Cancel capped junior list numbers - Hampden and Warrnambool & District football leagues.

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Let's vote to remove the cap on the number of players in each age group and club in both the Hampden and Warrnambool & District junior football leagues.

How's this for a scenario. I get a message from my son asking me to register him for u-15's footy this year, which I was rapt about because he opted out of footy a few years ago and I haven't forced the issue instead focusing on keeping him going day to day as he fights a few health battles, but delighted to have him wanting to get back into footy with his mates.
Only to find out the AFL Western District in their wisdom to "develop more co-operation across junior football in the entire region", has set a player cap at each club at 26 for each age level, and dropped u-12 and u-15 sides to 16 on the field and 5 on the bench.
So, with the likelihood of our club having half a dozen or so players over and above the cap in the under-15's, the poor coaches and committee are potentially going to be in the unenviable position of having to develop policies around who gets to be included in the 26 and who has to be told that sorry you'll have to go and find an alternative footy club if you still want to play footy.
I can only speak for our situation, but if it likely pans out that he is in the mix to miss out since there are potentially the full quota already that played at the club last year who I wouldn't expect to miss out, I know my lad in his state of mind not only doesn't need the setback after working himself back to wanting to participate in the team sport with his best mate at the club his dad is a life member and premiership captain of and he grew up around every Saturday in winter for the first 10 years of his life only to be told to go elsewhere - he simply will be lost to the sport. And I will be gutted.
Way to go, AFL Western Victoria. You think these kids are simply water filling a bucket that will overflow into the next bucket? You want to penalise clubs with family-friendly cultures who have worked tirelessly creating positive pathways for juniors?
The document at this link opens with the quote, “WINNING FOOTY IS IMPORTANT BUT FOOTY WINNING IS MORE IMPORTANT”
From where I sit, which is that in this example your ill-thought-out policy will directly drive children away from our great national game, footy is NOT winning.

Not to mention the apparent lack of consultation with the clubs/league...  Consultation that would have revealed the common-sense approaches that already exist at a local level, whereby teams share excess players on a given day when required to enable a game to proceed if one team is short, games dropping to 16 per side only when required if numbers are lacking and rotations that enable players to have a fair run at clubs with lots of numbers on their list, etc.

There are other potential solutions to try achieve more numbers at clubs that are struggling - solutions that won't have the attrition rate of the current proposals.

Think also of the one-team-towns in country areas.  If they are over their cap are they expected to travel 30kms to the nearest rival club?  What a ridiculous scenario!  What if parents have other children in other teams at the home club and only one car or parent?

Let's vote to remove the cap on the number of players in each age group and club.



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