Selection and eligibility disputes

Find out what selection and eligibility disputes are and how we handle this type of dispute.

What selection and eligibility disputes are

These disputes involve an athlete challenging a decision of a sporting body or tribunal in relation to their selection and/or eligibility for an event or team. There can be some overlap between these two types of disputes if a sport’s rules or policies do not clearly separate eligibility criteria and selection criteria.

Check your sport’s rules on how they define each of these. We have provided some basic definitions below to guide you.

A selection dispute concerns a sporting body’s decision not to select an eligible athlete.

An eligibility dispute concerns a person’s eligibility to participate in an event or be selected in a team.

Selection for multi-sport events, for example, the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games or Commonwealth Games, includes a nomination and selection process. The sporting body will nominate athletes, who are then selected by, for example, the Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia or Commonwealth Games Australia. We can hear nomination and selection appeals, as provided for in the relevant policy. They are collectively referred to as selection appeals.

How we handle selection or eligibility disputes

To start the process off, the parties to a selection or eligibility dispute must agree to bring the matter to us. This agreement may be automatically part of a sporting body’s regulations, selection policy, rules or a contract. If not, the parties may enter into a specific agreement about a specific matter.

Our General Division deals with selection or eligibility disputes.

We use mediation, conciliation and case appraisal as well as arbitration to help parties deal with selection or eligibility disputes.

Our Appeals Division can deal with appeals about decisions made by our General Division or a sporting body’s internal tribunal.

Who can apply to resolve a dispute

The dispute is generally between a person and a sporting body, and either one can apply to us. The selection policy will generally include referral to the NST but, if it does not, the other party will need to provide their signed consent to bring the dispute to the NST.

When you can apply

If you are applying to the General Division, you must apply within the time period for eligibility or selection disputes stated in your sporting body’s rules (for example, a selection policy). If the rules do not mention a time period, you must apply within a reasonable period after the event that caused the dispute.

If you are appealing to our Appeals Division against a selection or eligibility dispute decision, you must appeal within 30 days of the date of the original decision.

Selection and eligibility disputes are often time sensitive. Applications should be lodged as soon as possible to allow a resolution prior to any selection deadline. We will expedite cases to suit the needs of the parties.

Apply to resolve a dispute

See How to apply for details of how to apply to resolve a dispute.


For more help, contact us.