YOUTH girls football is an amazing game that caters for all shapes, sizes and abilities.
But it is not quite the same as the everyday football you see on TV, or even that played by junior boys.
It has special rules to ensure it is inclusive for all participants and these modifications are a great way to develop and further a girl’s knowledge of the game.
They help make it more appealing to young females and their parents.
For starters, you don't need a full team to play - games can still go ahead as long as each side has at least 10 players, with both teams adjusting their line-ups so they have the same number of girls on the field.
Players are not allowed to kick the ball off the ground in youth girls matches, which comprise four 15-minute quarters.
This encourages the girls to bend over and pick up the ball, which helps develops their ball skills and ensures the game doesn’t become too scrappy.
During a ruck contest, the rucks must not take the ball straight out of the air - instead, they need to tap it down to the ground or to another player.
This is a great rule because it evens out the ruck duels, especially when one player is physically much bigger and stronger. It is also another way of improving skills.
I played youth girls footy in Bendigo for five years and believe I benefited a lot from the modified rules.
I found they allowed new players to adapt to the game a lot quicker and easier.
Youth girls football is a great way to meet new friends for life, keep fit and have fun!
Any girls aged between 13 and 18 interested in giving it a shot can contact Tony McNamara at AFL Victoria Country on 0419 103 178.
March 23: Bendigo youth girls Subway Shield inter-league squad practice match v Goulburn Valley.
March 28: Youth Girls Academy training for North Ballarat squad members.
March 29: Trials for School Sport Victoria under-16 girls squad.
March 30: Bendigo youth girls Subway Shield inter-league squad practice match against Ballarat.
Grace Campbell is the AFL Victoria-Bendigo Advertiser Female Football Ambassador. Schools interested in Grace hosting a girls' football clinic should contact Tony McNamara on 0419 103 178.