The VAFA is excited to release its VAFA Women’s Football Strategy which aims to grow women’s football into a competition that our community can be passionate and proud of.
As part of the strategy, the VAFA will assist clubs with entering two teams in William Buck Premier Women’s and Premier B Women’s (Seniors and Reserves) by reducing the number of players to 16 players on-field for the 2024 season. The intention is to ensure the Women’s Premier Competitions continues to consist of highly competitive teams with the strongest on-field playing talent available and to also align with VFLW and AFLW-specific rules.
A focus on competitive balance across all sections of the women’s competition (in order to enhance player enjoyment and experience) may result in some women’s clubs having their Seniors and Reserves teams fixtured into a Women’s Divisional section equitable to their ability and competitiveness at the discretion of the VAFA.
Additionally, there will be no Women’s Thirds competition with clubs who choose to enter three teams having their third team fixtured into a Women’s Divisional section that reflects their ability and competitiveness.
A large and extensive consultation process was undertaken, with all key stakeholders at the forefront of VAFA women’s football involved in the development of the strategy. This included initial and ongoing engagement with the VAFA Women’s Football Advisory Group, followed by surveys to all clubs, coaches and players involved with the women’s competition. Further discussion took place with the VAFA Football Sub-Committee and VAFA Board.
When asked about the Women’s Football Strategy, VAFA CEO Jason Reddick said, “This strategy is a result of a lot of hard work and consultation with all the key stakeholders involved with women’s football in the VAFA. This strategy aligns with the feedback received from the Women’s Football Strategy Survey, together with input and suggestions from our Women’s Football Advisory Group and Football Sub-Committee.”
As per the fixture calendar announcement last week, William Buck Premier Women’s will remain at 18 rounds in season 2024, whilst all other women’s competitions will be 16 rounds.
Section structures and fixtures for the women’s competition for the 2024 season will be developed from late November onwards, following consultation with clubs.
The full VAFA Women’s Football Strategy including observations and summaries from the VAFA Women’s Football Strategy Survey can be viewed below.2024 VAFA Women’s Football Strategy FINAL