Birchip-Watchem loses 12 North Central Football League points

Jordan Smith playing for Natimuk United against Kalkee in round 16. The Rams used all 40 of their allocated points in the game. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
Jordan Smith playing for Natimuk United against Kalkee in round 16. The Rams used all 40 of their allocated points in the game. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

A PLAYER points breach in the North Central Football League has served as a reminder for Wimmera-based clubs.

Birchip-Watchem has lost premiership points from its first three games and was bumped from top spot after allocating a player with three points that should have been given four.

Players are allocated points depending on their playing history, with a home-grown player given the lowest allocation of one point.

The club says it did not know the player had finished in another club’s top five in the best and fairest last season. 

That ultimately pushed the club over its points allocation for those games. 

AFL Wimmera-Mallee region manager Bruce Petering said it could be confusing for clubs to allocate a player’s points when players are coming from interstate. 

“It’s the responsibility of the club to ensure the information is correct,” he said. 

“Sometimes it isn’t easy, I’ll grant you that. When you have players moving from interstate, it’s pretty hard to get correct information from some leagues that are a fair distance away.

“On the player declaration, which we expect to come back from clubs, there is a spot in that for them to declare if they were in the best and fairest at their previous club.

“There is no reason why clubs shouldn’t find that out. If they have people coming into their club to play senior football they have to fill out the declaration.” 

Southern Mallee Giants president Brad Moore said it can be difficult to know a player’s full playing history and results. 

“Unless players have won or come second in the best and fairest, they don’t know if they’ve been third, fourth or fifth in the last few years,” he said.

“There almost needs to be some sort of online system where you can enter all of that so we can check it out. For best and fairest awards you need to almost contact the club where they played.”

Due to the Giants’ remote location, the club does have to bring some players in from outside the Wimmera. 

“To attract players up here they need to travel through some towns in the same league they’re playing in; that’s why we almost need a few more points so we can attract those players who are travelling,” he said.

“At the start of the year we work out our best side and look at our points If there is a player we aren’t sure about we will just put an extra point on to make sure we are right.”

Natimuk United used their full allocation last week against Kalkee. Club president Adam Blake said the point system was an administrative issue that needed to be dealt with as early as possibly. 

“You need to know when you build your list exactly what points are to be assigned and if in doubt double checking that,” he said.

“If you develop your list and assign your points really early then every week when you enter your team it’s automated and tells you if you’ve exceeded your points.

“We had one game last season that we had to check because either us or an opposition club queried us. We were cleared but it was a technical thing relating to points.”

Mr Petering said the commission would help clubs clarify any queries they had with the player points system.

“It can be harder for clubs to find out that information but we do ask clubs to urge on the side of caution,” he said.

“That could mean giving a player an extra point if they do have any doubts, and there aren’t too many clubs right on the edge, so they do have some leeway. 

“We certainly would assist clubs if they have a query or need something clarified.”