Can my child play in the same team as last year?

Grading juniors is a very complex task performed by volunteers.

We try and minimise the number of changes in each team. Every year we have a different number of players register for each age group therefore the team makeup will differ each tear. We won’t know which teams any of the players will be in until after grading, as we generally need to merge teams/players.

Can my team remain the same as last year?

Due to the number of players which register for each age group varies to the previous year, it is very unlikely teams will remain the same.

If your team’s players playing ability are all at a low level, then it could be possible to keep a majority together the following year. If they’re all at a high level, then we would need to compare them to all other players which are also at a high level. If your team is at a high level, we won’t be able to place them in a low grade either as they will most likely win all their games by large scorelines, as an example.

Why does GUFC grade its junior players into teams?

We grade our junior players at GUFC into teams because grading:

  • is encouraged by the Sutherland Shire Football Association (‘SSFA’)
  • adds to your enjoyment of the game if you are playing with & against players of similar or equal ability
  • past experience has shown it is frustrating for any individual to play in a team over the season, in any sport, which is clearly above or below their level of ability

When does GUFC grade ‘MiniRoos’ teams?

GUFC will grade all teams to assist the Sutherland Shire Football Association in making all grades an even competition eliminating lopsided games and blowout scores.

As the children become older and abilities become more disparate, we begin to identify those ‘standout’ players to form competitive teams in the u8’s and progressively grade players with similar ability and commitment to training and development through the older age groups … resulting in the formation of different teams each season!

Why does grading happen weeks before the season begins? Why is it only over a two week period?

The SSFA requires all Clubs to submit teams by a certain date shortly after registration ends – usually only three days after grading is completed at GUFC!  We are also restricted for grading times/days by ground availability.

Why can the player numbers differ for each side?

The number of players registered for a particular age group determines how many sides are formed and how many players should be in each side.  GUFC always try to:

  • ensure each side has sufficient numbers for the season
  • players are distributed as evenly as possible within teams in any given grade
  • maximise time spent on the field for all players throughout the club; and
  • provide an opportunity for all those who registered to be placed in an appropriate side

In Junior competition sides – u12-u16 – due to clear & defined SSFA borrowing rules we endeavour to provide 2-3 reserves per side.  Unfortunately perfect combinations are not always possible as numbers registered may not allow this to happen … for example 45 players registered would see three teams of 15 rather than four teams with three of these teams having no reserves!

Why do MiniRoos teams only have 1 or 2 reserves?

GUFC tries to minimise the number of reserves in each side because we want you to have maximum playing time, particularly given the length of MiniRoos matches (in u6 & u7 2x20minute halves).  MiniRoos teams are able to borrow any player within their age group plus the two age groups below … players can assist other teams when teams are short on numbers.

In junior teams how does grading happen?

Players attend scheduled grading sessions and are observed by independent members of the grading panel over two sessions (weather dependant !!!).  The grading panel may consider your coaches’ assessment from the previous season as part of the process … we feel this is important because coaches have the advantage of seeing you develop throughout the whole season and are able to assess 18 weeks rather than a couple sessions.

GUFC’s grading panel makes the final decision on which team each player will play in for the season.

What happens if you cannot make grading?

If you are unable to make at least one of the grading sessions then you must make an application, in writing, to the grading committee –  Your email must be received prior to the scheduled grading session for you to be considered for a higher side … please set out the reason(s) in your email why you are unable to attend grading.

New players to GUFC, who do not grade or submit an application, will be graded into the lowest team.  However you may be provided with an opportunity to be re-graded, prior to the start of the season, based on performance in trial games.

The grading panel reserves the right to allocate any player who does not attend grading to any team – even if they fail to submit an application to the grading panel

How are teams allocated to divisions?

GUFC nominates each team for a particular grade in their age group … the suggested grade is then submitted to the SSFA.  However, the SSFA decides the grade a team is put into based on:

  • previous year’s performance
  • grade suggested by GUFC
  • number of teams in the age group; and
  • introduction of new players to the team

Quite often the grade allocated to a side by the SSFA is not what GUFC has nominated for!

What if I disagree with the decision of which team I am placed in by the grading panel?

Any player may appeal a decision of the grading panel.  If you wish to appeal a decision of the grading panel, you or your parent must notify GUFC’s Head Coach in writing – – of the appeal.

The Head Coach, in consultation with the appropriate grading panel members, will review the decision and will let you know if they either affirm or overturn the original decision.

The subsequent decision of the grading panel is final and any further issues should be referred to GUFC’s Head Coach.

For all other grading questions and help contact GUFC’s Head Coach Enzo Torrillo @


A more extensive explanation of the grading process at GUFC can be found in the club’s grading policy document GUFC Grading Policy. Players and parents should take the time to read the document and direct any questions regarding the grading process to the GUFC Head Coach.