Levelling playing field
THE WA Amateur Football League will follow Victorian and South Australian community leagues’ footsteps to introduce a player points system (PPS) in 2019 in a bid to reduce the incentive to pay players.
In May, the WAAFL board released recommendations for feedback for a system to limit player inducements to change clubs and reduce the payment of players to clubs.
Recommendations include applying the system to men’s league grades from A down to C4.
Another recommendation is that a team which exceeds the total team points cap or makes a false or incorrect declaration about a player’s point allocation 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.
But 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.”
Mr 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 the benefits of a PPS were increased transparency in recruitment, clubs being encouraged to develop and retain local players, and AFL and WAFL players feeling encouraged to return to their original amateur club.
The league is also proposing to change its name to the Perth Footy League. It would be 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,” Mr Armstrong said.
“The Perth Footy League name is contemporary and reflects this transformation of where we are – in Perth; what we do – play footy; and how we do it – a league.”
WAAFL general manager David Armstrong