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Grading at Curl Curl FC

Information about why, who and how we grade

The purpose of grading is to accommodate players into teams with the appropriate capabilities for a particular division, so that they will be playing with and against players of similar ability.

MWFA Competition Structure

The MWFA has adopted the small sided games format in line with Football Australia and Football NSW guidelines. The concept aims to try and give younger players more touches of the ball and thereby increase both their enjoyment of the game and their skill development. With each year the field size and number of team members gradually increases until they are playing on a full field with 11 players at U13. 

Who is Graded?

The MWFA requires us to grade individual players from mixed U10s and up unless there is only 1 team in that age group.  

U6 & U7 are ungraded

U8 & U9 the teams are loosely graded into strong, middle and weak.  From

U10 & U11 the individual players are graded. The resulting teams are then graded into Red (strongest 25%), Blue (middle 25%) and Green (50% - often referred to as social divisions). These are transitional years where there are no points, tables or prizes.  

U12 and up individual players are graded, the team is assigned a division and match results are recorded.


Due to the expansion of the girls' competition, from 2023 Curl Curl  will be grading W-10 and up where there is more than one team in line with the process for mixed teams outlined above.  

W-7 - W-9 remain ungraded with placement being determined by friendship groups and individual registrants slotted in where there are spaces.

Who gains from grading?

Has your team ever been completely outclassed? Or maybe your team has won games so easily the kids hardly got going? This sometimes happens and is not an ideal situation. The MWFA believe that for juniors it’s best to give all the kids a chance to find their feet for the first few seasons before progressing to a more competitive level. Everyone benefits from grading: 


  • Good players who found it all a bit too easy last season  

  • Good players who were usually on the losing side because the rest of their team struggled  

  • Social players who never saw the ball because there were a couple of stars in their team 

  • Social players who never saw much of the ball because there always seemed to be a couple of stars in the opposing team 

  • Players and spectators who will benefit from more exciting matches  

  • The opposition’s players for all the same reasons.  

How do we grade?

Curl Curl grading committee is a group of trained, experienced coaching volunteers led by our coaching director.

Players are put through a varied set of drills and some small-sided practice matches in order to evaluate a range of skills, physical attributes, footballing awareness etc.  We also use input from the previous year’s coach to give some initial direction.   

At U10 when individual grading is first undertaken we encourage younger players who have been playing up in the age group above for many seasons to remain at U9 for another season and grade in their own age group.  The exception to this is particularly skilled younger players.  If a younger player grades in the top 4 in the age group above, then they are permitted to continue to play up. This is in line with the policies implemented at the MWFA.  

Players are then recommended into particular teams.  Grading decisions will be a joint decision made by 3 people and none of them will have a child in that age group. If you are unable to attend grading you will be graded into a team at the discretion of the grading committee.  The decision of the grading committee is final.  

When is grading?

Grading usually occurs in February at Abbott Rd. Make sure that you are registered early so you are advised of any grading requirements or changes. Your age coordinator will inform you of specific dates and times.  See also the website information on the grading schedule

Feel free to come along and observe. 

Transition to a new team

After some years together it can be difficult moving to a new team.  Sometimes in life you have to grit your teeth and try and get on with a new bunch of people. The kids will be fine - they do it all the time.  

If you are particularly keen for a group of kids to be kept together who you feel are much the same standard, you can make a request BEFORE grading.  We can’t promise that they will be kept together but it can be part of our deliberations.  

Sometimes parents are disappointed that their child wasn’t graded higher. Possibly we got it wrong, but they could be slightly biased, so there probably wasn’t that much in it. A child that scrapes into a higher grade is likely to have more time off the field, see less of the ball and is less likely to be in their favoured position than a child who is better than most of their team-mates. Also, you know your child is a decent player, but have you looked at ALL the other players in the age group like we will do? It’s a difficult and thankless task.  

We are all volunteers aiming to be fair and do what is right for the Club as a whole. Please bear this in mind.  


If you have any queries please contact:

Sue Lawson:  ph: 0413 339 334

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