FAQs for new parents

FAQs for new parents and players

Welcome to junior footy from Cairns Hawks Juniors. We hope this is a great experience for you and your children. Here are some frequently asked questions to help new parents and players.

When is training? Thursday night from 5pm-6pm for all grades, plus Tuesday night from 5pm-6pm for U14 and U15.5, and Monday night from 5pm-6pm for U12s. Training starts two weeks before matches, on Thu 15th February 2018. Training continues until the end of the season, usually around the end of August, unless the coach makes other arrangements.

Where is training? At Cazaly's. Each grade has their own section of the oval, which they use every week. Cazaly's will be closed to club training from Fri 9 March and re-opens Mon 26 March because of the AFL match between Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne Kangaroos, and coaches will advise players of alternate training venues.

What to bring to training? Football boots and water bottle. Team shorts, socks and singlets are optional, but we strongly prefer kids not to come in school uniform so clothes don't get damaged. Old playing jerseys and training singlets are sold cheaply at sign on day and from the club store after training on Thu (at AFL house).

What if it rains at training? We all get wet. Training will only be cancelled in extremely heavy rain or dangerous conditions, or if training would damage the football ground. Please make sure the club and coach have up-to-date mobile phone contact numbers for you.

What is club-based Auskick? Hawks runs an Auskick programme at Cazaly's for brand new players aged 5-12, starting at 5pm on Thu 22nd February 2018 for six weeks. Kids who want to continue playing after this can then play superstars (for ages 5-6) or slot into the team for their age group (Under 8s, 9s, 10s, etc.). New kids are welcome to come to this in addition to team training, and older siblings are welcome as long as they understand the session is for the new kids to learn, not them to show off! Must register online, cost $75:
follow the link on our website.

When are games? Each grade plays at a set time each week, based on a draw by AFL Cairns. Players should arrive 30 minutes before games, and at higher grades some coaches prefer 60 minutes to warm up:

Superstars (under-6 born 2012 and 2013) – season starts after Easter – playing on Friday nights at one venue
U8 mixed     (born 2010 and 2011) play on Sunday mornings at 9am until 9.45am
U9 mixed     (born 2009) play on Sunday mornings at 9am until 9.45am or 9.55am.
U10 mixed   (born 2008) normally play on Sunday mornings at 9.55am (or occasionally 9am).
U11 mixed   (born 2007) normally play on Sunday mornings at 11.00am (or occasionally 9.55am)
U12 mixed   (born 2006) normally play on Sunday afternoons at 12.10pm or 1.25pm
U14 mixed   (born 2004 and 2005) normally play on Sunday afternoons at 12.10pm at 1.25pm or 2.45pm
U15.5 boys (born 2003 and July-Dec 2002) normally play on Wednesday or Friday nights

U14 girls       (born 2004 and 2005 and 2006 and 2007) – season starts after Easter – play on Monday nights

Because the draw depends on the number of teams in each grade, times can change through the season.

When is the season? Matches start on Sunday 4th March 2018, and all grades play roughly 15 normal round matches finishing around the first week of August. For competitive grades (U12, U14 and U15.5) there are then three weeks of finals ending with the Grand Final on Sun 26 August. For non-competitive grades (U8-10), this year there is a special separate U8-10s Grand Final day on Sun 12 August. U11s play a special one-day round robin knock-out on Sun 19 August and then the winners play on Grand Final day on Sun 26 August.

Do matches stop for the holidays? There is usually no training or matches during the two week Easter and July school holidays. Public holidays depend on timing, and the final date for the Queen's Birthday long weekend (which used to be in June).
AFL Cairns hosts a national AFL game at Cazaly's on Sat 24th March 2018. Gold Coast Suns and AFL Cairns have put on lots of extra activities around the game, including AFL players visiting every club to join in their training session – however, Cazaly's is unavailable during this time, so coaches will advise players of venue.

How do I find out the fixture? AFL Cairns releases the draw in instalments. Latest fixture will be accessed through the Hawks club website, which also has lots of other information and pictures:

Where are games played? AFL Cairns prepares the draw to try and give each of the 8 venues a fair share of fixtures. Hawks teams typically have 5 – 8 games at Cazaly's, and the rest at other grounds in Cairns (Buchan St, Fretwell Park, Watson's Oval, Griffiths Park, Holloways Beach, Trinity Beach), Gordonvale or Port Douglas.
Half of the games are allocated as "home" games, even though they may not be played at your home ground, which means U8-U10 teams must also provide an umpire for the game.

What to bring to games? Football boots, team socks, team shorts and drink bottle. Team shirt will be provided by the team manager.

How can I help? Every year, every team needs at least one coach, preferably an assistant coach who is also umpire for home games, a team manager, and a goal umpire for all games. Also in higher grades: boundary umpire, water carriers, and runners.
The team manager will usually make a roster for specific duties like washing the shirts, providing half time oranges, and full time drinks or icy-poles.
Some of these roles can be filled by older brothers and sisters.

Do I have to help? If parents do not help out, then junior footy simply cannot happen. We expect all parents to help out for at least two hours over the season, on the barbeque for home games if not helping in one of the roles listed above.

How do I find out more about coaching or umpiring? AFL Cairns organises a full day of training for all new coaches, usually on the first Saturday in March before games start, as well as a training session for all umpires. There are more experienced coaches at the club to give advice and a lot of resources available online. The Auskick coaching manual is online, with lesson plans for training for every grade: http://www.aflauskick.com.au/coordinators/lesson-plans/

What is the role of the committee? The Cairns Hawks Juniors footy club is run by a committee of parents of current players elected at the club annual general meeting. It looks after memberships, club finances, uniforms, how many teams will be played in each grade and how to split kids between grades to make the numbers as even as possible so all kids get as much game time as possible. They also organise fundraising activities, including a BBQ stand when games are at Cazaly's.

What is the role of AFL Cairns? They oversight the competition and prepare the schedule of games each week.


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