Every year there always seem to be problems with teams being graded incorrectly, resulting in teams going up/down a division, requiring a new draw to be made that often causes (unintentional) bias in rounds 1-3, with the "real" season only starting from round 4. When i played in the Southern Districts association (about 10 years ago), i vaguely remember playing a pre-season cup/gala day a few weeks before the season started. It included teams from all divisions in the one age group playing full field shortened halves with round robin games on the Saturday and semi finals/final on the Sunday. I believe that this would be a better system of grading teams as they can be directly compared, it wouldn't be overkill as the halves are shortened and it provide some of the more competitive teams with a chance for silverware. The only possible problems i can see are with finding grounds available for cricket and organising referees for a day, but i think these are minor compared to the inconvenience of changing the draw after the season has begun.
Torcida, i dont agree with your comment. What the real problem is the clubs themselves. Most clubs have good committees, coaches and managers that know the ability of either the kids or adults playing and grade correctly. The problem arises with those clubs that are "trophy hunters" and from what I have seen this season after two rounds and coaching teenagers some clubs need a reality check. I hate it when clubs grade teams in divsion 3 & 4 when they are really division 1 & 2. Who wants to see kids get flogged 11- 0 and 8-0. This does nothing for anyone especially for the kids who should be playing up. But I have seen it over the last few years where certain clubs do not grade their kids correctly just to glory hunt and get the trophy on the mantle piece. They disgust me and do nothing for the development of this great game. I am all for a re- draw to weed out the cheats who should of done the right thing in the first place, but there egos get in the way.
The season is long enough with trials, games and finals. I am all for the re-draw and overall it does not affect too many teams in any division and makes it what it should be ' a competition.'
Torcida - The gala day you mention was the Fairfield City Cup and wasn't used for grading. It was a fund raiser for the Fairfield council. They received an entry fee and new referees who had just completed their referee's course were "blooded" at this event. The new referees where examined on full field games before they were sent out to do competition games. All referees fees were waived as well as a donation to the organisers.
I see on the draw on Compman that there has been some movement of teams between divisions in the AAL comps. This affects teams in our club yet we have not been told anything officially about any re-draws. I stumbled across them by chance when double-checking the draw for this coming weekends games.
Redcard's description of it highlight a number of advantages for playing it, but since it has been so long since i have played in that association, i don't know if it is still run or has failed for some reason. It doesn't have to be used exclusively for grading purposes but i think that if some teams are definitely a class above/below their opponents, then common sense should prevail. My only reason for suggesting this is that i find it frustrating that the draw needs to be changed once the season has started.
Torcida - what needs to happen is for coaches to start worrying about childrens enjoyment and development over winning trophies and for some clubs to, if they need it, have someone look at their teams before entering them.
Winning 10-0 or losing 10-0 is not good for either party - Having a club recognise a champion team who wins every game by 100 and scores 1 million goals in a season (in Div 9 ) is just wrong, IMHO