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Club Philosophy and Codes of Conduct

Port Melbourne Colts Junior Football Club, Inc.

Club philosophy, governing by-laws and codes of conduct 2023


Port Melbourne Colts Junior Football Club

  • Port Melbourne Colts Junior Football Club is the family club, where it’s all about the kids

  • The club is run by volunteers and exists to provide a safe, inclusive, fun and rewarding environment for kids and community to participate in Auskick and junior footy

  • Our club is open to everyone, regardless of gender, age, race, religion or ability.

  • Junior teams play in the Southern Metro Junior Football League, and in 2023 we are fielding U8 (mixed), U9 (mixed), U10 mixed, U11 mixed, U12 mixed, U13 Boys Port / Saint Kilda City alliance, U14 Boys Port / Saint Kilda City alliance, U15 Boys Port / South alliance, U16 Boys Port South, U17.5 Boys Port South, U10 Girls, U12 Girls, U14 Girls, U18 Girls Port Saint Kilda City alliance.

  • Our alliance teams are with South Melbourne Districts Junior Football Club and St Kilda City Junior Football Club.

  • Our club embraces girls footy and encourages women to participate in all roles.

  • We want and expect the club to continue growing into the foreseeable future, especially as we are located in an area of demographic change (more kids) and growing population (including Fishermen’s Bend).

  • We encourage all players to play in their age group but there will be opportunities for players to play up a year level to further their development. Any requests from parents for a child to play up must be submitted to the committee in writing for approval.

  • We request that girls joining our club give priority to supporting our girls teams but are also able to play in our mixed teams up to and including U12 and our alliance teams upon special request.

  • The club’s culture is underpinned by core values of respect, teamwork, transparency and continuous improvement.

  • We put the kid’s safety, participation, development and fun at the centre of decision-making. We value player participation and development over winning.

  • Our award-winning Auskick centre is in AFL Victoria’s Inner Southern region, which is closely aligned to SMJFL.

  • The club shares venue, jumper and similar team song with Port Melbourne Colts Football Club, which fields two men’s teams Division 1 and Reserves (Southern Football Netball League) and one women’s team (Premier League, just one level below AFL).

  • The club values constructive input from members throughout the year, whether via team managers, coaches, committee member or in the formal end of year member survey. Complaints are taken seriously, and depending on their nature should be taken up with team manager or committee.

  • This summary of our club’s philosophies, governing by-laws and codes of conduct is reviewed annually then signed and accepted by all families and officials in Colts teams. Full text of governing by-laws and related policies and guidance are available at the SMJFL website.

Our Club CARE philosophy:

In order to create team CULTURE you need:





To build a team environment you need to:


  • Eyes Up when your Coach talks to your group
  • Bring your VOICE and ENTHUSIASM to every session: Show everyone you want to be part of your team
  • GET AROUND EACH OTHER: Every­time your team comes into a huddle or after a drill
  • Congratulate your MATES when they learn a new skill or do something great 

Club coaching philosophy for all Colts teams

Our coaching philosophy for all age groups is centred around providing a fun and safe environment for the kids whilst ensuring an equal opportunity to participate in a team environment. In response to this, we insist that players show a duty of care to their teammates and opposition and also show respect, commitment and care to coaches, team officials and umpires.

SMJFL grades each team into divisions at the start of the season, and again after round 4. Grading decisions reflect observed match results as well as club input, and we seek grading that should enable each to team to maximize player development – ie: roughly mid-table so the players enjoy some wins….and learn from losses.

Head coaches shall appoint between one and three assistant coaches to ensure every player gets appropriate attention (eg: more assistants in younger age groups).

Head coaches are ideally limited to a tenure of three consecutive years in the lead role with the same team. 

Team managers, coaches and umpires shall establish rapport with their counterparts before each game, to ensure philosophical alignment and be in a position to deal with any issues arising during the game.

Coaches are required to maintain team discipline and instruct players to play within the spirit and rules of the game.

Teams are limited to a maximum of 24 players on match day.

Teams usually play with 18 players on the field (see SMJFL By Laws), but can play with lower numbers. If one team only is short of players then the other side shall field a matching number of players, unless the larger team loans a player in which case they may field one more player. See SMJFL by laws for clarification.

Each player shall get at least two quarters (half a game) playing time on the day (unless precluded by injury, safety, or disciplinary action or if too tired if playing their second game for the day).

U8, U9 and U10 players are required to be rotated forward, mid, back and interchange evenly throughout the year - although discretion is granted if coaches want certain players spending more time down the spine.

From U11 onwards coaches may begin to develop some players into specialist positions or zones, whilst still ensuring a reasonable mix of time for every kid playing forward, mid and back.

Player positions and rotations during the game shall be managed by an assistant coach or helper in conjunction with head coach, using the coaching panel's plan for that game.

We encourage our teams to be competitive at all levels and expect coaches to manage game day rotations and coaching plan's to give teams every chance of success.

SMJFL official winning margins are limited to 10 goals, so coaches shall seek to rotate and bench players  if their team looks like exceeding such threshold in U11 and above matches.

Any player executing a dangerous tackle, unduly rough play or unsportsmanlike behaviour will be taken straight off the ground for positive counseling and education, and allowed to return immediately if accidental or minor, after one quarter if careless or moderate and sit out the rest of the game if malicious or severe. This is a self-assessment initiative that places the onus on coaches, not umpires to prevent, detect and address player behaviour.

The umpire(s) of each match formally rate player, team officials and crowd behavior from each team as ‘good’, ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ at the end of each match – and the club expects good behavior from our teams at every match. Any ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ behavior ratings will require explanation to the committee, and ‘poor’ behavior ratings will be considered for disciplinary action by the club.

Player milestones (50 / 100 / 150 games) are acknowledged by running through a pre-game banner. Parents and players make their own banner. Information re milestone banners can be found here.

Singing of club songs must not occur on the ground, and shall only take place in the clubrooms (or away from the ground if no clubrooms provided).

Team managers and coaches from each team shall provide a summary of how they’ll manage player positions and rotations to executive committee for endorsement and to families for signature of acceptance.


1. All players of the team shall have right of first selection for finals games subject to playing the minimum 4 games of the home and away season.

2. Players that have assisted the team during the year shall also have the ability to play in the finals if the team player numbers are less than 21.

3. Assisting players shall be selected based upon the number of games they have participated in during the home and away season.

4. No assisting player shall play more game time than a team player.

5. There is no guaranteed game time in Finals although we recommend a minimum of 1/4 - coaches will rotate players as required to ensure the best outcome on the day.

U13, U14 U15, U16, U17.5  Port / South Melbourne / St Kilda City Alliance Philosophy and teams approach for grading and player rotations in 2022 season

General Philosophy & Selection Guidelines

One of the most difficult tasks for a junior football club with more than one team in the same age group is allocating players in teams in a way that satisfies all stakeholders.

Port Melbourne Colts | South Melbourne Districts Junior Football Club l St Kilda City Junior Football Club endeavour to carry out the task according to the guidelines set out below, in accordance with the vision of both Clubs to provide our junior players a game of football every week and the best possible opportunity to develop to the best of their ability in a fun and safe environment.

At the U13 / U14 / U15 / U16 /U17.5 age levels, teams play in a highly competitive competition where a greater emphasis is placed upon individual and team performances. In these age groups we strive to have at least one team participating at the highest level (division) possible.

Teams are graded to enable them to be as competitive as possible in their respective division. As a result, grading may require player movement from their previous team. Where player selection to a different team occurs, it should be regarded as an opportunity to experience diversity, improve skills and they should be encouraged to adapt and enjoy change.

As there are two teams in most age groups, team selection will be based on providing players with the best possible opportunity to develop to the best of their ability, commensurate to their level of fitness, skill set and physicality. 

Attendance and attitude at training sessions will also influence selection and those attending training sessions will receive preferential consideration to those players who do not attend training.  Players not training and or arriving late for training and match day may disadvantage their eligibility for selection or match time quota.

This approach is also consistent with the AFLs Junior Match Policy and the SMJFLs competition structure.

Team Rules

Our clubs have endorsed our Coaches to place a high emphasis on team rules and player behaviour at training. Coaches team rules and discipline expectations are to be respected and met at all times by players and parents. We expect all players to be respectful to coaches, parent helpers and teammates at training and games.  Should a player/s be sanctioned for disciplinary action, penalties will be decided by the team Coach and the Football Operations Age Group Coordinator.

U13 / U14 / U15 / U16 / U17.5 Squads

Our U13 / U14 / U15 / U16 / U17.5 teams will operate throughout the season as a squad - warm up and cool down at training will be conducted as a squad, selected teams will break off to conduct specific drills/skills for 45 minutes. 

Teams will be announced via a squad e-mail by Friday of each week.

Player Movement 

There will be regular occasions throughout the season where we will require flexibility in player selection, particularly in rounds where a number of players from a particular team are unavailable; and to provide players in a lower division team with the opportunity and incentive to strive to play in a higher division team/ player in a higher division team with the opportunity and incentive to regain form/touch by playing in a lower division team. 

The above will be communicated to players prior to training. 

Where player selection to a different team occurs, it should be regarded as an opportunity to experience diversity, improve skills and they should be encouraged to adapt and enjoy change. 

Please note that if a player is promoted up/or down they will be provided with a minimum of 2 weeks in that respective team. The club also needs to adhere to the SMJFL Player Movement & Finals Qualification Policy.

Player awards and trophies for Colts teams

  • Individual awards (trophies) are inconsistent with club values for U8, U9 and U10 age groups - and are only applicable for U11 onwards
  • The five trophies applicable from Under 11 onwards are to be awarded to five different players, and recognise a wide spread of contributions to the team on and off the field so each player may reasonably consider themselves capable of winning one of them if they adopt club values and train and play to the best of their ability:

Best and Fairest

Best and Fairest, runner up

Most improved 

Most determined

Best team player 

  • B&F weekly voting system involves three capable people chosen by Team Manager on the day, with a fair spread of all parents and coaches through the year.  Player votes are 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 in descending order - ie: 5 votes for best on ground.  B&F votes are to reflect performance on the day relative to teammates, rather than performance relative a given players usual standards.  The lead Team Manager shall maintain B&F voting documentation in a confidential secure location.  Total player B&F votes shall only be announced for top 5 place getters
  • The winners of the three other awards will be determined via a meeting and voting of coaches, with the head coach having casting vote for any award where votes are even and agreement can't be reached
  • The lead Team Manager is responsible for the integrity of player votes and record keeping during the year, as well as tallying of votes for all five awards at end of year.  A designated Committee member for each team shall review the B&F voting process set up at start of and during the year, and be present as scrutineer at end of year votes tallying for 5 awards.  The player awards voting process and outcomes (B&F top 5, and the three other awards) shall be submitted to Club Committee by lead Team Manager for endorsement prior to trophies being engraved or awarded


Playing philosophy

Respect your club, coach, team mates and families

Respect the umpires and respect your opposition

Train as you play by trying your best

Talk, and provide loud encouragement

Compete, and win your own ball

Back yourself, it’s OK to make mistakes

Mistakes provide opportunity to learn



The club is run by volunteers and all families are welcome to volunteer for committee and team leadership roles, and are otherwise expected to assist various rostered duties

Current members of committee are listed here.

Match day rostered duties include umpires escort, goal umpire, time keeper, boundary umpire (U11 above) and oranges cutter upperer.

The club seeks a team manager, assistant team manager, head coach, several assistant coaches, trainer, back-up trainer, runner and photographer for each junior team (as well as umpire and back-up umpire for each U8, U9 and U10 team)

All head coaches and assistants, trainers, runners and club umpires must provide current Working With Children checks to club Secretary before Round 1 each year

Regardless of their role, all members shall take reasonable steps to avoid being alone with a child other than their own at club events, training and home and away games

All parents and carers are expected to subscribe to, carefully read and (where requested) respond to weekly club-wide newsletter as well as TeamApp alerts, calendar of events and player availability for each match

Player safety, health and welfare

Player’s emotional and physical safety is paramount, and all committee members, team officials are families are asked to keep a watchful eye and escalate where necessary

Trainers must have Level 1 First Aid with CPR and (for U13 and above) Emergency Response Training (ERT)

Trainers are authorized to take sole control of the game and the situation (including stopping play) if a players needs injury assessment or treatment

All families are encouraged to have ambulance cover to provide for emergencies

An unconscious player or suspected of spinal injury must only be moved by an ambulance officer, and not club Trainers

A concussed player should not return to training or matches until a doctor’s certificate has been obtained by their family indicating they are fit to do so

Dogs must be on a leash, and are not allowed onto ovals between or during matches or quarter/half time breaks

All players, members and spectators are bound by Vilification and social media, Alcohol and Smoking policies

Summary of By-Laws not otherwise reflected in sections above

Footy is a winter sport and training and matches will go ahead unless SMJFL or Team Managers from both clubs consider conditions are unsafe due to extreme weather

Team managers must always have access to and oversee compliance with SMJFL By Laws and SMJFL Team Managers handbook

Players may play for their own age group and a higher age group on a given day if requested and if consented by the player and one of their parents

Players wear blue shorts at home games and white shorts at away games

Player may be yellow-carded by the umpire for obscene language, unsportsmanlike behavior or misconduct – and will be sent off until the same time in the next quarter

Players may be red carded by the umpire for reportable offences, and will be sent off for the rest of the game. Red carded players may not be replaced until the same time the next quarter

Any player sent of twice within a 12 month period will be automatically suspended for one game

Scoreboards are not permitted at U8, U9 or U10 games, as the focus is on player participation, development and fun

Only the head coach, assistant, trainer and runner are permitted inside the fence when a game is in progress. Everyone else must stay outside the fence, including when play stops for an incident or injury

Team runners are limited to delivery messages to 2 players when they enter the field

 Summary of modified rules for U8, U9 and U10 teams

U8, U9 and U10 modified rules are designed to keep the kids safe, reduce congestion and maximize opportunities for all players to get involved

Grounds must be marked out by Team Managers helpers as follows:

With cones to a length of 100m – 120m long and 80m – 90m wide. (As a guide, Murphy Reserve grounds are approx. 150m long, and centre squares are 50m x 50m)

With rubber dots into 3 zones (forward, mid and back) of roughly equal size

Player wear yellow, red or blue armbands to signify their current zone, and may only leave their zone (and only briefly) when play is coming into or moving out of their zone

Home team armbands – Backs wear yellow, Mids wear red, Forwards wear blue

Away team armbands – Backs wear blue, Mids wear red, Forward wear yellow

Modified tackle is essentially a hug, and any tackle that deliberately or carelessly brings a player to the ground will be penalised with a free kick

Modified rules do not permit knocking the ball out of a players hands, pushing in the back or sides, stealing the ball from another player, bumping or shepherding

AFL Victoria, SMJFL and PMCJFC Codes of Conduct

Coach’s code of conduct

Head coaches are required and assistant coaches are required to attain Level 1 coaching accreditation from U11 upwards. All other assistant coaches are encouraged and supported by the club to gain Level 1 accreditation. Level 1 accredited coaches are bound by the AFL Coaches Code of Conduct set out below, and the club expects non-accredited assistant coaches to abide by it as well.

I hereby commit, to the best of my ability, to uphold the AFL Coaches Code of Conduct.

I understand that as an integral component of my accreditation, I must maintain a standard of behaviour and conduct in the best interests of the game and the players/ staff in my care.

In representing myself in an honest manner and without bringing the coaching profession or the Game into disrepute, I will endeavour to uphold the following to the best of my ability:

I will respect the rights, dignity and worth of all individuals within the context of my involvement in Australian Football, including refraining from any discriminatory practices on the basis of race, religion, ethnic background, or special ability/disability

I will abide by and teach the AFL Laws of the Game and the Rules of my Club and League/Association

I will be reasonable in the demands I make on the time commitments of the players in my care, having due consideration for their health and well-being

I will refrain from any form of personal abuse or unnecessary physical contact with the players in my care

I will have due consideration for varying maturity and ability levels of my players when designing practice schedules, practice activities and involvement in competition

I will avoid overplaying the talented players aiming to maximise participation and enjoyment for all players regardless of ability. Where I am responsible for players in the 5-12 year old age group, I will aim to ensure that all players gain equal playing time taking into account injury and behavior issues

I will stress and monitor safety always

In recognising the significance of injury and sickness, I will seek and follow the physician’s advice concerning the return of injured or ill players to training

I will endeavour to keep informed regarding sound principles of coaching and skill development, and of factors relating to the welfare of my players

I will at all times display and teach appropriate sporting behaviour, ensuring that players understand and practise fair play

I will display and foster respect for umpires, opponents, coaches, administrators, other officials, parents and spectators

I will ensure that players are involved in a positive environment where skill learning and development are priorities are not overshadowed by a desire to win

I reject the use of performance enhancing substances in sport and will abide by the guidelines set forth in the AFL drug policy

This “Coaches Code of Conduct” is to be signed and conformed to as part of the accreditation requirements of the AFL. Coaches should be aware that, in addition to this Code, they may be obliged to accept a further Code of Conduct/Ethics with their Club and/or League.


Players code of conduct

Play by the rules – the rules of your club and the laws of the game

Never argue with an umpire or other official – without these people, you can’t play football

Control your temper - verbal abuse of officials and sledging other players doesn’t help you enjoy or win any games

Be a team player – It’s a team game, treat it that way

Treat all players as you would like to be treated – fairly

Co-operate with your coach, the umpires and team-mates

Play for your own enjoyment and to improve your skills

Don’t use ugly remarks based on race, religion, gender or ability – you’ll let down your coach, team-mates and family if you do – and many such comments are actually now illegal

Parents and supporters code of conduct

Remember that you are there for the participants to enjoy the game

Encourage participation, but don’t force it

Teach that enjoyment is more important than winning

Never ridicule mistakes or losses – supporters are there to support not downgrade

Lead by example and respect all players, coaches, umpires and spectators – physical or verbal abuse will not be tolerated

Recognise all volunteers who are giving up their valuable time

Never publicly criticise umpires – raise personal concerns with club officials in private

Do not use ugly remarks based on race, religion, gender or ability – you’ll let down your family and yourself if you do – and many such comments are actually now illegal.

By registering their child with the SMJFL and PMCJFC parents agree to abide by these principles, and support their Club in its undertakings and authorise their club to take any necessary disciplinary actions including the suspension and banning where warranted of any players, parents and or spectators for repeated or serious breaches of these Codes of Conduct

SMJFL [and PMCJFC] Codes of Conduct


Place the safety and welfare of the players above all else

Ensure all players are included and can participate, regardless of their race, gender, ability, cultural background, sexuality or religion

Be consistent, impartial and objective when making decisions

Address unsporting behaviour and promote respect for other players and officials.

Administrators / Committee members

Ensure quality supervision and instruction for players

Support coaches and officials to improve their skills and competencies

Act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the sport as a whole

Ensure that any information acquired or advantage gained from the position is not used improperly

Conduct club responsibilities with due care, competence and diligence

Club umpires (Under 8, 9 and 10 age groups)

Each umpire officiating in the SMJFL is required to comply with a Code of Conduct. Specifically, by signing this Code of Conduct, the umpire endeavours to:

Remember that junior sports provide an opportunity for children to learn and have fun and will place their safety above all else

Operate within the Rules and Spirit of the code; ensuring that they are knowledgeable of the rules Australian Rules football and the by-laws of the South Metro Junior Football League, and apply those rules fairly to all participants, teams and coaches

Participate in Club Umpire training sessions as and when required

Encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support of all players, coaches, 
fellow umpires and league administrators at all times

Not make physical contact with any player unless it is to assist with first aid for an injured player

Ensure all administrative tasks associated with umpiring in the SMJFL are completed accurately, fully and meet designated timelines

Display control, respect and professionalism to all involved with the sport. This includes umpires, players, coaches, officials, administrators, the media, parents/caregivers and spectators

Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion

Take responsibility for all actions taken

Not allow personal friendships and associations to influence my decisions during a contest

Be a positive role model in terms of behaviour and personal appearance

People expect umpires to be:

  • Trustworthy – honest and impartial
  • Responsible – appreciate the importance of the role of the umpire
  • Fit – physically prepared for the task
  • Knowledgeable – know the rules
  • Punctual – arrive at the ground a minimum of 1⁄2 hour before the scheduled 
commencement of the game

In aiming to fulfill those expectations, umpires should be aware that first impressions are often lasting impressions and that, when wearing the SMJFL Club Umpire uniform, they are representing their Club. 

Club committee code of conduct

Champion the club’s creed

Champion a strong club culture underpinned by core values that include respect, teamwork, transparency and continuous improvement

Put the kids safety, participation, development and fun at the centre of decision-making

Respect the authority of the Committee and it's decisions, and the confidentiality of committee discussions. Consult as a team, and avoid unilateral decisions

Act respectfully at Committee meetings and when representing the committee and club

Respect and embrace diversity, and put aside any personal differences for the club

Respect club policies and processes

Disparaging remarks by committee members about the club, committee, committee members, team officials, members or players will not be tolerated

Executive committee members are entrusted with a higher level of authority, and with that comes a high expectation of behaviour

Respect the fact it's only junior footy, it's for the benefit of the kids and community, and we're all volunteers

Port Colts Team song – modern version

(Adopted in 2016 from the senior club’s traditional version to modernize and align with club philosophy. Each team choses if/when they sing – eg: after training, after a win and/or after every game.)

























Team Song – Port / South Melbourne Alliance U13 / U14 / U15/ U16 /U17.5 Teams

 Cheer cheer the red white and blue

Honour the name by day and by night

Lift that noble banner high

Shake down the thunder from the sky

Whether the odds be great or be small

Port | South will go in and win overall

While our loyal sons are marching onwards to victory



Thanks to our amazing sponsors who do so much for the club... Please support them as much as you can!

Justin Holod - Marshall White
Elwood Community Bank
Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management - Port Melbourne
Elders Insurance
Limerick Arms Hotel
Seaside Smile Denture Clinic
Cox Automotive
Dads Footy 2018
Port Melbourne Medical
Love Me Love You
Bunnings Port Melbourne
Nina Taylor MP