Playing Up Policy

Essendon Royals Soccer Club Policy for playing in an age level older than their FFA mandated age group


This club policy relates to requests received by the Essendon Royals Soccer Club for players to participate in an age level older than their FFA mandated age requirement.

In general all players at Essendon Royals will be required to play in their mandated age group from 2019.

The following reasons are provided for this policy decision:

1.     The FFA provides age level rules to ensure that all aspects of a child's development and enjoyment of football are taken into consideration. This includes ability, physical capability and emotional development;

2.     Essendon Royals’ philosophy is that children should develop in their mandated age levels and enjoy the progress they make through our football program;

3.     Essendon Royals’ philosophy is that all our players irrespective of their ability can participate in the same football coaching program should they chose to;

4.     By enabling a player to play in an older age level team, a position in this age level is filled which therefore prevents a player of the right age from participating in this team.

Players may request in writing to play up a year in a Blue Team

Players are able to request in writing to the Essendon Royals Mini-Roos or Junior Technical Director (TD) to play up a year in a Blue (Kangaroos or A graded) team. Players requesting to play up must go through the clubs grading process and be in approved in writing by the relevant TD.

The following consideration will be given to parental requests for their child to play at an older age level.

·         The child's football ability;

·         The child's physical capability;

·         The child's emotional development;

·         The available players with the desired ability required to play in the age level (I.e. will this request prevent another player from playing in the team?).

Players may be asked to play up a year in any team or in a Blue Team

Players may be asked by the club to play up a year. The reasons for the club to offer positions in another age group :

  • A player may have exceptional ability for their age group and be requested by the club to play up in a Blue Team

  • The club may have no space in the age group of the player but have space within the age group above. In this case the club may ask the player to play up within a team where vacancies exist.

Playing in friendship groups

If a player (supported by their parent) has a desire to play in a team with includes a pre existing friendship group, the Club advises that participation in the Club grading process is still required to:

·         ensure each child's football ability is assessed correctly; and

·         Understand what team the Club has chosen each child to play in at the end of this process.

It should be noted that such teams/friendship teams will play at the ability level determined by the Club's coaching group and that this may occasionally result in some children playing in a team which may be a less challenging level that a particular child's football ability.