Improving game management
Last year we discussed that many people have commented on the decline in the quality of game management in recent years. The aspects that are particuarly of concern are:
- field markings (particularly inaccurate hash marks and incomplete team area markings, especially coaching boxes)
- chains (break frequently) and down boxes (too short)
- chain crew and ball boys (provided late; too young; never done it before; frequently changed; inattentive)
These factors are all essential components of a smoothly run game.
The field audit conducted by BAFRA during the 2006 BAFL season has certainly raised the profile of field markings among many teams. However, the case of South Wales Warriors raised issues about how we enforce the rules, and whether that is done consistently and fairly.
- We adopt the principle that we are trying to encourage teams to improve their facilities, while acknowledging that in some cases the existing facilities are the best that some teams can do in the short term. We don't want to legislate teams out of business.
- We incorporate the current BAFL minimum field and game management requirements into the mandatory rules.
- We explicitly state game management rules that are modifiable by leagues (e.g. BCAFL probably are willing to play on 80-yard fields).
- We introduce the concept in the rules of a "sanction". Teams that do not meet mandatory game management requirements shall be "sanctioned" by their league.
- We require leagues to publish (through BAFA) a list of sanctions prior to the start of their season.
- We agree a list of applicable sanctions, which may include:
- restrictions on what venue(s) can be used for games
- a game not starting (or continuing) if a mandatory requirement is not met (within a certain time)
- deduction of points/award of games
- combinations of the above
- We agree that the deduction of points/award of games sanction may only be used in cases where there is evidence that the integrity of the game was compromised (i.e. a team did something to cheat).