As most would be aware the 8th Edition rules are available to be used from January 1, 2020.
So why is it that the NSWTA Junior State Cup Series will be played under the 7th Edition Rules?
All correspondence from Touch Football Australia and forwarded by the NSWTA in relation to the 8th edition rules have indicated that while they are available from Jan 1, 2020, they are not required to be operational until July 1, 2020, i.e. the commencement of Season 2.
This makes perfect sense due to the changing nature of seasons across Australia. i.e. come Jan 1 those affiliates who operate on a seasonal basis would be mid competition, while those who operate on a calendar year would be ready to commence at the start of their new competition.
A vast majority of competitions in NSW operate on a seasonal basis. It would be unrealistic to want affiliates to change rules mid competition.
The considerations by senior staff along with the State Referee Director to stay with the 7th Edition rules for the 2020 JSC series were as follows. Also, note we did discuss the decision with TFA prior to advice.
– The need to have two sets of field markings- these of the existing competitions at the venues playing under 7th edition and new markings for our events if under the 8th edition. This would not only cause further disruption to those affiliates and their domestic competitions but also the possibility exists for confusion to young children participating in the event under a brand new set of rules that they may not yet have had exposure to.
– With children we felt it best to allow them time to be able to adapt to the new rules by having played a season under these in their domestic competition rather than move to them at a representative event with many participants, not having had the opportunity to play under these. We note that some carnivals were looking to have the rules in place for your event prior to JSC to give that opportunity which is admirable. However, we needed to consider the cause and effect on ALL teams from ALL affiliates with a need to be fair to ALL.
– Domestically all affiliates in Season 2 are playing and selected teams under the 7th edition rules. Hence were are not than changing the rules on the children midstream.
– Many affiliates provide referees with very limited experience to the JSC. Many are young and some are only part-time referees. The timing of the JSC would not allow any real level of training to be able to be undertaken with these persons of the new rules right across NSW. The referees, especially young and inexperienced ones are already placed under undue pressures from team management and parents. We note that the JSC is by far our worst event in relation to behaviors toward referees.
– We felt that by jumping straight to the new rules would lead to the possibility of confusion of the referees without again the opportunity of having time domestically to implement the changes and gain experience officiating the new rules prior to a representative event. Recruitment and retention of referees at affiliate level is hard enough, to add an element which in real terms could only add to further pressures, confusion and opportunity for abusive behavior toward referees were not felt to be a positive outcome.
We are of the understanding that some affiliates may have been proactive in their approach by training for the new rules prior to the January 1 date in anticipation. The decision to remain with the 7th Edition rules for the JSC will not hamper that preparation.
Our discussions and decisions have been based on the best for all approach and with a firm view that we are dealing with children, some as young as 7 years of age in this environment.