Team Selection Policy

Version: 1.0

Committee Approval:


This policy specifies how players are to be allocated to teams in instances where there is more than one team in an age group.


This policy is consistent with, and draws upon, policies implemented by the Australian Football League, the WA Football Commission, and Claremont District to ensure the best playing environment for all players. It is designed to balance various objectives pertaining to player attraction, retention, and development, and to ensure clear expectations amongst coaches, players, and parents regarding the allocation of players to teams.

Within the limits of this Policy, WJFC will support coaches in any reasonable decisions that they make regarding the allocation of players to teams while preparing for the playing season, or to correct team imbalances during the course of a season. The Policy is designed to provide a decision-making framework for coaches, to provide clarity for players and parents, and to provide a reference in instances of disagreement.


·       Even numbers - WJFC will so far as possible field teams with equal numbers of players;

  • Even playing ability - WJFC will so far as possible field teams of equal ability in each year.
  • Team Composition - WJFC’s members are drawn in the main from local primary and high schools. As a community club, it seeks to encourage long-term friendships extending beyond school groupings. As such, teams will wherever possible incorporate players from a range of schools rather than being school-specific.
  • Rotation Amongst Teams - In order to develop a range of friendships, and to help reduce the attrition rate amongst players in particular year groups, it is expected that players will rotate amongst teams during Years 3 to 6. In other words, teams should be re-picked each year rather than ‘carried forward’ so that players are encouraged to feel that they are members of the Club rather than of any particular team. This will also expose players to a range of coaches and diverse coaching and playing styles.
  • Review - In cases where playing results indicate that teams are not of comparative ability, the Coaches Co-ordinator, in conjunction with coaches, may review team members with a view to re-allocating players in order to meet the requirements of this Policy.
  • Request for Review - Any request for a review of team allocations should be directed in the first instance to relevant team coaches who are free to conduct a review while adhering always to this Subsequent appeals should be directed to the Coaches Co-ordinator.



(i)             Year 3 to Year 6

In these years, the primary emphasis is on participation and enjoyment. Additional goals are the acquisition of football skills, the nurturing of physical and emotional development, and general well-being derived from involvement in team-based sports with a group of friends from school, the local neighbourhood, Auskick, and other sporting activities.

There are no ladders or finals for these age groups. Whilst everyone knows who has scored the most at the end of a game the emphasis must be on player development rather than winning. Fun and player development are best encouraged by playing in a team that is evenly matched and competitive.

In these age groups, team selection will follows this hierarchy of principles:

  1. Teams will be composed of equal numbers (or as close to equal as possible)
  2. Child(ren) of a coach will play in that coach’s team
  3. Teams will be of comparable ability
  4. Teams will comprise a mix of players from different schools
  5. Each player will play with a core of at least two other players from within his/her school or friendship group

It is expected that at the start of each season that teams will be re-selected based on the above hierarchy, and to the extent that it is reasonably possible, players will be placed with a new coach (excluding coaches’ children) and new team mates.

(ii)            Year 7 to Year 12

The AFL Youth Age Policy aims to maximise the recruitment and retention of players through the pathway to senior football by providing the following qualities:

  • Games that are fun, fast and skilful. The pace of the game engages participant attention in close games, and success is achieved through skilful play, fulfilling team goals and coach aspirations, all of which are shared amongst peers.
  • Social interaction. Participants are drawn to opportunities provided by football for socialising, developing and maintaining friendships, and operating as a team where the peer group is of most importance.
  • Competition. Whilst winning is fun, players are more concerned about the quality of the contest. Leagues and clubs should ensure well-graded competitions.

In these age groups, team selection will follows this hierarchy of principles:

  1. Teams will be composed of equal numbers (or as close to equal as possible)
  2. Teams will be of comparable ability
  3. Teams will comprise a mix of players from different schools
  4. Child(ren) of a coach will play in that coach’s team
  5. Players will be allocated to ensure the development of their skills so that, for example, players best suited to particular playing positions or roles will be shared
  6. Wherever possible, each player will play with a core group of friends from previous playing years
  7. Players subject to a formal skill development program will be allocated to the coach responsible for designing and implementing that program

Failure of Coaches to Agree

In cases where coaches fail to agree the allocation of players, they may proceed in any one of the following ways:

  1. Excluding the coaches’ children, one coach chooses all of the teams and the other coach(es) determine which they choose to coach.
  2. Commencing with the coaches’ children, and proceeding according to a coin toss, coaches take turns picking players from the available squad.
  3. Teams are selected by the Coaches Co-ordinator in conjunction with the coaches.