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Junior sport development model

The Junior Sport Development Model provides a guide to children's sporting needs based on their development stages. The model outlines good practice in junior sport and will help providers of junior sport deliver appropriate, quality sporting experiences for young people.

Movement through the model

It is suggested that a child should remain in the same level of competition (i.e modification of rules) for 2 to 3 years as they move through primary school (ages 6 to 12). That is, appropriate age groups are 6 to 8, 9 to 10, and 11 to 12.

Shorter periods at each level may be insufficient to learn the skills and enjoy that level of the game. Longer periods risk boredom; the child will probably desire to move to the next level of participation.

(Source: Adapted from information supplied by the Recreation and Sport Development Division, South Australian Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing).

Ages 5 to 8 (Pre-school to Year 3)

Start with…

Spontaneous play, movement and coordination skills.

Leading to…

Trying more complex tasks and cooperative activities.

And finally…

Informal or minor games.

Ages 9 to 10 (Years 4 to 5)

Start with…

Development of coordination skills, small group activities and skill development through Aussie Sport activities.

Leading to…

Minor games, skill application and acceptance of rules.

And finally…

Modified minor games and modified competition.

Ages 11 to 12 (Years 6 to 7)

Such inter-state competition should have an educational component as well as sports development.

Start with…

Sport-specific skill development, modified games and Aussie Sport Modified Sport Programs (e.g. Minkey, Netta-Netball).

Leading to…

Inter-school or inter-club competition based on modified rules of sport, integration of school and modified rules of sport.

And finally…

Sport camps and regional competitions based on some specialised training and some interstate competitions* (in some sports only).

Ages 13 to 19 (Years 8 to 12)

Start with…

Sport-specific skill development and youth counselling service.

Leading to…

Inter-school and inter-club competition, integration of competitions and development of youth leadership opportunities.

And finally…

Talent squads, inter-state competitions and career paths other than playing—through administration, officiating, coaching, etc.