AFL Riverina Competition Review Summary Report

AFL Riverina, in partnership with AFL NSW/ACT, is pleased to release the final key recommendations of the AFL Riverina Competitions Review.

The AFL Riverina Competitions Review sought to determine the optimal competition structures and pathways in the Riverina / MIA region to facilitate competitive balance, ensure community club sustainability and drive the future growth of AFL. It involved a comprehensive research phase and consultation which included a significant initial stakeholder survey and six comprehensive face-to-face forums in 2019. The review was led by independent consultant David Burgess.

The 14 approved key recommendations are:

  1. Retain current junior exit at Under 15, and senior entry point at Under 17.5s, and at the appropriate time implement Under 16s junior competition and change Senior Club entry Point to Under 18s
  2. Reduce on-field player numbers across all junior and youth football competitions to generate scale and enhance
    player experience
  3. Revise Wagga & District Junior FNL football competitions age group structure to manage differences in club participation numbers and to ensure stability
  4. Initially, South West Junior FNL football competition to retain current junior exit at Under 15s, and senior entry point at Under 17.5s
  5. Revise senior football competition structures into a club based tiered model to ensure club growth and sustainability, and enhance competitive balance and player retention
  6. Develop criteria for club participation and club minimum standards to provide a framework for aspiring
    clubs, enhance standards and drive club development and improvement
  7. Facilitate club Joint Ventures to manage the impacts of changing population and demographic trends and to enhance retention and club sustainability
  8. Establish new clubs in areas of increasing population growth and low penetration rates
  9. Encourage same day competition through enhanced game day experience where possible
  10. Reduce game timings to facilitate same day competition opportunities and new competition structures
  11. Increase focus on equalisation measures to enhance club sustainability and competitive balance
  12. Fully integrate Female Football Competitions within AFL Riverina and its clubs
  13. Enhance the recruitment & retention of umpires through the creation of a regional training base in MIA
  14. Ensure Netball remains integrated in the AFL Riverina football competition structures to safeguard community
    club culture

Additional detail on the key recommendations can be found here.

Following the release of the proposed key recommendations in August 2019, valuable feedback was received from many of our clubs and valued stakeholders and I would like to recognise and thank the AFL Riverina community for their contributions to the process. The AFL Riverina Board has considered each response and the recommendations have now been approved.

Michael Irons – AFL Riverina Board Chairman

A thorough implementation process will now be undertaken by a local AFL Riverina project team. This process is intended to allow each recommendation to be delivered effectively to ensure that the best possible outcomes are achieved.

‘This implementation process represents the next exciting step for AFL Riverina as we move forward towards a sustainable and exciting future.’