Player Placement Policy

1. Purpose

The FJFC’s central aim is to provide recreational opportunities for the children of Fitzroy and surrounding suburbs. The Club has always operated on the basis that every child should be given an equal opportunity to play and develop provided they conduct themselves in accordance with Club policies and guidelines. This policy has been developed to ensure the most equitable process is in place to best meet the needs of players as they progress from childhood to late adolescence.

2. Policy Statement

One of the most difficult tasks for a junior football club with more than one team in an age group is placing players in teams in a way that satisfies all parents/guardians, players and coaching staff while also adhering to requirements and guidelines set out by the Yarra Junior Football League.

This policy is designed to provide players, parents and coaches with clear player placement guidelines.

3. Implementation

Under 9s – Under 12s

The club has a policy of NOT selecting players for particular teams on the basis of any perceived playing ability at this level. The desire is to encourage players to play with their mates, make new ones, have fun playing competitive footy and learn basic football skills.

During these years, players should be:

  • placed in teams with a reported peer connection
  • placed in teams with a variety of players with varying degrees of skill, ability and confidence
  • placed within teams structured in such a way as to minimise the risk of one team having a shortfall of players on match days.

If there is a request from a parent/player for the player to move to another team in the same age group, that request will be considered in line with these guidelines.

In these age groups, players should be given the opportunity to play in all positions around the ground throughout the season and the emphasis should be on player enjoyment and development rather than on the competitiveness of the team. All players should be given the opportunity to play at least three quarters of football on match day.

Under 13s – Under 15s

From Under 13s onwards (where there is more than one team in the age group) players will be given the choice, as far as possible, of either competing at a level commensurate with their physical size, development and football skills or playing in teams with preferred peer connections if it is safe and reasonable to do so.

At this age, there can be significant disparity in the physical development and emotional maturity of different players. There is also a noticeable increase in the physical intensity of the competition, particularly in the higher divisions of the Yarra Junior Football League.

This is the more appropriate stage to place players in the level of competition most closely suited to their stage of physical development and to their football ability, while bearing in mind their desire to play with their mates.

During these years, players should be placed in teams:

  • to maximise their opportunities to develop and enjoy their playing experience, and minimise undue risks of injury
  • primarily, though not exclusively, composed of players with skills, ability and confidence commensurate with their own
  • structured in such a way as to minimise the risk of one team having a shortfall of players on match days.

Where necessary, the FJFC will conduct an assessment of players in each age group prior to the commencement of each season. This assessment will be carried out by the coaching staff for that age group and will take into account the skills, experience and physical size and strength of each player.

The outcome of skills assessment, coupled with the preferred wishes of the player, may result in the reorganisation of the teams in the age group but this will be based on these guidelines and done in consultation with, and where possible the agreement of, the player and the player’s parents/guardians.

There will be no compulsion to play in a particular team if a player wishes to play in a lower grade with their friends.

During these years, players should:

  • be guaranteed three quarters of football on match day for home and away games, and
  • be guaranteed two quarters of football on match day for any finals games, and
  • also have the opportunity to play in a variety of positions around the ground throughout the season.

It is expected that the emphasis will gradually shift from player enjoyment to commitment to the team and to overall team competitiveness. That shift in emphasis will necessitate greater consistency of positional placement in these years.

Colts and Youth Girls

The Colts Boys and Youth Girls teams consist of players between the ages of 15 and 18 and the players usually train as a squad. Placement within the teams will be decided by the age group coaches on a weekly basis and teams can consist of both top and bottom age players.

The selection criteria for the highest graded teams in this age group (typically Division 1) will be the same as for the U13s to U15s but emphasis will be placed on overall team competitiveness and commitment to training and team rules.

The lower graded teams (typically Divisions 2 – 5) will accommodate those who are not able to play at the higher level and those who wish to continue playing football at a more social level.

There will be no compulsion to play in a particular team if a player wishes to play in a lower grade with their friends.

It is acknowledged that in this age group players may have specialised in particular positions leading to less regularity in rotations, particularly with the Division 1 teams. Coaches will still endeavour to work with players to promote development and expose them to various positions throughout the season, but there is an acknowledgement that increased levels of specialisation necessitate greater consistency of positional placement in these years.

During these years, players should:

  • be guaranteed three quarters of football on match day for home and away games, and
  • be guaranteed two quarters of football on match day for any finals games

4. Evaluation & Review

This policy was reviewed and updated in October 2016 and is scheduled for review in December 2019.

Note that each year FJFC conducts a Parent/Player feedback survey and opinions on our Player Placement Policy are sought each year. While there are varying perspectives provided, our policy aligns with the desires of most parents and players at the club.

5. References

YJFL Statement of Rules and By Laws (see Section 6. Player Eligibility and Schedule A – Grading Guidelines)

6. Related Policies

Age Group Policy

 

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