Guiding Principle: In our younger age groups (up to and including U/11) the club places a particular emphasis on participation and enjoyment. Expanding friendship groups during primary school years is our guiding principle, as we endeavour to enhance confidence and make football fun. We will focus on the acquisition of core skills and the nurturing of physical and emotional development and well-being.  It is our objective that every team is competitive, and that every player has the opportunity to improve and to make a contribution. 

The Club and coaches will adhere to the following guidelines as far as practicable, and it is Club policy to support our Coaches in any reasonable decisions they make. Where registrations provide for multiple teams in the same age group, it is the policy of the Club that team lists will be developed using the following guidelines:

U/8 to U/9 (Modified Rules; Regional Divisions; No scores published; No finals played)

School groups stay together and are combined with other school groups to form teams with a relatively equal number of players. If this is not possible and a school group or groups need to be split to create balanced teams the Football Department and Coaches will use these guidelines:

  • Siblings will be in the same team unless there is parental agreement to do otherwise;
  • If 2 or 3 girls enrol they will be in the same team unless there is a specific request otherwise;
  • If there are 4 or more girls, they may be split between teams.

U/10 to U/11 (Open Rules; Teams compete within graded Divisions)

  • Girls are encouraged to play in a Girls competition but may play in a mixed gender team by parental agreement;
  • Prior to the season commencing Under 11 teams may play against each other to determine which team plays in the higher / lower division. If neither team is clearly stronger the Football Department and Coaches may adjust the composition of teams to strengthen one. Should this happen any siblings will remain in the same team unless there is parental agreement to do otherwise.

Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL) policy allows for a maximum of 24 players to play in a match in these age groups. The Club requires that all players listed on a team sheet play at least three quarters of that game as far as is practicable.

Should a team in these age groups participate in finals YJFL policy allows for all qualified players to play, regardless of total numbers. The Club requires that during finals all players will play at least half of each game as far as is practicable.

U/12 to U/18 (Open Rules; Competitive)

We aim to provide all players in these age groups the opportunity to play in the highest division possible. While development remains the primary aim of our coaches a greater emphasis is now placed upon performance.

Where two sides form in an age group, players deemed capable of playing in a higher division may be offered a position in our higher graded (Black) team regardless of which division(s) they have played in previously. Our Football manager, Coach co-ordinator, coaches and external consultants (as appropriate) will select teams based upon assessment of aptitude, attitude, commitment and need for team balance. We aim to field competitive teams in every division and resource them appropriately.

YJFL policy allows for a maximum of 24 players to play in a match in these age groups. In Finals a number of players greater than 24 may be utilized, provided that each player is eligible and has played the minimum number of qualifying games in that team. The Club expects that all players be permitted to play a minimum of a half game as far as is practicable. Coaches must endeavour to provide the maximum number of players an opportunity to participate.


For safety & developmental reasons it is the club’s policy that each player will play in their correct age group. Any child whose birthday falls between January 01 and April 30 may be considered to be in their correct age group if playing with school friends who are born one year earlier.

All other exemptions regardless of the reason require the permission of the Football Manager. Players may be invited to play up a year level by the Football Manager in circumstances where there is an imbalance of players across age groups. Only those players who the club believes can cope with the move will be offered the opportunity, and it is not compulsory.  Any such out-of-age arrangement is for the immediate season only. Players may be required to revert back to their correct age group in the following season. If there is more than one team in the age group where players are playing up, these players would generally play in the lowest graded team.


Mouthguards and Helmets

It is compulsory for all players to wear a mouthguard during matches, and it is highly recommended that one be worn at training also. The Club organises for mouthguards to be fitted and purchased prior to each season to assist in the facilitation of this policy.

The wearing of helmets is compulsory for all players in U/8 and U/9 competition. Players from U/10 through to Youth/Colts may choose to wear a helmet at the discretion of their parents. The Club makes helmets available for every age group and, should parents request that their child play in a helmet, the parents shall also be responsible for ensuring this takes place by speaking to their Team Manager.

Parental Participation

Parental participation is an integral component in providing your child with a positive footballing experience. Substantial evidence exists to show that children whose parents are involved in their education (and at this level that is largely our agenda) have significantly increased achievement and development levels.

It is expected that all families will make a contribution throughout the season and your Team Manager will provide you with a roster for match day duties. You are encouraged to attend training sessions and assist your coach in the setting up and running of training drills. Parents should provide support to their children, however we request that you show due respect to your coach to ensure that the players are mindful of who is in control at these times.


Following the introduction of the new concussion management guidelines for AFL matches, the AFL Medical Officers Association has produced guidelines for community football.  The guidelines are for trainers, first-aid providers, coaches, umpires, club officials and parents and should be understood and followed by all parties for the benefit and welfare of the players.

Concussion is caused by trauma to the brain, which can be either direct or indirect (e.g. whiplash injury). When the forces transmitted to the brain are high enough, they can “stun” the nerves and affect the way in which the brain functions. This results in a range of symptoms and signs depending on the area of the brain that is affected.  Loss of consciousness is seen in only 10-20% of cases of concussion in Australian football. That is, the footballer does not have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.

There are four key components of concussion management:

  1. Recognise the injury
  2. Remove the player from the game.  If the player is unconscious and/or a cervical spine injury is suspected, the player should not be moved and an ambulance should be called. Any player who has suffered a concussion or is suspected of having a concussion must not be allowed to return to play in the same game or practice session.
  3. Refer the player to a medical doctor for assessment
  4. The player must not return to play or training until clearance has been provided by a medical doctor

Any one or more of the following visual clues can indicate a possible concussion:

Loss of consciousness or responsiveness
Lying motionless on ground / Slow to get up
Dazed, blank or vacant look
Grabbing / Clutching of head
Unsteady on feet / balance problems or falling over / lack of coordination
Confused / Not aware of plays or events

Presence of any one or more of the following signs & symptoms may suggest a concussion:

Loss of consciousness
Seizure or convulsion
Nervous or anxious
Balance problems
Neck pain
Nausea or vomiting
Feeling slowed down
“Don’t feel right”
“Pressure in head”
More emotional
Blurred vision
Sensitivity to noise
Sensitivity to light
Difficulty remembering
Fatigue or low energy
Feeling like “In a fog”
Difficulty concentrating

Skills Development

The Surrey Park Junior Football Club is committed to the participation and continuing development of all of its players. The club believes strongly in the equality of opportunities given to players in age groups U/8 through to U/11 and encourages our coaches to provide equal time on the ground as well as equal time throughout the three areas of the ground as far as is practicable. We believe this to be the best way to provide young footballers with all round development regardless of their level of ability.

We expect all of our players to be respectful to each other and acknowledge that we all make contributions in different ways. This is why our intention is to encourage each individual to be the very best that they can be whilst being good team players and contributing to the team to the best of their ability.

Our primary focus for all players will be skill development in the three key areas of:

Possession Disposal Checking
Bouncing the ball Handballing Bumping
Evading a tackle Hitting out and Palming Shepherding
Marking the ball Kicking Smothering
Picking up the ball   Spoiling


The Surrey Park Junior Football Club requires that all issues are resolved to the satisfaction of the members and Committee in a timely fashion. Accordingly, the following issue resolution procedures have been developed to enable this objective to be fulfilled. All members have a responsibility to participate in reasonable actions to resolve issues. The procedures below detail the level of involvement for expediting issue resolution.

ISSUE                                                                      RAISED WITH

Football or team related                                            Team Manager or Coach

General nature                                                             Committee Member


Any person wishing to raise an issue shall do so as follows:

Where possible the person reporting the issue should make suggestions that may resolve the issue. As soon as possible after an issue has been reported, the Team Manager, Coach and/or Committee Member and the claimant, must meet and try and resolve the issue.

Where the initial parties cannot resolve the issue, the Team Manager should refer the matter to the Committee through the Team Representative, Coaching Director, President or Secretary as soon as possible.

In attempting to resolve the issue, all parties should take into account the following factors:

    1. The extent of the issue, i.e., if it is likely to have a wider effect in the Club
    2. The number of players or teams affected
    3. Whether appropriate temporary measures are possible or desirable
    4. The expected time before the issue can be addressed
    5. What resources may be needed to resolve the issue

The consent of the Committee must be obtained before any external parties are involved in the resolution of Club issues. Only the Club President is authorized to make public statements on behalf of the Club.

The Team Manager and/or Coach may at any time call on Committee Members for assistance.

Under no circumstances –

  • are any parties to engage in open hostility in the company of children
  • can any matter be directed to the YJFL without going through the SPJFC Committee.

Any football or team related issue reported to the Committee, where the Team Manager and/or Coach has not been given the initial opportunity to resolve any such issue, will be referred back to the Team Manager/Coach & Coaching Director/Football Manager.

All persons must take reasonable actions to avoid situations that could cause serious injury or harm to health of players, officials or the public. If any hazard is identified the Committee are to be informed as soon as possible.