For the last two years, the global COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our rugby league offerings and our additional initiatives outside of regular competition football in unprecedented ways. Throughout, our goal has been to provide safe and fair competitions with as little disruption as possible to the overall participant experience. Today, the hurdles presented by pandemic-related constraints are still very dynamic but are starting to clear which paves the way for us to bring back these initiatives.
Next week, we will have our Criag Rimmer Memorial Cup, our Minis Gala Day will be happening on the last competition round which will lead into our final’s series. Although these are planned, we are still very aware that these may not go ahead or will require changes. For example, we have had to move the Memorial Cup from Hurstville Oval to Scarborough Park. To find out more about these events and to keep up with the latest, check out our website or follow our digital platforms.
This brings us to our last bastion of what we have traditionally offered as a junior league to our participants. Development squads are back! The St George Junior Rugby Football League development squads have seen an enormous degree of structural change throughout the pandemic and while we are bringing them back for 2022, we are keeping our expectations of the program this year subdued. We are confident that the 2023 development squads will be something for everyone involved to remember, however this still far out on our radar.
The 2022 development squads will consist of 4 (U13-U16) male age groups and 2 female age groups (U14 & U16). Due to the uncertainty of the 2022 program the selection of players will be based on a combination of selectors and team nominations. All players and staff on each team will consist of active members and supporters of the junior league.
We have also implemented additional initiatives to ensure the long-term viability and quality of the program. We now have a dedicated feedback email address to where you can voice your concerns and this can be for items outside of development as well. The address is now live and you can send an email to email@example.com. If you want you want to remain anonymous for whatever reason we have a completely anonymous whistle-blower form which you can complete on our website. All feedback is centrally managed and does not go to individual staff on the teams unless required. If the junior league needs to launch an investigation, we will take all the cautious and necessary steps to ensure your experience is not negatively affected and the right outcome can be reached. If you have issues do not be afraid to voice your concerns so we can work through them. This is part of our wider effort to implement stronger reforms where all participants and stakeholders can have confidence in the junior league and the programs which we are offering.
These past two years have been turbulent, but the passion we share for rugby league and community sport has been constant. We are extremely excited to kickstart the program once we clear some final hurdles, but this is step in our quest to put on this program. We will have more information and updates about the program in the coming days at stgeorgejrl.com.au and our social channels.
Should any player who is not registered, or is unqualified, play for a Club, the Club may lose points in the games he/she played, together with a $200.00 penalty per game, regardless of whether they won or lost. The Club Secretary will ne notified in writing and should the fine not be paid within seven days the team will not be permitted to play until fines have been paid.
Mini + Mod
Forfeits must be notified to the Junior League Support Officer no later than 5PM of the
Friday before the match
Any forfeit after this point in time will incur a penalty of $200.00. All fines for forfeits are to be paid to the St George Junior League before the next competition round.
All fines notified must be paid within seven days or the Board will refuse permission for the team to play.
Statement regarding the finals series.
Over the last several days, the St George Junior Rugby Football League has been working through a proposal that would see the finals series format change within southern corridor competitions in line with other member districts. On the surface expanding the format provides more teams the opportunity to participate in an extra week of football. However, there are several issues that make this option undesirable.
One problem is that the traditional finals series format has always been to reward teams that finish higher on the ladder by providing them with double elimination. This means that teams that finish 1st and 2nd verse each other for the chance of directly qualifying to the grand final while the loser verses the remaining team, which is often a weaker opponent, for their chance to qualify to the final for the second time and bring momentum with them. This creates the best opportunity for both deserving teams to make the final but an equally great opportunity for genuine and fair upsets to occur. A change to the format will see teams placed higher in the competition disadvantaged at the expense of teams that place lower and who know they need to finish in the top 4 to make the finals.
Changing the format 12 days out from the finals series and providing teams with a weeks’ notice before the last competition game ruins the competitive integrity of all competitions involved. As a core principle of the junior league, we need to ensure that all teams compete on a level playing field during our tournaments. Although this change does benefit teams and some clubs of the St George District, this is not the premise of where the decision is being made.
All competitions that the junior league administer or assist in administering will remain a top four finals series. The format remains unchanged and will be.
Qualifying final: 1st Seed vs 2nd Seed
Elimination final: 3rd Seed vs 4th Seed
Preliminary Final: Loser of Qualifying Final vs Winner of Elimination Final
Grand Final: Winner of Qualifying Final vs Winner of Preliminary Final
(b) The Board shall have full power to make decisions on behalf of the Junior League during
the period between meetings of the General Committee.