentum of the most recent two Games: the most successful ever overseas Games at Gold Coast 2018, and best ever home Games at Glasgow 2014.
All the sports policies follow the criteria laid down in the CGS General Selection Policy with athletes again being required to demonstrate potential to show a top six performance at the Games, each sport to meet its stated performance aims and for all athletes to have a positive experience at the Games. A further key aim is having a higher percentage of athletes selected who then meet or better the selection standards during the Games competition itself.
Jon Doig, Chief Executive at Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “Following the publication of our General Selection Policy, I’m delighted that the Athletics, Rugby 7s and Wrestling selection policies and standards have been published today. We aim to have all sports represented and are making good progress in developing standards for the remaining 16 sports, despite what has been an extremely difficult year for all. Having standards in place as early as possible means athletes aspiring to a place on the team and their coaches can target their preparation in the knowledge of exactly what is required to be selected.”
The Athletics selection window will open on 1 March 2021, closing on 15 June 2022 as an extension to the general selection period. Athletes will be required to achieve one selection standard within this time frame. Given the exceptional nature of the marathon, the selection period will run from 1 January 2021 to 28 February 2022, while for Para-Sport events the qualification window will be 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2021.
In accordance with the Commonwealth Games Federation’s quota system, Scottish Athletics has been allocated a maximum of 23 places by Team Scotland to include relay athletes but excluding Para-Sport events, which follow a separate allocation. Athletes will be selected in three phases: in September 2021 where any athlete with a top 12 placing at the Tokyo Olympic Games may be nominated, in March 2022 (marathon only) and a final selection in June 2022.
“It’s always an exciting moment when we’re able to publish the Selection Policy for a Commonwealth Games and now we can show athletes and coaches the path to Birmingham,” said Stephen Maguire, Director of Performance and Coaching with Scottish Athletics.
“We’ve put in a lot of work on this over the past few months and there’s a great detail in the document, as ever.
“Medal potential and top six placing is right at the top of the list in terms of the goals for Team Scotland and I think we’ve a pretty big number of Scottish athletes who can realistically be thinking that way about the Commonwealths.
“Competition for 23 places will be very intense – there is no doubt about that. But I think we want to see that because that will help drive better performances and raise the bar further. Gold Coast 2018 medal success followed on from Glasgow 2014 and I firmly believe the prospects for 2022 are very bright.”
Selection for both Men’s and Women’s Rugby 7s teams will be subject to CGS receiving an invite to the tournament, which will feature 16 Men’s teams and eight Women’s teams. England as the Home Nation is eligible to enter one Men’s and one Women’s team, therefore the remaining top 15 Commonwealth Nations for Men based on World Rugby Ranking and the top 7 for Women’s through the World Rugby Women’s Qualification Process will receive an invite.
In addition, the Men’s team must show a ranking of top ten or above of the Commonwealth countries competing at Birmingham 2022, at the end of April 2022, as evidence of potential for a top six finish at the Games.
Stephen Gemmell, Technical Director with Scottish Rugby said: “It’s been a challenging year for everyone, so with the publication of this policy, it’s nice to be able to give our athletes and players something look forward to in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The first priority will be to get both teams qualified and for all players aspiring to the Games to know exactly what they have to do to be selected to Team Scotland.”
The selection window for Wrestling runs from 1 March 2021 to 15 April 2022 and, if standards are met, will see a minimum of two athletes join Team Scotland for Birmingham 2022. Selection will be based on medal performances at British Senior, Scottish Open and English Open Championships, as well as top six results at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships and other agreed international competition falling within the selection window.
Welcoming the official announcement of the Wrestling selection policy and standard, Vlad Gladkov, Scottish Wrestling Head Coach said: “The Wrestling family in Scotland is absolutely delighted to be part of Team Scotland at the upcoming UK based Games. This will be an amazing lifetime experience for our athletes and support staff.
“I am very pleased to say that Scottish Wrestling and Commonwealth Games Scotland have been working hard together to ensure that the wrestling selection policy is communicated well in advance. This will help athletes plan and ensure a preparation at the highest standard. Due to COVID 19 this an unprecedented time for sports, especially contact sports like wrestling. Nevertheless, I truly believe in our dedicated athletes and their great potential.”
The overall Team Scotland selection period detailed in the CGS General Selection Policy is 1 March 2021 to 15 May 2022. This policy, along with the detailed selection standards for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in all three sports published to date are available to download at: https://www.teamscotland.scot/games/birmingham-2022/team-selection/
The sport specific selection standards for all 19 sports will be published ahead of the selection window opening on 1 March 2021.