New scores to reduce footy abuse
JUNIOR Aussie rules clubs across the region are backing an initiative by AFL Queensland to prevent abusive behaviour on game day before it takes hold.
Representatives from the Lismore Swans, Ballina Bombers and Byron Magpies Junior AFL Clubs said they are supportive of the 2020 introduction of the e-point system where teams are given four e-points per game, but can lose them if that team’s players, parents, officials or and supporters behave badly. Any points the teams retain then contribute to the season tally.
Australian Football League Queensland Northern Rivers spokesman, Trent Ryan, said as part of the region’s restructure officials have introduced an e-points mechanism to come into play across all youth competitions.
He said it’s based around bonus points on top of premiership points, with the points combined to determine the championship ladder.
A team can earn up to eight points per game ‒ four points for a win and four e-points ‒ but those four e-points can be lost for various breaches, including poor player behaviour, and unacceptable behaviour by officials, parents or supporters.
”The ‘e’ stands for environment and we want to ensure that young players, umpires and all officials are part of a supportive and inclusive sporting environment,” he said.
“This is an aggressive and bold move to deter players, coaches and parents from engaging in negative game day behaviour prior to it taking place.”
Ryan said AFLQ aims to stamp out any abusive behaviour before it ruins the atmosphere.
“A junior U8 game umpire might be only 11 or 12 and they don’t deserve to be abused by a parent or coach,” he said.
“This young umpire is someone’s son or daughter and in junior footy there’s no place for sort of poor behaviour.”
Lismore Swans Junior AFC, president, Phillip Knowles this reminds everyone that what counts if the fun the kids are having on the field.
“At the Lismore Swans we promote a family-friendly environment, so absolutely we are supporting e-points system,” he said.
“Junior footy is about playing sport in the spirit of the game.”
Ballina Bombers junior president Tony Bazzana agreed.
“This will definitely make our lives easier,” he said.
“In junior footy, the ‘win at all cost’ approach has no place.”
Byron Magpies junior president Michael Hardman said this now spreads accountability across the spectrum of all involved.
“Traditionally only players, officials and coaches had an opportunity to represent their club and fly the flag,” he said.
“Now this e-point system takes into account the overall atmosphere of the game and it relies on everyone in the club.”