Football: WA Amateur Football League to introduce player points system in 2019

stock image.
stock image.

THE WA Amateur Football League will follow Victorian and South Australian community leagues’ footsteps to introduce a player points system in 2019, in a bid to reduce the incentive to pay players.

In May, the WAAFL Board released recommendations for a system that limits player inducements to change clubs and reduce the payment of players, for clubs to provide feedback.

Recommendations include that the system applies to men’s league grades from A down to C4, for a local player determined on the first WAAFL club the player played for prior to playing at another senior club and whether the player was yet to play a WAAFL match.

Another recommendation was that a team which exceeded the total team points cap or makes a false or incorrect declaration regarding a player’s point allocation, would lose the match and be penalised for playing an ineligible player.

A PPS primarily restricts clubs from playing a higher number of elite players.

This is achieved by each player being assigned points based on their previous playing history within a total team points’ cap.

General manager David Armstrong said the league started looking at a PPS in 2015 in response to club feedback about players allegedly being paid, which was against the rules.

General manager David Armstrong

However, he was unsure about the range of payments.

“The player points concept is now being explored by the WA Football Commission at a whole of football level – including the WA Country Football League and the WAAFL,” he said.

“There are many rumours of players being paid in the WAAFL, however in the last five years, only three clubs have been found through our integrity investigations to have breached our amateur status.”

Armstrong said the system was not linked to any salary cap, as the league remained as an amateur competition, which effectively had no salary cap.

He said benefits of a PPS have increased transparency in recruitment, encourage clubs to develop and retain local players and encourage AFL and WAFL players to return to their original amateur club.

Meanwhile, the league was proposing to change its name to the Perth Footy League, which reflected the fifth name change in 97 years.

“The WAAFL has transformed from a six-team senior men’s competition in 1922 to now be 175 senior men’s, 51 colts, 16 senior women’s and nine all abilities teams,” he said.

“The Perth Footy League name is contemporary and reflects this transformation of – one; where we are – in Perth, two; what we do – play footy and three; how we do it –a league.”

WAAFL Board’s proposed player points system

Player points are assessed at the time of transfer or permit into the WAAFL

ELITE – four points for players who played at an AFL club

SEMI-ELITE – three points for players who played in league, reserves or colts at a WAFL club or interstate equivalent.

COMMUNITY – two points for players who played in league, reserves or colts at another senior community club, transferred from a junior club not aligned with the WAAFL club. Players who played in metro, country or interstate.

LOCAL – one point for local players who have not played in competitive football in the current or previous two seasons.