Team Selection / Fair-Go Policy & Guidelines


The purpose of the Registrations and Team Selection policy is to clarify the team selection process and ensure all registered players of the Caulfield Bears JFC are treated fairly. The Club requires our Coaches (including assistants) &/or Team Managers to adhere to the following guidelines as far as practicable. 


In all age groups, the emphasis is placed on participation and enjoyment of the sport for all players, officials & supporters.

Additional goals are the:

  • acquisition of football skills
  • nurturing of physical & emotional development
  • education on the culture of the sport of Australian Rules football, in particular junior sport.
  • promote the sport of Australian football to junior-age people within our local community
  • encourage and develop good sporting behaviour
  • improve general fitness
  • respect for officials, opposition players and supporters
  • promotion of the virtues of fair play and disciplined play.

Our Club typically fields teams in all age groups from U8 to U17 in the South Metro Junior Football League.  Each age group (U8 - U10; U11 – U12; U13 – U17) has different needs in terms of football development.  Accordingly, the approach to coaching, training, game day and team selection will differ for each age group.

The Caulfield Bears JFC retains an absolute discretion to place players within a particular team in an age group.


Registrations will be invited during a period specified by the Committee.  Registrations are to be made online or during the Club Registration Day and will not be considered complete until payment is received.

Players will not be allocated into teams at Registration, this will happen on team allocation day as determined by the Committee.

Registrations received after the team allocation date are subject to team availability and will be assessed on a case by case basis, determined by team numbers, not player ability.

Team Selection – Start of Season

Players will be allocated into teams by a ‘Team Selection Sub Committee’ on a set date before the start of the season.

If more than one team is formed in a particular age group, then players will be allocated based on the following criteria:

  • Even numbers across teams
  • Balance of abilities to ensure competitiveness across the teams
  • Players in their correct age groups - unless formal request (in writing) is received from a player wishing to play outside of their age group
  • Consideration of school year group
  • Prior team history
  • School / friendship groups (taken from registration form)

Depending on the number of registrations received, it may be necessary to form a composite team across two adjacent age groups.  It is the preference of the Caulfield Bears JFC to create a blended team, rather than turning players away or fielding teams that will necessitate rostering players to the sidelines due to large numbers.

If a composite team is formed, due consideration will be made to the age and maturity of the player as well as their ability to play in the older age group.  Players will not be asked to play in an older age group without the prior consent of their parent(s).

Dispute Resolution

Any disputes regarding team allocations must be sent to the Team Selection Sub-Committee in writing for consideration.  If necessary, discussions will be had with the President and Vice-President and their decision will be final.

Team Selection – During the Season

U8 – U10

All players in this age group are to be given the opportunity of equal playing time and equal time in the three-zoned positions of ‘forward’, ‘mid-field’, ‘back’, irrespective of ability or skill or any other factor.


All players in this age group are to be given the opportunity of equal playing team, irrespective of ability or skill or any other factor.

U13 – U17

All players fit enough (at the discretion of the Coach and/or Trainer) to play at the start of and throughout a match are guaranteed to play a minimum of two quarters for every match.

Attendance and attitude at training sessions will also influence selection and those attending training sessions will receive preferential consideration to those players who do not attend training.  Players not training and or arriving late for training and match day may disadvantage their eligibility for selection or match time quota.

If any player (across all teams) breaches the Club’s policies, as outlined in the Club’s Information Booklet, the Coach and / or Committee may impose an appropriate penalty for such a breach.  Any penalty must be consistently applied to all players who breach Club policy, irrespective of ability, skill or any other factor.

Team Selection – Playing Up

On occasions, players may be asked to play in a different team if the numbers in another team are inadequate due to injury, illness, holidays etc.  In these instances, a player may play an additional game, providing the following criteria are met:

  • SMJFL By-Laws are followed;
  • Coaches must first seek players from a team that is one age group below them.  If nobody is available to play, then the next age group down may be selected; 
  • If a Team in the same age group, or one age group below has a bye for the round in question, then players from this group are to be given priority;
  • A player will only be allowed to play for a different team if a) their team game occurs first and b) their own Coach gives permission;
  • Playing up should be rotated fairly, giving all interested players the opportunity to experience a game in a higher age group;
  • An underage player may not replace a team member on the basis of ability.


Download a printable version of this information by clicking on the following link:

Registration and Team Selection Policy