Auskick ban on scores, just ‘darn right stupidity’ |POLL

John “Shocka” Murray

John “Shocka” Murray

A FORMER Wodonga junior Australian Rules coach has called a move to stop keeping score in under-10 Auskick games  “darn right stupidity”.

The Australia-wide, AFL-developed changes to under-10s will ban keeping score, ladders, match results and best and fairest awards in the name of encouraging participation.

Children will also play with smaller balls, on smaller grounds and in smaller teams for less time under the new guidelines to be rolled out this year.

Previously, the ban on competition and awards had been limited to under-8 and under-9 games.

John “Shocka” Murray said children loved reading their names in the newspaper when they played well and keeping score and finals gave them incentive to improve.

“They’ve got to have competition,” he said.

“They are going to have to get used to getting beat.

“I can not believe anyone would come up with that. It is wrong.”

Mr Murray, who coached at junior and senior level in the ’70s and ’80s, said children would sometimes leave the ground in tears when they lost, but he would put an arm around them and they would learn for the experience.

“I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been there and I’ve done it,” he said.

“I guarantee not one of the people who have come up with that have coached junior football.”

He said he called to complain numerous times yesterday, but didn’t expect to hear back.

Auskick Wodonga president Zen McCarty, North East football development manager Jeff Chandler and Albury-Murray development co-ordinator Jack Bradley said they were unable to comment.

Mr Chandler and Mr McCarty were unaware of the changes when first contacted by The Border Mail.

An AFL spokesperson said the guidelines, developed with Deakin University, placed encouragement ahead of winning.