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Policies and Guidelines

Established in 1879, the Drysdale Football Club has fielded junior teams since the establishment of an U15 team in 1962.

VISION STATEMENT:   To be perceived throughout the wider football community as a welcoming, inclusive and successful junior football club which provides the opportunity for young players to develop in a safe, caring and enjoyable environment.

 The junior section of the club is dedicated to the teaching and promotion of Australian Rules Football, maximising the enjoyment, development and potential of individual players whilst providing players and their families with a positive football and social experience.

OUR AIM IS TO:      


  • Teach and develop basic AFL Football skills

  • Promote healthy lifestyle choices including exercise and nutrition

  • Promote the benefits of participating in a community activity

  • Develop the potential of junior players to participate in, and contribute to, all aspects of the club both on-field and off-field

  • Promote appreciation of, and foster increased respect for, the role of the umpire, coaches, officials and volunteers

  • Promote encouragement and respect of all team members and opposition players

  • Increase parent, guardian and player’s “ownership” of providing a quality sporting environment

  • Develop and promote, to both players and parents, the importance of setting a positive example and good social behaviours in junior sport




Each year at its Annual General Meeting the club elects a Junior Co-ordinator. Upon election this person is tasked with the formation of a Junior Sub-committee.  The make-up of this sub-committee is flexible however the current preferred structure is for eight members as follows:

Junior Co-ordinator (Chair)

U9/U10 Co-ordinator

U12 Co-ordinator

U14 Co-ordinator

U16 Co-ordinator

Auskick Co-ordinator

Junior Secretary

Junior Property Steward

We have found that with over 200 junior players it is necessary to share the workload in the above manner.  The junior sub-committee will meet monthly throughout the season with the Junior Co-ordinator also attending the committee meetings of the club to report on junior matters and to seek confirmation of decisions made by the sub-committee.



The club has endorsed and adopted numerous policies in their endeavours to reach the goals listed in the mission statement above. Further details on any of these can be obtained by contacting one of the officials listed later in this handbook or via the relevant website.

Policies include:-

AFL Victoria / AFL Victoria Country / AFL Barwon policies on:-


  • Vilification

  • Cyber safety

  • Gender regulation

  • Anti-doping

  • Member protection

  • National risk protection, including medical and insurance

  • Infectious diseases

  • Concussion

  • Smoke Free

  • Alcohol management

  • Codes of Conduct for Players, Officials, Parents & Spectators


Furthermore, the club has adopted policies on the following:-

  • Team grading

  • Player allocation to teams (may vary at different age levels)

  • Player movement within the same age group

  • Player movement between age groups

  • Selection of teams (may vary at different age levels)

  • Player rotation (may vary at different age levels)

  • Conflict resolution

  • Player awards (may vary at different age levels)

  • Mouthguards

  • Concussion



The club shall submit, upon request from AFL Barwon, an honest and considered request for initial placement of teams at U14 & U16 levels to provide for teams to be competitive on a week-to-week basis AND to provide for the teaching of the skills of the game on both a team and individual basis to be conducted in an appropriate environment.

PLAYER ALLOCATION TO TEAMS (may vary at different age levels)

U9’s –  U12’s

Where the club fields more than one team in an age group, teams will be selected so that all teams are as even as possible considering age of players, schools attended, existing friendships, individual player strengths, weaknesses and skill set; and team balance. Consideration shall also be given to other family members who may be players, coaches or officials.

U14’s & U16’s

As teams are graded, allocation of players to teams where the club fields more than one team in an age group will be primarily determined on merit. Consideration shall be given to each player’s ability, physical attributes and other relevant factors as necessary. Consideration shall also be given to other family members who may be players, coaches or officials.


Whilst teams should remain relatively stable throughout the season, movement between teams may be necessary based on injury, availability, team balance and individual player development. Coaches will discuss all relevant criteria in determining the movement of players, consulting the player(s) and parents where appropriate. Consideration must also be given to eligibility rules as determined by AFL Barwon where applicable and appropriate.

Coaches are encouraged to assess and continually review each player’s stage of physical development, level of skill and understanding of the game to be taken into consideration when considering movement to another team within the age group.


Players may be requested to play in a higher age group based on a number of factors (player availability, exceptional circumstances, team balance etc) but should primarily be due to insufficient players in the “older” team. Where a player from a lower age group tops up in a higher age group, the lower age group player should not take the field in place of a player of the higher age group. (i.e. the lower age group player(s) commence the game on the bench and interchange during the game for injured player(s) or as part of game day rotations. The lower age group player(s) may NOT start on the ground if there is/are higher age group player(s) on the interchange bench).  It is only in exceptional circumstances that the Club may permit a person to play out of the appropriate age group, by one year only, for an entire season. In making its decision, the Club will have regard for the skills and physical development of an individual, and the number of players in the teams involved. Where a player has, due to circumstances deemed by the committee to be exceptional, moved to a higher grade for the season the above conditions relating to ‘top up’ players are not to be imposed and they are to be treated as a regular player in that age group.

SELECTION OF TEAMS (may vary at different age levels)

In any given week, team numbers should be as even as possible within each age group. Consideration is to be given to team balance and player availability. Communication between coaches within each age group is essential so that players and parents have optimum notice of team changes. Any disputes should be referred to both the Club Junior Coordinator and the Club Coaching Coordinator.

PLAYER ROTATION (may vary at different age levels)

U9’s –  U12’s

All players should experience playing in defence, midfield and forward for approximately equal time per game. Game time (and therefore “bench time”) should be shared equally among all players wherever possible. It is important that where this policy cannot be applied on a week-to-week basis it is applied over the course of the season. As a guide, all players should play at least 3 quarters of each game.

Furthermore, subject to availability, all players should play the same number of games over the course of the season.

U14’s & U16’s

All players should experience playing in defence, midfield and forward. Game time (and therefore “bench time”) should be shared equally among all players wherever possible. As opposed to a game-by-game basis, this should be achieved over the course of the season .


Any disputes between player, parents, coaches and officials which cannot be resolved amicably in the first instance should be referred to the Club Junior Coordinator. The club has developed and adopted a detailed process for dealing with such matters.

PLAYER AWARDS (may vary at different age levels)

U9 & U10’s

There will be no season awards given in this age group. Weekly awards as provided by the club should be shared equitably over the course of the season. A similar approach should be taken when naming best players for publication. At the end of the season participation awards will be given to all players.


Weekly awards as provided by the club should be shared equitably over the course of the season. A similar approach should be taken when naming best players for publication. No Best & Fairest Awards will be given in this age group.  At the end of the season participation awards will be given to all players and there may also be awards in the categories such as:-

  • Most Improved

  • Best Team Player

  • Coaches Award

U14’s & U16’s

Best and Fairest Awards will be given based on the 3,2,1 voting system in these age groups. Weekly awards as provided by the club should be shared as equitably as reasonable over the course of the season. A similar approach may be taken when naming best players for publication.



The club has moved to make the wearing of a mouth guard compulsory for all junior players.  A ‘NO Mouth guard, No Play’ policy will be strictly enforced.  If you wish to have a mouth guard made by a dentist the club has an arrangement in placed for a discount service, otherwise they can be purchased from chemists and sports stores.


In addition to the AFL’s Concussion Management Policy, the club also has policy regarding players who suffer a concussion.  Any player, junior or senior, who suffers a concussion will not return to the field of play and will be ineligible to play the following week.  They will also require a medical clearance from a GP before being allowed to resume playing.




All junior players are required to pay a membership of $160 for U9 – U12 and $190 for U14 – U16, which includes the AFL Vic registration fee. The AFL Vic player registration component of approximately $43 per junior player goes directly to AFL Vic via direct billing to the Club.  Players must be registered with AFL Vic before being permitted to play in sanctioned competition.

This fee also provides insurance through the JLT Sport insurance scheme for 75% of non-Medicare medical items. (Note: it cannot cover the gap between a Medicare covered expense and the Medicare refund received, and claims must be lodged within 180 days of the injury).  Families registering two or more players will also receive a membership ticket for the parents upon request.

You should note that club memberships allow entry only to home BFL games.  You will be charged an admission fee of $8 at away venues where senior football is to be played that day, however most gates aren’t manned until 9:30am.


Players at all levels are strongly advised to take out Ambulance cover.  Whilst ambulance costs are covered by the JLT insurance, if you are not an ambulance member you would have to pay the account first then go through the process of claiming back 75%. The cost of Ambulance transport from a Bellarine ground to the Geelong Hospital could be $4,000 or more!

For a small annual membership fee this trip would be free.  The matter of Ambulance cover has become even more important given recent amendments to club policy. Where an injured player shows any sign of neck pain or injury they are not to be moved and an ambulance must be called, unless there is a doctor on hand who advises otherwise. Coaches and team managers have been made aware of this policy and parents need to be aware of it also. For information on ambulance cover phone 1800 990029.


Medical expenses are not paid by the club but some components may be claimable under the JLT insurance cover mentioned above.  However, for maximum protection all players are strongly advised to have private health cover for both hospital and ancillary benefits.



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