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Bizarre plan to penalise junior footy teams for winning by too much

3AW Breakfast

Junior footy teams are set to be penalised if they win by too many points, under a new AFL Queensland plan.

The sporting body is considering a set of new rules next year which would see teams have a point deducted for every margin blowout.

Under the system, E-points would be awarded on top of premiership points.

Teams would be awarded four E-points but could have them deducted for poor player or parent behaviour, or winning by too much.

Teams who win a game by between 90-119 points would lose one E-point, those winning by 120 to 149 points would lose two E-points, and teams winning by more than 150 points would lose three E-points.

But child psychologist and parenting expert Justin Coulson says it’s a terrible idea, but he’s not opposed to changes which make the competition more even.

“It’s a stupid idea, but for exactly the opposite reason that you’re probably thinking,” he told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.

“I reckon the AFL Queensland group have just absolutely blown this. They’ve got an opportunity to develop good policy and they’re getting it completely wrong.

“Research tells us that if we want to build resilience we need to build competency.

“Competition in and of itself is actually lousy for resilience unless it’s coupled with competent development and relationship development.

“If you’re getting beaten by 90 you’re going to go home unhappy, regardless.”

Mr Coulson urged the league to consider another tactic, like the one adopted by Cricket Australia for junior players.

“I think a better idea would either be to change the concept of the game for the younger kids, or even better again, get the coaches together at half time. If one team is getting absolutely obliterated, if there’s a 50 point margin at half time, call that the score, redivide the teams up so that the teams seem like they’re a bit more equal, and let the kids get out there and have fun and make new friends.”

Mr Coulson says opposition to his plan likely wouldn’t come from kids.

“I reckon most kids would be in, it would be the parents and the coaches that are going to be the tough ones to win over.”

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Image: Kelly Defina / Stringer

3AW Breakfast
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