Team Selection Policy

1.       Background

To facilitate AFL Victoria and South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) recommendations along with club member feedback, the Waverley Park Hawks Junior Football Club introduced a Team Selection policy in 2013 for the Under 13-Under 17 age groups with multiple teams.

The intent behind the policy is to continue the enjoyment and development of all players within the club and foster an environment where all players can excel whilst having fun.

The committee conducted an extensive due diligence process that considered many options for age groups with more than one team. After narrowing down the options to three alternatives the committee agreed on a policy that allows each parent/player to choose whether they want to participate in the selection process for places in the higher division team.

2.       Policy

For the Under 13 age group, at the conclusion of the previous year all players are grouped together to form a single squad. At this time it is considered that all players will be playing in the lower division team of the age group. Prior to, or no later than Registration Day, each parent and player then has the opportunity of CHOICE. In consultation with the player, the parent can elect to nominate their child for the higher division team or they can choose to nominate a preference for his/her child to play in the lower division team.

Those players/parents that have elected to nominate for the higher division team agree and acknowledge that their child will participate in the selection process for places in the higher division team based upon criteria outlined below (see Section 3 Criteria).

Those players/parents that have elected to nominate for the lower division team have indicated a preference to play in the lower division team and NOT participate in the selection process for places in the higher division team.

Nominating for the lower division team, does not ensure that the player will be allocated to the lower division team as final team makeup will be dependent upon the number of players nominating for each team (see Section 5 Scenarios and Section 7 Team Numbers).

3.       Criteria

In determining the selection of the higher division team, members of the Football Operations Team will consult with the prior years’ and current coaches. Feedback will be taken from each coach as they have a vast amount of knowledge and information about these players. At the conclusion of pre-season training (around the end of March) each coach will submit a recommendation to the Football Operations Team.

The Football Operations Team will review the coaches’ recommendations. The final selection of the higher division team will be at the sole discretion of the Football Operations Team.

Multiple factors will be taken into consideration in forming the higher division team and below are an indication of some of these factors:

*Player welfare

*Players ability and previous year’s best and fairest voting

*Players physical development, strength and speed.

*Football intelligence, Game Day Sense and Ball winning ability.

*Fitness & Skills on both sides of the body

*Attitude, Behaviour and Discipline

*Adherence to player code of conduct and team rules

*Determination and Competitiveness

*Training attendance

4.       Timeline

For the Under 13 age group, initial team selection nominations are required from returning players by Presentation Day of the preceding season.

Final team selection nominations for ALL age groups close on Registration Day each season.

The announcement of each team will occur just prior to the final practice game.

5.       Scenarios

Immediately after all nominations have been submitted, the Football Operations Team will collate the nominations and advise the coaches of the number of players who have nominated for each team. There will be three potential scenarios to consider.

Scenario 1: Fifty percent of players nominate for the higher team. No selection process needs to occur as parents/players have effectively chosen each team themselves.

Scenario 2: More than fifty percent of players nominate for the higher division team. The Football Operations Team then selects the best players based on the criteria noted above (see Section 3 Criteria) for the higher division team. Players not selected for the higher division team will be allocated to the lower division team.

Scenario 3: Less than 50% of players apply for higher division team. The Football Operations Team advise parents/players of the initial nominations and based on these numbers, request further nominations for the higher division team. Should this fail to achieve 50% of players nominating for the higher division team the Football Operations Team would then make a decision on the final make-up of each team.

Scenarios two and three would be worked through between Registration Day and the final practice game.

6.       Communication

Players who nominate for the higher division team, and then are not selected to play in this team, will be personally advised by a member of the Football Operations Team of this decision.

7.       Team Numbers

It is the committee’s full intent to have equal numbers of players in both teams and only in special circumstances would any deviation from this occur.

8.       New Players

In the event places are available for new players after Registration Day new players must also submit a team selection nomination form upon registration.

9.       Returning Players

Nominations for change of preference of returning players will not be accepted after Registration Day.

10.   Intra-Club matches

Intra-club matches may be used to assess players for the higher division team.

Participation in intra-club matches by those players nominating a preference to play in the lower division team shall be optional at the player/parents discretion.

11.   Playing Time Guidelines

For Under13/14 age groups all players in both teams shall receive equal game-time regardless of their playing ability during the home and away season.

For Under 15/16/17 age groups, all players in both teams shall receive a minimum of half a game during the home and away season.

For finals, it is the club’s expectation that all players would receive a minimum of half a game in all age groups and teams affected by this policy (Under 13 to Under 17).

12.   Player Movements

In extreme circumstances the Football Operations Team may consider players moving between teams. 

13.   Following Seasons

Prior to Registration Day each year, players may nominate to change teams for the coming season.

A player, who played in the lower division team in the previous season, may choose to nominate for the higher division team, and go through the selection process for places in the higher division team.

A player who played in the higher division team in the previous season may choose to nominate a preference to play in the lower division team and not participate in the selection process for places in the higher division team.

Note all players who played in the higher division team in the previous season will be considered in the following season to have nominated for the higher division team and go through the selection process for places in the higher division team. If a player who has played in the higher division team does not want to participate in the selection process, they will need to nominate a preference to play in the lower division team prior to Registration Day.

Nominating for the lower division team, does not ensure that the player will be allocated to the lower division team as final team makeup will be dependent upon the number of players nominating for each team (see Section 5 Scenarios and 7 Team Numbers).

14.   Discretion

At all times the Football Operations Team and Executive committee can at their discretion make a decision that is in the best interests of all players at the Waverley Park Hawks.

15.   Annual Review

The team selection policy will be reviewed at the end of each season and the Club Committee may at its discretion implement any changes it feels are required.

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