Football Victoria (FV) has announced it will introduce a new U13 age group girls competition for the 2020 season.
Earlier this year, FV released the final report of its extensive Women & Girls competition review that included 22 specific recommendations (Click here for the full report) .
The review was supported by an independent sports consultancy firm and governed by a 26-person Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was chaired by one of Victoria's most experienced Sports Administrators, Carol Fox, and included participants reflecting all areas of football in Victoria.
One of the key recommendations was to phase single age groups into the girls’ competition structure for community football, starting with separating the current U13-14s competition into U13s and U14s in 2020. This would be followed by U15s and U16s in 2022 if feasible.
The Steering Committee and FV Board approved the introduction of single age groups, starting with separating the current U13-14s competition into U13s and U14s in 2020.
FV CEO Peter Filopoulos said the move to single age groups in Victoria’s girls’ competition reflected the strong growth in football participation across Victoria, particularly among girls.
“For many years FV ran a dual-age community competition structure for girls U13s/U14’s and U15s/U16s football. One of the major reasons was because the volume of players available at these age groups was unpredictable,” Mr Filopoulos said.
“We’ve been delighted with the recent growth in young girls playing the world game and this decision gives more girls the chance to play and enjoy football in more age appropriate teams. We will monitor it closely in 2020 and if successful, we will move towards doing the same in the U15s/16s tier,” Mr Filopoulos said.
The decision, which was also based on advice by FV’s technical team, would provide several benefits including:
- Late developers will be able to have more succession opportunities;
- More touches in the game with the ball for players;
- Players will not be overwhelmed by field size when going up an age group;
- Quicker decision making in tighter areas/spaces;
- Less focus on physical qualities of the player;
- More attacking and defending opportunities in game play;
- More striking of the ball and goal scoring opportunities, therefore more goalkeeping opportunities;
- Provides a step in the game between 9 a-side and 11 a-side that bridges the learning and progression of players in an appropriate way; and
- Assists in referee development of the game as part of their training.
FV recently informed all clubs of the introduction of single age groups for U13s and U14s from season 2020, including the game format.
For those who have further questions, please refer to the attached Q&A document.