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SOO Divisions – Joint Statement

JOINT STATEMENT FROM QUEENSLAND TOUCH FOOTBALL AND NEW SOUTH WALES TOUCH ASSOCIATION

Re: State of Origin Divisions

With the influx of individual member-driven wants for SOO division inclusion, the offices of both states agreed there was a need for a clearly identifiable policy of SOO division inclusion.

The heads of both States along with the lead staff member in this area from both states have met, discussed and drafted a policy that both organisations have signed off on.

The NSWTA and QTF agreed that the purpose of the State of Origin is as follows:

• To determine the champion Touch Football state in Australia
• To provide the pinnacle of the domestic representative pathway is not just NSW and Queensland but across Australia
• To provide a visible and transparent pathway to national team selection
• To provide the members with a visible and transparent pathway from domestic affiliate representative teams through to State representation
• To provide the highest level of Touch Football competition within the national framework
Both agree that the SOO should be the end of the journey for representation at State level and not used as a launching proposition for divisional categories. As it was agreed that the criteria for eligible divisions would have two sectors. Automatic acceptance and secondary criteria for consideration of a division’s inclusion at SOO.

Automatic Acceptance

In line with the pathway way goals of the SOO purpose, both states agreed that the established World Cup Divisions from the preceding FIT World Cup to a SOO series, are to be an automatic selection of SOO divisions.

As such those divisions automatically selected for 2020 and 2022 SOO series are:

• Men’s Open
• Women’s Open
• Mixed Open
• Women’s 27*
• Men’s 30
• Mixed Seniors*
• Men’s 35
• Women’s 35
• Men’s 40’s
• Men’s 45
• Men’s 50
* New and in place of Women’s 30
* New and in line with the age requirement of FIT. Currently Over 30 male and female.

Criteria to be considered as an SOO Division

• Is a historical SOO division* (unless replaced by like division i.e. W27 for W30) or
• Minimum membership of 1000 participants in each state for an age category at the grassroots level /or
• Be a full State Championship division (or equivalent) in each state or
• The number of participants across all divisions of a State Championship division (or equivalent) is equal to or better than 50 eligible participants or
• Be an NTL Division with a minimum of three teams from each state

* This would include Men’s and Women’s 20, Women’s 40 and Men’s 55

This gives a clear and transparent purpose and pathway for SOO that can guide both Boards in any decision-making capacity and a pathway goal to membership that seek a divisional inclusion.

Agreement on these criteria means that moving forward for the 2020 series the following 15 divisions would be played.

• Men’s Open
• Women’s Open
• Mixed Open
• Men’s 20
• Women’s 20
• Women’s 27*
• Men’s 30
• Mixed Seniors*
• Men’s 35
• Women’s 35
• Men’s 40
• Women’s 40
• Men’s 45
• Men’s 50
• Men’s 55

The issue in relation to the Women’s 45s and Men’s 60’s was reviewed. Based on the agreed criteria both States acknowledged it would be difficult to select SOO quality teams at this point of time. The breakup of teams from the most recent NTL being NSW 3 and Qld 1 in W45 and in M60 NSW 1 Qld 2 (and ACT 1) demonstrates a need for both states to develop these divisions. It was identified that both states will look to include the divisions at their respective State Cups.

The States looked at the inclusion of these as full divisions in 2022 should they meet the criteria. This gives a time frame to develop in both age categories to be able to field teams and provide the opportunity for those divisions to grow at both organisation’s state championships. It would also allow those who wish these divisions to be included a clear and defined pathway to SOO. Both agreed that as an impetus toward aiding the growth of divisions at State level (and possible NTL) consideration for both to be an Invitational Division at the 2020 State of Origin, given that either one or both states cannot meet the criteria at this point of time. It was noted that QTF is in its in infancy with their State Cup and this criteria and possible invitational divisions at Origin may aid in growing the demand at the state level for participation in these age categories. The same could also occur at NSWTA events. It also allows for a clear goal to be established for those wanting to participate in SOO as to the defined pathway and understanding of the requirements for full inclusion.

Both Boards have agreed with the position and SOO Division Policy.

Yours in Touch

Ben Mannion – CEO QTF

Dean Russell – General Manager NSWTA

 

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