Red84
Two months ago

A National Clubs Tournament for U18s

Following the NCAA basketball I can only marvel at how American supporters embrace their local team. Even when the quality of the team is not that high, the passion of the fans and their love of the contest make the games worth watching.

Compare this situation with the state of the game here.

Have a look at some of the Aust junior comp matches on youtube - the crowd watching rarely exceeds 100 persons, mostly people related to the players or staff. Let's face it - onlookers do not embrace metro-country regional teams. Nor are they meant to.

The aim of a national comp based on metro-country regions is to expose local talent to a high enough standard of competition, so that talent can be identified. The players involved recognize this and value highly the current arrangements for national junior comps. It has its role - I am not suggesting that this system be replaced.

My concern is how to foster broader community engagement with the game. IMO the structure of representative competition matters - having local teams playing on the national stage has potential to attract attention of the broader public.

We should investigate whether there are gaps in scheduling to stage a week long national tournament for junior club teams - say at the U18s level - centered in a city or regional centre. (After U18s clubs tend to lose players due to study commitments or playing opportunities elsewhere).

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Red84  
Two months ago

The oldest age group for a national club tournament at present is the U14s, thereafter the metro-country regional format takes over. I have attended three U14 girls tournaments, each in my view attracted plenty of energy and grass roots support.

Clearly scheduling and sponsorship are key considerations. However, in floating the idea here, I am keen to read whether others believe that the concept has merit. If not, can others suggest an alternative?

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Anonymous  
Two months ago

Nothing stopping QLD/WA teams nominating for Melbourne Classics is there?

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Red84  
Two months ago

Bit of a wash is it not? All those divisions and age groups. You need to focus the competition if it is to garner broader attention.

There is a focus on the U14 national clubs tournament - gets some attention, particularly from country newspapers when their local team makes a Cinderella run.

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Anonymous  
Two months ago

Can't even organise an end of season tournament for men and women champs from each state league let alone juniors.

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'  
Two months ago

top end players have a big enough commitment - whilst i like and support the concept may be too much

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