Football is often the heartbeat of a local community and Junior Football plays a significant role in developing young local players across country Western Australia. Junior Football has the ability to connect, bond and build communities through participation and social inclusion. It not only creates opportunities for families to spend time together and to socially interact with others within society, but it also plays an important role in creating safer communities which helps to address anti-social behaviour across the state.
The West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) wants to maximise participation in this great game to not only address these social outcomes, but also to increase the physical activity of all participants. Junior Football across WA is aligned to the WAFC through the Regional Football Development Councils (RFDCs), and they play a vital role in football development across each of our regions. I would also like to recognise and thank each of the RFDC Chairmen for the vital leadership role they play across all of football in their region.
Junior Football across the state is administered and governed by global Junior Rules and Regulations and these are reviewed annually. Junior Leagues can contribute to this review process by forwarding any suggestions, ideas or potential inclusions to your local Regional Manager (RM). All Junior Leagues across the state must adhere to the Junior Rules and Regulations.
It is important that everyone across Western Australia becomes a strong advocates for Rules and Regulations 1 – The Spirit of Junior Football, which is based on understanding the premise of what junior sport is really all about.
1. SPIRIT OF JUNIOR FOOTBALL
Every participant understands that Football in Western Australia is delivered to the Community with the Spirit of the Game in mind.
It is incumbent on every participant irrespective of their place in the game, to ensure that they will;
1.1 Not focus on winning at all costs and understand that the role of Junior & Youth Football is to foster the development of players, volunteers, umpires, coaches, and officials. Learning to win and lose is part of the developmental journey of a participant but must remain secondary to the primary focus of player development.
1.2 Maximise the enjoyment and development of Junior & Youth footballers.
1.3 Provide our children with a game environment that is safe, fun, and fair.
1.4 Ensure that the values which add to the spirit of our game, which include fairness, equality, respect, and teamwork are encouraged and celebrated.
1.5 Uphold, promote, and protect the Rules, Laws, Codes, Policies and Spirit of the game.
1.6 Not accept poor behaviours around our game and deter practices that undermine our games environments (coaching, playing, volunteering, spectating, and umpiring).
1.7 Adhere to any directive issued by the games controlling bodies in the best interests of achieving the above.
1.8 Coaches should adopt an athlete centred coaching philosophy.
1.9 A Person must not engage in conduct which is unbecoming or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of Junior Football in Western Australia or to bring the game of football into disrepute.
The environments that we create at our junior clubs will significantly impact on our ability to recruit and retain participants and volunteers, so please be mindful that this is junior sport, and that everyone should take on a leadership role when it comes to setting the right behaviour and expectations. This is not about us as adults; this is their game, so let’s ensure that we all continue to create a positive game day environment for our children.