The Ainslie Juniors Age Dispensation Policy acknowledges that, from time to time, players will seek to play in a higher or lower age competition than the one determined by the player’s chronological age. Any such applications will be considered in accordance with the Policy, however, the Club also acknowledges the principal role of parents/guardians in making any such determinations. Prior to the player participating in any games the player’s parent or guardian must complete and sign the relevant Age Dispensation Application consent form and return it to the Club.

Applications for age dispensation to play up may be for a single year or two or more years.  Single year Age Dispensation Applications will be considered by the AFC Juniors President in consultation with Coaches as necessary. In the case of a request for a two-year dispensation, the player’s application and the Club’s recommendation will be forwarded to AFL Canberra for final decision.

Consideration of playing up Age Dispensation Applications will involve an assessment of the following factors:

  • Age – the difference between the player’s age and those playing in the older age group
  • Size and maturity – whether or not a player is well developed physically and mentally for his/her age. The assessment will take account of whether the player will be put in an unsafe environment playing against older/larger players
  • Skill level – whether a player has good skills or is in a development stage. Skill levels are important and can determine how often the player will get the ball during a match and whether he/she can make use of it. Lack of skills and getting the ball can lead to lack of confidence
  • Other factors – such as team balance, player motivation, discipline and nature of the request ie to play up full time or part-time.

A player may also seek dispensation to play down in a competition below their applicable age group for reasons such as physical capacity, disability or development considerations. Players seeking exemption to play down must obtain dispensation in accordance with the National Age Dispensation Policy.

The player concerned and his/her parents must lodge a signed Age Dispensation Application – Younger Age Form with the Junior President. The application must be supported by relevant medical evidence which states the basis for, and reasons to support, the request for the player to play down a competition age group, having regard to all relevant matters pertaining to the player, including:

  • the player’s disability; and/or
  • the player’s physical size or development considerations; and
  • the qualifications of the person providing the certificate.

The application, supporting medical certificate and the Club’s recommendation will be forwarded to AFL Canberra for final decision. AFL Canberra will determine the application for exemption as it sees fit, after considering the circumstances presented.