We could not have wished for a more beautiful setting to begin our 2018 Summer Sixes than Pembroke Park on a calm and sunny afternoon. With fresh lush grass, a brand new path to the ground and our brand new custom goals, it was fitting that a record number of teams and players were there to enjoy the occasion.
Walking around the grounds and taking a few snaps of the junior and youth games, it is very clear that we have some very talented and exciting youngsters participating this year. The standard is increasing year on year and, whilst this can make for one or two rather lop-sided scorelines, we hope that it inspires younger or new players to improve their games as they try to compete.
We did receive a little bit of feedback from round one…
Whilst the overwhelming majority of games were played in a great spirit, there were a few isolated instances of overzealousness noted across several divisions, including male players against their female counterparts in the mixed, and some robust challenges in a couple of the men’s games.
Whilst everyone likes to win, we must remember that the term ‘social competition’ is not an oxymoron, and that we can enjoy competitive football without resorting to rough or dangerous play.
So, please, be mindful of your opponent in your challenges and remember we are all here to have fun. Referees will be asked to clamp down on overtly physical play and issue cards if necessary. A reminder too that slide tackling is also prohibited.
We had a couple of reports of audible obscenities, so we must remind players, coaches and referees than bad language or abuse will not be tolerated in this family friendly environment.
We, as a club, have a very high number of players involved in Summer Sixes. As a South East United player, you are also an ambassador for your club. How you present yourself personally reflects on how our club is perceived, regardless of which team you play for, and our expectations of you are the very highest.
Again, referees will be instructed to monitor this very closely, and coaches and parents will be expected to deal with matters to prevent their repeat or escalation.
Despite warnings, it was noted that some players still did not wear shin pads. In future, we will instruct referees to send players off the field if they do not have shin pads. South East United is not liable for any injuries sustained playing Summer Sixes, so you need to take simple steps like wearing shin pads for your own protection.
A few games resulted in heavily one-sided scorelines. Whilst we do not want to discourage stronger teams from asserting their dominance, we will also be monitoring the situation over the next round or two to see what we can do to even things up a bit for those on the receiving end.
Given the number of teams which signed up for the younger age groups, it was only really practical to have two divisions, so juniors is based on ages 9-11, and youth 12-14 (although, based on skills and experience, we are flexible in allowing players to play up or down as appropriate).
NEW RULE – MIXED DIVISION
It was observed that some teams in the mixed division derived an advantage from playing a higher proportion of men on the park than their opponents, and it was requested that we do our best to encourage equality.
Therefore we have new rule: all teams in the mixed division may have a maximum of THREE men on the park at any one time. The others must be either females or Under 13.
If a team is unable to fulfil these requirements, it will be left to the two teams to decide a compromise (with the referee having the final say).
For a more comprehensive set of rules, please see the rules section of our website (https://southeastunitedfc.org.au/…/summer-6s-competition-r…/).
On the whole, we hope it was an enjoyable first round for all concerned. The hourly kick-offs, signalled by the klaxon, helped us keep to schedule better than ever before, and for that we also thank all our teams.
And thank you to all the volunteers who gave up so much of their valuable time to help the first round run as smoothly as it did. Our core group of volunteers is very few in number, so all help is much appreciated. Thanks especially to Philip Leighton (setting/packing up) and David Arnott (canteen), and also the U16s for their refereeing duties.
Apologies for the quality of photos. Only armed with iPhone 8 this week, which still clearly has a long way to go before it becomes a threat to DSLR.