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Thread: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

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    Super Moderator dylan123's Avatar
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    Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    Seems to get brought up every year and I caught a little bit of SEN where Paul Roos was suggesting that it should be pushed back.

    What are everyone's opinions on the matter? And if you're for it, what age do you think it should be? 20? 21?


    I personally think it would be a good idea as you get guys coming into the system that are far more ready both physically and mentally, they've had more time to develop their games without all the pressure that I think a number would struggle with at 18.

    That said, I'm sure some 18 year olds are far better off getting into the AFL system asap so they can be developed to the AFL system and are probably better players by the time they hit 21 then if the age was 21 and were drafted straight onto an AFL list - hard to say that with any certainty though given the top quality players all go at 18 so we don't know how they'd fare if they were forced to wait.

    I guess the biggest downfall for it I see is the short term that if it was pushed back to 21, how would that happen? If they suddenly pushed it back to 21 years for example then you're basically waiting 3 years for that talent pool to refill which means that for those clubs that finish low down during that period, they're going to struggle massively to bounce back with far less talent to pick. The other thing that goes against it is some players are ready to play at 18, pushing it back to say 21 only delays their career for 3 years.

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    FFC Senior Coach Cat for life's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    If it was to be introduced, it'll be eased in like how clubs were able to take 1 17 year old each year.

    I actually think the current system works fairly well. It's not like we have a college system in the States to send the players to before they come over. They'll end up playing in state leagues anyway and probably won't get as good a development as if they're in the AFL system.

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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    If it gets pushed back, I'm sure it will be done as it was before when they pushed it back by 4 months. This would then take 9 years to drop back the 3 years in total but wouldn't overly affect any individual draft. The major issue we have is that there is no great pathway after the U18's in some states and even states that do have a decent lower tier system (Vfl/Sanfl/Wafl) have a conflict of interest in that teams competing there are run by AFL teams. The only country that I know of where a higher draft age exists successfully is the USA (19 nba, 3yrs after high school nfl) have an extremely strong and successful program for those between high school and draft age, which is both independent of the respective major leagues but also large enough in its own right for players to have a much higher earning capacity once they are drafted.

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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    I think 18 is about right for Australian footy. Better for the kid's development as a player to be within an AFL club environment. If there was a nationally consistent feeder system for the sport like the US college system, then you could make an argument to raise the age by a year or two.

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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    18 is probably ok, but you do question it when you see some of the guys running around. It probably stays at 18 because there is no infrastructure in place to hold them off until they are 21 or whatever. The US has the college system which is probably as (if not more) professional than our AFL system. It's good as it allows them to complete a degree so they aren't totally in the wind once they finish up. I guess most AFL players would either be completing a degree or trade, I know they get one day off a week to do a trade or study or whatever. But yeah, unless the AFL ramps up and expands the TAC Cup or invests in a University league, I can't see the age changing. One year is pointless because players will just bum around in the VFL or TAC Cup for a year with zero development.
    hoff.

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    Super Moderator pvcyclone's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    The only issue I see with 18 is that you have some guys in their draft year who are in year 12 at school and some who have already completed school at might be at a slight advantage.

    If I were dropping it back it would probably be either 18.5 or 19 and certainly not anything older than that.

    As a half on/half off topic, I do find the theory of the Relative Age Effect (RAE) very interesting. Basically it presents that if you are born earlier in the year you stand a greater chance in succeeding in physical sports where you have a yearly cut-off. There are plenty of papers on the topic, including for AFL where the theory holds quite well in that there are more players drafted who were born in the first half of the year than the second.

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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    The problem if they changed it is the amount of infrastructure that would be needed to do it.

    Right now we have good talent pathways until you hit draft age and then basically nothing so players would be left rotting and being underdeveloped for however long it takes to get to the AFL. I think you'd lose a lot of talented kids who'd just have to make the decision to get on with life knowing that they've got say 3 years of not making a living on AFL while they wait. A lot would end up in country leagues where the money is significantly better but the development would end there.

    AFL just doesn't have the pathways to allow anything but the current system. I actually would like it reduced again so that kids at 16 that are ready can come in and play like in Soccer. They are now able to make good livings in football and delaying their introduction just delays their development, a top kid who knows he is going to play AFL is going to receive better development from an AFL club anyway given the state of the schooling systems in Australia.

    I'm against an increase as a result, I don't see the benefits and further to that I like the idea of having future 300+ game players, it would suck, imo, if 400 games becomes absolutely impossible as a dream.
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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    Raising the draft age past 18 could be tricky. What do these kids do after they finish school? At the moment they get drafted and essentially go into a full time job at their football club.

    If you raise the draft age to say 20 or 21 then you'd surely get a lot of kids saying I'd rather go and start a uni degree than take a gamble on getting drafted in 2-3 years.

    That might be a good thing as it means that more kids get training for life after football but it surely also means that you'd lose a fair number to study/work before they're ready to be drafted.
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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    Quote Originally Posted by pvcyclone View Post
    The only issue I see with 18 is that you have some guys in their draft year who are in year 12 at school and some who have already completed school at might be at a slight advantage.

    If I were dropping it back it would probably be either 18.5 or 19 and certainly not anything older than that.

    As a half on/half off topic, I do find the theory of the Relative Age Effect (RAE) very interesting. Basically it presents that if you are born earlier in the year you stand a greater chance in succeeding in physical sports where you have a yearly cut-off. There are plenty of papers on the topic, including for AFL where the theory holds quite well in that there are more players drafted who were born in the first half of the year than the second.
    This is 100% true in my experience. If I was born in January instead of October I would of had a lot more sporting success in junior sport. Not that I would of been a star but more than an honest plodder.



    Draft age should stay as it is, why should someone like Ollie Wines miss out on playing footy just because of a number. If there is a such a problem with rookies, which I don't think there is just make their first contract 3 years, by then they will be 21 and more than capable of making their own future decisions. The contacts you would get inside AFL clubs would more than make up for lower than expected yr12 scores. All players on the list have to do work related activities outside football so its not like they are left on their asses when they are cut....country footy just about makes you enough money to live off if you are any good, plus they usually help you out with jobs cars housing too.
    Last edited by John Smith; 7th April 2015 at 07:47 PM.

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    FFC Runner Jack Richards's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion: Raising The Draft Age

    I can see pros and cons to this..

    Pros

    • Allows kids to focus on building their bodies and skills to AFL rigours
    • Kids can looks at Uni and TAFE courses to help set them up after AFL

    Cons

    • AFL careers are already short, so it would make it shorter.
    • We could run the risk of losing some good talent to outside jobs outside of AFL.

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