Girls Junior (9 - 13yrs)

The focus for these Social / Community team grades is on continuing to develop their skills as part of a team playing in a safe and friendly environment. 

The Social / Community pathway provides the opportunity for players to play at a level that suits their current ability and minimises training and playing commitment to one training per week plus a game. Training day and time is based on availability of a volunteer parent coach. 

Our social players play on Saturdays at clubs across Auckland in the Northern Region Football League (NRF) against teams from other clubs. The format for Junior grades varies, U9-U10 = 7v7 (squad of 10) and U11-U12 – 9v9 (squad of 12) while for Youth U13 – U17 = 11v11 (squad of 16). 

Note: Female players may choose to play in one of our mixed (generally 80% boys) teams or have the option of playing in girls only teams in games across Auckland. Depending on ability our female players may also request to play in the mixed grade below their age. 

Registrations and Teams 

Registrations typically open early February through to April. At the close of registrations, the grade coordinator will put the teams together based on requests as indicated on the registration form (they do their best, nothing is guaranteed). If you have a few friends wanting to play together, they will all have to indicate this on their registration. 

Once all registrations are sorted into teams, the coordinator will email out team details (typically mid April). Each team will require a volunteer coach, assistant coach, and manager. All teams are provided with a kit bag at the start of the season which contains club shirt for each player, size 4 balls, cones and bibs. 

It is at the team's discretion if they want to practice during the week or not. Teams will be given the option to secure a space for training if they require it. 

 

Northern Region Football League (NRF) 

Website: https://www.nrf.org.nz/Home-2 

Games held Saturday mornings, at home fields AND other club locations throughout Auckland 

First Game: May (TBC) 2023 

Final Game: September (TBC) 2023 

No games: 3 June, 15 July 

Grading is strictly based on the year of birth. 

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COACHES & MANAGERS 

Each team will need a manager and two ‘coaches’ one to help the kids on the pitch and one to referee half of the game. The coach may also require help from the manager or another volunteer to help with the substitutions. 

Every team will be provided with a kit bag at the start of the season which contains club shirts, balls, cones and bibs. It is up to the team if they have training or not (1 training session per week is recommended) and there will be the opportunity to request a space for practices.  

Coaches are encouraged to complete a Junior Coaching Course which will be held in the Western Springs Clubrooms and at no expense to the coach. These usually require you to attend just one session and will help you with ideas on how to help the kids develop. Team Coaches should encourage positive behaviours, and all players to perform different skills and roles within the team. 

ORGANISATION 

The weekly allocation of fixtures and field locations will be published on the Northern Region Football (NRF) website. The fixtures draw will be made available on the Northern Regional Football website a week in advance but is not confirmed until 4pm the Friday prior to game day. 

If your team needs to default the game for any reason, please contact your Grade Coordinator as soon as possible so alternative arrangements can be made for the opposing team. 

The coach or manager will be provided with a login for Comet (used by NZF/NRF to register scores) and should enter the score by 4:00pm on Saturday. 

Scores are recorded, to help with providing an appropriate challenge for each team, but not published by NRF. 

Game Format 

  • U9 Grade –  7 aside, 55 x 35 field, 2 games, 10 players per team 
  • U10 Grade –  7 aside, 55 x 35 field, 2 games, 10 players per team 
  • U11 Grade –  9 aside, 70 x 50 field, 1 game, 12 players per team 
  • U12 Grade –  9 aside, 70 x 50 field, 1 game, 12 players per team 

Grades are based on age, i.e 9th graders turn 9 this year (Jan 1st – Dec 31st).  Games are played on fields across the North Harbour and West Auckland region against other club teams. Kick off times vary with each grade  

  • U9 – 12 = 2 x 27.5 minute halves with 2-3 minute half time 

Goal kicks must be taken on the floor by passing out to a team mate. 

Throw-ins, free-kicks and penalties introduced. 

Retreating Line 

The ‘retreating line’ rules are in use. When a team's goalkeeper catches/picks up the ball or is taking a goal kick or any player taking a Free Kick, the opposition MUST drop back behind the retreating line. Only after the goalkeeper plays the ball out and one of the goalkeeper's team-mates touches the ball, can the opposition player advance over the retreating line. Coaches are asked to encourage all players to play the ball as quickly as possible from the goalkeeper and not allow them to continue to roll or come to a stop. Learn more about the 'retreating line' watch the Video (http://www.nzfootball.co.nz/newsarticle/63017) or download the booklet from NZF website. 

Offside 

The offside rule is applied in junior football. For 9th & 10th Grade Football, the offside law will be applied between the retreating line and goal line only. For 11th & 12th Grade Football, offside cannot be given if the player is in their own half of the field of play. A player is in an offside position if they are nearer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent (at the point the ball is passed to them). 

NRF Delivering Junior Football 

There have been some large-scale changes to the delivery of junior football (U9-U12) across the NRF region in the last three years - most significantly, introducing the banding and fluid grading systems to junior football in 2019.  

These changes are all about providing a more positive experience for all involved, aligning to the Balance is Better philosophy of Sport New Zealand and endorsed by New Zealand Football.  

Alongside these changes, NRF has collected data on the reoccurring trends and patterns of junior football around the disparity of junior teams, the number of fluid grading movements and trends in results and double-digit score lines. This data means we can plan for future changes and enable clubs, coaches, and parents to ensure junior footballer experience our sport positively, at the correct challenge point.  

The Game Day Guidance Document has guidance and information to enable coaches and parents to make in-game adjustments on the day to improve the experience for players on both teams should that be necessary 

The Fluid Grading process means teams can move at any stage of the season to find the appropriate challenge point  

Here’s an outline of the junior football structure in the NRF region.  

U-9 – U-12 – Pukeko Band    

The Pukeko band is established to localise junior football ages U9-U12. There is no limit to the amount of divisions in each area and the NRF Federation is split into the following areas in this band: Upper Harbour, West Auckland, Central West, Central East, South, Far South, Far North and Whangarei. This band covers all current age grades of junior football and keeps teams local to assist in minimising travel time and cost, particularly in the first years of experiencing NRF competition.   

U-11 – U-12 – Kiwi Band  

The Kiwi band applies to U11/U12 competitions only. This band looks to widen the localised playing environment for clubs by pairing the sub regions together across Auckland, expanding the range of teams playing each other but minimising travel requirements.   

U-12 – Moa Band  

The Moa band is for U-12 teams interested in competing against all teams across the Metropolitan Auckland area and Northland regions (separately). Please note, this is not a band created for clubs to identify ‘talent’ streamed teams to compete in. However, consideration must be given to whether this band is the appropriate challenge point for teams entered.   

 

PARENTS/SUPPORTERS 

Should watch games from the sidelines. Provide encouragement to all players but leave specific football comments to the coach. 

Those interested in playing an active role supporting the players could: 

  • Manage a team working with the coach 
  • Coach a team for one training and one game per week 
  • Enrol on a Club Based Referee (CBR) course so they can referee games. 
  • Run the line as an Assistant Referee.