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Junior Grading Policy




Background Information

  • Alstonville & District Football Club Inc. (The Club) is a grassroots football club that promotes participation, inclusiveness, fairness and positive behaviours.

  • Players families are responsible for their online registration in and for payment of their fees. Players must be registered in as early as possible to allow timely formation of teams.

  • Payment of registration fees can be made at the time of Registration in or later by Club accepted payment methods. The Club adheres to a “No Pay, No Play” policy and accordingly fees must be paid in full prior to competing in any pre-season or normal season fixtures.

  • Players register to play for The Club and not a particular team. Player placement as determined by the Junior Grading Committee is final and must be respected by playing members.

  • All members, including registered players, must adhere to the Codes of Conduct and other Club policies, such as the Member Protection Policy.

  • The governing body, Football Far North Coast (FFNC), seeks Club grading nominations for a divisional structure (Division 1, 2 or 3) from Grade 12 to Grade 16, both male and female.

  • Grading nominations as lodged to FFNC by The Club may not be accepted as submitted. FFNC reserves the right to change Club grade nominations to suit its competition structure.


The Framework

  • is open for registrations in late January or no later than 1 February of each year. Early registration of players ensures a smoother transition into grading and team placement. Registrations close 30 June.

  • Registrations are accepted on a “first in” basis until the FFNC Team nominations for the Point score Competition are due, (early March) or until player numbers are sufficient to support potential team nominations. This will result in a “wait list” being applied or advertising for more registrations. Late registrations are subject to availability. Efforts will be made to include every registered player.

  • Team nominations are made to FFNC by the due date and should be accompanied by supporting factual information to justify the grade nominations. This information may impact FFNC’s decision to move grade nominations up or down.

  • Following this team Formation can then occur. Point score squad lists are usually due mid-March.

  • Every player is given the opportunity to play for The Club within the framework of the team nominations to FFNC and maximum numbers allowable for each team.

  • The maximum number of players per team is 14 players for Grades 12 to 14 with 16 players for Grades 15 and 16 both male and female. Permission must be sought from FFNC to exceed these numbers. Permission may be sought when all teams are full. Additional players are not recommended.

  • The point score competition squad lists must be submitted to FFNC on or before the due date. Players are made “active” in prior to this date if their fees have been paid in full.

  • The Club encourages players to play in their correct age group but cannot guarantee that any player will be placed in any particular team or age group.

  • No registration can be rejected by the Junior Grading Committee or Junior Sub Committee unless agreed upon by the Executive Committee.

  • The Junior Competitive Grading Committee

The Grading Committee may consist of the following members:

  • The elected Grading Coordinator

  • The Junior Competitive Subcommittee: Vice President, Coaching Coordinator and Registrar

  • The Technical Director and Female Participation Officer, as appropriate

  • A suitably qualified Primary Grader for each age group

  • Assistant Graders to each Primary Grader for each age group

  • Goalkeeper selector/s


Team Formation – The Competitive Juniors (Grade 12-16) Grading Process

  • Player grading and the placement of players of like ability into teams will commence as soon as practicable after registration and prior to Competitive Junior Team nominations due date to FFNC (early March). Depending on team strengths and numbers, divisional nominations will be made for inclusion into the point score competition. Written supporting evidence may need to accompany the nominations.

  • Grading for each age group will be conducted by the Primary Grader and their Assistants as appointed by the Junior Competitive Grading Committee. All graders must be impartial and not have any family or coaching association within the age group they are grading. The Primary Grader for each age group will submit their recommendations to the Grading Committee.

  • Coaches from the previous year may be consulted directly to get insight into player’s strengths and weaknesses. Such advice should only be treated as a guide and player’s performance during grading should be the focus. This will be at the discretion of the Grading Coordinator.

  • No player should assume that their position within a graded team is determined by their previous seasons grading. All players should be encouraged to attend all grading sessions to provide maximum exposure of their ability to the grading panel. Players who cannot attend some or all grading sessions should advise the Grading Coordinator so the Committee has the opportunity to make alternative arrangements to assess the players’ ability. Any alternative arrangements are completely at the discretion of the Grading Committee.

  • It is the Club’s preference for players to play within their own age group. Where there are exceptional circumstances an application to play out of grade can be made. Circumstances that may allow players to play out of grade include the following:

    • Team numbers require that players must go up a grade to assist with playing numbers in the older age group. Numbers in the player’s correct age should be strong enough to support a competitive team.

    • Late registrations may be included in an older age group if there are no placements available in their correct age.

    • A player has been playing up a grade for three (3) or more consecutive years.

  • Any player wanting to play out of grade should attend grading for their correct age as well as the grade for which they have applied.

  • The relevant subcommittee will evaluate such requests and make a deliberation.

  • Any approvals will be dependent on the number of placements available in the older age group. No player in their correct age should be displaced by a younger player unless there are exceptional circumstances.

  • At the conclusion of grading, the appointed Primary Graders and Goalkeeper selector/s shall submit their recommendations for player placement and team division nomination to the junior competitive subcommittee.

  • Where there are multiple teams within an age group, only one first division team should be nominated. Where there must be more than one first division team within an age group or where there is only one division, there should still be a single ‘top’ team in which the strongest players are placed. This is so each age group always has at least one team where the strongest players can get maximum development and competition.

  • Where there must be multiple teams within one division (other than Division 1), teams should be balanced in order to give each team the same opportunity to compete.

  • Where the registrations indicate one (1) team only in any age division grading will not be necessary. Appropriate training activities should be provided for these teams during Grading until coaching appointments are made.

  • Where there are two (2) or more teams in an age division, the maximum number allowed should be placed in Division 2 rather than Division 1. Players may be promoted to Division 1 as numbers allow. If at all possible, players should not be demoted to balance numbers.

  • Goalkeeper trials will be conducted for all teams during Grading process by Goalkeeper specialists.

  • When teams are finalised and confirmed by the Junior Grading Committee, they can be released to individual players and team coaches by email. The team list convention should be followed as there are minors in each team. For this same reason, team lists are not to be published on social media.



  • Coaching appointments will lapse at the conclusion of each season. Appointments for the new season will be made by the Junior Competitive Subcommittee and Technical Director as soon as practicable after grading is completed.

  • Application for coaching positions may be sought by the Committee. Consultation with previous year’s coaches to determine their availability for the current season should be made if applications are not received. New coaches should be encouraged where practicable. Should any conflicts of interest arise the Executive Committee should be consulted.

  • Coaching appointments can then be confirmed by the subcommittee.

  • It is desirable that the coaching and playing philosophy of the club be put into practice in every team. Criteria such as recognised coaching qualifications, coaching experience, playing history, keenness to learn, and adherence to Codes of Conduct and club policies should be taken into consideration when appointing coaches.

  • Coaches should be encouraged to complete available coaching courses. There will be some financial assistance available where coaches incur course costs. Technical Director and Coaching Coordinators may also assist at weekly training sessions on request or regularly if time permits.

  • It is preferable for a team to have a Coach and/or Manager in place by the time teams are formed and announced. The Coach and/or Manager will be the point of contact for the team and The Club.

  • Coaches and Managers must be registered in as a Team Official to be listed on the match sheet and permitted in the technical area.


  • No team is to participate in pre-season training or matches until registration and formation of teams has been completed unless specifically permitted by the club committee.

  • Grade 16 male and female teams may nominate for the ANZAC Day Cup and the Callan McMillan Shield pre-season competitions, if grading is completed, coaches appointed and there is sufficient player interest to compete.

  • Pre-season trial matches may occur but application through the Club to FFNC must occur for sanctioning. Guidelines apply.

All decisions will be at the discretion of the Grading Coordinator and the Junior Committee.

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