A DECISION to scrap a player's most recent best and fairest finish as a factor in their points value is expected to strengthen the system.
The move comes on the back of club feedback which argued it was hard to monitor and was unfair when recruiting from leagues and clubs of different abilities.
Home grown players, those who have played more than 40 junior games at a club, are valued at one-point while recruits straight out of the AFL system are worth six.
A player's points value will decrease each season they remain at a club.
The system is designed to encourage junior development and to prevent several top-end recruits destabilising a league.
AFL Western District boss Matt Ross said the decision would improve fairness.
"It has a lot of inconsistency in that you could be a top-placed major league side recruiting from a district league club that could potentially be a bottom finisher and a top-five best-and-fairest finisher coming out attracts that additional point," he said.
"That could be even though they're going to a club that arguably has better talent in their ranks. There was a lot of feedback from clubs saying 'this doesn't actually make much sense'.
That player might be number 22 on their list. I think a lot of clubs will be happy to see that one go and it was adding another layer of complexity, trying to work it out."
A state-wide reduction in the maximum available points from 47 to 46 will cut the points allocation for six AFL Western District-affiliated teams.
No Hampden or Warrnambool and District league clubs had points slashed.
Branxholme-Wallacedale and Cavendish were the two South West District league clubs affected while Ararat, Caramut, Hawkesdale-Macarthur and Moyston-Willaura were the Mininera clubs hit.
Ross said Cavendish was the only affected club which averaged over 45 points in 2021 while only two teams - Cavendish and Moyston-Willaura - entered a team which exceeded 45 points at any stage of the season.
All Hampden league clubs will start 2022 only 40 points barring Koroit. The six-time reigning premier will again start on 37, which is understood to be one of the lowest allocations in the state.
Warrnambool and District league powerhouses Nirranda and Kolora-Noorat are on 42 points while Allansford, Dennington, Merrivale, Panmure, South Rovers and Timboon Demons are on 44.
Old Collegians (45) and Russells Creek (46) round out the allocation.
Ross said players would only need to play three games in 2022 to have their points valued deducted, down from the usual five.
The Hampden league will have its salary cap slashed five per cent to $104,000 per club in 2022.
The Warrnambool and District and South West District leagues have also been reduced five per cent to $66,500.
The Mininera and District league, the south-west's most geographically expansive competition, will remain at $70,000 per club.
AFL Western District boss Matt Ross said there would be a total saving of about $100,000 across the region's 40 clubs in 2022.
"This in addition to any savings already potentially made via existing reductions," he said.
"These savings have the ability to be diverted further into junior development, facilities and reducing volunteer burden in fundraising efforts."
Clubs under the AFL Western District banner budgeted for $2.4 million in player payments for 2021 but the actual figure was tipped to be much lower given interruptions from COVID-19 lockdowns.
"I think there's a misconception out there that players are out there chasing as much coin as they can get," he said.
"This year has shown that just isn't the case. Players have gone to their clubs and said 'we know things aren't great because of the pandemic' and we won't take payments.
"Most coaches have done more work than ever before and have said 'we won't take any payment'. It's not a full-time job. It's just to compensate them for time away from families and (other expenses)."
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