Club Rotations Policy

The purpose of this policy is to highlight the benefits of player positional changes in AFL and align player and parental expectations with coaching practice, by establishing a consistent approach across all teams within each age group.

Non-specialisation is a major of attraction of AFL at the junior level.  Under AFL rules there are mandatory rotations of players through the three playing zones (backs, centres and forwards) for the under 9 and under 10 age groups.  Players do begin to specialise more as they get older, but versatility remains an essential and attractive feature of AFL right through to the elite level.

To ensure all players continue to develop their skills in multiple positions the club provides the following coaching guidelines for the respective age groups:

Junior Under 9 – Under 12

Under 9 and under 10: all players rotated through all three zones every game (minimum of one quarter of playing time per zone).  This is consistent with the modified rules for these age groups.

Under 11 and under 12:  all players rotated through at least two zones every game and through all three zones over a two game period (i.e. Not rotated through the same two zones each week).

All players must get at least three full quarters of playing time every game and an equal amount of playing time over the course of the season.

Youth Under 13 – Under 16

As players mature they may spend more time playing in a primary position, but they still need to play multiple positions throughout the course of the season.   We know children all develop and mature differently.   For example, some kids may be tall at age 12 but mid sized by age 15. If experienced in a range of positions, they will adapt far more easily to this change in relative body size.  The elite development programs (Swans Academy and NSW Talented Player Program) also expect versatility from players.

All players are to average at least three quarters of playing time per week.

Summary

  • Kids enjoy playing multiple positions.  It maintains their interest and level of stimulation.
  • Regular positional changes improve our player’s and our team’s adaptability and versatility.  Everyone benefits.
  • Equitable rotations and playing time is critical for the long-term strength of each age group, with healthy retention rates strongly correlated to equality of opportunity.
  • These guidelines are minimum standards that must be upheld to ensure optimal development of every player, team and age group.

Mosman Swans Football Department