Regional football and netball leagues are concerned administrators and volunteers will walk away from the game because of new systems put in place by AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria.
Administrators and club volunteers are using the new digital platforms PlayHQ and Netball Connect for player registrations, clearances and score services in 2022.
Heathcote District Football Netball League president Peter Cole said he had been inundated with complaints from clubs about the complexity of the PlayHQ and Netball Connect systems.
"We're trying to get people back to football and netball, but these systems are driving people away,'' Cole said.
"Clubs are working so hard to stay afloat and keep people involved at community level and these systems are making life much harder for them. What used to be done with the press of a button is now taking hours for league administrators. Some club volunteers are spending hours of their own time to make sure everything is right.
"I spoke with a club volunteer who has been involved with netball in our league for 20 years. She told me what she's doing now is what she had to do 15 years ago. We've gone backwards. Administrators are basically working double shifts at weekends and they don't get any more money for it.
"Prior to this new system it was so much easier for everyone. No-one seems to be accountable for what's happened and that's very frustrating. I'm disappointed with the AFL and Netball Victoria.
"It's a disaster. It won't be long where we'll have participants, but we won't have volunteers. What we had worked... now it's a nightmare. We're doing our best, but we're being hamstrung by this and it's time the public knew about it."
Earlier this month, GVFNL club Echuca was stripped of points and fined $5000 after being found guilty of playing ineligible players in the seniors and reserves.
The club self-reported the incident after it found out the players' clearances hadn't been approved through the new PlayHQ system.
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Echuca president Ashey Byrne said it was an "honest mistake" as the club tried to come to terms with the new PlayHQ system.
The club has appealed the penalty.
Bendigo Football Netball League manager Cameron Tomlins said it had been a difficult transition period for everyone involved.
"There are still a lot of aspects of the system that don't work like we'd like it to or like it used to under the old platforms,'' Tomlins said.
"We are of the understanding that updates will continue to happen and we'll be in a better position this time next year, but right now it is very tough.
"Volunteers and league administrators are having to invest a lot of hours to get the data they require and we are concerned about the added pressure it places on volunteers.
"I think there's some positives in PlayHQ and I think when we get the end product it will be user-friendly for clubs and the public, but the problem at the moment is that it's a work in progress. It's a challenge."
AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria have been contacted for comment.
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