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From 2013 Blaxland Football Club will grade all new junior competition players ranging from under 10 through to under 18 prior to the commencement of the football season in accordance with this policy. Grading of new U10 & U11 non competition players will also be conducted in order to better prepare players and teams for competitive football starting at U12’s.

The grading of junior players is seen as an important step in their development as footballers and their ability to enjoy the game.

Where there are more than two teams entered in the same age competition then the players will be graded into teams of similar skills and ability. Grading is to be carried out by a Grading Committee of appropriate people appointed by the Management Committee. Teams will be graded according to the player’s ability based on advice from coaches and an independent assessment by the Grading Committee. Best efforts will be made for the grading of each age group to be managed by an independent Grading Committee, but this will be dependent on the availability of suitable volunteers and grading may involve the team coach where considered appropriate by the Grading Committee.

The Grading Committee will conduct skills testing along with drills, small sided games and trial games in assessing players. Grading will consist of: 

  • Skill based drills – Passing, Dribbling, Heading (U12+), Ball control, Juggling etc
  • Small sided game/s
  • Game play – positional play, tackling ability, marking, team play etc

Selection of teams will be based on a combination of:

  • Merit – Assessment of both individual and team skills based on the grading trials
  • Team balance with respect to player positions
  • Grading reports submitted by team coaches from the previous season
  • Player’s attitude to grading and training
  • Willingness and ability of the player to receive instruction
  • Team spirit

Only players that have registered and paid registration fees will be graded. All players are to be graded, both new and existing members of the club. If a player for whatever reason is unable to attend grading, then he/she will be placed in a team deemed appropriate by the Grading Committee.

There will be times where the number of players in an age group does not allow for equal numbers of players in each team. In such situations the Grading Committee will allocate the higher number of players to the lower graded teams. This will allow players to be promoted should there be withdrawals, and minimize the need for players to be relegated to lower grades prior to the start of competition.

All players should play in the age competition for their age, i.e.: U12’s play U12, etc. The Grading Committee will only consider playing a player in a higher grade if it does not impact upon the team for which the player would have played. When there are an insufficient number of players in a team it may be necessary for the Grading Committee to require some players to play in the higher age competition to even out player numbers in all teams. The players who will play in the higher age competition will be selected based on their ability to play in the higher age division. The Grading Committee may refuse a request for a player from playing above his/her age group if in their opinion it will be detrimental to player’s performance or development or to the team’s performance or development.

Players may request to play in a specific team or with friends and reasonable endeavour will be made to accommodate such requests. Requests must be made in writing to the Grading Committee PRIOR to the commencement of the first grading session. If such a request is made, the following is to apply:

  • Consideration for the player to play in a lower grade or specific team will only occur if it does not impact the team or division for which the player would have played (Eg: Leaving insufficient numbers to adequately form teams)
  • Team balance ( Number of defenders, mid-fielders and attackers)
  • Players making specific requests to play with friends will be graded to the level of the lowest graded player. If this is seen as detrimental to a player’s performance or development, or to a team’s performance or development, the Grading Committee may refuse the request.

If any player or parent is not satisfied with the grading the player receives, they can make a submission in writing to the Grading Committee requesting a review of the grading, outlining why they think the grading is incorrect. The Blaxland FC President will consider the submission and make a decision on whether or not to change the player’s grading. The Blaxland FC President’s decision is final. Should a player or parent not accept this decision and decide to withdraw from Blaxland FC, paid registration fees will be refunded less a reasonable administration fee.