THE Hampden Football Netball League won’t be rushing to adopt a player points system despite its support for the initiative.
Hampden league president Bob Guiney says the league will enter bold and unfamiliar territory when it discusses introducing a player points system.
The HFNL will become the first league in south-west Victoria to introduce a player points system (PPS) if a long-held ambition becomes a reality in coming seasons.
Guiney said the initiative “had been mooted for a couple of years” but issues such as league expansion had taken priority for the executive.
Any system for the HFNL would not be in place until at least 2014.
A handful of country leagues — including Sunraysia, Gippsland and Mornington Peninsula Nepean — have introduced a PPS in recent years.
The systems, which vary from league to league, allocate players with a points value. Clubs have a points cap they cannot exceed for each match.
They encourage clubs to develop home-grown juniors and help reduce player payments by limiting the number of top-level recruits they can sign.
The gap between the top and bottom sides in leagues with a system has also narrowed as a result of its introduction.
Guiney said introducing a PPS first arose at a clubs forum.
He said he was surprised at the complexity of systems in place across Victoria and South Australia, and the league would not rush the process.
“It’s like an entirely new rule book. We have got to understand this,” he said.
“We have to make sure it’s a good fit for the league.”
Guiney, who first revealed the league’s interest in a PPS at the Maskell Medal count, said a system for the HFNL was no certainty but worth investigating.
Guiney said the Victorian Country Football League would have to endorse its introduction as a starting point.
“What they’ve got to do is see if they’re prepared to look at this region down here and whether it would suit the structure,” he said. “And I’m almost 100 per cent certain they’d have to consult the other leagues. We’d ask them to read and review whether it’s applicable and if they’d be prepare to allow it down here in the south-west region.
“It’s been mooted for a couple of years but no one has had the ideal module as to how it would work.
“It’s such a foreign idea to us down here.”