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CJFC Policies

Fees and Registration Policy


Fees are payable at the time of online registration.

Players must be registered before any player participates in playing a match including pre-season practice matches.

Full fees are applicable to all players irrespective of how many weeks they attend training or rounds they play in.

Registration fees are non-refundable.

Un-financial Players

Those that have not registered are considered to be “un-financial”. Players who have registered and entered into a signed payment plan agreement are considered to be financial, unless the agreement is dishonoured. In which case, our treasurer will communicate directly with the family.

Financial Hardship

Players/families experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to email the Treasurer. Each case will be assessed on its own merits by the Executive Committee in a timely manner. If an extension is approved, any departure from the agreement will result in the player being deemed un-financial. All matters relating to financial hardship requests are kept strictly confidential.

Clearance of Players

Players transferring from another club to the Cheltenham Junior Football Club cannot train or play until a full clearance has been submitted to the Club and received by the Executive Committee. Once this has been finalised the appropriate Coach and/or Team Manager will be notified.
Players wishing to transfer (link to transfer form – coming soon) to another club will have their clearance processed without delay providing that the player is

a) financial with the club and
b) has returned the club uniform and any club provided equipment.

If the Club has reason to believe that, due to other circumstances, a clearance should not be given, they will notify the Head of Football who will take the necessary actions to resolve the matter. If no solution is forth-coming then the matter must be referred back to the Executive Committee.

Grading and Team Selection 2020

Age Placement – Playing Out of Age Group Temporarily

  • All players must play in their respective age groups unless agreed to by the Head of Football. (Note – the club understands the importance for kids, especially in the early years, to play with their school mates and some kids need to play up a year to do so. We will endeavour to accommodate these situations when requested whilst following the club’s policy on player numbers per team.)
  • Players may be asked, and may apply, to play for a team above the player’s current age group on a match by match basis, where:
  • The older age group team requires more players to meet the optimum player numbers for a team, AND
  • The assignment makes the current age group from where the player is moving closer to optimum numbers (where applicable); AND
  • The age group is no more than two age levels above the players current age group, AND
  • Parental Consent to play in the older age group is provided to the Club AND;
  • The player is judged by the coaches of both teams to be capable of playing in the older age group. Consideration of the introduction of tackling at Under 11 will especially be considered.
  • Where the player plays temporarily in more than one match per weekend, this should be also agreed to by the Coaches, Parents and Team
  • Managers to ensure that the player is not subject to excessive physical duress.
  • Players may not play in an age group temporarily more than two age levels above their eligible age, under any circumstance.
  • Players may only play one game in any age group.


SMJFL Grading Guidelines

  • The SMJFL officially begin grading teams starting from the U11 age level.
  • The SMJFL grading process requires clubs to enter U11 teams into an A, B or C category in the New Year.
  • The SMJFL suggest clubs move to a hard grade from U12 given the U13 age group is directly based on the results from U12.

CJFC Team Selection Objective

The Cheltenham Junior Football Club (CJFC) will strive to provide all players with a safe and caring environment in which they will achieve maximum football development and enjoyment at training and in games.

The age groups from U11 – U17 (and U18 for girls) compete in divisions which are graded by the SMJFL, and our Club will likely field a number of teams in the varying age groups. Each age group has different needs in terms of football development, so our approach to training, game day and team selection policies will differ as a result for each age group.

The Club’s overriding objective for these age groups is to ensure that each team is competitive in the division in which they participate, thus achieving the maximum development of football skills and enjoyment of the game for each player.
We are governed by where the league places other teams within these age groups, however the Club will strive to field a team in the highest realistic division in which they can be competitive.

Please note this will not be built into the By-Laws, and will simply be put together as a guidelines document.

Team Selection Guidelines

U8 – U10

These teams will not be graded and Players will not be chosen on ability. The focus will be on fun and playing football with friends, with emphasis placed on maintaining players within their friendship/school groups.
The Team composition may change from year to year in order to accommodate new players, and the CJFC may choose to mix the groups while moving through these age groups to ensure players & parents are prepared for older age groups where they will be placed in teams based on ability.


The CJFC will look to start ‘soft grading’ teams which may involve keeping the majority of a team together from the U10s, but moving a couple of the higher/lower skills players up/down to allow the club to enter teams into the A, B or C categories as per the SMJFL grading process.

U12 – U17 and U18 Girls

Given the SMJFL will be grading the U13 age group directly based on the results from U12s it is suggested that The CJFC move to a hard grade from U12s, meaning that teams are picked purely based on playing ability.
Criteria used to assess a player’s ability may be but not limited to:

  • Kicking
  • Marking
  • Handball / Vision / Awareness
  • Clean Hands
  • Competitiveness
  • Footy Smarts
  • Fitness levels
  • Other attributes to be considered but not limited to will be (Attitude, Training Attendance, and Coachability).

Team Selection Process

Relevant where a club has multiple teams in U12-U17 and U18 girls age groups

A Selection Panel will be formed to consist of, but not limited to the Head of Football, Coaching Director, Teams Co-Coordinators, Coaches, experienced and qualified independent persons and others will be seconded at the discretion of the Football Sub-Committee.
The team selection process for these age groups is as follows:

  • Coaches input and assessment of the players previous seasons performance.
  • Training sessions will be conducted where the selection panel will observe and assess players.
  • Players assessed based on the attributes described in the Team Selection Guidelines above.
  • Performance in practice/intra-club matches/training.
  • Other criteria may be used as required and at the discretion of the Football Sub-Committee.
  • Final Teams to be selected prior to Round 1.

All age groups will train together, irrespective of whether players are placed in a higher or lower division.


Players and parents will be formally advised to which team they have been selected in. If a player or parent has any questions regarding team selection they can discuss the issue with the Director of Coaching. If the issue remains unresolved after discussions with the Director of Coaching then the player or parent can discuss the matter with the Vice President / Head of Football.

The decision of the Vice President / Head of Football will be final and no further correspondence or discussions on the matter will be entered into.


To reflect the SMJFL’s desire for all members of a team to participate in finals the cap on playing numbers (24) will be lifted to all players who have qualified to play finals. There will also be a slight shift in the game time expectations with age groups participating in finals only required to give each player a minimum of a half during a final. This will support the more competitive nature of finals and ensure teams are better able to compete against other clubs who do not have a minimum game time requirement.

Where team numbers make playing a half difficult, alternative arrangements will be considered prior to commencement of the finals with the prior approval of the football sub-committee.

Incident Reporting Procedure

At Cheltenham Junior Football Club we are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for all players, parents and spectators. However sometimes issues can arise at the Club which appear to be discriminatory or appear to be in breach of the Club’s Policies or Codes of Conduct. Any member or spectator may make a reasonable complaint about such an issue.

In many circumstances raising the issue directly with the person causing the grievance is the best place to start however this is not always possible for different reasons.

Examples of complaints covered by this procedure include:

  • Inappropriate behaviour towards a child
  • Concerns about child disciplinary procedures
  • Behaviour of a coach or other team official
  • Damage or loss of property
  • Bullying and harassment

Any serious complaints such as those which place others at serious risk of harm, should be referred immediately to the Child Safety Officer or President and will be kept confidential.

If the complaint is about a member of SMJFL staff, or about the Child Safety Officer to whom the incident would otherwise be reported, a report can be made to the SMJFL’s nominated Child Safety Officer.

Step 1 – Before Making a Formal Complaint

In many situations the most appropriate step is to discuss the issue with the person who is the cause of the complaint. If the problem cannot be resolved by a direct personal approach it should then be raised with an appropriate person in order to discuss the issue and attempt a resolution. For a parent or member who has a complaint about another child or another member of the Club, the concern should be raised with the relevant coach, the Child Safety Officer. For a parent or member with a complaint about a Committee Member, the concern should be raised with the General Manager. The General Manager is independent to the General Committee and reports directly to the President and has the authority to investigate independently if required.

Step 2 – Making a Formal Complaint

If the direct approach has not resulted in a satisfactory outcome then a formal complaint can be made. The initial formal complaint must be introduced to the General Manager or President in writing. There is an Incident Report Form on our website which you can print and email. If you make a complaint it will be investigated in a fair and impartial manner. No judgements or assumptions will be made and no action taken until the investigation is complete. If a complaint is made against you, you will be given the opportunity to tell your side of the story. Confidentiality will be maintained at all times. Each complaint will be dealt with in as short a time as possible, ideally no more than one month.

Step 3 – The Process

Once you have made a formal complaint in writing to the General Manager or President, that person will direct it to the most appropriate person ensuring that there is no conflict of interest before dealing with the complaint. Once a delegated person has decided to proceed that person will:

  1. Interview you or arrange for another appropriate person to interview you. During this interview the process will be explained to you. You will be advised what will happen if the complaint is upheld. You will be advised what will happen if the complaint is not supported by the evidence.
  2. Will take a written record of the complaint.
  3. Will speak to the accused person to hear his or her side of the story.
  4. Will interview any witnesses.

Step 4 – Review

If the complaint remains unresolved the General Manager or President will review the complaint and make a final decision with the consent of the majority of the Club’s Committee.

Step 5 – Outcomes

If a complaint is upheld the following are possible outcomes depending on the nature of the complaint:

  • A mediated agreement between the parties
  • A verbal apology
  • A written apology
  • Any other action as deemed appropriate by the Club’s Committee

In the case of an incident around Child Safety then there may be an external procedure that needs to be followed.

External Procedure

There may be a range of external options available depending on the nature of the complaint. In the case of harassment or discrimination advice can be sought from the State or Territory Equal Opportunity Commission without being obliged to make a formal complaint. In the case of more serious breaches such as child abuse, the police or relevant state government department responsible for issues of child welfare should be notified.

Police or Government Authorities

Where an incident or suspected incident is of a serious enough nature as to be considered child abuse, the matter will be escalated to the police or relevant government authorities.
Child abuse relates to children (a person under 18 years old) at risk of harm, usually by adults, sometimes by other children, and often by those they know and trust. It can take many forms. Children may be harmed by verbal and emotional abuse and physical actions and by people failing to provide them with basic care.

Child abuse may include:

  • Physical abuse by hurting a child or a child’s development (e.g. hitting, shaking or other physical harm; giving a child alcohol or drugs; or training that exceeds the child’s development or maturity).
  • Sexual abuse by adults or other children where a child is encouraged or forced to watch or engage in sexual activity or where a child is subject to any other inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature (e.g. sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, pornography including child pornography or inappropriate touching or conversations).
  • Emotional abuse by ill-treating a child (e.g. humiliation, taunting, sarcasm, yelling, negative criticism, name-calling, ignoring or placing unrealistic expectations on a child).
  • Neglect (e.g. failing to give food, water, shelter or clothing or to protect a child from danger or foreseeable risk of harm or injury).

All allegations of child abuse will be dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially.

It is a legal obligation that anyone who reasonably suspects that a child has been or is being abused by someone within our sport, or by his/her parents/guardians, must report it immediately to the police or relevant government agency, and the SMJFL Child Safety Officer. The Cheltenham Junior Football Club or the SMJFL will not attempt to investigate, mediate or conduct any hearing into any allegation of child abuse as this is the role of the police and the relevant government agency.

Incident Report Form (insert link – coming soon)

Social Media Policy

The Cheltenham Panthers Junior Football Club (CJFC) recognizes the benefits of social media as an important method of communication and a tool of engagement for our members.

This policy aims to provide a set of guidelines for the use of social media and other form of digital communication in order to protect the players, officials, club members, umpires and the wider football community.

This policy applies to all CJFC members including players, parents and/or supporters, officials and any other volunteers.

This policy covers all forms of social media. Social media includes, but is not limited to, such activities as:

  • Maintaining a profile page on social or business networking sites (such as Linked In,
  • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat);
  • Content sharing including Flicker (photo sharing) or You Tube (video sharing);
  • Commenting on blogs for personal or business reasons;
  • Personal and corporate websites;
  • Leaving product or service reviews on retailer sites, or customer reviews sites;
  • Taking part in online votes or polls;
  • Taking part in conversations on public and private web forums (message boards); or
  • Editing a Wikipedia page;
  • Email;
  • SMS/MMS.

All social media postings, blogs, status updates and tweets are treated as public comment. CJFC members, players, parents, officials and other volunteers are reminded that social media is not anonymous and that they should assume that everything can be traced back to them.
Postings (written, photos or videos) will be family-friendly and feature positive club news and events.

No personal information about members will be disclosed.

No statements will be made that are misleading, false or likely to injure a person’s reputation.

No statements will be made that might bring the club into disrepute.

Abusive, discriminatory, intimidating or offensive statements will not be tolerated. Offending posts will be removed and those responsible will be blocked from CJFC social media sites.

We expect our members to conduct themselves appropriately when using social media and be held to the same standards that they would normally be held to in other forms of public communications.
Cyberbullying (bullying that is carried out through an internet service such as email, a chat room, discussion group, instant messaging or through a website) is a criminal offence that can be reported to police.

Breach of Policy

If breaches of this policy are found, they should be reported to the CJFC Club President. A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action from the CJFC Executive Committee. Any player, coach, official, parent/supporter who brings the CJFC into disrepute or does not abide by the Social Media Policy will be required to attend a meeting with the CJFC Executive Committee. If it is found that the player, coach, official, parent/supporter has breached he policy then a penalty may be imposed including, but not restricted to, a written or verbal warning, suspension or immediate de-registration.

  • Team Manager Resources
  • Newsletters
  • Family Nights and Club Events ([links to homepage tile)

Child Safety Policy

Cheltenham Panthers Junior Football Club Child Safe Policy


This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of the committee and volunteers of the Cheltenham Panthers Junior Football Club to child safety and to provide an outline of the policies and practices the Club has developed to keep everyone safe from any harm, including abuse.

Commitment to Child Safety

All children who are a part of the Club have a right to feel and be safe. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and the Club has a zero-tolerance to child abuse. The Club aims to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun and the Club’s activities are always carried out in the best interests of the children.

Application of this Policy

This policy was developed by the Club and in collaboration with the committee, volunteers, player and their parents.
This policy applies to all individuals involved in our organisation (paid and volunteer) including, but not limited to:

  • Administrators
  • Coaches
  • Officials
  • Participants
  • Parents
  • Spectators

All of the people to which this policy applies have a role and responsibility in relation to child protection. They must all:

  • understand the indicators and risks of child abuse;
  • appropriately act on any concerns raised by children; and
  • understand and follow all applicable laws in relation to the protection of children and reporting or management of child safety concerns

Child Abuse

Child abuse can take a broad range of forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect. People to whom this policy applies need to be aware that child abuse can occur whenever there is actual or potential harm to a child, and these are circumstances that the Club is committed to reducing the risk of occurrence.

Children’s Rights to Safety and Participation

The Club encourages children to express their views about their safety. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all children who use our services to ‘have a say’ about things that are important to them.
We teach children about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, or their parents, raise with us.
We encourage players to contact the Child Support Officer if they have any concerns or feel uncomfortable in a situation. We will ensure the player’s privacy is respected and deal with issues confidentially.

Valuing Diversity

We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. To achieve this we:

  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families;
  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families;
  • welcome children with a disability and their families and act to promote their participation; and
  • seek appropriate staff from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • treat all players and volunteers equally and with respect

Recruiting staff and volunteers

The Club takes the following steps to ensure best practice standards in the recruitment and screening of staff and volunteers:

Interview and conduct referee checks on all staff and volunteers
Require Working with Children Checks for relevant positions
Our commitment to Child Safety and our screening requirements are included in all advertisements and as part of the induction process for new staff or volunteers

Supporting staff and volunteers

The Club seeks to attract and retain the best volunteers. We provide support and supervision so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated. We have developed a Code of Conduct to provide guidance to our volunteers, all of whom receive training on the requirements of the Code.

Reporting a child safety concern or complaint

The Club has appointed Bree Vallance as Child Safety Officer with the specific responsibility for responding to any complaints made by staff, volunteers, parents or children.
Bree can be contacted by phone on 0411 499 907 or by email on

Risk Management

We recognise the importance of a risk management approach to minimising the potential for child abuse or harm to occur and use this to inform our policy, procedures and activity planning. In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children. To reduce the risk of child abuse occurring, adults to whom this policy applies should avoid direct, unsupervised contact with children. For example, this should be a consideration when:

  • using change room facilities;
  • using accommodation or overnight stays;
  • travel; or
  • physical contact when coaching or managing children.

Reviewing this policy

This policy will be reviewed every two years and we undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from children, parents, carers, staff and volunteers involved in the Club.


Tackle Your Feelings

Tackle Your Feelings is a free mental health training program for community AFL coaches, as well as committee members and other club support staff. The program was formed by the AFL Coaches Association, AFL Players’ Association and Zurich Insurance in 2018, after the tragic death of Adelaide coach Phil Walsh three years earlier.

Delivered by a local psychologist, the workshops aims to help participants gain the tools to Understand, Recognise and Respond to signs of mental ill-health in their players.

In 2024, Panthers Junior Football Club will be again hosting the ‘Tackle Your Feelings’ workshops for all club officials as part of child safe standards.


Play By the Rules

The “Play By The Rules” initiative is a collaboration between Australian sports organizations, the Australian Sports Commission, and State and Territory governments. The website provides a range of resources, including child safety policies and training for coaches, volunteers, and officials. The website also has extensive information on various forms of inappropriate behaviour, including bullying, harassment, and abuse, and how to recognize and respond effectively to these behaviours.

As club officials at CJFC, we play a crucial role in ensuring that our players can participate in sports safely, free from the fear of harm or abuse. It’s important that we become familiar with the resources available and implement best practices in child safety within our team’s environment.

Play By The Rules website to access the information and resources that may help you and your team enhance the safety of our players. I would appreciate this information also being forwarded to coaches and other team representatives within your group.

Kids Help Line 

1800 55 1800


Life Line 



Beyond Blue