This year we will be playing on a much larger field (roughly 2/3’s of the ADO), with more players on the ground (15 a side + interchange bench) and we will use a larger size 3 leather ball. Quarters will be 13 minutes long instead of 10.
- We now keep score. There is ladder and hopefully finals to play in. Parents will be required for goal-umpire duty.
- There are also some rule changes that the kids and parents will need to get their heads around – the coaches will take the kids through these at training. Some of the main ones to look out for are:
- While players play in position there are no longer ‘zones’ and any player is able to kick a goal.
- Players can now take up to 2 bounces (previously 1) and can run 15 metres (previously 10) before taking a bounce.
- Kicks must travel 10 metres to be considered a mark.
- Umpires can now give 25 metre penalties.
- Playing on after a mark or free kick is allowed.
- Smothers, shepherding, barging and fending are now allowed. Tackling is as “per the rules of the game”.
There will be two umpires on the field – they are still kids so please treat them respectfully.
Coaches are no longer allowed on the field. Instead instructions will be relayed via an official ‘runner’. We will also have official ‘water carriers’ who can take drinks to the kids during play but who cannot give instructions. All other parents need to stay off the field at all times – this is taken much more seriously than previous years. Parents are also asked to leave the designated coaches and interchange areas clear during games. All game day communication, concerns etc. should be directed through your manager who will pass it on to the Ground Manager or coaches as appropriate.
For the first time players will predominantly play in one position. While some positions may change during games and through the year we really want to start developing specialist skills. We can’t have 15 forwards! Please help the coaches by encouraging your kids to embrace the challenge of their respective positions.
Perhaps the biggest change this year is that we will be moving to two teams and competing in a divisional structure for the first time. Team selection will be done by the coaches. It’s a difficult job and they are aiming to make it as fair as possible. A number of factors will be considered including:
· Performance during the 2019 season (including Best & Fairest voting)
· Performance throughout the pre-season training period (we recognise that not everyone has been able to get to pre-season training for various reasons – that will not be held against anyone)
· Physical readiness
We understand that some kids or parents may be disappointed with the initial selections. While we envisage that the teams will be largely stable through the year, we will continue to monitor performance and attitude and there will be opportunities for some players to move between the sides.
· Division 1 will be coached by Brad and Chris and managed by Lainey and Dan.
· Division 2 will be coached by Dale and John and managed by Malcolm.
Training will be done as a ‘squad’ for both teams and we are encouraging a squad mentality. During training we will likely break the sides out for some separate skills and to work on some specific tactics, but overall we want to avoid any notion of ‘us and them’ between the teams. Whichever team your child is chosen for, we encourage them (and you) to support the club as a whole.
The coaches will address these changes, as well as our philosophy for the year, further following tonight’s training (yes it’s still on). In short we will continue to focus on skill development, inclusiveness and having fun.