Women's National and Olympic Teams
National teams, including Olympic teams, are selected
by the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of each sport. The NGBs are organizations
officially recognized by the Olympic Committee to sanction national teams
to represent their country at the Olympics and major international competitions
like the World Cups. All Olympic sports are governed by a NGB. Some NGBs
cover multiple sports -- US Skiing covers both skiing and snowboarding.
Some sports draw from colleges. Some, especially the
ones in which the Olympic-level athletes are not yet in college, such as
Gymnastics, draw from clubs as determined by performances at national and
major regional meets. Some, which draw athletes of all ages, such as tennis
and track, find them at major Open competitions.
Athletes on National Teams are exceptional performers,
often recognized nationally in their sport prior to selection. Competition
is fierce simply to get the attention of a national team coach. Most NGBs
have age-group teams -- for instance, US Soccer has Under-16, Under-17, Under
19, Under 21 and Under 23 National Teams in addition to the full team, and
a well-developed heirarchy to identify world-class players. However, that
does not offer as much opportunity as it might appear. These age-group teams
often stay relatively intact as the players inch up the age brackets.
Amateur Softball Association